3 Secrets of Sales Automation to Promote Small Business Growth

How to Scale Your Small Business With Sales Automation 

“By increasing efficiencies through better qualifying leads and increasing effectiveness by ensuring sales efforts are more personalized and relevant, marketing automation enables sales teams to do what they do best – SELL.” – Kristen Hambelton, Chief Marketing Officer at ServiceChannel

Marketing automation has become an integral part of many organization’s strategic mix as the toolset provides businesses with enhanced opportunities to transform raw leads into sales-qualified prospects.

This is done by continually nurturing leads with various forms of informative content and personalized communications as they move through the sales funnel.

But marketing automation, just like everything else in technology, is evolving at light speed. As marketing automation becomes commonplace, sales automation – often called sales force automation (SFA) – is becoming the new cutting edge focus.

After all, you can engage in all kinds of effective marketing tactics, but if you can’t get a sale out of it, your efforts are wasted.

As automation makes its leap into the realm of sales, businesses unlock new opportunities to gain heightened levels of revenue and success.

How to Scale Your Small Business With Sales Automation

If you are interested in understanding how sales automation software can help elevate your business to the next level, check out these 3 steps SMBs can take to leverage sales automation for higher revenues and brand awareness.

1. Fill the Top of the Funnel

The top of the sales funnel is the foundation of your entire process. Without a means to steadily generate awareness and attract leads, the entire funnel collapses and your company runs the risk of doing the same.

As the digital realm becomes an increasingly competitive, dog-eat-dog world, keeping your sales funnel full has become a job unto itself. Therefore, businesses arm themselves with savvy and skilled sales teams that know how to bring in new prospects to guide through the funnel.

Unfortunately, only about 27% of the leads the end up in a company’s funnel are actually “sales ready.” What’s worse is that only about 44% of salespeople remain persistent after the first follow up. Most estimate that it takes somewhere between 5 and 10 follow ups to make a sale.

This means that a lot of potential customers and cash are slipping through the cracks. It also clearly illustrates why sales automation software is a necessity for many smaller organizations.

Using AI-powered services like Growbots, intelligent algorithms match a company’s customer profile against more than 200 million contacts to create an ideal list of high-quality prospects who are more likely to be “sales ready.”

The terrible loss that comes as a result of failed follow ups, however, also means that brands have ample opportunity to collect those lost leads and enter them into a highly personalized nurturing campaign with automation services.

But humans, cannot be expected to sift through these leads to establish which need to be cycled back through the funnel as this would be incredibly tedious and many would likely still slip through the cracks.

By implementing a sales automation tool that begins to track leads the moment they enter the funnel, however, prospects can be sorted into appropriate nurture campaigns that tout personalized outreach based on the lead’s demographic information and actions taken.

This allows businesses to better manage its leads and convert more potential customers into dedicated patrons.

This is not the end of sales force automation’s ability to help SMBs makes sales, though; it’s only the beginning.

2. Accelerate Productivity

No matter if a prospect enters a brand’s funnel sales-ready or if they are nurtured into it, it is vital to get those individuals over to sales representatives as quickly as possible. The fastest way to accomplish this is through automation.

The urgency of passing prospects over to sales teams in a timely fashion cannot be overstated; with each passing minute, potential customers become less included to buy.

This was proven by a 2015 Velocify study, which analyzed 3.5 million leads. The study uncovered that placing a phone call to a new lead within the first minute increases the chances of gaining a conversion by a staggering 391%. Waiting a mere 30 minutes reduces the odds all the way down to 62%.

If your brand employs a sales automation software that incorporates robust lead scoring attributes and processes, businesses can leverage quantifiable data to determine when a prospect is ready (or enters the funnel ready) so that they can be transferred to a sales team member immediately.

3. Enhanced Relationship Management

Purchase decisions are ultimately contingent on a variety of factors; and customer support is a huge factor.

Sometimes consumers opt to enter an agreement with a brand not because of superior products or services but because of remarkable relationship management; customers often break off deals for the exact same reason.

