Are you among the 72% of small business owners who feel overwhelmed by the load of responsibilities? Roughly 84% of business owners are working overtime and poor time management is cited as the top productivity killer.
Not surprisingly, 39% of business owners state that finding paperwork is their biggest time waster. While in sales, it’s found that 50% of the time is wasted on unproductive prospecting.
But this is only possible if you’re implementing a well-planned (and tested) workflow. Then to take it a step further, you can automate this workflow by using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
It is important to understand the benefits of implementing a CRM software. If you haven’t implemented one as yet, these stats will change your mind:
- Mobile CRMs can boost productivity by 15%
- 65% of sales reps who use mobile CRM met their sales quotas
- Roughly 91% of companies with 11+ employees are now using a cloud-based CRM
Image Source: SuperOffice
If you’re not already making plans to implement a CRM software to help automate your sales and marketing departments, then you’re bound to get left in the virtual dust.
Here’s how you can avoid that from happening.
Ways You Can Use CRM Automation Workflows
Knowing about CRM automation can help your business place it at the forefront of your sales goals.
As you should already know—establishing and building relationships with your customers is vital to the growth of your business. So by mapping the experience of your prospects and customers, you can make improvements and earn their business time and time again. And using a CRM software makes this process easier.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can create your own automated workflow using a CRM.
Step One: Identify which Processes are Worth Automating
In the beginning, you may get the ‘automation fever’ and feel the need to automate anything and everything. But, this is a mistake. Not only will this become a costly ordeal, but it’ll likely bring low yields.
While the purpose of automation is to simplify repetitive tasks and remove redundancies, you want to ensure you’re doing so in the right areas. One way to do this is to take a look at everything you’re doing.
For example, your sales team can automate:
- Email writing (i.e. using email templates)
- Lead scoring
- Matching leads with reps (lead assignment)
- Sending follow-up emails
- Creating reports (metrics in the dashboard)
- Dialing leads
- Leaving voicemails
- Call logging
- Appointment scheduling, and more
The results of each task should be measured to identify which are worth your while. It’s a good idea to set benchmarks to see which processes are meeting your standards.
While the end goal is to boost your sales, there are smaller milestones you should set to reach it. For instance, you can measure:
- Percentage of sales teams meeting quotas
- Average deal size
- Conversion rates
- Revenue (monthly, quarterly, annually)
- Sales funnel leakage
- New leads
- Upsell/cross-sell rates
- Net promoter score
Tasks that aren’t up to par can be removed from the workflow altogether. It’s also a good idea to speak with your staff—the ones implementing the workflows – to see what they think of the processes and results.
Use the information you collect to determine what should stay and what should go.
Now, it’s important to note that there are certain processes that may be effective, but are impractical and expensive to automate.
Let’s say, for example, you have a campaign where your sales team is cold-emailing a large number of leads. You don’t want to throw out this process since it can potentially land you paying clients.
However, you don’t want to keep wasting man hours on the low results it generates. So it would be best to automate this process so that your team can spend time on tasks with higher production rates.
On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to automate a process in the later stages, especially if you have invested a lot into these prospects. But this doesn’t mean you still can’t use your CRM workflows.
Step Two: Boost Everyone’s Performance
If you implement an automated workflow that works for some and not for others, then you’ve failed your business. Your top focus should be on boosting everyone’s performance.
This way, everyone can achieve great results. But you need to give everyone the tools they need to succeed.
When you create your workflow, it should address all the aspects of sales and marketing. This way, both departments are able to work together seamlessly to generate higher conversions (and happier customers).
One way to make this happen is to talk to team members who frequently over-exceed your expectations. Interview them to see what helps them to be successful.
Some questions you can ask include:
- What’s your biggest challenge as a team?
- What are the biggest hurdles affecting your performance?
- What was your biggest accomplishment this month?
- What should we do differently in our workflow?
- What resources would help you right now?
- What should we keep in our workflow?
- What’s the biggest challenge with closing deals?
- What’s the biggest challenge with acquiring new leads?
Then try to cut out the processes that are a waste of time before creating your workflow.
Step Three: Test, Audit, Repeat
You have your goals, task workflows, and even a support team to help identify what’s working and what’s not.
Now, it’s time to run your tests and monitor them. Keep a close eye on your workflows and whether or not they’re helping your sales department reach their goals.
Testing and auditing will become commonplace until you’ve come up with the perfect setup. But even then, you’ll have to evolve. This means more changes and implementation to keep your sales teams up-to-date.
Step Four: Putting it All Together
At the end of the day, you want your automated CRM workflow to look something like this:
Workflow Management: Implement automation for sales, marketing, business processes, and standardized working methods.
- Schedules: Create schedules for one-time or recurring tasks.
- Actions: Develop a set of actions used to complete tasks—i.e. a blueprint.
- Scoring Rules: Create a scoring system for leads to ensure focus is given to high priority prospects.
- Blueprint: Develop a documented process for your CRM system.
- Assignment Rules: Set assignment rules for records created using web forms.
- Case Escalation Rules: Create rules for determining which cases to escalate to members in the operational hierarchy.
Next, let’s take a look at examples of how businesses are automating workflows with CRMs.
Use Case #1: Connecting with Leads Faster
When visitors come to your site, they’re showing an interest in your product or service. These leads need to be captured before they leave your site.
This is what makes web forms critical. You’ll find many businesses using popups that get triggered when a visitor is about to leave to get them to sign up to their email newsletter.
However, you can use the form to collect information about visitors who want to know more about your offer. This includes their name, email address, and phone number. Once they fill it out, the information is stored in your CRM.
Your sales team is then alerted on their systems and mobile devices. If they’re not available, then the info is forwarded until a free agent makes the call.
After they get in touch with the lead, they insert additional details into the CRM, such as what product or service they’re interested in, their address, and so on.
According to an MIT study, if you don’t contact a lead quickly, the chances of them converting drops tremendously. For instance, if you contact a lead within 5 minutes, they’re 21X more likely to convert.
Use Case #2: Increasing Conversions with Email Follow-Ups
Qualifying leads makes it easier to convert them into customers. Having a way to automate the qualification process can free up time, which can enable your salespeople to focus on closing deals.
One way to go about this is with email follow-ups. Email is one of the most efficient methods for reaching out to leads. While they handed over their email address in exchange for free information, you can’t expect them to convert right away.
It takes multiple touchpoints before a lead converts. This requires consistent nurturing, which your sales team may not have the time for.
You can automate your email follow-ups in a personalized/segmented drip campaign. With a CRM software, you can monitor how your emails are doing.
Experimenting is key to seeing which subject lines, messaging, imagery, CTAs, and deals convert the best. In the end, you have a sales team that’s more productive and prospects who are happy and willing to become a customer.
Automating Your Business Workflows with a CRM
Can you now see the big picture? With automation, you can improve your workflows, as well as your productivity.
With the above steps, you can be well on your way to integrating your own automated systems. With the right tools, you can make this happen.
The beauty of CRM automation is the number of use cases that come along with it. It’s highly flexible, allowing you to create workflows that best suit your organization.
Ready to get started with automating your workflows? Then start browsing around for a CRM software to help make this happen. Then come back and let us know in the comments how it’s working out for your company!
Cover Illustration by Ashna Liza Sunny