9 ways to automate your business processes in an hour

business process automation

Automation unlocks countless benefits. As more businesses are realizing this, spending for automation tools is skyrocketing – and even overtaking advertising spend.

With business process automation, you save your team countless hours of admin and manual work. There’s less room for human error, duplicate contacts and data silos. You can focus on what's really worth your time – and enjoy more of your work while you're at it.

Automation can sound like a scary word, though... or at least one that requires a lot of tech know-how and too much time to set up. To prove that's a misconception, here are 9 business processes you can quickly automate before your lunch break.

Your list of business processes to quickly automate

1. Nurture sales leads with email workflows

How much time do your sales reps spend following up and nurturing leads until they're ready to buy your product? For most businesses, it's way too much. Automation takes the hassle out of this – especially if you set up some clever email workflows.

How to set it up: Use your CRM or email marketing tool to create a series of emails that are automatically triggered for new sales leads and personalized for each individual.

Start with one email offering a free business consultation or a valuable piece of content that enables a sale. You can later add more emails to the workflow and test small adjustments to your email content and subject line.


2. Let qualified contacts book directly into your calendar

If you feel like you spend hours on end trying to organize calls, there's a better solution. Tools like Calendly allow contacts to book directly into gaps in your calendar. Some CRMs also offer calendar scheduling features and enable you to restrict your time to qualified leads.

How to set it up: Set up Calendly (or see if your CRM has a calendar booking function, as HubSpot does, and connect it to your calendar to show your availability. Then you can simply link your calendar booking page in emails or as part of your default email signature.


3. Send follow-up emails after content downloads

What do you do after a contact downloads a piece of content and gives you their email address? If the answer is nothing, you're missing an opportunity to get their attention while they're most engaged.

How to set it up: Use automation to trigger a follow-up email after someone downloads one of your popular lead magnets. Make sure to include a next step call-to-action, such as to another content offer or to book an introductory call.


4. Sync new CRM leads with your newsletter list

One piece of golden wisdom: there's rarely a good reason to manually export and import data between tools, especially when it's contact and email data.

If you collect contact details and send emails in different tools, make sure you have a two-way sync in place to keep things simple. Automating this business process saves you hours of needless work as well as eliminating data errors and duplicates.

How to set it up: Use PieSync to sync the right CRM leads with your newsletter list and ensure that both tools are always updated with the relevant contacts.


5. Automate customer feedback with tools like NPS

To keep your customers happy and reduce churn, it's important to collect regular data showing user satisfaction levels. One of the best ways to do this is with a feedback tool like NPS (Net Promoter Score) or CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) that shows customer happiness over time.

How to set it up: Sign up for a customer feedback tool like Wootric. It's a good idea to automatically trigger feedback collection at key points in the customer journey, such as one month and six months after purchase. While this collects data in the background, you can quickly access the most recent batch of information whenever you need it.


6. Automatically reply to NPS scores and comments

If you have set up an NPS feedback tool, you can also automatically send instant responses to customers who participate.

How to set it up: First, make sure your NPS tool is connected to your CRM or email marketing tool. Next, create an automation that triggers an email thanking customers who gave a positive response. This is also the perfect chance to ask if they could review you on a public site like Capterra or G2 Crowd.

If a customer gives you a negative NPS score, this requires more tact than just one automated email. Instead, trigger an internal notification to the customer's account manager letting them know that action is required to avoid churn.


7. Sync CRM contacts with your phone's contacts app

If your work phone starts ringing with an unfamiliar number and you're not sure if it's a lead or a double glazing company, this automation is perfect for you.

How to set it up: If you have an iPhone, sync iCloud with your CRM. Android users can easily do the same with Google Contacts. Contacts+ is another handy choice for storing contacts between devices and syncing these with your CRM. When your phone rings, any contact in your CRM will now come up on caller ID.


8. Reach out to unengaged contacts

How many of your contacts are unengaged? It might be a much higher number than you think. Automation can re-engage these contacts without using up much of your time.

How to set it up: Use your CRM or automation software to trigger an email promoting some of your best content. What can you send to your audience that has the best chance of piquing their interest? It could be a recently published ebook, offer or free course that matches their industry, business size, pain points and interests.

You could also make this email part of a workflow of 2–3 tailored messages designed to trigger engagement, and don’t forget to keep an eye on what’s working and what isn’t.


9. Sync paying contacts with your accounting software

Connecting sales and accounting isn't always simple. All too often you can be faced with several moving parts and salespeople who want to move on to the next sale rather than getting bogged down by admin.

How to set it up: Create a two-way sync between your CRM and accounting software. By choosing certain types of contacts to sync – such as those marked as “closed won” or with a recent deal attached – it's easy to hand over the right contacts to accounting and smoothly process invoices.

Once you have the right tools at your fingertips, it's easier than you think to automate business processes and get a huge return in the long run. Start with an easy-to-use CRM, connect it to the rest of your app stack, and make use of the automation features on offer – from email workflows to data collection, two-way contact syncs and more.

About Lucy Fuggle

Lucy Fuggle writes for PieSync, the two-way contact sync tool for hundreds of apps. She also works with her clients to make their brand matter with a content-rich marketing strategy.