Intro to the podcast

Welcome back to the Marketing Automation Discussion where we showcase what is working in marketing and sales automation with today’s tools and channels.

Intro to the episodes focus

Today is all about Sales Automation – we will cover some recent news, recommended software, intelligence tools, and as always, we will leave you with actionable tactics to take with you to use with your team.

Intro to Steve Benson

Who is Steve Benson? If you are an outside or field sales rep, or manage a sales team, you should know. Steve is the founder and CEO at Badger Maps. Companies like L’Oreal utilize Badger Maps and Steve’s training to reduce training time, increase opportunities, and close more deals.

What is sales automation software?

Define sales automation:

Sales automation attempts to automate the time-consuming tasks sales reps and leadership do on a monthly/weekly/monthly basis with the goal of improving accuracy and accelerating the sales process.

Sales automation software are the apps and saas that help you perform many sales tasks faster, easier, and more efficiently.

The big players in the sales automation software space:

What sales automation tools you use and/or recommend:

  • Badger is a mid-sized software company with an inside sales team.
  • CRM – for calls as well.
  • for automated new lead generation
  • We use for Drip email for people who have already opted into our newsletters or signed up for our free trial or who are already customers.
  • We use Zaps out of the CRM for the salespeople to run a hashtag command and have an email sequence start.

Alex’s favorite sales automation tools:

  • For myself – AgileCRM for customer emails and triggers, Drift for live chat, Hubsell for cold emails.
  • For clients – anything built on top of Intercom – they choose their integration partners well so the CRMs and other tools with native Intercom integrations are pretty good.
  • Lightweight CRMs like Agile and Active – Sales Seek too, but I am not as experienced.
  • I like because of the Intercom integration and because it’s extremely flexible. Their UI and mobile app for calling and SMS is also very clean.

If you are in B2B sales, what are the top 3 sales intelligence tools you just cannot live without, and why?

Steve – here are the larger companies offering sales intelligence tools:

  • Linkedin sales navigator,
    • D&B,
    • Insideview,
    • Zoominfo,
    • Discoverorg,
  • Clearbit…

Alex: Sales Intelligence tools –

  • Quantcast,
  • SimilarTech.
  • My CRM – AgileCRM,
  • my cold email platform –
  • Locals doing some big things in sales research automation:,
  • And, although I haven’t used yet, founder Krish is coming on the podcast to fill us in on how their platform converts call conversations into notes during the call, then pushes the data into your CRM where you can not only store that data, but you can trigger automations based on what was said during the call. Oh, and it happens automatically. Very cool stuff from Krish and team at

What is an effective sales automation strategy and the tools (and integrations) necessary to pull it off?


  • Really depends on what your go to market strategy (inside/ outside / ecommerce etc)
  • There are things that everyone needs to have.
    • Email automation systems for different segments of the sales cycle
    • Ticketing systems
    • Calendar systems
    • Our App Badger Maps for your field sales team.
    • CRM
  • The more you can carve up these different roles in your organization, the more that your salespeople can focus on selling. For example having a ticketing system that certain types of emails go to and open tickets that can be handled centrally instead of having your account managers do it.

Alex: I’d like to quickly mention an automation I’ve used in a few funnels which utilizes your CRM to notify your sales team when someone you are prospecting is browsing your site – with the page they are currently browsing and other pages in the session.

  • This automation works via cookies so they have to have been to your site and/or clicked on a link from an email sent via that CRM.
  • Trigger automations when users view certain pages on your site.
  • This notification provides a timely action and reason for the rep to call that prospect.

Now, I am going to lay-out an example of a very good funnel I have run on three different clients’ sites using Intercom – I created it to be a combination of two examples I found at the time –’s funnel (they use it only for enterprise prospects on the site) and’s insurance Q/A funnel. Basically, it worked like this:

  1. You create a line of simple questions (less than a few options)
  2. Turn those into steps – they should not be on one screen like a form, they need to be broken up into steps. And, they need to all be on the same URL (consult your dev)
  3. Split contact info capture in half for large question sets (as for name and company first), then ask for email/phone at the end before the submit.
  4. Pass the answers to each question back to Intercom as custom fields
  5. Now, the important piece, when they click submit, they are redirected to a page where you actually embed the Intercom chat window onto the page – not a widget. That’s key.
  6. Next to the chat window is a profile of your sales rep – this is also important to build trust. So it needs some details about that person – name, bio, title…
  7. In the chat window, because Intercom has that persons info, you deploy a custom message based on what they answered in the questionnaire – “Hi Tom, this is Natalie, I see you are interested in ____ and ___. I can help you get started.
  8. Taking that funnel a step further – you can redirect to a simple “thank you page” after hours…. And, you can redirect to the thank you page during business hours if they answer a specific question in the steps with a specific answer (disqualifying them).

The team at actually built this funnel for me a few times and the founder, Alek, will be a guest on this podcast Thursday. Highly-recommend checking them out for dev needs.

Steve’s final thoughts on when and where is best to start trying to automated practices;

(this may be a good place to highlight two specific situations –

  1. Anytime you are doing repetitive behavior in your sales process, there is often an opportunity to use a sales automation tool to do it automatically (reporting..)
  2. The App that my team built is a great example of this –
    1. (talk about what we generally do)
    2. (talk about specifically sending data to CRM)
  3. As a manager Ask your team discussion.
    1. As a rep, you can ask your teammates.

Great tips, recap of what steve said.

  • Mapping out the sales system using tools not manual processes so everything is in sync and accessible in the CRM.
  • Look into the repetitive tasks your team is executing on and see where an automation may work.
  • Ask you team what they use and if it’s good, have them deploy it and teach the team.

Thank you for coming on… Why don’t you let everyone know how to get involved with your company:

Steve’s app

Steve’s Linkedin

Tools list (taken from SalesHackr and edited to meet our recommended list):

Marketing Automation Tools

Lightweight CRMs

Data Integration / Enrichment Tools

Account Based Sales & Marketing Solutions

Larger/Enterprise CRM-Specific Solutions