Automate, Integrations, Success, Insightly CRM

7 Business Automations that Make it Easy to Succeed

I was recently reading an INC article about setting goals and keeping resolutions. According to the author, it’s not about working harder. The secret is making sure it’s easy for you to succeed. This rang so true for me. After all, this is the heart of what we do at Business Made Simple: We make it easier for your business to succeed.

One of our favorite ways to simplify business processes is by utilizing automations. Here are 7 areas of any business where your CRM can save time, increase efficiency and make it easier to succeed!

SALES

As the lifeblood of any business, sales are high on your priority list and will always require your time and attention. Applying business automations to your sales process will actually ensure that all of the steps are completed consistently and on schedule, giving you extra time for adding the personal touches that lead to great sales.

 

Think through your sales process. What steps are consistent across products, teams and regions? What steps are repeated monthly, weekly or even daily? As you write out your process, you will see areas where your CRM can help streamline your sales through automations. In Insightly, for example:

 

  • Create repeating tasks for gathering leads and nurturing customers.

 

  • Group tasks together in Activity Sets for qualifying leads or converting leads to sales.

 

  • Create pipelines that move each lead from opportunity to sale to fulfillment.

 

By automating your sales process, each member of your team will be following the same steps from start to finish. Each time a new lead is entered as a contact, you can start your sales pipeline to automatically assign tasks and deadlines. As you complete each stage of the process, new tasks will continue to auto-assign to the right team members. You will be able to see the status of each sale, track opportunities lost and won, and more accurately forecast sales numbers.

CONTENT MARKETING

Finding the time and creativity to regularly write quality content can be harder than it seems. Adding automations to each part of the process can help remove many of the obstacles that get in the way of writing and publishing regular content.

 

  • Add repeating tasks for brainstorming and research.

 

  • Create activity sets for each part of the writing process from topic approval to editing to publishing.

 

  • Add activity sets to a pipeline that will automatically move the process along, auto-assigning tasks and deadlines at each step.


Social Media is another part of your marketing plan that is easy to automate. While repeating tasks can be set to remind you to create and post social media content, a pipeline can ensure that you are regularly and effectively creating and publishing great content. Consider creating a pipeline with the following stages:

 

  • Create weekly social media plan.
  • Create content including writing new content or adding links to share.
  • Add content to social media file to be repurposed as needed.
  • Create or find graphics.
  • Schedule content to be posted.
  • Post content.
  • Follow up on interactions.


This same process can be applied to all of your marketing efforts, ensuring that each step is automatically completed and giving you more time to focus on other areas of your business.

COMMUNICATIONS

Consider how many emails you write in a day. How much time would you save if you could streamline this process? Automations can be applied to all or part of any business communication to increase efficiency

  • Use marketing automation platform MailChimp to create email campaigns that sell products and share your message. Add a personal touch to automated responses that keep you engaged with your customers.

 

  • Switch from traditional email to Slack, a powerful automation tool that can streamline communication with your team. Conversations or channels are organized and visible like a chat window and can be created by subject, project or any other topic. Slack channels keep communication organized within your CRM and ensure that everyone is involved in the conversation.

 

  • Rather than create the wheel each time you need to start a conversation, use email templates and canned responses within gmail or Insightly CRM to automate your email communication.

 

  • Use a document automation platform like PandaDoc to manage your proposals, quotes, work orders or contracts. PandaDoc integrates with your CRM, making it easy to send, sign, review and approve all of your business documents.

Add repeating tasks or pipelines for other business communications that recur on a regular basis.

EVENTS

From exhibiting at trade shows, hosting an annual conference, or treating your team to a retreat, business events take a lot of planning and coordination. Most of these events include the same types of preparation each time they occur, making them easy to automate.

Create activity sets for each step of the process and then add them to a pipeline to keep everything organized and moving on schedule. Pipeline stages could include:

  • Event outline
  • Finding and reserving a venue
  • Marketing and promotions
  • Catering
  • Set up
  • Day of activities
  • Post-event tasks and follow up

Pipeline stages for tradeshows would be adjusted to include booths, printing and travel. Activity sets can include more detailed tasks, and pipelines can be customized to each event. Automating your event planning can save you significant time and effort while still leaving room for personalization and creativity.

HUMAN RESOURCES

Employee relations, development and management definitely need individualized attention. Support the personalized tasks of your human resources efforts by automating those things that can be done for any recruit or new hire.

More and more companies are using automated recruiters to find freelancers and employees. Use your CRM to automate this process on your end as well. Create activity sets for:

  • Posting job openings
  • Interviews
  • Hiring
  • Onboarding

Each stage can be assigned to different people, with different deadlines. For example, your human resources officer may post the job and review resumes. When that stage is complete, the pipeline is advanced and tasks for interviewing candidates are created for the hiring manager. Even with different teams and schedules involved, the process continues to move forward making sure that everything is completed.

Onboarding can be automated even further by using templates for job descriptions and PandaDocs for signing job offers and contracts. Consider other human resources tasks that could be automated such as training, updating benefits information, needs assessment, safety and regulations compliance.

ACCOUNTING

Almost everything you do in accounting can be set on repeat. From daily time cards, to weekly reporting to monthly statements and invoices. Not to mention estimated quarterly taxes, and your annual tax returns. Incorporating business automations into your accounting processes just makes sense.

  • Set repeating tasks to review payroll or to cut checks.
  • Create activity sets for reconciling accounts.
  • Set up pipelines for taxes that include stages for collecting information, CPA  tasks, review and approval.

You can also integrate your CRM with your accounting software such as QuickBooks or Xero to keep your accounts organized and current. Accounting information can be linked to contacts, organizations, and projects, giving you  automatic updates on the status of invoices and expenses.

REPORTING

I recently shared how better business reporting can help you make better business decisions. By using automations for your reporting, your decisions will be based on the most current and accurate information. Use your CRM to track the data you need for each area of your business. Then schedule reports by date, project, account, or even by time. Schedule:

  • Daily reports such as lead summaries.
  • Weekly reports showing project updates and opportunities added.
  • Monthly reports including sales projections, progress towards goals, and actual revenue.

You can also schedule reports to run automatically in conjunction with project planning or budget meetings. Current numbers are delivered to your inbox right when you need them. Automating these tasks keeps you informed and prepared, saving time and increasing productivity.

 

How have you used business automations to streamline your business processes? Wondering how to automate more of your business? We’d love to help you create systems and set up automations that keep your business running smoothly.

Take our free automation assessment here.

So What do YOU Think?