Sales and marketing automation has the potential to free up time and resources, increase revenue, and improve the customer experience. But many businesses still resist taking the plunge, either because they’re not aware of how it can revolutionise their businesses, or because it seems overwhelming. Is marketing automation worth the effort of figuring it all out? Research by McKinsey & Company says absolutely! Here’s what they found…
31% of Sales Tasks Can Be Automated
Automating repetitive, administrative, and manual tasks is what many businesses are moving towards. Interestingly, McKinsey’s research shows that almost a third of sales-related tasks can be automated using the technology available today. Some of the top automatable sales functions include:
- Lead identification & qualification: Pipeline management and action plans for new / existing customers
- Post-sales activities: Follow-ups and handling of incoming requests
- Order management: Invoicing and order-related service handling
- Structural support: Reporting, analytics, training, sales support materials, and admin
Even though marketing automation offers great potential, McKinsey says that only a quarter of businesses have automated at least one sales process, largely because many senior execs are just not aware of what’s possible.
Where to Start Automating Your Tasks
If you’re looking into automating some of the sales and marketing functions in your business, there are two ways to go about deciding on where to start.
The first is by looking at it from a business perspective. Where are you spending a lot of time and what admin tasks are weighing down on your team? Then assess which of these tasks will be the easiest, quickest, or cheapest to automate? Find where you can automate the biggest, most cumbersome tasks using the fewest resources and start there.
The other way to go about it is from your customers’ perspective. In this blog post, we explain how to map out how clients move through the sales funnel. You can use this mapped journey to pinpoint areas of improvement, so your automation strategy also aligns with improving the customer experience.
You Can Automate Across the Value Chain
There are many ways you can use sales and marketing automation, and specifically, communication automation, across the value chain in your business. The examples include:
- Lead nurturing: Automatically connect with new leads as they come in, so you can keep them actively engaged in the sales funnel. Integrate your messaging platform with your CRM and you can trigger conversion-boosting messages when leads reach different levels of the sales funnel.
- Churn prevention: To retain clients long-term, it’s important to support them continuously through their journey with you. To do this, automate what you can in your client onboarding experience, so it’s consistent and less prone to human error. If you run a software business or an app, you can also track client behaviour in your product and trigger relevant messaging to users via an integration with your messaging platform.
- Customer support: Communication automation, like transactional messaging, can work hand-in-hand with the support functions in your business. It can do this by sending instant alerts to customers when support tickets are created or updated, by keeping customers informed about changes and updates in the business, and other relevant messaging when needed.
- Financial notifications: Managing payments, invoicing, overdue accounts, and other financial processes is laborious. Automation can lighten the load by integrating with your financial systems. This way, you can send personalised, secure financial communications without having to greet every person or attach every document to every email manually. As long as you have the data, integrations with messaging platforms like Everlytic can pull that information into each message, so customers get what they need when they need it.
Is automation the future of sales and marketing? It’s definitely a big part of it. Marketing automation makes people’s roles easier, quicker, more interesting, and potentially even more effective. In other words: it’s an efficiency-boosting tool that enables your workforce to go further, faster, with less.