Something’s gotta give. Your employees are stressed out, frustrated, and productivity is suffering. Monday and Friday memes abound. Your sales pipeline is a mess. Everyone is asking for headcount to compensate. Can you hire more people? Sure you can. Or, you can better utilize your current staff and boost productivity with automation. There are a few areas at most organizations that can be over-complicated, a bottleneck, and needlessly manual. Check out these eight areas you should automate to streamline your organization:
Microsoft Excel was released in 1985, yet many teams still use it to track and manage their sales pipelines and day-to-day tasks. Why? Automation can cut down manual data entry, segment and score leads, provide lead notifications, send follow-up emails, track lead activity, and prioritize daily work. Pipeline automation can transform your sales organization. 85 of the world’s most valuable brands have one thing in common: they use Salesforce.
Sales and Marketing Emails
From thank you emails to lead nurturing, the majority of your sales and marketing emails can be planned, scheduled, and automated. Your Sales team doesn’t need to waste time writing their own prospecting emails or segmenting email lists. Implementing marketing automation can lead to a 14.5% increase in sales productivity. Streamlined email campaigns can be set up for new leads, old leads, hot leads, and everything in-between. You can guide new contacts down your sales funnel and convert them into customers without having to type a single email.
Clarity metrics can be overwhelming. I knew a VP of Sales and Marketing who requested performance metrics monthly in a two-inch binder of printed reports. That’s insanity! To determine how your teams are performing, where to focus, what’s working and what’s not, you need a dashboard. Automating the collection and presentation of critical metrics to guide your business can save you a ton of time and make your life a whole lot easier. Instead of sifting through reports from sales, marketing, finance, and more, your marketing automation platform can pull data from multiple sources and tools to put high-priority metrics in one place.
Whatever tasks your employees feel are repetitive or mundane can most likely be automated. Things, like setting up appointments, assigning tasks, pulling reports, and sending emails, can happen in the background, freeing up your teams to focus on higher priorities. This benefits almost every department in your organization, from Finance, Operations, and HR, to Project Management and IT. Opening the lines of communication about pain points and blockers is a great place to start, as you evaluate the day-to-day, current tools, and processes to automate.
Lead and Customer Lifecycle
According to Salesforce’s State of Sales report, 81% of sales reps believe it is important to have a connected view of data across the entire customer journey. Defining the stages of a lead and the customer lifecycle is the first step to automating a plethora of tasks. Lead stages can consist of marketing qualified leads, sales accepted leads, and sales qualified leads. Customer lifecycle stages can include onboarding, relationship building, renewal, and referral. Automation can help assign the appropriate stages to each contact in your database and can even recognize triggers and move a contact into a different stage. It can send communication according to the needs of each stage, track behavior, and notify your teams when their involvement is needed.
If you’re logging into any of your social media accounts to post updates, stop right now. Automation can post to every channel simultaneously. Post in bulk with one click, schedule posts for an entire month, re-size images for each channel’s specifications and then track engagement, all in one place. Feed all comments, DMs, and mentions into one inbox. Measure engagement per channel from likes to shares. Automated social media is a thing of beauty.
Eyes and Ears
In a recent survey by Sprout Social, nearly two-thirds of marketers indicated that social listening will be crucial in 2020. Brand mentions on social media, customer feedback, and sentiment can be tracked using automation. If a customer posts something unsavory on social media, you’ll want to know about it immediately. Should you stay logged in and watch your social networks? No. You should set up alerts to let you know when you need to respond. If you’re already automating social media management to share your content across networks, it won’t be difficult to add social monitoring to your list of streamlined automation to make your life easier.
Whether it’s an employee’s first day or a brand new customer, you’ll want to start the relationship off on the right foot. How many newbies have that deer-in-headlights stare on day one as they navigate the uncertainties of new everything? If you’ve automated onboarding, your newbies won’t! Everything from education, accounts, access, and training can be automated. This sets them up for success with confidence in you and your new relationship.
Does any of this peak your interest? All of it? We feel the same way. Meld exists to “Mary Poppins” your organization and we love to bring the magic that delights our clients. Give us a call to talk, cry, rant, or ask questions. We’re here to listen, educate, and transform.