“Automation” has become a very common trend that is being followed by almost all businesses across the globe. To add to this, seemingly, every month there’s a new automation guaranteeing to make your job more efficient, more productive and easier than before. However, how do you to know if these automation functions are fit for your business or industry?
Valid question, right? Especially for the SMBs who do not require these overpriced automation functions, but basic SMB automations.
Let’s say you are into this small business of kitchenware and your daily activities include maintaining customer records, sending out promotional emails, social media activity, maintaining bills and accounts, and handling sales and marketing tasks. You can use new improved automations to manage these activities better. However, you are an SMB, you require simple automations that are cost-effective and provides job efficiency. Based on this, your priority is to select basic and simple automation functions that will attend to your needs easily.
So here are the 4 simple SMB automations that you need to get right away.
Data Entry Automation
Entering and managing data and contacts in the system regularly can be monotonous. This task not only wastes your time but also encourages inaccuracy. Because of regular entries, it can get difficult to maintain outdated data and new data plus there can be an opportunity of data duplication. So to fix this, it is essential to automate data entry.
Various data entry tasks you can automate are contact entry and management using contact forms on website and social media, sync with third-party sources, emails, and scanning business cards. Automating data is very helpful as it can sync with various social media sources and other third-party sources to accumulate the data under one platform.
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Emails are the quickest and easiest way to connect with your buyers and prospects. And the reason to automate emails is that it is a time-consuming process. However, this is not the only reason – the main reason to automate emails is that you can customize and personalize them to suit your needs. If you are sending emails manually, then the quickest way is to add all your contacts to one email (which is bulk email).
The catch here is that you can’t personalize your bulk emails, like including individual names in salutations or company name and address. However, these are easily achieved when you automate emails. Another plus side to email automation is that you can include pre-designed templates and have auto-responders for your customer queries.
Next thing you need to automate for your SMB is the daily workflow. In any business, there can be pre-defined daily tasks, but most of the time, few tasks are interdependant on various teams or individuals. Like when the marketing team sends email to a prospect and receives a positive response, then the task will be for the sales team to call the prospect. Instead of sending manual emails to inform the sales team about the prospect, automate the workflow so that teams will get timely notification to complete such tasks.
The reason why automating such workflows is crucial is that it improves the timeline and efficiency. In addition, these tasks require real-time follow-ups, which is smoothly handled by automation.
Another regular activity of an SMB is managing bills and accounts. If done manually, this can be cumbersome because it requires data entry as well as data accuracy. So the best case scenario is to automate your purchase and billing process. You can input the purchase order either manually or electronically and use invoice automation to manage the bills, payments and requests. Based on the automation criteria, you can add notification whenever the bill is cleared or payment is due or a new purchase order is added. This automation can also help in sending out invoices to individual buyers and track recurring bills or payments seamlessly.
These four simple automation functions can be leveraged to their optimum to get the desired output and are very helpful for every SMB. If your business is new to automation then start with these basic automations and then work yourself up depending on your requirements and needs.
Add to this, there are many CRMs in the market who will provide you any or all of these automations. One such CRM is Agile CRM where you can find all of these automations plus this product is very cost-effective.