Streamlining sales with Salesforce automation tools

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The Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) platform is easily one of the most powerful sales tools on the market. It’s a robust software that allows sales teams to source, manage, and close deals all in one place. And it’s only made more effective when paired with the right Salesforce automation tools. 

From features available within Salesforce to third-party applications, automations can help your sales team manage their time better, unlock more deal insights, and even accelerate pipeline growth.

We’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to Salesforce automation tools so you can better optimize your sales process through automation.

What are Salesforce automation tools?

Salesforce automation tools use technology to improve your sales and business processes by eliminating tedious, administrative tasks.

These tools integrate directly with Salesforce, streamlining your sales process and allowing sellers to be more productive and focus more on what matters most—building relationships and closing deals. 

What functions can you automate within Salesforce?

A McKinsey study found that over 30% of sales-related activity can be automated. Yet only 25% of companies have automated at least one of their sales processes.

With a platform like Salesforce, there are many use cases for automation in the sales process. More often than not, the functions you can automate are only limited by the tools that you have to build them.

Here are some common sales functions in Salesforce that can be automated through native and third-party automation tools.

Record creation, upkeep, and access

Access to up-to-date and accurate data is critical to helping sellers effectively manage their pipeline. But according to an Affinity survey, almost three in four sales managers believe that record creation and updates take too much of their team's time.*  

Instead of leaving sellers to pilfer through multiple data sources, automations can pull data in from external sources, so sellers have access to real-time data right within the Salesforce CRM. 

For example, automations can be used to scan sellers’ inboxes and calendars to surface sales activity and customer engagement data. They can also cross-reference data with third-party data enrichment tools to consolidate insights and build a more complete dataset.

Many automation tools can take it a step further, pushing this data into the tools sellers already use in their workflows, so they can access this critical data at the click of a button. The result? Faster and more effective pipeline management.

Customer engagement and experience

How you manage your customer relationships can make or break a deal. And when closing complex deals can be a lengthy process, consistent follow-up is key to staying top of mind and keeping your pipeline warm. 

However, when sellers are responsible for balancing multiple deals in the pipeline, engaging with customers in a timely manner is often easier said than done.

Automations make engaging with customers more effective and efficient. For example, email campaign automations can help sellers reach out to clients at pre-determined intervals, without the need to manually trigger emails. 

Automations can also help sales reps quickly pull accurate data into templates, and to streamline proposals, emails, and other client documentation. This improves the level of personalization in the sales process, helping sellers deliver a better customer sales experience.

Reporting and analytics

Reporting is vital to understanding sales performance and identifying areas for improvement. However, it can also be time-consuming.

Automations expedite the sales reporting process by pulling in a diverse range of metrics from various sources. They can also automatically populate data in dashboards and sales analytics reports. This provides sales managers with an accurate and up-to-date view of individual and team sales performance, so they know if they’re on track to meet sales targets.  

Similarly, data can also be pushed into sales forecasts to help sales managers better manage and plan the sales pipeline.

Lead routing

Turning leads into prospects requires connecting them with the right salespeople as quickly as possible. 

Manually matching leads to sellers can be cumbersome. Instead, automations can qualify inbound leads and assign them to team members almost instantly. By creating custom rules and criteria, lead routing tools can divvy up leads based on anything from rep availability to industry expertise.

Automated lead routing reduces the amount of time leads spend in limbo and ensures sellers follow up with potential prospects while your product or service is still top-of-mind. Pairing lead routing with other automation tools—such as email outreach or scheduling software—can speed up and streamline the sales process even further.

The benefits of automation for your sales team

Relationship selling is increasingly critical to dealmaking success, which is why sales teams tend to fall back on human-driven processes. 

But here’s the thing: when implemented correctly, automations don’t take away from a seller’s ability to nurture relationships and personalize outreach. Rather automation helps them do it better, more efficiently, and at scale.

Taking advantage of automation functionality allows sales teams to:

  • Improve sales productivity: While most tasks can be performed manually, technology often enables them to be performed faster. This not only eliminates tedious administrative tasks from a seller’s workday but also allows teams to close more deals in less time.
  • Boost data accuracy: When dealing with large amounts of data and information, automations can reduce the likelihood of error, delivering results with much higher levels of accuracy. For example, manual contact management often results in duplicate records, data errors, or even missed data fields.
  • Accelerate deal velocity: When sellers have access to the right information when they need it, they’re able to make deal decisions faster. Eliminating time-consuming tasks from their workday also allows sellers to prioritize tasks that move deals forward, such as building customer relationships.
  • Improve the customer experience: When sales reps have access to the info they need in real-time, they can show up better for their prospects—whether that’s answering their questions faster, drafting better RFPs, or simply coming to meetings with all the  available context.

6 Salesforce tools to streamline your sales process

The right automation tools for your Salesforce CRM depend on the functionality and benefits that you want to achieve. Fortunately, there are a wide range of automation solutions available to support general workflow operations as well as specific sales functions.

Here are 6 of the most popular automation tools for Salesforce to help boost sales productivity and close more deals. 

1. Affinity for Salesforce

Affinity for Salesforce is a sales automation tool that elevates your existing Salesforce CRM by automating the input and enrichment of key deal data. Affinity stands out from other automation tools by layering network and relationship insights on top of your existing Salesforce data, so sellers can prioritize the right opportunities and uncover warm introductions that close deals up to 25% faster.


  • Automated record creation and upkeep saves each seller to 200 hours of manual data entry every year.
  • Access to Affinity’s relationship intelligence insights and proprietary data enrichment.
  • Inbox and browser extensions and simple-to-use integrations with Salesforce make it easy to add Affinity insights into your existing workflows.
  • Implementation does not require complex coding.
  • Designed with relationship-driven industries in mind, particularly investment banking, professional services, manufacturing, and enterprise technology.


Top automation features:

  • Automated activity capture: Affinity analyzes your team’s emails and meetings to automatically create and update contact records in Salesforce.
  • Elevated deal analysis: Easily incorporate valuable performance metrics such as team activity and relationship scores, and more into your Salesforce reports.
  • Extensions that drive deals: Get access to Salesforce in the tools you use every day, from Google Chrome, to Outlook, and LinkedIn, so sellers can easily edit and update CRM records and get the information they need without constant context-switching.  
  • Relationship notifications: Set triggers and reminders to stay up-to-date on any critical customer changes or if a relationship score drops below a specific threshold, so you can manage key relationships effectively.


  • Affinity for Salesforce starts at $100 USD per user per month.


2. Salesforce Flow 

Native to Salesforce, Flow is a workflow automation tool that helps sales organizations create rules and logic that automate certain tasks and workflows within the Salesforce ecosystem.

Flow is widely considered to be the successor to Salesforce Workflow Rules and Salesforce Process Builder, both of which were sunsetted in 2023.


  • Out-of-the-box solution that is available with most Salesforce plans and easily implemented by Salesforce admins.
  • Support for complex logic branches and workflows.


  • There is a learning curve for most new users. 
  • Complexities in the Flow builder can make errors difficult to troubleshoot.
  • Limited to the flow starts and triggers that are provided within Salesforce Flow

Top features:

  • Templates and pre-built flows to build automations faster and more effectively.


  • Included in Salesforce Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer.

3. Apex

Apex is a programming language that has been developed specifically for the Salesforce platform. Apex on its own is not an automation platform. However, sales teams can use the power of Apex to unlock more complex instructions and triggers for their Salesforce workflow automations.


  • Enables sales teams to access the backend structure of Salesforce, unlocking highly customizable automations and processes.


  • Salesforce Apex requires development support or skills to use, making it difficult for sales teams to easily and quickly make the most of the automation benefits.

Top features:

  • Add logic to almost any Salesforce system event to trigger actions and improve existing workflows.
  • Java-based programming language that is relatively easy for experienced developers to use and write.


