In the broadest sense, automation understands a set of actions that frees human resources from certain tasks, usually routine and monotonous, and shifts their execution to a certain mechanism.
For a start, what is business automation?
Naturally, by the mechanism today, we mean a computer, machine algorithms, allowing to perform many tasks that only a person could perform before that. In other words, automation is not something inexplicable and costly, but just the process of selecting and preparing hardware and software to solve the problems of a particular organization effectively.
Automation is usually done in two ways:
- Automation of core business processes, such as managing sales or customer service. In this case, it is carried out to increase the volume of sales directly, the number of products produced, and the profitability of the entire business. amoCRM is a classic system for automating company sales and customer interaction processes
- Automation of supporting processes such as accounting, reporting, business. This automation does not directly affect the increase in income, but it reduces the time and cost of doing routine work.
Bitrix24 is a system for automating the company’s business processes. The main tasks of business automation are:
- Effective support for the company’s operations, accounting, and control organization;
- Preparation of any documents for partners, including invoices, invoices, reconciliation acts, and business offers;
- Receive company status reports quickly over any period of time.
- Optimize staff costs, increase the efficiency of working hours by freeing employees from routine work;
- Minimizing the negative impact of the “human factor” on key business processes;
Safe storage of information improving customer service. Automation of business processes can significantly improve the company’s quality of management and the quality of its product. For the company as a whole, it offers several significant advantages:
- Increase the speed at which information is processed and repetitive tasks are solved.
- Improving business transparency and technology.
- Increased coherence between the staff and the quality of their work.
- The ability to control large amounts of information.
- Automation of manual labor.
- Reducing errors and improving control accuracy.
- A parallel solution to several problems.
- Fast decision-making in stereotypical situations.
As a result of business process management automation, the company manager receives more information to analyze business processes in the form of detailed analytical reports and has the ability to manage the company qualitatively, taking into account external and internal indicators.
- Step 1. Realize there is a problem
- Step 2. Setting goals
- Step 3. Allocating resources to the project
- Step 4. Choosing a team of integrators
- Step 5. Description of business processes
- Step 6. Choosing tools
Step 1. Realize there is a problem
As the business grows, so does the number of customers. At some point in the development, you may encounter a problem of holes in the sales department. Sales are one of the most complex and stressful elements of any business system. The sales department will help keep the company afloat even in the most difficult periods, and it will easily sink it when no one expects it. Therefore, if there are holes in the sales department, the whole company will feel them sooner or later.
Let’s name the most common problems:
- Customers leave.
- Information is lost.
- Irrational distribution of managers’ time, many routine tasks;
- There is no systemic approach and control.
- There is no analysis of the department’s effectiveness in general, as well as of each manager in particular. Customer loss is a key reason for falling sales. Why can customers be leaked?
- The manager leaves and takes the clients with him. If the sales department does not have a common customer base, it is difficult to determine who the company (potential or real buyers) has lost, and it is even more difficult to communicate with them.
- Wrong work with the customer base. Everything is written on unreliable media (in Excel or on paper) or not written down. Managers lose their communication history with the client.
- The base is not monetized; i.e., it is not used for re-selling.
- Inability to analyze the customer and then heat up for a re-purchase.
- Poor control of managers. It is not known how managers communicate with customers.
To solve all these problems will help create a single customer base and a well-established system of the company’s business processes. The only question remains how to do it as efficiently as possible and not to complicate, but on the contrary, simplify the work of employees. The best way to establish the company and, particularly the sales department, is to automate sales management and work with customers by forming a single customer base. It is not easy to carry out automation without clearly setting tasks and performing them step-by-step.
Step 2. Setting goals
So we decided on such a large-scale process as automation; where to start? The first thing to do is set a goal, what to automate, and what the result should look like. Otherwise, the process can take a long time, and at the same time, you will not get what you wanted.
To set the sales automation goal correctly, you need to answer 5 simple questions:
- How many products or products does your company sell? Can they be grouped?
- What is the average number of closed trades you have per day?
