If you spend too much time on tedious tasks and struggle to get your business organized, CRM workflow automation might solve your problems.
One of the most important factors when it comes to running a successful business is efficient processes. Manual data entry is not only inefficient and boring, but the repetitive nature of the process creates room for error.
A CRM (customer relationship management) is one of the most effective tools for automated workflows because it helps you accomplish your key workflows from one place.
CRM workflows allow you to automate tedious tasks so that you can focus on selling. After all, sales are what will grow your business.
Today you’ll discover different ways a CRM can optimize your workflows and learn why CRM workflow automation is the key to unlocking your business’s full potential.
Let’s get started!
What is CRM workflow automation?
Workflow refers to the steps that are necessary to complete a business process, such as closing a sale.
Let’s look at the general process of closing a sale as an example:
- When a lead comes in, the first step is to assess their data (name, contact information, etc.) to make sure that it is accurate.
- From there, you have to assign the lead to a sales rep who will determine whether they are a sales-qualified lead (SQL).
- If the sales rep determines that the lead is qualified, they will schedule a meeting with them to discuss their needs or carry out a product demonstration.
- If all goes well, an estimate will be sent, then need to be converted to an invoice.
- Finally, your accountant will be responsible for making sure that the invoice is paid within the given time frame.
That sounds like a lot of steps, right? Imagine if each step were automated, requiring almost no manual work from you or your sales team? That’s where CRM workflow automation can help.
A CRM automates these steps, so you can close sales quicker and with less manual effort.
For example, once an invoice is sent, your CRM will automatically send reminders to your customer to help make sure that they pay on time.
Some other tasks that CRM workflows can automate include:
- Email activity (newsletters, email campaigns).
- Lead management.
- Account management.
- Call logging.
- Customer service tasks.
- And much more!
Synchronous vs. asynchronous workflows in your CRM
CRM workflows can be synchronous or asynchronous.
And while synchronous and asynchronous may be new terms, you have probably already encountered them in practice many times before.
When you create a workflow in a CRM, you will see the option to “run it in the background” as the recommended approach. The option you choose determines whether the workflow runs in real-time (synchronously) or in the background (asynchronously).
In general, it is best to choose the asynchronous option. Asynchronous workflows use resources as they become available, so it does not impact you if you need to work on another task as it runs.
Synchronous workflows, on the other hand, allow you to keep track and see exactly when the workflow is complete. They, however, will not let you execute another operation at the same time, meaning it will hold you up until the workflow is complete. This isn’t ideal if your goal is to be more efficient!
Don’t worry, the option you choose isn’t a lifelong commitment. If you choose the asynchronous option, you can always switch back to the synchronous option and vice versa.
Now that you’re caught up on the basics, let’s talk about how CRM workflow automation can benefit your business.
The benefits of CRM workflow automation
CRM workflows will streamline your sales process to increase revenue and grow your business.
Some of the most common benefits of CRM workflow automation include:
- Higher productivity.
- Data organization.
- Fewer human errors.
- Improved sales.
- Reduced costs.
- Stronger customer retention.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the key benefits.
Be more productive
Automating CRM workflows allows your sales team to accomplish more.
As a small business, you and your team already have so many tasks to complete throughout the day. If you want to be as productive as possible, administrative tasks should not be taking up the bulk of your work.
Think of the time that you would save by not having to do manual data entry every time you need to score a lead or update a customer’s contact information. This instead would let you focus on sales tasks that directly drive revenue.
CRM workflow automation allows your sales team to complete high-value tasks, which will increase productivity and performance from your sales reps.
Keep your business organized
Your sales team has to deal with large amounts of data to analyze and organize their leads.
As your business grows, this becomes more difficult but even more important as you have more leads and customers to manage. And if your team grows into several departments who all need access to different types of information, using a CRM makes sharing it:
- More accurate.
Unorganized data slows down your sales workflows and, even worse, leaves room for human error. Fortunately, CRM workflow automation can help prevent those errors.
Automating your workflows will not only keep your data organized, but also keeps systems integrated between different teams.
CRM workflow automation can keep your leads organized by where they’re at in the sales pipeline so your team can focus on the most promising sales opportunities rather than unqualified leads.
CRM software also allows several members of your team to update information in real-time, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks.
Build better relationships
With fewer administrative tasks, your sales reps have more time to focus on interacting with your customers.
By automating your workflows, you can spend more time building relationships with customers and ensuring customer satisfaction.
Having your sales reps spend more one-on-one time with your customers allows you to build trust and credibility with your target audience. Getting to know your customers better will make it easier to close deals, generate repeat business, and gain referrals.