On this front, chatbots are becoming an increasingly popular option as these AI-driven assistants can manage customer service questions, leaving your sales reps to handle more complex and in-depth service issues.

This has made services like ChattyPeople extremely popular. Platforms like these enable enterprise-level companies to hand off a large portion of customer relations as it can be integrated with other online portals like Facebook and Shopify.

If chatbots are not an appealing option for your brand, however, CRMs have been the next best thing – until now. And while a CRM tool might be equipped to handle such customer-facing situations, the job should not solely be delegated to that sector; if a sales agent cannot answer a customer’s question because it is another department’s concern, there’s a chance your company could be losing an account.

By leveraging sales force automation software, however, businesses large and small can provide customers with better relationship management as they will often have transaction records and other vital account details at the ready.

Some of the more robust platforms enable sales reps to access this info from mobile devices as well to ensure they have all the data they need, even when outside of the office.

Using sales force automation software, SMBs stand the chance to significantly increase their number of leads and conversions by filling the top of their funnel with an abundance of leads, understanding more intimately where a prospect is on the buyer’s journey, and managing relationships with their customers in a more favorable manner.

In today’s day and age, sales automation is a tool that SMBs can’t afford not to add into their marketing mix. Combined with a savvy human touch, automation can be the exact edge a business needs to blow away the competition and achieve its loftiest goals.


Lenovo K8 Plus Spotted on Benchmark Site Ahead of K8 Note Launch on Wednesday

Lenovo K8 Plus Spotted on Benchmark Site Ahead of K8 Note Launch on Wednesday


  • Lenovo K8 Plus has been spotted on a Geekbench listing
  • The listing reveals the K8 Plus runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat
  • The smartphone runs on an MediaTek Helio P25 SoC

With the Lenovo K8 Note launch just around the corner, reports of a smartphone called the Lenovo K8 Plus have started to pour in. To recall, the Lenovo K8 Note is due to launch in India on Wednesday, August 8, and it will be an Amazon exclusive. The Lenovo K8 Plus, on the other hand, is a new entry into the rumour-sphere, and has been spotted in a Geekbench listing online.

The listing on the Geekbench benchmark site, purported to be of the Lenovo K8 Plus, doesn’t reveal too much information about the smartphone, but a few details do come through. It runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat, for one, and is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P25 (MT6757CD) SoC clocked up to 1.7GHz, for the other. The last little nugget of information that can be gleaned from the benchmark listing of the Lenovo K8 Plus is the fact that it is configured with what appears to be 3GB of RAM. The listing was spotted by Techook.

The Lenovo K8 Plus can also be assumed to run stock Android. The Chinese company recently revealedto Gadgets 360 that it had listened to customer feedback, and decided to abandon its Vibe Pure UI for stock Android instead. The K8 Note will kick off this trend, and run Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box. The company would still have minor customisations to offer on top of the Android build, but the decision would help roll out quicker software updates while also improving performance with less bloatware.

That’s all we know about the Lenovo K8 Plus thus far, but with its first appearance, it’s safe to presume we will hear more about the smartphone in the future.


Air India seeks $740 million loan to finance purchase of 6 Boeing planes

While the government is working on final contours for a strategic disinvestment of its stake in loss-making Air India, the airline is ready with plans to fly to more overseas destinations.

Air India seeks $740 million loan to finance purchase of 6 Boeing planes

Air India is looking for bridge loans worth up to USD 740 million to finance purchase of six Boeing 787-8 planes, according to a tender document.

While the government is working on final contours for a strategic disinvestment of its stake in loss-making Air India, the airline is ready with plans to fly to more overseas destinations.

The airline has sought offers from banks and financial institutions to arrange bridge financing of up to USD 740 million for the six aircraft. The amount translates into around USD 123.3 million per plane. At the current exchange rate, USD 740 million is around Rs 4,720 crore.

“In addition to the Government of India guarantee, Air India will offer the aircraft as a security. The facility should be a direct loan without the requirement for formation of a special purpose vehicle structure which requires title transfer,” the tender document, floated last Friday, said.

