The 5 Benefits of Workflow Automation
If I asked you to give me an example of automation, what would you say? Maybe you’re imagining a drab factory filled with machines doing repetitive tasks. Or maybe you’re imagining a customer support phone line that never lets you speak directly with a representative. No matter your answer, you most likely you weren’t thinking of automation within your own business. But why not? Workflow automation tools, such as X2Workflow, can unlock many benefits to improve your business.
1. Increased Opportunities
Did you know that 30-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first? When similar products or services are offered at competitive prices, sometimes a prompt response is all it takes to close a deal. To stay competitive, your business needs to constantly pursue leads as soon as they come in. Workflow automation instantly responds to new prospects and begins nurturing leads, even before any of your marketing or sales representatives become involved.
With X2Workflow, you can incorporate nearly every feature within X2CRM in a workflow. This means that you can easily transform your business into a 24/7 operation without any additional costs or employees. X2Workflow enables your business to instantly begin the lead management process to increase your opportunities for growth.
2. Operate a Streamlined Process
It’s hard to check open-ended processes like handling a new lead or following up with an updated record. With workflow automation, you can take all the guesswork out of how to handle certain triggers within your business operations. For example, all new web leads can be emailed the same welcome email – free of any typos or incorrect information. By creating automatic workflows, you can be sure that any step in the flow is always professional and company-approved.
In addition to quality assurance, creating an automated workflow helps your employees think of their tasks objectively. When I younger, I learned the importance of detailed instructions and coding through a peanut butter and jelly sandwich game. Instructing someone to “put peanut butter on bread” is less effective than “spread two spoonfuls of peanut butter on a single slice of bread”. By designing workflows, employees are forced to think about the specific steps they take to accomplish a task. Like PB&J sandwiches, there is a big difference between “send a contact an email” and “send a contact a satisfaction survey 3 days after a campaign email has been opened”. By clearly defining each step a user takes to accomplish a task, they can evaluate and improve their procedure. A streamlined process increases efficiency and results for your business as a whole.
3. Offer a Better Customer Experience
How many times has this happened to you? You sign up for an email list, expecting the company would send you meaningful updates or personalized deals; instead, you’re bombarded with generic emails for products or services you have zero interest in. Instead of gaining more insight into the company or discovering a new product, you’re flooded by a spam machine. What’s the first thing a lead typically does after receiving 15 coupon codes in 20 minutes? Unsubscribe.
A workflow automation engine ensures that leads or contacts are only being sent quality, relevant emails. Within X2Workflow, you can create custom constraints with email campaigns, such as conditions or wait times, to automate any process from user notifications to email submission. With such specific parameters, you can ensure that your automated workflows are only sending out the most relevant information after specific triggers – not overwhelming contacts with a flood of generic emails.
X2Workflow can help your business do anything from automating personalized emails sent to new leads to re-engaging with existing customers. This improves the outreach experience both leads and your clients have with your business. Happier and engaged customers are much more likely to stay committed to your business than contacts overwhelmed with spam.
4. Better Allocation of Employee Time
Employees admit that up to 55% of their workday is wasted on administrative tasks, such as sending emails, filling out forms, and updating spreadsheets. That’s nearly an entire day every week wasted on busy work instead of working on the assignments they really want to finish. By automating repetitive and manual tasks, your employees have the opportunity to spend their time on creative problem solving to further their own skills and company’s operations. Workflow automation will handle all of the repetitive work and alert employees to step in when the process requires more personal interaction.
The goal of workflow automation isn’t to replace employees; instead, it should enhance your their work. By automating the boring tasks, your teams can have a more productive or interesting workday, which improves your entire business’s operations.
5. Instant Communication
There are many ways workflow automation can increase transparency across your company. Within X2Workflow, you can integrate alerts within your workflow to inform specific users or your entire business. Notifications, SMS messages, emails, and assigned actions are just a few of the ways you can ensure that specific users are aware of what your workflows are accomplishing. By creating notifications within your workflows, your team will know to jump in whenever they need human-specific interactions. Your business can still create personal relationships without having to worry about the tedious administrative tasks.
X2Workflow also has the ability to post company-wide notifications on the activity feed. This means that you can program your workflow automation to announce any specific task it’s accomplished. Your entire workforce can automatically know the status of any workflow, even if they are not directly following its process.
These benefits have a huge impact on business operations – even our own! Our sales engineer, Tom Caroll, has been helping X2CRM customers utilize all the features within X2CRM and create complex workflows to automate their businesses. He recently helped a user create a workflow to schedule an appointment through a timed email campaign.
When a lead status is changed to accepted the flow starts a mini email campaign. X2Workflow will automatically send off a series of emails with waits after each one. This ensures that the lead is not bombarded with emails from the company (Benefit #3). After each wait, X2Workflow automatically checks to see if the lead status has been changed to working. If so, the flow ends and the owner of the record is notified. The notification is critical because it alerts the assigned user to take the next steps with their lead (Benefit #5).
This may not seem like this is a very complicated workflow, but it does accomplish a lot. First off, Tom’s workflow automatically starts once a lead is accepted. This ensures that no lead is overlooked and begins going through the appointment process immediately (Benefit #1). Additionally, this workflow automatically manages the timing of each email. Each user associated with each lead can focus on active marketing or lead nurturing instead of keeping track of each lead’s stage in an email campaign (Benefit #4).
Within a single workflow, this user will receive nearly every benefit listed in this post. Imagine how much your business can grow with dozens of these automation operating 24/7! A workflow that would have likely taken days to program can be easily created within X2Workflow. It has an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, so you can do anything from easily model drip marketing campaigns to leverage website activity or location check-ins to trigger alerts and actions for your team. This fluid system that uses current operations and social intelligence to personalize its marketing, sales, or internal processes.
Our workflow automation designer and engine is available in both our open source and enterprise editions of X2CRM.