CRM automation is all about using software to automate your sales and marketing activities. You can automate the repetitive tasks in your business such as emails. Sales teams especially need automation for efficiency as well as creating more personalized experience.
This is the first in a series of posts about automation workflows for marketing, sales and operations. Think about the sales team members who complain about having to enter information into the CRM and track their activities.
1. Mindset First.
As the leader, you have the obligation to set the tone for how your team members view your CRM. It is a tool for understanding trends, business development, and measuring success. If you can explain that value to your entire team (not just sales), then user adoption will be much easier.
2. Lower the Barrier.
When you reduce the number of "annoying" repeated tasks for your team, they get to focus on what matters most - qualifying leads and closing sales. This is how you can use smart CRM Automations.
Many of these ideas in this article lean on using a field called Lead Status. This is like a pipeline field for tracking the progress of of your Leads. Below is a rudimentary lead status flow.
Issue: Lead Status not being updated
Solution: Automatically update the Lead Status field based on activities on that Lead record or other fields.
An Example Flow: If you want the Lead Status update to change from New/Cold Lead to Contacted, then use the call or email activities to trigger it. When a call with a particular subject is logged or an initial email sent, auto update the status. If Status update should be Appointment Scheduled /Demo Scheduled, then use a calendar booking Integration to trigger the field update.
Issue: After making calls all day, your sales person doesn't want to follow up via email with each Lead.
Solution: Automatically send an email to anyone with a certain Lead Status and call activity. Or create a Macro to allow one-click follow-up.
An Example Flow: If the Lead Status is set to call completed or contacted and the Next Steps field includes Email follow up, then send the follow-up email.
You can also use a Macro to have a little more control over who gets what and how. This is a slightly more manual process, but it's still much faster and sending one email at a time. Select all of the Leads you want to send a follow-up to, then click the macro. You can also update a field to track who got the follow up already.
Issue: When a new potential deal should be created, the sales person is not following the pricing structure. This is throwing off all of your reporting.
Solution: Build your pricing into the CRM using a products or services module.
An Example Flow: You can load all of the preset prices of your products/services into your CRM. When training the sales team, show them how to properly create a new Deal / Opportunity. If the executive team decides to update those prices, then the price edit only has to happen in the one module and it will flow everywhere you need it.
To build out the Deal, the sales person adds the appropriate products to a price Quote (usually it's own module) that automatically calculates the total amount for them. This will save them time from having to calculate things. Plus the salesperson can easily apply any discounts. When the Prospect says they want to move forward, the sales person can simply click one button and convert the Quote into a Deal - automatically pulling over all the details of the Quote.
A great technique to figure out helpful CRM automations is to use the Socratic method of asking questions of the people who need the answers. Here are a few questions to get you started:
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