Business processes and software utilized have changed drastically in the last 2 years bringing together remote teams even more so as the pandemic taught us it was possible to have online meetings, work together on projects from home offices and increase productivity as more people have chosen to work on automated software systems.
What is business process automation (BPA)?
Business process automation (BPA) is essentially the practice of using technology to automate complex and “old-school” business processes and workflows. The ultimate goal of business process automation is to save manual efforts, reduce company costs, improve efficiency, and optimize process performance. Overall bringing a better work experience to both client and company. With an office automation tool, you can reduce the chance of human error caused by your employees. Office automation tools help increase teamwork by streamlining communication between teams or departments and work processes.
Benefits of business process automation
To summarise the above, BPA benefits include:
- Increased productivity and saves time
- Lower costs and Increased profits
- Error minimisation
- Better standardisation
- Better auditing and compliance
- Excellent customer experience
Increase productivity and saves time
Organisations that rely on technology to automate processes also see an increase in productivity. BPA ultimately saves your employees time and allows them to work smarter, not harder. By relying on technologies to help with some of their tasks, employees will also get more work done in the same amount of time.
Charging machines with rule-based, monotonous and generic tasks allow employees to free up time to focus on work that requires critical thinking, creativity, or the human touch.
Lower costs and increased profits
While routine processes are necessary for the functioning of every company, they don’t create value for your customers. Therefore, manually performing these processes often leads to profit loss.
With BPA, organisations can increase their profitability by delegating mundane tasks to the systems and spending more time on activities that add value to their customers.
Even the most capable and skilled employees can make mistakes. Lack of attention, absent-mindedness, forgetfulness, and multitasking can all hinder the performance of your employees — especially when performing routine tasks. Unlike humans, computers and systems don’t forget. They also don’t get tired or distracted. Therefore, automating processes helps companies decrease the likelihood of human error dramatically.
Different employees often perform the same processes in different ways. But unfortunately, these ways are not always the most efficient. By using BPA there is a standard process and achievable consistent results, along with increased transparency across the organisation.
Better auditing and compliance
Automation solutions record each step of the process in an audit trail. That makes it possible to:
- track every step of the process
- see who did what and when
Audit trails not only promote accountability and data security but also help companies demonstrate their compliance in the case of official controls.
Excellent customer experience
Business process automation enables faster response times, data-driven personalisation, and consistency across different channels. This improves the customer experience drastically and helps companies differentiate themselves from the competition.
Some of the best automation software solutions include:
- Katalon Studio.
- HPE Unified Functional Testing (UFT)
- IBM Rational Functional Tester (RFT)
- Telerik Test Studio.
What is the difference between CRM and marketing automation systems
Customer relationship management (CRM) software and marketing automation software serve different purposes. The main difference between CRM software and marketing automation software is that CRM software is used primarily for sales purposes and marketing automation is used mostly for marketing.
Marketing automation is the process of using technology to streamline marketing efforts and make them more effective. Single automation platforms help manage every aspect of the campaign from the same place including email, social media marketing, mobile messaging and ad management. Marketing automation streamlines the lead nurturing process. When the lead becomes qualified, integration with your company’s CRM can smoothly support your sales team taking over to close the sale.
Key features of marketing automation software:
- Lead nurturing — Marketing automation software should seamlessly create templated emails to deliver content to the right leads at the right time. By creating an automated lead nurturing campaign, you can use your CRM to send out scheduled emails from the time a lead opts into your list, nurturing them through the lead qualification process.
- Freemium delivery — Your software should automatically send gated content to new leads when they opt-in to receive marketing notifications from your company. When you set up an automation to take care of this, you do not have to manually send content to leads — your CRM software does it for you, beginning the lead nurturing process automatically.
- Customized workflows — The software should also allow you to build targeted workflows that support marketing campaigns and can be easily customized to suit the audience and deliverable being offered.
- Campaign analytics — Finally, marketing automation software should create automations that periodically measure data showing campaign performance.
CRM automation software
CRM software is designed to help sales and customer service professionals track and manage their engagement efforts along with customers.
If you want to save time, engage with more leads, and land the sale faster, below are four ways you can use CRM to automate your efforts.
- Data entry automation — Salespeople spend 17% of their day on data entry. Implementing data automation through your CRM system is a huge time-saver for those in sales.
- Set up personalized email sequences — Using your CRM data to create email sequences for engaging with leads is a simple way to add personalization without manually re-creating content.
- Log all customer interactions automatically — Your CRM tool should be able to automatically log phone calls and email interactions with your leads each time you engage with them. By keeping your contact records up to date through automation, you always have the most up-to-date information on where those leads stand during the sales process.
- Customer service automation — If your company uses chatbot software to engage with leads and customers for service-related issues, this information should be automatically logged in your CRM for greater visibility into service-related inquiries.
CRM with Marketing Automation
While CRM software often lends itself to sales professionals, many platforms offer functionality that streamlines processes between marketing and sales teams, creating better synergy between opposing organisations.
Incorporating marketing automation capabilities with your existing CRM software allows your marketing team to access information about your sales pipeline, so they can create content that will attract the right leads in alignment with sales priorities. Sales and promotions can easily be sent out to the client database to generate more income at particular time of the month or year. Enhancing your one-on-one relationship building with your client base whilst at the same time promoting your brand, products or services.
