5 Top Tips for CRM Automation

  ●   March 16, 2022 | Analytics
Written by
March 16, 2022 | Analytics

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.

Benefits of CRM Automation

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. 

CRM Setup For Automation

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:

  1. Planning & Documentation: When implementing a CRM setup (and subsequently automation), understanding what has been implemented and the dependencies associated with each element is extremely important, especially when actioning changes on bulk or automatically. This is because you may not be aware of any historic implementations of processes that have been added, which may result in unexpected outcomes. A prime example of this would be editing a contact record, which results in an unexpected email being distributed.

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!

  1. Integration: Secondly, we would recommend adding any other systems you plan on using into your planning and documentation. This could be anything from adding users to Zoom Webinars or sending data from HubSpot to Salesforce. This could have considerable ramifications on how your data is structured therefore, making sure you have planned all interactions before implementing will help remove any future headaches from factors such as data misalignment.
  1. Data Cleanliness & Management: As mentioned, automations are built on logical statements. If the data available is messy and without consistency, you will face a lot of trouble and inaccuracy when trying to make the strategic processes that will fully utilise the functionalities these platforms offer. Put simply, free text fields are the enemy of automation! Utilising dropdowns, checkboxes and other standardised field formats for any fields you plan on using in a workflow will ensure the outcomes will be expected and manageable moving forward.
  1. Debugging & Testing: I can not stress how important testing is when pushing any process live. This is the same for anything digital. Creating sandbox environments or using test contacts with manual interactions can help avoid any errors or issues associated with the changes you want to make. Also, make backups! Periodically taking copies of your full infrastructure will ensure the effectiveness of any data loss or corruption can be mitigated as much as possible.
  1. Training: Finally is training. This can come after your marketing ops team have implemented the changes or during the process, but ensuring any team that is working in the CRM system understands the processes, dependencies and outcomes. This will save a lot of time and resources by not having to answer questions or support in other areas. If they are comfortable with the setup, you are less likely to see issues.

CRM Processes You Should Automate

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.

If you don’t already have a CRM strategy in place, get in touch with our team to find out how we can support your business’ CRM automation goals.

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