What Is Workflow Automation?

Workflow Automation

Workflow automation is the process of simplifying your business processes and making them easier to manage. It can help you streamline your repetitive tasks while helping you focus on the important things. In other words, you can do actual work instead of toiling away on administrative chores.

In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of workflow automation, how different departments can use it to their advantage and how you can start the process of automating your process, as well as some helpful tips along the way.

Workflow automation helps you manage your time better

Workflow automation can positively affect every department in your company. Let us break this down and show you which segments of your business should be automated and which should you avoid giving up at any cost.

Marketing

While most people associate marketing with creativity, there is a lot of busywork that comes with it. We suggest you keep the creative side of the job completely to yourself, without relying on AI-generated content because you’ll end up having generic content that doesn’t differentiate you from your competitors — so this is one thing you should not automate. But you could improve the efficiency of managing and production of creatives with workflow automation for shorter campaign execution time

Email automation

With studies showing that marketing automation leads to a 14,5% increase in sales productivity, it’s imperative to figure out a way to speed up your email marketing process. Your first step here is creating a sales funnel to make sure people in different stages of the sales process receive relevant and timely information.

Your customers who already bought something from you might want to receive email updates about sales or complementing products. It’s important to have a goal for every group of email recipients.

Once you have your groups and goals, create content for them and determine the time you want it to send out. If you offer a limited free trial, you’ll want to engage with your clients more in that period to secure more sales.

All of this can be automated. You can set up automated emails for each time a user takes a certain action within your product. If you want to maximize your sales and reduce the time spent on writing emails, you can and should automate this process.

Later on, you can engage less frequently, however, it is important to monitor your open rate and click-through rate to see if you need to implement any changes. Remember, it’s all about automating while retaining that personalized, human touch.

Social media

Social media requires a lot of day-to-day work, but luckily you can automate the boring parts and use your time wisely. Not only can you schedule your social media plans on different social platforms and create visually appealing grids, but you can also automate your responses on social media platforms, as well as your marketing campaigns.

Look into automating your customer support as well, especially if you receive a lot of the same messaging and have a place to refer your clients to, like a webshop or a landing page with all the relevant information.

The one thing you should not do, no matter the platform, is to use bots to increase your following, as this should be done with consistent posting and paid campaigns. Automating your marketing campaigns will help you target your audience better and generate better leads.

Sales

One of the most important aspects of sales is devoting time to your prospects and returning clients. Luckily, with sales automation, this can be done for all of them simultaneously and with reduced manpower.

Lead nurturing

Use lead nurturing workflows to identify the way and even the exact path your audience takes before they become prospects and customers. Once you know exactly how to convert your audience into customers, you can automate the process.

This process will help you ensure that no one slips through the cracks, and once they get towards the end of the sales funnel, you can easily shift your approach just enough to secure sales, be it through a call center or an email.

Sales analysis

Analyzing your sales process is the most insightful strategy for bettering it. With tools that can help you export data and check its accuracy, as well as generate reports that compare your best performing month with the current one, the benefits of automating your sales analysis are clear. For example, you can automate your sales reports in your CRM to get a clearer idea on the sources of your best sales, as well as to find out who your top sales reps are.

Finance

There are a lot of options available for automating your financial reporting. However, other parts of the financial side of your business can be easily done and shared with automating your workflow.

Budget approvals

Approving a budget is easy for companies that have a few employees. However, as soon as you start growing, that process becomes longer and longer. The best way to streamline this process is to create a template form with all of the necessary items and define the responsible parties.

Auto payments

If you have recurring invoices that are always made out to the same amount, for example, if you work on retainers, you can set up automatic payments and alleviate the worry of paying your fees on time.

Human resources

Human Resources is focused on people’s individual needs within your organization. However, there is a lot of administrative work that comes with employing and onboarding new people that can be automated to make it a less resource-intensive process.

Data entering

HR automation software can help you gather and enter employees’ information like addresses, insurance, expenses and others. That way you can drastically reduce paperwork and provide a quicker onboarding experience as well as employee promotions and bonuses, as well as reduce high employee turnover.

Verify potential employees

Hiring new people can be a costly process, however, hiring the wrong person will be even more expensive. Verifying your candidates is a long and daunting process, but there is a way to streamline it.

You can outsource it to hiring agencies, or rely on HR software that collects data on potential employees as well as checks the given data for accuracy. This is especially important if you hire people from different parts of the world.

How to automate your processes?

Before you start with your automating process, make sure to identify the problem and define your goals. Once you have those in order, you can start to look for the best tools and software to help your team.

The choice should be up to the people that will use it the most, so make sure to listen to your team’s input. Once you find the perfect tool, you need to educate your team members and coach them through the transition.

You can expect some pushback in the beginning, so just be clear with them and express your reasoning and end goal transparently.

Guest Post:

Petra Odak is a Chief Marketing Officer at Better Proposals, simple yet incredibly powerful proposal software tool that helps you send high-converting, web-based business proposals in minutes. She’s a solution-oriented marketing enthusiast with more than 5 years of experience in various fields of marketing and project management.