Automation streamlines processes and minimises tedious tasks
No matter the industry, it is no longer acceptable to have your valuable employees performing non-value-added tasks. Handling monotonous tasks erodes employee value and affects job satisfaction. In fact, it is often an overlooked catalyst to employee turnover, customer churn and lost revenue. With automation, organisations can streamline processes and remove the administrative tasks from their employees plates so they can focus on more value-added projects. Not only will this improve employee sentiment, but your customers will also benefit from it. For instance, order automation frees up your customer service team so they can spend more time engaging with customers to create a superior customer experience that will push your business forward, rather than handling the manual updates and processing of orders.
Automation creates end-to-end visibility
Anyone in business during the pandemic understands the inherent value of visibility. Having insight into important business processes. One of the most essential pieces of true end-to-end visibility is data. Collecting data that feeds into AI and machine learning solutions and analysing data points from these processes, often through the process of mining software, allows you to make decisions based on the most updated and accurate information. Technology should provide business leaders with a real-time view of their operations. Using tools significantly impacts visibility into the state of your organisation, delaying your ability to identify and solve problems.
Drawbacks of NOT using a CRM Tool:
- Without CRM it really gets difficult to manage customer contacts in an excel.
- Increases the manual efforts to a great extent.
- Small Scale easily loses track of business deals.
- Lesser accessibility of data and lesser customer satisfaction.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software has come a long way in the 15 years or so. Today’s CRMs are incredibly versatile, and because of strong competition, have remained a relatively low-cost investment for businesses of any size.
When shopping for best CRM, you need to keep in mind a few things:
- How big is your budget?
- How many people will use it?
- Does every department need it?
- Do you want a robust platform with many features, or a simple platform with just the basics?
What is the best CRM software? Here are a few recommendations:
Monday.com CRM software will allow you to manage the customer data, interactions, and processes the way you want. It will keep all the data protected. It will allow you to capture the leads online through an integrated contact form. Leads can also be inserted automatically that were captured on other forms. monday.com will allow you to import the leads from various tools.
Monday.com CRM is best for:
- Session management
- Advanced Account Permissions
- Allow automating 100 000 actions per month
- Provides audit log
- HIPAA compliance
Zendesk is a sales CRM software designed to make the jobs of sales personnel in any organisation tenfold easier. With the primary goal of deal closure and customer satisfaction in mind, this integrated tool streamlines daily sales tasks, tracks conversions, facilitates performance visibility, and improves sales pipeline management.
With Zendesk, a sales team gets the luxury of performing multiple functions from a centralised platform, in just a few clicks. Sales execs can schedule meetings, make calls, and monitor deal history without breaking a sweat. Furthermore, the platform’s mobile application helps you avail of all its features on the go, making sure your sales department get the attention it deserves even when you are on the move.
Zendesk CRM is best for:
- Sales reporting and analytics
- Sales prospecting
- Seamless intergrations and API
- Sales email intelligence
- Native dialer
HubSpot made its name in inbound marketing. This helps companies attract new users through content. HubSpot also offers general CRM tools that are very useful and user friendly.
Everything in HubSpot is very intuitive. HubSpot’s products are divided between marketing, sales, service and CMS. Marketing helps you with lead generation to grow your network and save time. There is marketing automation to stay front-of-mind with your customers. For marketers you also get marketing analytics. The sales module of HubSpot is where you get advanced CRM and other software like a meetings scheduler. Service does help desks, tickets, knowledge bases and customer feedback. CMS is for managing your content. HubSpot CRM really helps you provide a great customer experience. You can also have a HubSpot add-on for Gmail or Office 365
HubSpot CRM is best for:
- Individual users
- Small teams
- Small business
Salesforce is one of the oldest names in CRM solutions. Today it has many products and modules. These include customer relationship management software for marketing, sales and customer support.
Overall, Salesforce is a solid and popular CRM software for medium-to-large operations.
Salesforce covers all your business processes. For marketing, Salesforce offers software to build email marketing campaigns. You can also set up marketing automation. There are social media listening and posting features. Sales teams using Salesforce get good customer relationship management. You also get CRM software to streamline the sales lifecycle with Sales Cloud. For customer service, Salesforce has CRM tools for creating a self-service resource. Customer support reps can also use Salesforce CRM contact data to help customers in less time. Salesforce is also very effective for both lead generation and customer retention.
Salesforce is best for:
- Small Business
- Large business
This is a CRM platform that focuses on boosting sales and revenue.
Pipedrive lets you track all your communication with each customer. There are software tools to make sure you maintain high levels of customer satisfaction along the customer journey. It has a host of features to manage all your leads and ongoing deals. There are many features to help you automate repetitive tasks. Pipedrive is a very visual platform. This goes for monitoring the sales process and sales activities as well as for analytics. It’s also got mobile software for iOS iPhones and Androids. Overall Pipedrive is a user friendly and effective platform.
Pipedrive is best for:
- Small Business
- Workflow automation
- Pipeline management
- Mobile software
Choosing the right CRM and marketing automation can be daunting. Here at Trinity Web Solutions we can advise the right system for your particular requirements for your business based on your scale and functionality. Contact us for your consultation and marketing solutions.