When routinely speaking with businesses I find that many are still not fully taking advantage of the features of their CRM Software.
CRM Software is not just an address book and those businesses that use it to just store contacts are scratching the surface in terms of meaningful functionality. The biggest opportunity many organizations miss out on is automation. One of the main functions of CRM Software is to make life easier through automation.
It’s important to remember that sales are all about people, communication and interactions and there are some things that automation cannot assist you with. For example, automation may help you remember special dates and birthdays, but it will not be able to automate information that a death in the family has occurred and it’s not the right time to make a call. Remember: mix humans and computers, but don’t remove the human aspect out of CRM.
That being said, here are 5 tips to follow when automating processes using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools.
1. Encourage All Staff to Embrace Automation
This tip applies for businesses of all sizes. Front line staff is often reluctant to automate processes because they’re concerned that their jobs will be on the line. That’s not necessarily true because in most businesses the highest performers tend to automate the most and automate themselves from their current job into the next. When introducing automation, talk about the benefits and how it will help your staff grow into higher-level positions.
2. Automate the Easy Stuff First
The most important automation tool at your disposal is the task manager and task scheduler. Choose rote tasks that require little or no human input. Automating the easy stuff will also help you walk the talk and build a culture that is not reluctant to embrace automation.
3. Document Everything
A good Customer Relationship Management tool will help you document everything you do with each customer: where you began, what you’ve spent, what the results are and what the next goals should be. Organizations that don’t properly document their projects often take how far they’ve come for granted and become tempted to pull the trigger on projects that may yield large ROIs later on.
4. Batch Processing
One way to make your business run efficiently is to batch processing. Batch processing can be defined as the grouping of activities and doing them all at once instead of spreading them out throughout the day. Examples of processes that can be batched include paying bills, social media posting, emailing, and ordering supplies.
5. Monitor & Adjust
In order to evaluate how the process of automation impacts the company, it is necessary to define the performance indicators that you hope to improve with the initiative, comparing the results of the current scenario with the ones after the change. Choose the most important metrics for your business, which will show the performance of the company towards the strategic objectives. This will allow for more accurate testing and greater control of the processes.