Teamleader Blog Article

Automate and let your software do the dirty work!

Robin Van Cleemput Robin Van Cleemput on 04-May-2016 15:31:00 in Digitisation & Productivity

Automate and let your software do the dirty work!

Many repetitive yet crucial tasks can be easily streamlined or even automated. This blog tells you how and why.

Some tasks are better left to computers than people, since computers work at lightning speeds and are never forgetful. In any office environment, there's heaps of repetitive work that can simply be automated. This leaves the important creative stuff to you, while the computer does the rest, error-free. Because repetitive work is seldom unneccesary work. On the contrary: it often serves an important purpose in your customer-oriented processes.

Why automate?

The path from lead to customer can be long, with a bunch of interactions along the way. Social posts. Phone calls. Quotations. Invoices. Thank-you emails. Customer questions. Not all those interactions are unique - or have you never sent the same quotation to different customers? All of them can be streamlined, or even automated, saving you time and effort and minimizing the chance of mistakes.

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Easy automation & streamlining in 4 phases

1. Marketing: lead generation and nurturing

Social media has become invaluable in a modern marketing mix. Through social media, you can get pretty creative with your lead generation for a small amount of money. Marketing automation tools like Hubspot and Marketo let you schedule your posts or even pick the appropriate time slots for you, so you don't have to camp out in front of your pc just to press 'Publish'.

Marketing automation tools are also great for streamlining the production of forms and landing pages. Predefined templates are the basis for endless variation with a minimum of effort. And once a lead fills in your form, saving that data straight to your CRM is a piece of cake. Your salespeople can go to work with it afterwards.

Sales should be able to appreciate a good marketing automation tool regardless: it automatically tells them which leads need following up, and which ones need to stay in the marketing pipeline for a little bit longer. Thus, so-called lost leads (that at one time showed interest in your product or service) can be contacted at exactly the right time.

2. Sales: lead follow-up and conversion

The sales process mostly consists of recognizable steps: you send out a first email or get your lead on the phone. Afterwards, a first meeting usually follows, and a quotation and a follow-up meeting. If all goes well, that quotation is eventually accepted. Simple as that may sound, in reality a lot of extra steps may occur. Keeping a clear overview is therefore of the essence.

An online CRM lets you do exactly that for the entire process, both on the lead level and for your whole sales pipeline. Moreover, the process is streamlined to a T. You can use templates for emails, but also for quotations, which can be viewed and approved online as well. No need to search for the right slots for a seamless follow-up: the CRM will suggest those automatically.

This lets you proceed from one contact moment to another perfectly, with no delay or mistakes. Thus, the chance of a lead forgetting your interesting offer decreases immensely.

"Do you want to make sure repetitive administrative tasks get done? Then automate them!"

3. Back office: handling payments

Sending out quotations, waiting for the customer's approval, making invoices, sending out payment reminders… Do you want to make sure repetitive administrative tasks get done? Then automate them!

Email templates, standard quotations and template-based accompanying letters: they should be part of the foundation of every enterprise that emphasizes cost-efficient yet consistent communication. Online CRM might save you almost a full-time employee in that regard - especially when linked to your accounting software.

4. Customer service: support and after-sales

Taking care of customer service as efficiently as possible should be a no-brainer: you better keep your customers satisfied. CRM automatically tracks everything that was ever discussed with a customer, allowing for the perfect follow-up after the deal is done.

Ticketing features save both open and closed support tickets automatically in an orderly history. Autoreplies make sure your customer knows his question is being taken care of. Has a customer stopped responding to a ticket? Then it will be closed automatically, but never without an email notification to inform the customer on how to reopen it. Easy and, most of all, totally transparent!