- How many people or departments of the company are involved in the sales process?
- What is the duration of the transaction cycle (from initial contact to closing)?
- Which specialized IT systems or services do you already use?
After a clear answer to each of these questions, you will be able to set a goal, what exactly to automate, where exactly the “Narrow Neck” effect takes place, and how to help the sales department sell even more as effectively as possible. And also, five of these answers form a technical task to automate the sales department. Bypassing these answers to our system analytics, you’ll get an answer about which CRM system is right for you and what you should pay attention to when you’re automating.
Step 3. Allocating resources to the project.
Automation requires resources such as:
- The team: There must be employees who will use the system for at least one person. The system won’t work until it’s used, so first people, and then integration.
- Money: The money will be needed both for the purchase of integration tools and for the people who will implement the system. Attracting a professional team of integrators will save you both money and time.
- Time: Any introduction of new technology takes time. And it is not only time for the integration process, but also the addictive of employees to work under the new system.
- The tools: Since automation is IT technology, you will need tools such as computers, phones, and the Internet.
Step 4. Choosing a team of integrators
Not all companies can choose and implement a program to automate business processes independently and, at the same time, competently. There are a huge number of nuances in any system, and it takes no year to understand them. And at least there’s a need for a consultant. But the consultant will help choose the CRM system and perhaps teach employees work, but to integrate all that you need to yourself. Therefore, quality implementation requires a whole team of specialists.
There are marketing agencies, full-cycle consulting companies, and IT integrators, which are engaged in creating and implementing projects of such a plan. When choosing the right contractor, the main criterion is the experience of implementing automation systems, diverse specialists in the team, your budget, and time limits.
Step 5. Description of business processes
In the absence of a description of existing business processes, it isn’t easy to automate sales. To facilitate these works, you should analyze and display all sales processes in detail. This is done in three stages for which it is necessary to perform:
- Initiation (to formalize all business processes literally and to find weaknesses in them).
- Optimization (improve your business processes and provide feedback to your own employees and customers).
- Automation (exclude routine and bring processes to automatism).
A system analyst at DigitalSales will help you perform a comprehensive audit of business processes and a detailed analysis of the sales funnel. It will also compile a technical task to automate your sales department and agree to all questions with you.
Step 6. Choosing tools
To choose the right CRM system, it is important to answer several questions:
- What business processes are planned to be automated?
- Will the program be consistent with its objectives?
- Is it possible to adjust to specific business practices?
- Is it possible to change the system quickly without stopping operations in a change in business processes or business conditions?
- How easy is the system to use?
- Is it possible to integrate the system with existing services or automation programs?
- Who and how will the technical support be carried out?
- How much will it cost to implement and technical support (possession)?
After answering these questions and compiling a technical task, you understand what automation tools you need:
- Customer communication service. To ensure that all communication with the client in various social networks and messengers passed through one service.
- Automation of writing and sending letters. Using emails, you will tell subscribers the news to introduce them to the news of their products and, importantly, to sell.
- Sales scripts. Don’t confuse this script with static documents in Word and Excel programs. New sales script services allow you to embed them into CRM systems, quickly edit and generate complete results reports. Use scripts to run your company’s sales team.
- Integrating IP telephony. IP telephony – provides the ability to make voice calls at penny rates. For maximum effect, IP telephony must be integrated with CRM. It allows you to make a large number of calls, get statistics on them, form lists for auto-call, and record managers’ conversation. Also, there are many other tools. You choose the tool based on the depth of automation and the requirements of the technical task. A System Analyst at DigitalSales will be able to help you choose the tools you need.
- Implementation of the plan. Once you have completed all the preparatory steps, you can go directly to implementation. In the process, changes are possible; something will probably have to be refined and return to some of the steps.
- Optimize results. After introducing the system by integrators, you need to get used to the new work and test the system.
Perhaps the result is not as you hoped, and maybe at all exceeded all your expectations. If improvements are needed, the process begins again with a description of the problem and a goal-setting.