Not hitting your growth goals? Automate these 5 processes

Caroline Burk

Updated: Apr 24, 2024 · 8 min read

Have you ever hit a point in your business where you feel like you’re doing everything right, yet you’re still struggling to reach your goals and grow the way you want? Maybe you find yourself looking at other businesses achieving results and wondering what they’re doing that you’re not.

If this question has ever crossed your mind, we have answers. We surveyed 500 small business leaders and professionals who met their growth goals in 2023, and their responses revealed something interesting — the most successful businesses are likely to automate five specific things.

Read on to find out which five automation areas growth achievers are focusing on so you can follow suit and meet your goals in 2024.

Automation #1: Customer communication

Getting in touch with leads and prospects is one of the most important parts of running a business.

So is it safe to automate such an important part of your workflow? Sure is! In fact, it puts your business at a huge advantage. Our survey found that 42% of businesses that hit their growth targets automated their customer communications, versus just 21% of those who missed their targets.

Customer communication automations can include:

  • Lead nurture sequences
  • Quotes and invoicing
  • Payment reminders
  • Product and service updates
  • And more

Any email or text you send to clients can be automated with automation and small business CRM software, and growth achievers are taking advantage of this feature. But how can automating customer communications help you reach your goals? Business automation allows you to send personalized, timely communications with less manual work. This means your customers get the exact message they need to move through the sales pipeline, and you and your team have more time to focus on other aspects of your business.

Automation in action:
The example below illustrates what a customer communication automation would look like in Keap’s small business CRM and automation software. This particular sequence shows a business automating new client gifts. When a sale is processed, business automation evaluates if it’s from a new customer or not using information from the CRM database. If it determines they are a new customer, it automatically sends a welcome gift and creates a task for a team member to call them.

Example of communication automation

Automation #2: Appointment scheduling

Appointments are another automated process prioritized by businesses that achieved their 2023 goals — 36% of them automate these tasks compared to just 22% of businesses that didn’t meet their goals.

By automating scheduling, you can boost your team’s efficiency because there will no longer be a need to go back and forth in countless emails to find times that work for everyone.

Plus, appointment automation also means all the reminders and follow-ups for meetings will be taken care of too, leading to fewer mistakes and no-shows, and more clarity all around.

Automation in action:
In this sequence, the user has set up automations that kick off every time an appointment is booked on his calendar. He doesn’t have to remember to manually send reminders. Instead, he has two reminders scheduled to send 24 hours before the appointment and 1 hour before the appointment. You can also see his reminders will automatically stop if a meeting is canceled at any point.

Example of appointment scheduling

Automation #3: Customer onboarding

With business automation, you can follow-up faster and with less effort, simplifying the process of converting leads into customers. And once a sale is made, you can also automate your new customer’s onboarding process. This is something 34% of growth-achieving businesses do to set themselves apart, and it’s working.

How can customer onboarding get you closer to your goals? When you automate this process like other growth achievers, you’re able to:

  • Make a positive first impression on new customers
  • Have peace of mind that you’re providing everything your customers need for success
  • Save time and create a consistent client experience

Automating customer onboarding may seem like a small task, but its effects can’t be understated. Overall, this practice helps businesses turn customers into raving fans, which can result in repeat business and greater referral traffic over time.

Automation #4: Employee onboarding

Onboarding, whether it’s for employees or customers, is a critical process to get right, which is why 29% of growth achievers also automate their employee onboarding processes (as opposed to just 12% of businesses that didn’t hit their goals).

Successful onboarding involves ensuring a consistent experience for each new employee, and that’s much easier to create with business automation. This software can take on a variety of tasks you and your team do for new employees, such as:

  • Welcome emails
  • Task assignments and reminders for new employees
  • Registration invitations
  • Form delivery and intake
  • Task reminders for managers and other team members

There are plenty of other automation possibilities for employee onboarding, and the steps will depend on your business’s specific process. No matter what’s included in your onboarding process, automating the steps will ensure new hires feel welcomed, prepared and excited to start their first day.

Automation in action:
This automation built in the Keap app helps demonstrate how automated onboarding can help both the new employee and the business. The employee is clearly informed of what they need to do before they start, and the team will be notified when each step is completed.

Employee onboarding automation example

Automation #5: Task and project management

Within the other automations we’ve covered already, we’ve mentioned automating tasks. Task automations move projects forward, and they’re something growth achievers find imperative to their success.

Small business CRM and automation software can trigger tasks for anyone on your team based on the criteria you set up. This ensures everyone knows what’s needed from them so projects move along without roadblocks and everyone involved saves time.

Automation in action:
In the example below, when a product is purchased, you can use your small business automation software to launch a set of follow-up tasks, including fulfillment assignments, shipping label creation, notifications when an item is ready to ship and more. This process isn’t limited to purchases — it can also be applied to any project.

Task management automation example

Man with glasses and book

Pro tip

The sequence above features a task involving Zapier. Business automation software compatible with Zapier allows you to integrate with other apps and automate even more processes.

Get inspired by more small business trends

Growing and improving your business isn’t something you have to do in isolation. It helps to step back, take note of strategies that are working for others and evaluate how they could also work for you.

Take some time to imagine how you can implement these automation tactics for greater growth and time savings this year. If you’re interested in more insight about what other businesses are doing to succeed, download our 2024 State of Business Growth Trends report.

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