Air India has an agreement with Boeing Company for purchase of 27 B787-8 planes. Out of them, the airline has completed the sale and lease back for 21 aircraft.

For three B787-8 planes — each of which was delivered in November 2016, January and July — Air India had arranged bridge financing without Indian government’s guarantee. Among the remaining three aircraft, two are scheduled to be delivered this month and one in October.

According to the document, the government has indicated that it would issue guarantee for the six B787-8 aircraft, which includes three that have already been delivered.

“Therefore, Air India would like to refinance the bridge loan for 22nd to 24th B787-8 aircraft and needs interim bridge financing for the remaining three B787-8 aircraft (25th to 27th) for 15 months at the time of delivery,” the document said.

Air India has a fleet of 110 planes, including 33 Boeing aircraft. Air India, which has the largest international market share among domestic carriers, will soon be launching flights to Stockholm and Copenhagen.

Last month, the airline started direct service between New Delhi and Washington, its fifth destination in the US. As part of efforts to revive Air India, the Cabinet has given its in-principle approval to stake sale in the airline — which is surviving on taxpayers’ money.


Do’s and don’ts of dorm room decorating for college students

It’s that time of year when students are heading back to campus. Here are some simple do’s and don’ts of dorm room decorating to help students make a smooth transition:


Expert Picks: New this year, we have highlighted our Expert Picks within our college assortment. Our experts have chosen these as the best of the best, based on style, innovation and value. We feature products that reflect all key categories including but not limited to bedding basics, storage & organization, bath and laundry & cleaning. If customers purchase these items and add in their personal bedding + décor, they will be all set. We also have awesome extras to help create a space they love.


Know before you go! Before purchasing anything, students should become familiar with their school rules. Our School Info Pages tell students what’s allowed, what’s provided by the school and what they should bring. Some schools do not allow items like microwaves, hot plates, etc. Many beds also require twin XL sheet.


College dorm rooms are notorious for being small, so students need to get creative when it comes to organizing. Luckily, there are some great ways to create more room by using storage and organizational items under the bed, over the door and in the closet. Over-the-door is an easy place to maximize space with a full length mirror, an extra closet rod or hamper. A shoe organizer is a great multi-purpose item that can hold t-shirts, toiletries, accessories and, of course, shoes. The underbed space is often forgotten, but a great area to add stacking drawers for extra clothes or store unused luggage. Closet and wardrobe space is also tight so using items like the Slim Grip Hangers or Double Hanging Closer Rod allow students to hang more clothing per unit of space.


The bed is the biggest and most important décor statement of a dorm room and where students will spend the majority of their time studying, eating and, of course, sleeping. Selecting your bedding style can set the tone of the room. Bed Bath & Beyond offers a wide assortment of on-trend bedding styles like Boho, Preppy, Casual or Glam, available at our everyday low prices.


Shopping for college can be an overwhelming experience, so using a checklist is an important way to stay organized. Bed Bath & Beyond offers a College Checklist in all stores and online. The guide offers lists of essential gear and college necessities from twin extra-long sheets, to desk lamps, to dorm-appropriate cookware so students can see what they need and may want to make the best decision for their campus living experience.


Making a dorm room feel like home can be achieved by creating a cozy, laid back atmosphere infused with personal style. For many students, this is the first time they will be living away from home so creating a space they feel comfortable in is important.

A student will likely be walking into a blank canvas so it’s important to pick out a distinctive bedding style that will set the tone of the room. Bed Bath & Beyond offers a wide assortment of on-trend bedding styles and accessories available at our everyday low prices. Add personal style touches to complement the bed like decorative pillows, an area rug, throw blanket for extra warmth, or hang window panels to pull the room together. Adding wall décor creates an instant change in atmosphere, as well. Decorate with inspirational artwork, a tapestry, string lights, mirrors or even stick-on wall paper. 3M Command™ Hooks are a necessity for keeping the walls damage-free!

Innovative organization, storage solutions and multi-functional items are another great way to maximize dorm room space. Students also have a lot of devices so staying charged is a priority. We continue to offer space saving and multi-functional charging solutions that feature both outlets and USB ports.



