Marketing automation aims to shift as much of the routine work from sales or marketing to the CRM system. This is one area where CRM systems (and add-ons) are improving rapidly and it is worth a careful look to see where it can save you effort and hassle.
This is especially true since marketing automation is aimed at resolving one of the major pain points that slow down CRM: The amount of grunt work it loads onto the user.
Surveys have repeatedly shown than CRM installations fail because people won’t use them. The reason is that the systems are too hard to use, the same surveys show. People feel the system wastes their time by turning them into data entry clerks, draining time away from productive work.
Marketing automation can’t eliminate all the trivial tasks, but by using the power of the computer it can get rid of a lot of them and often do the jobs better than humans can.
The trick is using the available marketing automation features in your CRM system or third-party software. The first step is finding out what is available. Usually, the CRM system has a lot of features that aren’t being used. If you look those over you will undoubtedly find features that can speed up your work.
A classic example of a job that can be through by the computer is lead scoring and assignment. Given a set of criteria, the system can evaluate a prospect and automatically assign the lead a score based on likely success. Then the evaluated lead can be given to the most appropriate sales rep.
This eliminates the work involved in evaluating prospects and will probably do the job better than a human can. Sales reps like getting evaluated and scored leads, but they hate the work involved in analyzing them.
CRM automation can also help identify and eliminate process bottlenecks that snarl the processes and slow down the workflow. In general, any place where the process involves human input, such as approvals, is suspect and should be examined carefully and if possible minimized or eliminated.
As much as possible, a CRM system should run on the opinion that the computer does all the work possible and human input is required in a bare minimum of cases. The features that are available in modern CRM systems, whether built-in or added on, make this a lot more possible than it was just a few years ago.
In fact, improved automation may be a grounds to upgrade your CRM system because of the potential saving in time and increase in employee buy-in.
Another central benefit of marketing automation is the ability to extract information from information silos and concentrate it in a single, easy-to-access place. This can save a great deal of time when it comes to jobs like preparing proposals.
CRM has come a long way from the days of an electronic Rolodex. In fact in many cases, the programs have moved beyond the expectations of the users and potentially valuable features aren’t being used. A careful examination of what is available for your CRM system can reveal many places where the system can speed up your job and keep your staff happier.