Have you noticed? The world is now remarkably automated. There is a technology-driven approach to get almost anything done. Yet, some folks, especially some traditional businesses, prefer to stick with the old manual ways of getting work done.
I agree that change is intimidating. However, by adopting business automation in your organization you can save precious time, focus on tasks that require more of your attention and creativity and prioritize work better. You can spend your energy on strategic thinking and further your business in more ways than one. It is necessary to carry out up-front analysis before you finalize specific use cases to automate. Let’s look at five things you should absolutely automate in your organization right away!
Marketing automation is the need of the hour. If you use email marketing as a part of your sales or content marketing strategy, you should definitely automate the whole process and use the best marketing automation tools and email marketing software available online. The software doesn’t just help you design user-friendly emails, but also give you useful analytics data like the open rates and click-through rates, thus helping you design an A/B testing and drip marketing campaign. Marketing automation tools hook up to your CRM (more about that later) and allow you to automate the sending of appropriate follow-up messages in response to actions that your target audience takes on your website or upon receiving your emails. This software also helps you automate lead categorization and scoring so that a customized marketing workflow automatically kicks off for each specific lead. Some of the most popular marketing automation platforms are HubSpot, Marketo, Eloqua etc.
You also cannot invest in hiring resources to manage every social platform that your business is on. Your social media campaigns will do better when automated for everything from posting schedules, standard reverts to your audience for predictable actions, and audience targeting etc. With apps such as many of the marketing automation platforms, Buffer or HootSuite, you can schedule and automate posts, optimize them for the most engagement, and manage your followers. This way, you can focus more on creating strong content and a winning social media engagement strategy for your brand. You can also invest more time in creating attention-grabbing, highly engaging content. Once the mundane is automated, it leaves you with a lot of time to focus on the things that really need your creative and strategic thinking prowess.
Marketing automation is a sea of useful technology to gain insights into your target audience via precious data. Google Analytics is also one such great source of insightful data. It’s all right in front of you. The sooner you take to it, the better it is for your business.
Automating Customer Relationships
I know that you believe that all the information about your customers is in your head, and at your fingertips always. But is that a scalable model? You definitely need to have a CRM in place for customer service, relationship management, and various other processes. Training your employees to use a CRM requires some time and investment, but it is extremely beneficial for you in the long run. By automating many of your everyday processes and taking it further to refine your ongoing marketing and sales processes, you can eliminate basic errors and make your processes and activities more fruitful.
From capturing your sales data, boosting the efficiency of business process operations, making intelligent decisions looking at real-time business data, ensuring customer data security, to allowing mobile operations, a CRM makes a lot possible. A CRM software can capture detailed information about your customers and their behaviors, thus enabling targeted marketing, product development, and sales plans. A CRM will help you create repeatable successful processes for your business. You absolutely need one to make your business more efficient and increase your revenue per employee.
Be honest -when was the last time you backed up your business data? Cloud-based services are perfect for backing up your business data. With a growing business, you need to choose a secure cloud-based service that works well for your business needs. Look for services that allow data backup at multiple destinations, with high-level file encryption, and restoration from your web browsers. Most businesses feel that keeping your data offsite is the best way to ensure their safety. And I agree!
Service Delivery Automation
If your business has to provide post-sales service then even basic levels of service delivery automation could be your next best operational excellence idea. While minimizing disruption, this method will provide benefits such as self-service options, faster operations, and 24/7 coverage. From managing contract conditions, checking transaction patterns, handling process exceptions, to communicating with customers, and automating simple workflows, this umbrella term of service delivery automation offers a lot for your enterprise business. By automating repetitive, high-volume transactional processes, you can reduce process cost and time, while providing enhanced levels of service.
With so much being automated the next step is to adopt a comprehensive system to bring together all the aspects of your business operations. One of the ways to start thinking about operations automation is RPA – Robotic Process Automation. Information Technology can form a standardized backbone with systemized processes for problem-solving, increasing accountability and optimizing workflows. You also get a better insight into your operations. Which is invaluable in helping grow your business, and helps you create a better knowledge base for your team. By adopting such an automated system, you can also save time and improve efficiencies. There is a lot of headroom to extend automation – standardized operations, optimized resolution processes, change management devices, efficient processes etc. can all play a role when the time is right.
It is important to understand your organization’s business goals, and then decide what kind of automation will work for you. The key message I would leave you with is that adopting automation now for certain aspects of running your business is not as intimidating as it seems. Shed those inhibitions and get on the path to grow your business –this time with the power of automation on your side!
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Enterprise Automation, DevOps, RPA, Process Automation, Continuous Integration, BFSI