  • Salesforce Apex is included in Performance Edition, Unlimited Edition, Developer Edition, Enterprise Edition, and

4. Docomotion

Docomotion is an automation tool that integrates with Salesforce to help sellers streamline document generation. Sales teams can use Docomotion’s technology to design, generate, and deliver personalized documents to customers, speeding up the sales process and improving the user experience.


  • Easily integrates with your existing Salesforce technology and automations, including Flow and Apex.
  • Seamlessly updates your Salesforce CRM with data collected from customers in your Docomotion documents.


  • Automation benefits are limited to document generation and eSignature solutions.

Top features:

  • Generate thousands of personalized documents for multiple recipients in one click.
  • Easily create and edit documents from scratch or using a template through Docomotion’s no-code, drag-and-drop functionality.


  • Docomotion starts at $10 per user per month with a minimum of $3000 per annum.

5. Qualtrics

Qualtrics uses automations to improve the sales process by combining customer experience data with sales data right within Salesforce. With access to Qualtrics’ customer insights, sellers can better engage with customers and personalize the sales experience to boost win rates.


  • The Qualtrics-Salesforce extension makes implementation and data sharing easier and faster.


  • Similar features are already available within Salesforce through tools such as Salesforce Surveys.
  • Requires additional Qualtrics software to unlock full functionality.

Top features:

  • Collect customer survey responses in real-time with integrations that trigger surveys directly from a Salesforce event.
  • Web to Lead feature turns Qualtrics survey responses into Salesforce leads.


  • Qualtrics pricing is not publicly available on their website. However, the Qualtrics App on the Salesforce AppExchange starts at  $1 per user per month.

6. Zapier

Zapier is a popular third-party automation tool that is used to automate tasks and connect apps that do not have native integrations. Users can select from a library of triggers and actions to build workflows that enhance the sales process.


  • Easy to use and no developer resources necessary.
  • Zapier offers API integrations with over 6000 leading apps and sales tools.


  • Limited to triggers and actions that are supported by Zapier.
  • Complex Zaps can be difficult to troubleshoot.

Top features:

  • Clear, visual editor with drag-and-drop functionality that allows anyone to easily build automations.
  • Enterprise-level data encryption and security to protect your business data.


  • Salesforce integration starts at $19 per month. A freemium version is available with limited integrations.


Salesforce automation tools FAQs 

What is an automation strategy?

An automation strategy for a B2B sales team is a structured plan that uses technology to reduce manual tasks throughout the sales process. The goal is to reduce—or even eliminate—tedious and time-consuming administrative tasks. The right automation strategy improves seller productivity and boosts sales efficiency so you can close more deals. 

What is the purpose of automation tools in the Salesforce platform?

Automation tools should be used in your existing Salesforce workflow to accelerate deal velocity and drive more deals through the sales pipeline. 

Automation tools can help:

  • Improve the access, availability, and accuracy of data in your Salesforce CRM platform.
  • Personalize the sales experience for prospects and customers.
  • Reduce the need for manual administrative tasks.

The best automation tools enable sellers to focus on high-value, revenue-driving activities.

How many automation solutions are there in Salesforce?

There are currently two native automation solutions in Salesforce: Flow and Apex. Prior to 2023, there were two additional automation tools known as Workflow Rules and Process Builder. While existing rules and processes are still supported by Salesforce, any new automations need to be built through Flow or using Apex. 

Organizations can also extend their automation solutions in Salesforce with apps available through the AppExchange. For example, Affinity for Salesforce is a tool that automates record creation and enriches existing CRM data so sales teams can move deals forward more efficiently.

Which tool is best for Salesforce automation?

Affinity for Salesforce is one of the best tools for Salesforce automation. 

Affinity brings together the best of automation and relationship intelligence to help sales reps improve their selling process. Sellers who use Affinity have access to company network insights and robust relationship intelligence right at their fingertips. The automated insights help sellers work faster and more effectively to identify high-quality opportunities and close more deals.


* Data from Affinity’s 2024 survey of 250+ business leaders across investment banking, media and communications, real estate, professional services, healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, and enterprise technology.

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