Automation is not always about towering robotics! Sometimes, it can be as simple as software applications cutting down repetitive tasks, thereby making time for more significant to-dos. And it’s often referred to as workflow automation.
Think about this for a second, every individual member of your team spends 3.1 hours per day checking and sending their emails, even more. That goes up to more than 15 hours per week—15 work hours of your scarce resources booked throughout a week doing a mundane activity.
It doesn’t sound productive. Right?
Well, that’s just one part of the problem.
Standard manual processes, including replying to emails or updating data in spreadsheets, cost a fortune in everyday business. There are also additional challenges, such as:
- Lack of clarity in the process
- Wastage of time and budget
- Lower productivity
- Increased labor cost
Keeping all these in mind, let’s look at some simple, much-needed work automations that teams can use to save time and boost overall productivity — no matter their size, type, or industry.
1. Build Task Lists From Your Email
Call it a common challenge or a typical case of human error, but individuals and teams often fail to act promptly on a piece of information as it gets lost in an email thread.
Having a set automated process to sort to-dos straight out of email certainly helps in this case. Rather than checking tons of emails manually, you can connect Gmail and Google Hangouts chat to keep your inbox organized and get instant notifications for specifically labeled emails as you receive them. You can also create tasks or requests based on email subject line, date, sender, recipient, label, etc.
2. Reduce Manual Dependency in CRM
The concept of using the best CRM software is a blessing for your sales team in itself. A large population of sales representatives agrees that having CRM software helps achieve 65% of sales quotas.
Well, you can allow your teams to do much more, thanks to CRM automation.
CRM automation can streamline a range of functions across your sales and service operations when appropriately implemented, thereby allowing sales reps to have more time for what they do best — sell. Sales reps can connect Google Forms with Salesforce or any other popular CRM to create a more streamlined sales pipeline and automate countless hours of manual data entry. This will help them to generate and close leads faster.
Another way to quickly update CRM contact records is to use the CRM’s email integration. Many CRMs offer this functionality because it improves work productivity and saves time. For example, HubSpot CRM allows users to connect their email to the CRM to trigger scheduled email sequences, keep track of customer conversations and notes in one place, log call recordings, and more.
3. Streamline Communication and Notifications Between Teams
Quality communication and everyday productivity — that is why one channel is not enough to communicate efficiently and effectively.
Most teams have already adopted the multi-app approach to business communication. The challenge here is that as a business starts to grow and more conversations begin to happen across different channels, it often becomes overwhelming to keep everyone on the same page.
Automation workflows are a great way to simplify and optimize everyday communication, internal and external. For example, suppose Slack is your team’s preferred communication, and you also use apps like Zendesk for customer communication space. In that case, you can create and run a workflow to automatically send Slack notifications for updates in Zendesk. You can even automate the management of tickets, agents, and users in Zendesk by setting up custom workflows.
Or perhaps you use Salesforce as your CRM for sales and Acquire for your customer interactions. Acquire lets you seamlessly integrate with Salesforce, so that collaboration between sales and support becomes smooth and easy — now compare that to traditional modes of communications where emails after emails would be exchanged, with poorer outcomes!
Likewise, connect all your different communication channels and save your team from constantly switching between apps and focus on the real action and results.
5. Tie Different Pieces of Marketing Campaigns Together
Be it social media platforms, eCommerce sites, or something as simple as feedback survey forms; your marketing team has more customer data than ever before. But, unfortunately, that means they will need more time to organize and analyze the data — and have less time for actual marketing and customer communication.
However, you will save your team a lot of time and trouble by automating all (or most) of your marketing processes. Marketers who run social media campaigns for a specific audience can connect Typeform and Facebook Custom Audiences to add the email address to their Facebook whenever a user fills in the form. This will help them easily nurture those leads making it easier to automate the process rather than manually adding the entries.
6. Save the Time Spent on Scheduling Meetings
On average, a team spends 15% of its work hours managing activity around meetings every week. To be clear, it doesn’t include the time they spent attending meetings.
Do you see the problem here?
Your team’s valuable time is being wasted on planning and attending meetings — time they could spend on getting things done and making progress.
Automating the meeting lifecycle from start to finish is a clever hack in this case.
If GoToWebinar is your preferred platform for meetings and online conferences, connect GoToWebinar with Salesforce to automate the process of creating, updating, and scheduling conferences. This way, you will spend less time planning meetings and more time focusing on the action items.
6. Improve Document Management
Document management is a tedious yet crucial part of every business. If not organized or managed correctly, you can subject yourself and everyone else to digital chaos.
Luckily, there are automation workflows specific to file and document management to save you from trouble.
With the help of simple no-code automation, you can set up processes to automatically save email attachments, create documents or add content in Google Docs for the desired Google account. If you have the right set of automations in place, you can have your entire document management system on autopilot — no copy-pasting!
7. Automate Creating and Interpreting Invoices
For B2C companies with a high volume of purchases, the effort and cost spent on invoice processing is a significant factor. If your team often spends too much time generating invoices, or worse, sending out each invoice manually, their productivity is at a loss.
Even today, where invoice management is almost entirely digital, parts of the process demand manual data entry. But instead of having your team do the tedious bookkeeping, you can set a system that does the job on their behalf.
Companies that do most of their business online should connect QuickBooks and Stripe to avoid the hassle of manual bookkeeping. The benefit of doing so is that you can focus on other essential tasks while all your transactions and customer details get synced between apps in real-time.
We’re living in a digital age where businesses are heading towards complete digital transformation. So getting rid of manual, time-consuming everyday tasks is a #1 priority on our list.
The more we automate repetitive tasks, the more time we will have at our hands to get more done. The workflows we have provided in this article are going to help you ensure the same.
However, workflow automation is not limited to this one list.
On average, a small business uses over 7-10 business applications for its day-to-day operations. That alone makes up to around 100+ automations, or even more.
So, go ahead, allow your team to level up their productivity and do more with automation workflows.
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