Survey: 80 Percent of Small Business Owners Have Never Visited Their SBA Branch

Looking for money to grow a small business? Make sure to consider all the resources available, including one major source of funding.

While almost all small businesses require financing at some point, few are using the resources available to them.

This surprising insight comes from a new survey conducted by Fundera, a small business lending marketplace. The report found 80 percent of small business owners have never set foot in their Small Business Administration (SBA) branch, an agency that specifically caters to their needs.

Business Owners Not Paying Attention to the Financial Health of Their Business

Surprisingly, the report found while many small business owners check their personal credit, they seldom review their business credit score.

In specific numbers, 58 percent of respondents said they don’t check their business credit score at all.

What’s more, 34 percent of small business owners said they were “not at all interested” in seeing a free business credit score for their business.

Businesses Borrowing Funds to Grow

That being said, it’s a positive sign that most businesses are seeking loans to grow.

The report found 49 percent of small business owners are seeking working capital. Forty percent said they needed funds to purchase equipment, while 37 percent cited expansion as their primary reason to borrow.

Evidently, small business owners are taking a rather proactive approach when they are applying for funds.

How Owners Are Getting Money to Grow a Small Business

To meet their financial requirements, most small businesses (66 percent) said they opt for the big banks.

A large number of businesses also approach their friends and family to secure funds. According to the report among those who take the traditional route, 66 percent borrow from family. Thirty-six percent said they borrow from friends.

Only 11 percent of surveyed business owners applied for a loan with an online lender.

About the Survey

Fundera and Qualtrics conducted a random sur


Moto X4 Price Leaks Ahead of Official Launch

Moto X4 Price Leaks Ahead of Official Launch


  • Moto X4 said to be priced at EUR 350 (roughly Rs. 26,500)
  • No launch date is certain as of now
  • The pricing likely to be around the Moto X Style’s that launched in 2015

Moto X4, the much-anticipated fourth-generation Moto X-series smartphone, was expected to be revealed earlier this week alongside Moto Z2 Force. That, however, didn’t happen, and now the European pricing of the unannounced Moto X4 has been tipped.

According to tipster Roland Quandt, the Moto X4 will be launched with a price tag of EUR 350 (roughly Rs. 26,500) for the European market. Quandt in a tweet claims that the said pricing of the Moto X4 is for Eastern Europe. Additionally, the leaked pricing only refers to a 32GB storage variant which may mean that there will one storage variant only. The rumoured pricing is notably is around the same mark when the last Moto X-series smartphone was launched. Back in 2015, the Moto X Style was launched at $399 (approximately Rs. 27,000). The Moto X4 is expected to be announced soon.

The rumoured Moto X4 has already been leaked in the past several times seemingly revealing the handset. Based on preliminary leaks, it will run Android 7.1.1 Nougat out-of-the-box and sport a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display.

Further, the Moto X4 is said to be powered by a Snapdragon 630 SoC, and launch in two variants – 3GB RAM/ 16GB storage and 4GB RAM/ 32GB storage. In terms of optics, the smartphone is likely to sport a 16-megapixel camera at the front. The Moto X4 is expected to come with a dual camera setup with a 12-megapixel and another 8-megapixel sensor at the back. Other rumoured features include NFC, IP68 rating for dust and splash resistance, and a 3800mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 via USB Type-C.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Motorola Moto X4

Motorola Moto X4

  • NEWS




2.2GHz octa-core

Front Camera



1080×1920 pixels




Android 7.1.1



Rear Camera


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    Rs. 5,649
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    Rs. 5,970
  • Motorola Moto C (Pearl White, 16GB) – 
    Rs. 5,988


Real estate sector sees investment flow of Rs 16,000 cr in 1H 2017

Highest ever investment inflow into Indian real estate in 1H2017

India has witnessed the highest-ever investment inflow into the real estate sector during the first-half (H1) of calender 2017.

The total investment in 1H 2017, which stands at more than Rs 16,000 crore, is the highest ever seen in any year’s first-half, said Shobhit Agarwal, Managing Director – Capital Markets & International Director, JLL India.

