What Is CRM Automation?
CRM automation refers to a CRM system’s ability to automate repetitive, manual tasks to streamline work and improve productivity. Automation of a CRM can encompass a range of functions across marketing, sales and service activities.
CRM tools are all about making it easier to manage every external interaction and relationship that’s essential for business success. Automation can free up time to focus on more meaningful, strategic work.
CRM vs. Marketing Automation
Although CRM software can perform some marketing automation tasks, your CRM alone may not be the right solution to automate all of your marketing processes. Let’s discuss the key differences between CRM and marketing automation software.
Marketing automation software
Systems geared towards marketing professionals are designed to deliver marketing campaigns. These tools help marketers attract potential customers through the automated delivery of content, streamlining the creation process to help marketers build engaged, targeted traffic that sales teams can convert to customers.
Here are four key features of marketing automation software:
- 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.
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.
CRM automation software
While marketing automation software is designed to help marketers efficiently deliver content, CRM software is designed to help sales and customer service professionals track and manage their engagement efforts with customers.
If you want to save time, engage with more leads, and land the sale faster, here 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 that addresses a major pain point 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 a lead stands 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.
Other Key Areas of CRM Automation
Apart from marketing, automation of CRM tasks also reaches into the sales and service realms. Let’s see how that works.
Sales Force Automation
Sales force automation (SFA) tools are a great way to expand the functionality of CRM software. Like marketing automation, they exist as standalone systems but are also often incorporated into CRM solutions as a built-in module.
SFA software allows you to manage all aspects of the sales cycle so you can convert leads into new customers. It brings an extensive range of features that help you navigate, monitor and enhance the entire sales process.
Example of a contact profile with centralized information for better collaboration.
Another outcome is that sales force automation makes the lives of sales reps much easier by tracking relevant information. they revealing gaps where your team can be more efficient.
By managing the entire sales funnel, SFA tools can help streamline sales operations . automate many of the manual tasks that come with the job. This lets your sales reps do more of what they do best — close deals. That’s a win-win all around.
Customer Service Automation
Customer service tools (also called help desk software) are available as standalone applications as well — Zendesk being a well-known example. But keeping with our theme, they’re also often included as part of a CRM system. This offers great benefits for finding new ways to improve the customer experience.
Customer service automation provides:
- Chabots powered by AI
- Customer self-service (FAQ page or a knowledgebase)
- Automated responses, such as resetting a password
- Case routing when a customer creates a new ticket
These capabilities and more help greatly reduce the manual labor required with supporting customers. Salesforce’s 2019 State of Service report found that only 34% of agents whose work involves AI spend. “most of their time on mundane tasks,” compared to 51% who don’t have AI.
However, the same report also revealed that 80% of customer service decision makers view AI. as being most effective when used in concert with humans, rather than as a sole replacement. A blended approach is the best way to serve customers. Some will prefer the fast, simple responses automation can provide, while others will want to interact with a human.
While improved efficiency may be an important motivator to automate aspects of your customer service. an even bigger reason is the potential to greatly improve customer satisfaction.
4 specific CRM automation functions you should consider.
1. Lead Management Automation
Managing leads and entering data are tedious tasks that beg for automation. Make sure your CRM automates lead management and data entry.
Manual entry of every small detail is time consuming and prone to error. A productive CRM will automate lead management by using progressive profiling. that collects basic information, emails, web behavior and social media presence for the leads. The CRM will automate data entry and guide sales by showing the right information at the right time.
2. Lead Nurturing Automation
If your lead data and behavior is sorted automatically, the second automation you’ll want is automatic nurturing.
Lead nurturing automation should includes drip emails, follow ups, metrics, reports and lead scoring. All should happen automatically.
An ideal CRM system should be able to sort out the leads into various groups based on their response to drip emails. It also should track their preferences, web page visits and buying patterns to further funnel leads into different brackets. For every lead generated, the CRM should record sales and marketing metrics, track reports and set scores accordingly.
3. Calling Automation
A smart CRM is the one that will provide telephony automation as well. This can include one-click calling, call recording, automatic notes. direct reporting on regular calls and automated follow-up emails after a call.
Calling automation ensures that contacts and calling followup don’t fall through the cracks. It also reduces sales staff procrastination.
4. Deal Management Automation
To improve your sales, learn to manage your deals and opportunities more efficiently. An advanced CRM should be capable of automating routine sales-related activity. Actions such as deal tracking, recording daily deals and monthly revenues should be automated. as well as sales follow-up, billing and account management, and profit forecasting.
Read also:Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM)