What is sales automation?
Andy Fowler avatar
Written by Andy Fowler
Updated over a week ago

Nutshell’s sales automation eliminates mundane, repetitive data logging and allows your talented salespeople to focus on acquiring, nurturing, and closing leads.

Winning deals shouldn’t be bogged down with confusion around what information and actions need to happen, or who’s responsible for getting it done. Sales automation allows you to define the process for lead handling as your team guides the opportunity to its close.

Benefits of sales automation

Keep your sales team on track

Your sales team will always know exactly what they need to get done each day to move their leads a step closer to the sale. Important tasks will show up on their to do list, and they’ll never be wondering what to do next.


Leads are automatically assigned to the right person for the job, and that person will always know exactly what needs to happen.

Busywork, such as checking to see if a lead received the right email or was invited to a product demo, will no longer hold up your team or distract them from what really wins deals—making human connections!

Forecast and report on sales at a glance

Tired of constantly reminding your team to update their leads? With Nutshell sales automation, your leads will update themselves based on the information your team collects using stage goals.


You’ll be able to understand your pipeline in real time as leads move through your sales process, without needing to chase down your salespeople to ask whether they made that call or sent that email, or if they’ve given a high-value prospect a demo or created a proposal.

How to set it up

  1. Click Edit on the pipeline of your choosing


Your pipeline encompasses an entire process that your sales team follows to make a sale. A prospect enters your pipeline when you open a new lead. The prospect then remains in the pipeline until the lead is won, lost, or canceled. You can use pipelines to visualize where your lead is in the buying process and to define the specific set of actions your sales reps need to take to get a new customer (or repeat business).


Place leads in the right pipeline

You can set a default pipeline for new leads, and Nutshell Pro customers can create multiple pipelines and assign leads to the correct pipeline.


Each stage is a milestone that brings your open lead closer to a won lead; From acquisition to qualification, to closing. Your business might need two, five, or 10 stages, depending on how your sales team learns about, engages with, and closes the deal with your target prospects.


To move leads efficiently to the next stage, Nutshell Pro customers can create special automations:

  • User assignment makes sure that a lead is in the right team member's court when a prospect needs specialized attention or when one of your sales reps is well-positioned to close the deal.

  • Stage goals include the information and activities that are needed to move the lead to the next stage. When these goals are met, the lead is automatically advanced in the process.

  • Tasks are the repeated to do lists that are relevant to leads in each stage. Automatically remind your sales reps or other teammates what action items they must complete to advance the lead.

  • Email is for automated communications to take the delivery of important or time-sensitive information or marketing materials off your team’s plate. Leads can automatically receive Nutshell automated emails or MailChimp drip content based on their current stage in your pipeline.

User assignment

Leads can be assigned to a specific team member when they enter any stage, based on your criteria.


You can create additional rules for special cases when a lead should go to a specific sales rep based on what Nutshell knows about the lead. If a lead meets your criteria for company type, industry, market, products, sources, territory, or value, Nutshell will assign the lead to the team member or entire team of your choosing.


Stage goals

Stop spending your day making sure that leads are in the correct stage and let Nutshell take the wheel! Create stage goals to automatically advance a lead when it fulfills the needs of that stage.

If there is no stage goal, then by default all tasks need to be completed in order to advance the lead.

Types of goals

  • Collect the required contact information including name, email, and/or phone number

  • Determine the value of a lead

  • Complete one or more specific activity types such as a connected phone call, meeting, email, or any custom activity type that’s important to your sales process


Some things just need to happen to build a relationship with a prospect. Set up an automated, recurring task list for each stage to keep your sales team on track.


You can optionally include relative due dates for time-sensitive to do items. Due dates may be set based on when the lead was opened when the lead entered the stage, or when the prior task had been completed.


A description of the task can help with onboarding new reps or making sure everyone’s on the same page about what to do.

When the stage goal is met, all remaining tasks will be marked as “skipped” and the lead will advance.


Communication is key to all relationships, and automated email is by far the easiest way to be sure that your leads are receiving the right information at the right time.

Nutshell email sequences are an all-in-one way to ensure consistency in your messaging and timing, and can be set up to send just like a personal email from the sales rep a lead is assigned to.

For marketing messages, Nutshell integrates with MailChimp for straightforward, user-friendly email campaign management.

You can configure your pipeline to automatically add leads to a drip campaign when they enter a certain stage and remove them when they should no longer receive those emails. Nutshell will automatically add and remove your leads from those lists.


Slack notifications

Nutshell integrates with Slack to send automatic notifications about your leads to the Slack channels of your choosing. Stay on top of what's going on with all of the active leads in your pipelines so that no one misses a beat.

Use Nutshell's automated Slack integration to:

  • Send notifications when new leads are created

  • Send notifications when leads move to a particular stage in the pipeline

  • Send notifications when leads are won or lost


Follow through on closed leads

While pipelines are the processes your team uses to win leads, a relationship shouldn’t always end with the acquisition of a new customer or the loss of a sale.

Schedule tasks

When leads are closed, you can specify follow-up tasks based on the lead status.


You might want to create a task list for your order fulfillment team, billing department, or onboarding/customer success team to finalize a sale after the lead has been won. You can add task lists for leads that are lost and canceled as well, so if it wasn’t the right time for someone to buy, you are sure not to drop the ball and miss out when they are ready!

Update company types when leads are closed

When a lead is won, lost or cancelled, the relationship you have with the companies and people associated with that lead changes. With company type automations (and our built-in custom company types feature), you can tell Nutshell to convert related companies to a particular type.

For example, when a lead is won, you might ask Nutshell to automatically set Potential customer to Customer, so you can easily segment your list of businesses.

Learn more about setting up company types here.

Measure your pipeline

Nutshell Pro customers can learn how to read the funnel report to see the effectiveness of your sales automation by clicking here.


Sales Automation Workshop: How to Build Customized Pipeline with Nutshell

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