Business Management

AI advancements that can make business automation even more powerful (and easy)

Caroline Burk

Updated: Jun 17, 2024 · 9 min read

Yellow and blue illustration of a computer, lamp and other icons

Automation and AI are an epic duo — like Kirk and Spock — but only when businesses use them the right way.

During our most recent Level Up event, Andrea Hill, CEO and Founder of Hill Management Group, got real about how new AI features and advancements can help inform, improve and optimize your automations.

Keep reading to explore exactly how you can leverage AI for complete business automation, maximum efficiency, actionable insights, data-backed decisions and more.

The most common mistake and how to avoid it

When it comes to using automation and AI in unison, order matters. The biggest mistake Andrea sees is teams automating before they reach for AI’s help, and the results aren’t pretty. This mishap often leads to automating current processes without any improvements at all. So, instead of business automation bringing to life well-crafted and optimized sequences, it produces ones littered with gaps and plagued by inefficiencies.

How to avoid it? All you have to do is invite AI into the equation earlier on. More specifically, AI should be the first place you turn before you start automating or re-automating your business.

Andrea suggests using AI to help you map every process you plan to automate, whether it be marketing, sales, service, operations or any other part of your business.

Her next piece of advice is to get specific and detailed when you ask AI for help. “You can ask AI long questions. It’s willing to listen to you, so get your questions really formulated,” Andrea explains.

Consider running through these prompts to ensure your questions are thorough enough to get you the most helpful AI response:

  • Why am I asking this?
  • What am I trying to do?
  • What kind of a business are we?
  • What are my leads and customers looking for out of this process?

AI-facilitated automations: Why they’re worth it

Here’s the thing…computers can’t do everything, but what they can do, they do crazy fast. So, when you find the sweet spot of what they do really well, it’s worthwhile to hand over those tasks. By doing so, you’ll save time and money. You’ll also save yourself the stress of having to hunt down qualified employees to get the job done.

Business automation is what can take those tasks off your plate and save you and your team from doing them manually, but if you want even better results from your automations, you need AI in the mix too.

AI’s ability to quickly pull, organize and make sense of data, can inform your automations and improve them so they remain up-to-date, competitive and free of gaps. For example, if you want to improve and automate your sales pipeline, you’ll need to do some market research, gather data, examine your current processes and identify patterns so you can automate thoroughly and accurately without missing anything. AI can speed up this process and do in minutes what it would take human hours to complete.

“AI facilitates all of that data assembly so that you can look at it, make decisions, come up with ideas, and then build your marketing and sales automations,” Andrea explains.

And she summed the entirety of AI-facilitated automations up best, saying, “AI helps us better automate our businesses and then keep those automations flowing so that we can focus on things that computers don't do as well, like build relationships, solve problems, and work on the business instead of in the business.”

Six business automation and AI action items

1. Test drive AI

If you haven’t tried AI for yourself yet or don’t have much experience, this first step is all about getting comfortable with AI. An easy, digestible way to get the hang of asking questions and having AI respond the way you want is to add an extension to your email system. This will help you generate email content, summarize communications, translate and more.

If you’re a Gmail user, Andrea recommends Gemini (read more on this tool in our next section!).

2. Map your processes

You probably have a list of processes in your mind that you want to automate. Take some time to write those down and think of more. When you’re confident you have a complete list of all the processes you want to optimize with business automation, set aside time each week to map one or two with the help of AI.

When asking AI to generate maps for various processes, Andrea reminds business owners that the technology won’t automatically spit out your exact process to a T. However, it will produce some thorough sample processes. Use these as a launching pad and compare your current processes against them to see if you’re missing anything.

3. Audit your tech stack

To audit all your tech, start by going through the software you currently have and analyze how it serves your business or the ways it falls short. Taking into account everything you have available at your disposal will show you where you’re good to go or where you might need to make a software switch.

“You don't need all the tech, you just need the right tech,” Andrea stresses. “And so if you're not clear on what you need technology to do, you're going to spend more money on technology than you need to spend and you're still not going to be getting everything done… You're never gonna know that if you don't audit.”

4. Clean up your data

If you’re not careful, over time, data can get messy. This is especially true when you have numerous people on your team all operating off of one data source.

But to automate well and for AI to be effective, you can’t have a slew of messy, confusing data. After all, what good is data if you can’t make sense of it? So take some time to go through your documents to ensure your data is organized and able to be interpreted. If this seems like a daunting task, don’t be afraid to break it down by department or process to make it more manageable.

5. Identify problems and bottlenecks

Talk to your team, sift through your processes and get audience feedback to feel out any possible issues. And keep in mind: “Why” is the magic word.

Once you find a problem, ask why. Then, ask why again, and again, and again until you get to the core of it all. Andrea notes that after completing this step, you’ll likely come up with a few core problems that all other smaller issues stem from. You can then prioritize the bottlenecks by urgency and start solving them one by one.

Getting to the bottom of problems guides your business automation strategy so you can use the automations you build to support problem solutions.

6. Avoid unnecessary automation

The final step is simple. If it won’t add value to your business, don’t automate it.

It’s like the age-old phrase: If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. This same logic applies to business automation. If you spend time automating things that don’t really need to be touched, you will end up wasting time or messing with something that already worked perfectly fine to begin with.

So, before you automate a task, just ask yourself “Will this benefit me, my team or my customers?” If the answer’s no, cross it off your to-do list and move right along!

Andrea’s top tech recommendations

Gemini for Google Suite

Built into your Google workspace, the Gemini is a powerful and convenient AI assistant. Once installed, it will be accessible from your Gmail account, sheets, docs and more so you can easily turn to it and seek inspiration for any content you might need help creating or making sense of.

Man with glasses and book

Pro tip

Any copy AI spits out is “never to be used for published or final output,” Andrea stresses. This rule is essential because AI-generated copy lacks your specific brand voice, and it legally can’t be owned by anyone. For these reasons, you should make the responses you receive your own or simply use AI for inspiration. For example, rather than getting AI to craft an entire blog for you, use it to generate an outline to guide your own writing.


This tool is Andrea’s go-to when it comes to visualizing and understanding data. A lot of people struggle to take their data and turn it into something digestible, such as a graph or a chart. KNIME can help!

You can tell it what you want to know or the decision you’re trying to make based on certain analytics, and it will make the information make sense and help you take your data from confusing to straightforward.


Once you’ve mapped your business’s processes, you’ll need something to bring those things to life and automate them. That’s what Keap’s business automation and CRM software was created for.

So, if you’re working with AI to design a thorough sales funnel and create copy for that sales process, you don’t want to just stop there and start manually putting your shiny, new funnel to work. Instead, you can use Keap, Andrea’s preferred business automation software, to automate every step in your sales process. Plus, Keap has a built-in AI Content Assistant, which can help you generate quality content for all of your automated campaigns directly in your app.

One thing left to do

AI and automation make growing your business and saving time attainable, so why wait to start using these tools? You can begin implementing Andrea’s expert tips today. But before you do, watch the entire Level Up replay at the top of this blog for more insight from Andrea and Jade. And if you’re curious about how Keap can help you bring your AI-generated ideas to fruition, don’t forget to read up on business automation too!

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