“It has not only exceeded the 1H 2007 but also 1H 2016. Given the scale, 2017 seems set to break all previous investment records,” he added.

A slew of reforms unleashed by the government is changing the investment scenario in the country and has made India one of the most attractive emerging markets from the investment point of view.

“So much so that a comparison between debt and equity investments seen between 2014 and 1H2017, which stand at more than Rs 98,000 crore, is higher than the Rs 95,000 crore seen during the entire decade from 2003 to 2013,” explained Agarwal.


Indefinite Darjeeling bandh bleeds Siliguri’s business of Rs 2 crore every day

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s indefinite bandh in the Darjeeling hills has hit business badly in Siliguri which is dependent on teh north Bengal hills.

Bengal’s second most important trade hub Siliguri is taking a daily hit of Rs 2 crore due to the indefinite band in Darjeeling, say trade bodies in this north Bengal city.

The bandh which entered its 34th day on Tuesday was called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) to push for its demand for a separate Gorkhaland state.

With more than 70 % of Siliguri’s business dependent on Darjeeling hills and the state of Sikkim, most of the wholesale and retail traders are suffering heavily.

According to office bearers of the Siliguri Merchants’ Association (SMA), Siliguri Hardware Merchants’ Association (SHMA) and Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, North Bengal (FOCIN), the indefinite bandh has badly dented their business.

“Siliguri’s business is losing about Rs 2 crore daily. About 75% of business in Siliguri is dependent on Sikkim and Darjeeling hills. As everything is shut in Darjeeling hills, Siliguri is suffering a crippling effect. If this continues everything would collapse,” Biswajit Das, general secretary of FOCIN told HT.

Siliguri is usually a town with regular traffic jams, but over the past few weeks, traffic has thinned.

Read more: No work, no internet, no entertainment: A ‘boring’ life in bandh-hit Darjeeling

“We have no work and are sitting idle for more than a month,” Hiralal Agarwal the president of SHMA said. According to Agarwal, 75 % of Siliguri’s hardware business comes from Sikkim and Darjeeling hills. Every day the sector clocks a business of Rs 50 crore during normal days.

Gauri Goyal the general secretary of SMA claimed, “The indefinite bandh has eroded 70 % of the food business in Siliguri.”

From rice to wheat to lentil to edible oils, almost all food items go to the hills and Sikkim from Siliguri. The main wholesale market here is Khalpara. During normal days more than 100 trucks ferry food items to the hills. “Now only few trucks are only going to Sikkim. We are losing business of Rs 15 crore daily,” said Goyal.

The supply to Sikkim which is connected to Siliguri by National Highway 10 has also been hit as the administration here is allegedly not allowing the trucks to carry food items and other essentials to the state. Trucks going to Sikkim are regularly checked on one pretext or other, the Pawan Chamling government of Sikkim has alleged.

Goyal claimed the indefinite bandh in the Darjeeling hills has deprived about 10,000 daily labourers and 500 rickshaw pullers of their livelihood. A senior official of Siliguri Regulated Market Committee said, the vegetable and fish market is witnessing a daily shortfall of at least 65 %.

He said on normal days, 60 to 70 trucks loaded with vegetables reach regulated markets from various places out of which 40 to 50 trucks are dispatched to the Darjeeling hills and Sikkim.


Real estate prices show some signs of recovery

Image result for Real estate prices show some signs of recoveryThe index for prices of under construction project in Noida, Greater Noida, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad remained flat.

NEW DELHI: Real estate prices have shown some improvement in majority of cities such as Mumbai where index of prices went up by 3.7%, Gurgaon by 6.7%, Chandigarh (6.2%), Kanpur 8.1% and Bhubaneshwar by 11.7%, among others in the January-March 2017 quarter. This was revealed in prices of residential units released on Monday by the National Housing Bank (NHB). According to NHB, out of 50 cities which are monitored, 27 witnessed improvement in prices in the quarter ending March 2017 as against that of December 2016.