Now that you understand some of the benefits of CRM workflow automation, let’s take a look at the key workflows that you should automate.
Top 4 CRM workflows your business needs
To begin implementing CRM workflow automation, you need to determine which workflows you want to automate.
To help you out, here are the top CRM workflows that will streamline your business processes. Hint: these are all capabilities that the top small business CRM software have.
Managing your leads takes a lot of effort and can be a confusing process. Lead management includes tasks such as:
- Collecting leads.
- Assigning leads.
- Nurturing leads.
- Scoring leads.
- Updating their information.
- Converting leads to customers.
Without proper lead management, you can miss out on crucial information, such as a lead requesting to change their email address on file. You also end up running the risk of losing out on opportunities to convert more leads into customers.
When it comes to collecting leads, you want to make sure you’re tracking what channel they come from. Depending on your business, these channels may include:
- Social platforms.
- Sales website.
With so many different channels, it’s hard to keep track of your leads. You want to automate this process because it will ensure every lead is accounted for and that you don’t lose out on potential revenue.
Assigning new leads can be equally challenging. When a new lead comes in, you want to assign a sales rep as soon as possible to contact them. At the same time, you want to make sure multiple sales reps are not jumping on the lead at the same time, overwhelming your potential customer.
By automating lead assignment, you know that there’s no processing delay before leads are followed up with and that only one sales rep is contacting them.
CRM workflow automation also enables you to automate personalized emails to nurture leads. This ensures that you reach your sales prospects in the right stage of the sales funnel and send out timely follow-up emails.
In all, CRM workflow automation gives you one centralized place to keep track of all your leads to help you convert them to customers. For QuickBooks users, Method:CRM can help manage your leads, opportunities, and customers.
For example, Method’s Opportunities App enables you to manage all of your potential business by:
- Tracking the opportunity through the pipeline.
- Keeping track of all interactions with potential customers.
- Tracking loss opportunities and gathering data to help your business improve.
With these workflows automated, you can better manage all of your data and ensure better customer service.
Customer service support can be very time-consuming as you generally have to answer the same questions again and again. You also have to keep track of complaints to ensure that you resolve issues in a timely manner.
CRM workflow automation allows you to streamline your manual support processes. For example, a chatbot will not only provide customer service support when your sales reps are unavailable, but it can also provide your customers with quick solutions for known problems.
You can also implement an automated notification process that immediately alerts you to sales teams and IT staff when a problem occurs.
Other customer service tasks you can use a CRM to automate include:
- Keep records of customer complaints.
- Cancel or upgrade accounts.
- Enable order placements and other transactions.
- Managing contact records.
Using a CRM to automate these workflows will lead to better customer satisfaction.
You may feel a sense of accomplishment once you close a deal, but your job isn’t over until the most important step has been completed: the invoice has been paid.
Billing is a task that requires a lot of attention as it involves a number of steps to complete. These include:
- Creating an invoice.
- Sending the invoice.
- Sending reminders.
- Processing payments.
- And keeping records of each step along the way!
With so much involved in the process, keeping track of each step becomes difficult for you and your accountant. Automating this CRM workflow, on the other hand, makes your billing processes quick and painless.
For optimal CRM automation, you’ll want to look for a CRM that lets you easily convert pre-sales to post-sales document transactions.
Pre-sales data can include:
Post-sales documents and data include:
- Customer contacts.
With the right CRM, you can create a self-service customer portal to make this process easier.
Customer portals allow your business to share individual account data with your customers. This saves you time on admin work and provides customers with a more enjoyable experience.
Drafting reports is not an exciting job, but it can take up a lot of your time. Luckily, with the right software, you can turn this dull task into an automated process.
The right CRM will set workflows for any type of report.
CRM reporting can give you at-a-glance insights on sales pipeline amounts, opportunities progress, and sales operations. You can then use this data to make better decisions for your business and come up with sales strategies to retain your customers.
Better yet, not only can your CRM generate reports, but it can also send out these reports to your sales team so that everyone has access to the information they need.
The takeaway: CRM workflow automation grows your business
The main goals of CRM workflow automation are to empower you and your team to accomplish more. Automating your workflows will have a positive impact on your employees and your bottom line.
CRM workflow automation can benefit all areas of your business, especially marketing, accounting, and, of course, sales. By eliminating manual workflows, you will:
- Manage your data better.
- Build better relationships with your customers.
- Close sales faster.
- Increase the productivity of your team.
With CRM workflow automation, you’ll be able to run your business more efficiently and see results.
Method:CRM has everything you need to automate your workflow and grow your business. Start your 30-day free trial today!
Image credit: olia danilevich via Pexels