11 Dec Business Process Automation and how it improves workflow in a sales setting
Business Process Automation and how it improves workflow in a sales setting.
The world in which business is conducted is now heavily digitised and, as much as technology has been a driver for growth and evolution, so too has it brought additional complexity and process to the workplace; that which is designed to bring efficiency may inadvertently cost time.
Every component of a business is reliant on various forms of data and that data is stored in a wide variety of applications and databases, each of which serves its own unique purpose.
To bring the digitised world together, business process automation is the technology-enabled answer to the simplification of complex business processes¹ otherwise spread among those individual apps or databases. It has revolutionised the world of work by creating more efficient workflows that would have otherwise been entirely manual processes.
Almost everything we do within our job roles has a process structure – a list of steps which must be followed in turn to ensure tasks are completed accurately. The concept of business process automation is the same; working from an initial trigger action, be that prescheduled or because of a prior human action, a series of pre-scripted events will then take place – removing the need to work through that long list of steps manually.
To ensure there are some controls, you can define your own parameters from which the automation will act.
With technology taking a prominent role in the workplace – and it is here to stay – utilising the ever-evolving list of tools that it has on offer is the logical thing to do.
Let us look at how business process automation improves workflow in a sales scenario.
Business process automation within sales
Automation makes modern-day sales productivity possible.
Members within your sales team have a lot to keep track of – between identifying and engaging new prospects – while also managing the relationships and requirements of your existing client base. Data, communication and administration are vital background components to successful sales and account management; however, it is often not necessarily within the stereotypical salesperson’s traits to be a slick admin person. They would instead much rather be spending their time chasing the money than seeing to important back-office functions.
A study found that 22% of an employee’s time is spent on repetitive tasks². Introducing automation to your sales assistant’s workday will free time throughout their week with less manual administration.
How can I keep my sales team doing what they do best, but also ensure admin and processes are maintained?
This is where business process automation comes in.
To understand how automation can tackle the need to bring efficiency and structure within the daily life of a sales team, we have identified the following common opportunities for systemisation:
- Stop writing emails
Ideally, you want your sales team speaking with clients at every opportunity and not spending time re-writing the same emails repeatedly.
Upon updating a field in your CRM, entering a comment in a Teams Channel or adding a new line item in an Excel spreadsheet, you can trigger residual actions including:
If pre-defined conditions are met, you could trigger the sending of the right email template depending on the specifics of the inputs of the trigger action.
- Do not forget to follow up
The possibility of forgetting to follow up on something is even greater than normal with our workplace being so different from what we were used to.
You can create a trigger-based around the words ‘quote’, ‘price’ or ‘renewal’ being in a comment or email.
If those pre-defined trigger words are used, it can create a task inside a to-do/ planner for an allotted time after the trigger occurred (one week, for example) or create a Teams channel post.
- Keep track of renewal dates
It can be near on impossible to keep track of renewal dates in your clients’ individual plans.
Assign a trigger so that when you create the plan and approve it, it is automatically logged, and you will be notified via Teams that there are only 30 days of a client plan left. You can go one step further by adding a step that, once you have been notified and opened said message, an email is sent to the sales team to inform them that the customer needs to be contacted – or you could allow the trigger to email the client directly.
An average of 80% of leads requires as many as five follow-ups to close the deal. Sales teams are so burdened by mundane tasks that they are left with only enough time for an average of one or two follow up calls. This results in lost leads and lost revenue. The right automation system can not only remind your team about these follow-ups but can even complete them without your intervention at all. This allows the leads to be closed when you are not even engaged, for example. Triggers can serve a purpose without you even accessing the program they are related to.
Customers are not only in search of a good product but also good customer care. ‘86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience’. ³
When your sales team is liberated from menial tasks it allows them to really work on behalf of the customer – providing a patient, thoughtful experience addressing their needs, which, in turn, makes them feel respected and important.
Triggers and business process automation integrate your IT infrastructure even more than it normally is – it allows work to be taking place behind the scenes without taking up time in your day. You set the rules, the trigger makes the program follow them, and work practices that used to be time-consuming for your staff team are done without any assistance and without taking any time.