Using automation software is like having a reliable, tireless employee working non-stop on the most operose, routine tasks. It’s fast, efficient, and always there when you need it.
This means you have the freedom to focus on more important tasks instead of updating the data in your CRM, sending welcome emails to each person who signs up for your newsletter, or holding endless meetings to stay on the same page with your teammates.
No wonder the global marketing automation spending is expected to grow from USD 5.2 billion in 2022 to USD 9.5 billion by 2027, at an astounding ~13% annual growth rate.
In this article, we’ve decided to share some of our top picks among automation software to help you build a solid toolset and streamline the key aspects of your business, including sales, marketing, finances, operations, and team management.
Sales Automation Platforms
With the amount of time and effort they require (let alone the money invested, which can take between 15 and 50% of the total business revenue), sales activities are among the first business aspects you should consider automating.
Of course, I am not talking about the actual negotiations here – although chatbots can easily handle some sort of the first conversation with your prospects. There are other tasks that sales automation software can handle. Here are just two of the tools you can adopt to start with.
- Reply is a sales engagement and acceleration platform. This tool automates one of the most time-consuming aspects of your sales process, i.e., prospecting, and helps you connect with the prospects across multiple channels at scale while keeping the communication personal.
- UpLead is a B2B sales intelligence tool. Its extensive database of over 46 million contacts and 45 million global company profiles makes it a one-stop shop for list building, contact enrichment, and account-based sales. It can also help with a blogger outreach strategy if you keep it focused on your niche blogging leads.
Email Marketing Automation Tools
Email marketing automation provides lots of (re-)engagement opportunities for your audience and inactive customers. It allows you to reach your customers exactly when they are likely to make a purchase, based on previous interactions with your site.
Mailchimp is an all-in-one marketing automation platform. The tool helps you build and launch Omni channel campaigns, from email marketing, sales forms, and surveys to landing pages and even webinars. You can also streamline separate workflows using if-then-logic, i.e., specifying the conditions to trigger specific actions.
There are also quite a few free WordPress plugins that bring email marketing automation to your blog dashboard.
Branding is something that needs a lot of work and brainstorming, so it is always nice when there’s a solution that can help.
Namify is an Artificial-Intelligence-driven platform that helps you find a great brand name and even build its brand identity entirely for free. It is a great branding and rebranding automation tool that inspires and saves time!
SEO is one of those niches that’s hard to automate without running into the risk of falling prey to low-quality and spammy tactics that can damage your organic visibility.
You can safely automate reporting, though. WebCEO provides automated SEO reports allowing you to easily monitor your (or your clients’) rankings, errors, and losses.
Managing your finances as a business might be daunting, considering it’s more complicated than balancing income and expenses. On top of changing financial standards and exchange rates, accountants need to manage multiple spreadsheets, help the executives assess risks, and make strategic decisions instantly.
According to Gartner, “the average amount of avoidable rework in accounting departments can take up to 30% of a full-time employee’s time”. This is where automation comes in handy, allowing businesses to save more than 25,000 hours (and $878,000) per year. Here are a couple of tools that can help.
- Xero is an online accounting platform for small businesses. It’s a Swiss army knife for accountants and small business owners that makes managing your cash flow easy and efficient.
- Procurify is procurement and spend management software. The platform is designed to help you easily control, track and report your company’s expenses.
Business operations represent another area of opportunity for automation. Just think about all those routine business processes that are certainly important but don’t contribute to your bottom line directly, e.g., workflow management, resources allocation, recruiting strategy, etc.
As a result, automation can help you significantly cut your operating costs. Plus, highly automated companies are 6x more likely to see their revenue grow by more than 15%. The following tools might be a great place to start optimizing your operations.
- Metatask is a business process management system. It’s a simple yet powerful tool that helps you define and automate all kinds of business processes and workflows, from employee and client on/offboarding to asset management, procurement, and quality assurance.
- Teamdeck is a resource management solution that offers a set of tools to streamline the key aspects of effective staff management, including resource scheduling, time tracking, leave management, etc.
Team management software helps you achieve better visibility and track your team’s performance effectively. Below are the two tools you can use to streamline collaboration and communication within your team.
- Slack is the ultimate team chat app. While it’s not exactly an automation tool, we can’t ignore the impact it might have on your team’s productivity. Also, It has an impressive list of chatbots and integrations and a dedicated workflow automation feature that can help you streamline certain aspects of your team communication and collaboration.
- Aura is a platform that protects your (and your team’s) privacy that uses smart automation to monitor your online accounts and alert you of any suspicious activity.
According to Harvard Business Review, wasted time and inefficient processes cost the U.S. economy on average a whopping $3 trillion per year.
While your organization’s waste might not be as considerable, there’s always room for improvement.
So, don’t hesitate to experiment with the above-listed tools! I am sure they can become a valuable addition to your stack and help your business become more efficient and, as a result, profitable.
That’s not news, but marketing has had to keep up with the times. Gone are the days of in-your-face marketing; the consumer base doesn’t care about such ads where businesses praise their own products. Instead, they prefer companies to provide honest, informative, and relatable content.
As the consumer base is getting more sophisticated, direct targeting of potential or existent leads with general advertisements is falling out of favor.
Email marketing is great, but you run the risk of subscribers hitting the “Unsubscribe” option if you send too many emails or are not relevant enough. Let’s face it – persistence on the part of marketers or salespeople can be downright annoying to potential customers.
To succeed, you’ll have to create sophisticated marketing campaigns that lure them in and keep bringing them back. We’re not asking you to be persistent but to change tactics. Evolve with the customers.