Business Management

3 business automation best practices every company can benefit from

Caroline Burk

Updated: Jun 06, 2024 · 4 min read

Two women and a man looking at something on a computer monitor

“Automate this”

“Automate that”

“You should automate these things first”

There’s a lot of automation advice floating around these days. It makes sense - small business automation software is a powerful tool, and when it works for people, they want to share their strategies so others can follow suit.

But not all automation advice will work for everyone. Each business’s approach and experience with the software will be unique. However, there are some universal business automation best practices that can help any team get the most out of their software and experience sustainable growth, greater time freedom and increased optimization.

If you’re just getting started in your software or want to improve upon how you utilize it, then read through our top three best practices below and make them a part of your automation strategy.

Define a clear objective

What motivated you to get business automation software in the first place? Most businesses have multiple answers, but typically there’s one that takes the cake and trumps all the others.

Maybe you wanted to:

  • Ease and optimize stressful, complex processes for your team
  • Stop wasting hours on manual tasks so you could spend more time strategizing future growth goals
  • Lose less leads to forgotten follow-up

There are countless possible reasons for why you opted to enlist the help of business automation, but it’s important to find your main goal or pick one to pursue first. This will take what can be an overwhelming process and give you clear direction while ensuring you meet your goals.

Determining your objective can be done at any point in your business automation journey, so if you didn’t identify it when you first started in your software, don’t beat yourself up. It’s even helpful to reassess your business automation goals periodically because they can change over time. If you happen to be in a season where you need to up your conversion rates, your goal may shift to prioritize your automated sales pipeline.

The beauty of this software is it can grow and change alongside you, aligning with your needs and helping you scale.

Prioritize the lead and customer experience

No matter what your overarching objective is, it can’t come at the expense your audience’s experience. After you get to the heart of what you want business automation to do for you and start automating accordingly, make sure to keep leads and customers top of mind in everything you produce.

For example, if you’re goal is to reduce manual, repetitive tasks, you might opt to automate the emails your sales department sends when someone fills out an interest form on your website. You can set up a nurture sequence that triggers an email every time someone fills out a form, rather than having a member of your team reach out manually.

But here’s the key: As you’re automating lead and customer communications like this, put yourself in your audience’s shoes.

Automation should never negatively impact your contacts because it’s robust enough to be able to make everyone happy - you, your team and your target audience.

Make an effort to use business automation features to enhance the messages you send instead of simply replicating what you’re already sending. This is easy because automation software paired with a small business CRM is designed to help you personalize your nurture sequences to each individual contact’s interests and history.

When it comes down to it, no matter what your objective is with business automation, it should always be coupled with mindfulness of your leads and customers.

Invite stakeholder input

Business automation is made to take on your entire business - marketing, sales, service and operations. So as you tackle each of those areas and their automations one by one, it only makes sense to call in the people who deal with those specific parts of your business every day.

Picking the brains of your marketing, sales, service and operations teams acts as a mini audit of each department, providing a well-rounded perspective of their needs, pain points, and strengths. Once you know where business automation is most needed in each department, then, you can start using the software to fill in gaps or take things off each team’s plate that are keeping them from greater efficiency and productivity.

The following list of questions can be a good starting point for your department meetings and help you get the details you need:

  • What tasks do you perform daily, weekly or monthly?
  • What takes up most of your day-to-day workload?
  • Are there any processes that feel clunky, slow or incomplete?
  • How do you interact with leads and customers?
  • How do you currently track tasks and project progress?

What it’s all about

Bettering your business through automation software is about more than implementing impressive automations. It’s also about having sound strategy, happy customers and team members, and more free time in your day-to-day life. These three best practices can help you accomplish these goals.

If you want to take it a step further, it’s just as important to read about the opposite of best practices, three signs you’re using small business CRM and automation software wrong, to learn which red flags you should watch out for as you start automating your business.

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