Automation is not a new concept, but it has only recently become such an essential part of many business processes. In today’s digital world, customers demand more speed, convenience, and consistency. In turn, businesses are always on the lookout for ways to make processes more efficient—but without maximizing expenses.
Therefore, what are the critical functions of business that require automation in today’s modern age? Here is a list of the most common ones.
1. RFP response
A request for proposal (RFP) is a document that solicits proposals, usually through a bidding process, by a company or agency in the market for a product, asset, supplier, or service. Responding to RFPs in a timely manner is essential in securing more deals. Unfortunately, this process can take a lot of time and effort—not to mention be prone to human errors.
RFP response builder software allows businesses to manage RFPs with better speed and accuracy. Say, information technology request for proposal software lets IT companies respond to requests faster and with better content, which increases the chances of securing deals. But while this type of software does not fully automate the responding process, it makes it far more accessible as opposed to handling RFP content and files manually.
2. Email marketing
Email marketing is one of the most common and most effective ways to build connections with new customers and nurture relationships with existing ones. However, writing and sending out emails en masse is a lot more complicated than it looks. For one, sending out hundreds—if not thousands—of emails takes up a lot of time, and there is always a risk of looking like a spambot to mail providers.
Furthermore, personalization is also a critical factor in email marketing. And like sending out mass emails, personalizing each one is far too tedious to do manually. Luckily, there is an abundance of email marketing tools that businesses can use to make writing and sending out emails easier and faster.
A good email marketing tech stack should include:
- A personalization tool: Deep personalization is key to capturing the attention of an audience. Personalization tools range from software that writes hyper-personalized subject lines to devices that list possible subject points based on a target customer’s profile.
- A scheduling tool: When sending out emails, getting the timing right is an essential factor. Email scheduling tools allow businesses to pre-plan email send-out times to ensure that target customers receive emails at the most ideal times (e.g., at the end of the week when customers have time to check their inboxes).
- Automatic replies: Customers want to receive replies to their inquiries, complaints, and other concerns in as little time as possible. However, this is not always easy to do, especially if a business has a small customer service staff. Using a tool that sends out automatic replies helps alleviate this problem by letting customers know that they have received the email and setting expectations for a response.
3. HR processes
Just like any other aspect of business, human resources management involves a lot of tedious and repetitive tasks, such as screening, scheduling interviews, sending out emails to applicants, and more. There is also the common concern for human errors in payroll, benefits administration, and other critical HR processes.
Automating HR tasks lets HR employees focus more on valuable activities that require a higher level of cognitive efforts, such as making hiring decisions, interviewing candidates, and coming up with new employee engagement strategies, among many others. Apart from that, HR automation makes plenty of critical HR tasks less prone to error, especially those that are tedious to handle when mistakes are made (e.g., payroll).
4. Sales processes
The average sales process involves finding viable clients, making pitches, scheduling demo calls, and closing deals. However, it’s not as linear nor straightforward as it may seem. Sales professionals often have to perform multiple sub-tasks under each step; for example, to find potential clients, they have to do plenty of research, perform data entry, and validate that client before moving on to the next step.
Sales automation makes the job of a sales team easier, which allows them to focus on higher-value tasks, such as creating personalized content for clients and perfecting their sales spiel—which, in turn, helps them close more deals.
Automation allows businesses to do more with fewer resources, helping them achieve higher efficiency levels without necessarily investing in more people. And with the increasing demand for better customer experiences, it won’t come as a surprise if automation takes over most manual business processes in the near future.