How to accelerate growth with CRM automation?
In my last blog, I discussed the importance of having a good Customer Relationship Management system, or CRM, in place. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read that blog, go ahead and do so, as this entry will build upon that one.
There are a handful of solid CRMs that are reasonably affordable, and none of them start with “S” and end with “salesforce.” I would recommend any organization considering Salesforce to thoroughly evaluate the total impact investing in Salesforce will have on your overall ecosystem. Most salesforce users only use about 10-15% of the system, and many struggle to configure it in a manner that reflects their sales processes and workflows. That’s because a system like Salesforce is designed for the user to customize it through add-ons and custom development and integrations. If you have the resources to manage, alter, develop and integrate with the platform as necessary, then you may be a good prospect for Salesforce.
However, if you’re a mere mortal like most of us, an off-the-shelf system like HubSpot, Pipedrive, Zoho, and others will be easier to turn on and use and way more cost-effective. Most of these SaaS systems have native integrations with other third-party applications like Pandadoc, Seamless AI, Zapier, and a whole host of different applications, so integrating services and data is very easy to set up.
Beyond that, there is another crucial element to ensuring your sales team uses your CRM most effectively and efficiently. That is through CRM automation, or as some systems refer to this, workflows. These are custom triggers and events in the system that save your team considerable time and energy throughout the sales process.
Top 5 CRM automations
Here are our top five automations for our CRM (which is HubSpot) that you may want to take advantage of in your CRM:
- Update Deal Stages Based on Triggers in Document Management Platform.
Once one of our sales team members sends out an agreement through Pandadoc, our document management platform, through integration using Zapier, will update the deal stage in HubSpot when the agreement is sent, when it is viewed, and when it is signed so we can know the progress of a deal and, most importantly, send out notifications to our Implementation Team and a welcome email to our new customer once an agreement is signed. This automation streamlines communication and begins the process of onboarding even if a sales rep is out sick, at lunch, or on vacation. It provides a high level of customer service with efficiency and speed.
- Update Brands for Deals that Close Based on Pipeline.
As a company with multiple brands and product lines, it is helpful to know which brands our customers are working with to market the other brands for cross-selling and up-sell opportunities. Whenever a deal closes, the pipeline automatically adds the corresponding brand to the Company Record so Marketing can know what material to send which customer.
- Create Task for Sales Rep to Check-in on Onboarding Process.
When a prospect signs our agreement to become a new customer and the welcome emails are sent, there is always the possibility the customer misses the email. So, to ensure that an onboarding process doesn’t fall through the cracks, we automatically assign a task to the sales rep to check on the onboarding process two business days after the client signs to make sure they received the welcome emails and responded.
- Update State Field from Abbreviation to Complete Name.
This may seem silly, but the way data is formatted may impact another system you’re using. For us, since we pull address information into our agreement in Pandadoc, we need the state name to be completely spelled out for it to be acceptable on a legal document. And since most lead lists input this information as an abbreviation, our team updated this on every record as they created agreements. This is updated as soon as a lead is entered into the system, and our sales team members no longer must remember to do it and actually do it.
- There are many situations in which a record is created with blank fields that could be updated based upon data in other record fields. For example, when a Company record is created, the Account Status field is empty. However, we know that every new Company record in the system is 99.9% a "prospect." So, to save our guy's time, that field is automatically updated to "Prospect" when blank, which provides an accurate status for our marketing team to know who a prospect is and who is a customer, former customer-vendor, or partner. Likewise, once a deal enters a particular stage, in this case, "Closed Won," the Account Status is automatically updated to "Customer," and the sales team members don't have to remember to do this.
These are just a few examples of what we do and what is possible, so be sure to evaluate the workflow automations within your system and see where it makes sense in your process to create these CRM automations to save your team time, as well as ensure more accurate data updated on time. Removing these little tasks will allow your team to make more calls, hold more meetings and close more deals, so it’s worth looking into it today. And let us know how we can help, as one of our core offerings is ensuring you are using your CRM most effectively.
Trey Griggs is a sales executive that, during his nine years in the transportation industry, has gained experience in several sectors within technology, including load boards, rate analytics, TMS systems, visibility solutions, digital freight-matching platforms, and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Trey enjoys coaching teams to be great, as well as speaking on sales & marketing strategies, leadership & organizational structure, and technology. When he’s not building world-class organizations, you can find Trey spending time with his family, traveling, renovating his home, playing golf, working out, reading & playing music.