The best way to understand how Business Automation can benefit you and your business is by breaking down what you do day-to-day.
If your job function is sales, think about how you currently interact with new leads/prospects and list the steps.
If your job function is marketing, think about the process you deliver to create campaigns, marketing content/materials and how you distribute the marketing to your audience.
There are two forms of automation we focus on to help manage the day-to-day functions for ourselves and clients.
- General office tasks
- Sales and marketing functions.
Let’s start with office tasks. We are living in an age where most things can be delivered by pieces of software. To be clear, business automation can’t (and shouldn’t) replace every task performed by people. But it can improve repetitive processes that require the human touch.
For example, maybe you send a handwritten thank-you note to every new customer. In the end, the task can only be achieved with pen and paper. To get there, though, you can set up an automated process to help you complete and track the task, which in turn ensures you don’t miss anything.
Documents play a critical role in many businesses. That doesn’t make them worthy of your time, If you are sending documents, contracts or collecting completed forms, you can leave the paper-chasing to your software by setting up automated processes. This may include a notification to your admin staff or someone external.
As a business, you might not have big- company resources to facilitate the hiring process, like an online job portal or a human resources team. Simply collecting job applications via email could work perfectly well for your purposes. But until it’s time to review applications and schedule interviews, you don’t need to personally manage the process.
Employ software to automate the early tasks involved with hiring. On the webpage where you posted a job description, ask interested candidates to submit names and contact information via a web form. When the form is completed, the software sends an email asking the applicant to confirm his email address.
There are many different examples and plenty of solutions to help automate the repetitive tasks or tasks not worthy of your time.
The key is listing your tasks and creating the process you and your business use to deliver them. You will then be able to use a software system to step in and work with you to execute.
Sales & Marketing
The second area of Business Automation is sales and marketing. This area is one of our favourites.
Sales and marketing automation has been around for a while now, but most businesses struggle to implement or discover ways to automate sales and marketing.
Most start with the tool before putting together the process of what should and shouldn’t be automated.
Therefore, your first job is reviewing how your leads/prospects make contact with you for the first time. For example, a contact form on your website. According to the Lead Response Management Study, Waiting even 30 minutes to make contact with your leads/prospects decreases your odds of qualifying a lead by 21 times, as compared to calling within five minutes.
With automation software, you can respond immediately every time—without even having to think about it. By connecting your contact form to Infusionsoft, or ActiveCampaign, you can automate an email response that delivers an email immediately and sets a task for a sales rep to make contact at the same time.
Some leads/prospects will always skip the “contact us” form and go straight for the phone. A phone chat is a great way to start building a relationship with a potential customer, but without a process in place for pursuing leads, opportunities can be missed once you hang up. Too often, phone call follow-ups are filled with good intention and poor execution.
Again, with automation software, you can set up an internal form to be used when people call your main line. Enter the customer’s contact information, along with any relevant notes, before using a drop-down menu to assign a sales rep to follow up. The form alerts the sales rep to contact the new lead. Meanwhile, the software sends an automated introduction email from that sales rep to the potential customer.
When the introduction email is sent five minutes after the form is completed, the sales rep will spring into action after learning the potential of the customer’s call. Your lead will be impressed by your customer service before the sales rep even starts working.
One big area of missed opportunities we see and experience is what you do after attending a conference or networking event.
More often than not you walk away with a stack of business cards. But merely collecting business cards isn’t the goal, of course. Start communicating with your new contacts immediately—before you and the person you met forget about the conversation you had.
Transfer contact information from the business card to your CRM tool, tagging each person as a conference or event contact. Then use automation software to schedule an email to be sent, whether you want to follow up an hour later or the next day.
The examples provided are basic areas you should consider automating and they are all possible with very little effort.
For more examples, click here to grab a copy of 25 things every business should automate and discover how you can improve office task delivery and deliver better experiences to your leads/prospects and customers.
Jump Digital Transformation can help you enter the world of marketing automation.
If you are interested in marketing automation for your business read our article on The Dos And Dont’s Of Marketing Automation For Your Business
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