When discussing CRM systems, processes and automation are commonly mentioned within the same breath. Within the wider business ecosystem, we have been lucky enough to have platforms such as HubSpot, Salesforce & Klaviyo, which have built their businesses around optimisation and automation of common sales and marketing functions.
In this article, we are going to explore 3 key areas; the main benefits of automation, how to set up your CRM instance to ensure it is built for success and then some common processes everyone should be automating from a sales and marketing perspective.
In the digital world we live in, we have become accustomed to instantaneous processes. This could be anything from receiving a confirmation email after shopping online to booking an appointment at the press of a button. At the core of these processes is automation.
Based on this, Semetrical sees three key benefits of automation; Speed, Efficiency and Accuracy which we believe every business should be making use of.
There are countless processes that could be improved using automation, but many companies are afraid to take that step or do not want to invest in the infrastructure to achieve it. It may take a big investment of time in the short term, but it will save far more time in the long run. We see clients come to us with manual processes involving lead allocation, reporting and even chaser emails, which are easily automatable. We will cover a number of these examples later in the article.
Before getting to what you could automate, we want to cover the fundamentals of how to prepare your CRM system for automation, allowing…
“the use or introduction of automatic equipment in a manufacturing or other process or facility.”Definition of ‘automation’
In this scenario, CRM strategies are heavily built around processes. These are automated using sets of logical rules that use available data to execute instructions that can be easily repeated or achieved based on defined criteria. This means there are a number of considerations you need to consider when looking to automate your business processes.
We have outlined some of these areas below:
A quick tip: a personal favourite tool of mine is draw.io it can help to visualise what you want to achieve and can help plan wider considerations – it’s also free!
Moving onto the good bit!
For these examples, most of the screenshots will be coming from HubSpot, but the majority of the market-leading CRM systems have the required functionality to achieve these opportunities:
1. CRM List Segmentation
We have seen clients manually importing lists from various data sources that have been manually collected, taken from other tools or simply managed offline. Using tools, any contacts collected can be automatically created from HubSpot forms which can then be managed, segmented and targeted using rules through active lists.
Using these lists, you would be able to clean your data by removing unsubscriptions, targeting specific companies by region or even categorising your leads by industry. This will help towards deciding your email content strategy, which can be used by marketing and sales to also benefit your interaction metrics.
2. CRM Leads & Contact Allocation
Gone are the days of a sales manager manually allocating leads to the sales team. Processes can be put in place to automatically divide and allocate leads equally between the sales teams. This can reduce the number of simple tasks the sales team leads will need to do while allowing additional resource to work on other aspects of the sales process.
Any data within the CRM can be used to segment the users. The example above uses country, but it can also use aspects such as company revenue, industry or number of employees to prioritise and interact with leads.
3. Regular Task Management
On a daily basis, a sales team will have a range of tasks from giving a prospect a call to creating a quote or proposal. Within my professional career, I have seen people manage their workload in a range of different ways spanning from a draft email of notes to writing on a post-it note.
Platforms such as HubSpot, Salesloft and Salesforce allow the creation of tasks that can be allocated to the relevant team member and associated with the contact and company records. These will have set deadlines, priorities and will provide notifications to ensure the tasks are completed.
This will provide benefits of reduced stress from forgetting tasks and will have positive benefits throughout the service and sales processes as team leaders will also have visibility of who may need support.
4. Nurturing Flows & Sequences
With sales being a fundamental part of the success of the vast majority of business, efficient use of time for the sales team is very important. A common practice is still to chase manually by copying and pasting a generic email and hoping to get a response.
A number of platforms now have the capability to send personalised emails at defined intervals to engage and follow up with newly cold/unengaged leads. This could be in the form of sending an email or setting a task to give them a call. The smart aspect of these processes is that the sequence would end if the contact engages. This will allow the sales team member to get back involved and take over communication without sending unnecessary communications.
5. Email Template Personalisation
Getting generic emails can frustrate users as they feel like just any other contact. In fact, 72% of consumers claim they will only engage with personalised messaging instead of generic emails*. This indicates the importance of having effective targeting, as well as personalisations that directly align with them.
This will make use of personalisation tokens to include information about them and relevant content, while also making use of active lists to ensure you target the correct people.
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