Prices remained flat in cities such as Noida, Greater Noida, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad where the movement in the Residex is around 1%-2% in the January-March quarter over the previous quarter. But 19 out of 50 cities witnessed fall in index of property prices. In Delhi, it fell by 4.3%, Gandhinagar by 12%, Surat (8.9%), Ludhiana (7.8%) and Kolkata by 7.2% “I will be happy if land prices fall further. We still have the situation where land prices in Vijayawada is more than Washington and New York. Unfortunately , farmers are not benefitted by this price rise as the middleman had already bought the land from farmers and now quoting unreasonably high prices,“ said Venkaiah Naidu, minister for housing and urban affairs, who released the index, said.

In the under construction segment, prices went up in 24 cities out of 47 cities which were monitored in the quarter ended March 2017 over that of December 2016. The maximum increase was observed in 7 ctiies like Jaipur (8.7%), Chennai (6.7%), Lucknow (5.7%), Guwahati (5.2%), Howrah (4.4%), Hyderabad (4.4%) and Bidhan Nagar (4.1%). 14 cities have shown decline in prices over the previous quarter with maximum fall observed in Patna (16.2%), Nashik (6.3%). Delhi (4.3%) Faridabad (3.9%) and Chandigarh (3.4%).

The index for prices of under construction project in Noida, Greater Noida, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad remained flat. NHB Residex plans to bring out Land Price Indices, Building Material Price Indices and Housing Rental Index to enable consumers to have comprehensive view on housing, said Sriram Kalyanaraman, MD & CEO, NHB. He said they are planning to include 100 cities from 50 cities now.


OnePlus 5 ‘Jelly Effect’ Due to Upside Down Placement of Display?

OnePlus 5 'Jelly Effect' Due to Upside Down Placement of Display?


  • OnePlus 5 Users have reported jelly scrolling effect on their devices
  • Kernel code points to the display being rotated by 180 degrees
  • Video shows OnePlus 5 screen refreshes from bottom to up

The recently launched OnePlus 5 has been in the news this week for a ‘jelly scrolling’ issue that some of its users have reported. Early adopters of the device noticed a jelly-like warping effect when scrolling through webpages and apps like Twitter. Many speculations were being made about the cause of the jelly scrolling effect, with one prominent one being it could be a VSync issue, and the other being that the display has been installed upside down in the device.

If you are wondering what the jelly scrolling effect really is, well, it’s quite difficult the explain the issue in text and a video shot by The Verge’s Dan Seifert shows the ‘jelly’ effect while scrolling through the Twitter app:

OnePlus issued a statement stating that the effect is natural and there is no variance in screens between devices. Which also means that it is unlikely to get a software update to fix the issue.

Popular modding community website XDA investigated the issue and soon ruled out VSync toggling as a cause for this effect. To verify if the display is inverted, an XDA Recognized Developer ‘SultanXDA’ scanned through the kernel source code. The kernel, in simple terms, is an important link between the software and the hardware of the device.

In the kernel code, the developer found a display controller code which rotates the output by a 180 degrees. The developer confirmed that only the OnePlus 5 kernel has this line of code while other devices like the OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T, Google Nexus 5X, and Google Nexus 6P lacked in their kernel.

Another XDA developer ‘eng.stk’ compiled the OnePlus 5’s panel code and flashed the OnePlus 3T with the code which resulted in the OnePlus 3T’s display being inverted. Because of which the controller flips the output. In a physical hardware teardown it can be seen from the display connector that the display might actually be placed upside-down.

OnePlus3T OnePlus5 Teardown NDTV OnePlus 3T OnePlus 5 Teardown

Finally, a Reddit user has also posted in the OnePlus sub-reddit that the OnePlus 5 screen refreshes from bottom to top with the traditional behaviour being top to bottom. The user has shot a 960fps video showing how the OnePlus 5 refreshes the screen in comparison to the Google Pixel XL and the Samsung Galaxy S8+.

The unconventional refresh method could be the reason for the ‘jelly scrolling’ effect on the OnePlus 5.