Have you ever thought
“There Has to be an Easier Way.”
Welcome to Automating Works where we help Small Business Owners find easy ways to Automate their businesses and create time.
Welcome a new client
A sale isn’t the end of your relationship with a client. In fact, it should be the beginning. Make a good first impression by sending a series of welcome emails to show new customers that you value their business and care about supporting them.
Some subscribers may have requested your emails after careful evaluation of your website. But others may have quickly signed up to get a resource you offer without exactly knowing or caring what it is you do. Even if you think subscribers know you, always introduce yourself.
Staying in touch is effortless with automation software. Set up your software so that a purchase triggers an email series. In the first email, sent immediately after a purchase, include a thank you and an introduction to your company—whether that takes the form of answers to frequently asked questions or an overview of what your services entail. Consider sending a thank you gift, like a discount on the client’s next purchase.
Check in again shortly after the client has started using your product or services to see how they’re doing. Include helpful content, like tips about using the product or a how-to video, or suggest complementary products that may be of interest. A few days later, solicit feedback by sending a survey or asking how your business could improve. If the client is dissatisfied, you’ll want to take action sooner than later.
In our overscheduled world, leads and clients need reminders about appointments—and reminders of reminders, too. Forgotten appointments translate to wasted time and money for your business, but you can’t afford to spend hours playing each client’s personal assistant. While you’re responsible for scheduling appointments, software can handle things from there.
With automation software, leads and clients can receive appointment reminders via email after you complete a web form containing the client’s name, email address, and appointment date and time. The form prompts a sequence of emails: an appointment confirmation, followed by reminders in the days or hours prior to the appointment.If the client or lead cancels, the software will automatically notify you so you can follow up and reschedule.
Still, the task of comparing calendars and manually scheduling appointments can consume hours of your day. To take automation a step further, consider using a scheduling tool that syncs with your Google Calendar. Using your business calendar, it allows leads and clients to view available times and schedule a meeting—making the appointment process completely automated.
Something for you? This is how we do it:
When using a website, you’ve probably seen a chat interface at the bottom-right of your screen. They help you find information about a product or service, answer your questions, offer options for upselling, etc. For business owners, chatbots automate customer support and offer 24/7 help even during off-hours. And that’s basically what chatbot automation is about.
How does chatbot automation benefit businesses?
Whether you’re sending contracts or collecting tax forms, documents play a critical role in many businesses. That doesn’t make them worthy of your time. Leave the paper-chasing to your software by setting up automated processes.
Businesses looking to implement a contract automation or contract management platform should look for a system that has the following features:
- Rich, dynamic editor: to include images and GIFs for branding, as well as tables and charts to codify remuneration, pension, stock options and so on, you’ll need a dynamic text editor.
- Smartfields: these contain contract metadata, making sure key fields (like dates, values, names, addresses and so on) are tracked and searchable. They should also live-sync with CRM in both directions to make sure data is always accurate.
- Internal commenting: if standard terms are to be varied, it’s useful for internal stakeholders to be able to collaborate in real time on the document, without needing to worry about audit trails and version control.
- External redlining: similarly, counterparties need to be able to negotiate the contract without having to move into Word and lose audit trails and data.
- Visual timeline: approvers and signatories often want to scroll back through negotiated versions to keep track of changes and variations.
- eSignature: a mobile-responsive, native eSignature tool allows teams to sign anywhere, at any time.
Do you find yourself copying and pasting the same email to customers or prospects? Perhaps you want to follow up after someone completes their free trial or you want to ask for their feedback. Instead of remembering when to send each email, marketing automation can do all the work for you. You can create robust email nurture campaigns that are automatically delivered to based on your customers’ actions.
Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online and automate repetitive tasks.
The field of Marketing Automation is growing at an astonishing rate. Marketing automation is one of the most popular methods to create personalized customer experiences. If you are not using Marketing Automation (properly) in your company, you are missing out.
Business Owners, Executives and Marketers asked to identify the biggest benefit of Marketing Automation for them, say it is Saving time (30%) following with Lead Generation (22%) Increase in Revenue (17%) Customer Retention (11%), Tracking and Monitoring of marketing campaigns (8%) and a shortened sales cycle (2%).
Free Marketing Automation software trial >>
Automating your follow-ups (Stay engaged)
At a conference or other events, networking efforts can pay off in the form of a big stack of business cards. But merely collecting business cards isn’t the goal, of course. Start communicating with your new contacts immediately—before you both forget about the conversation you had (or before the business card falls victim to a tragic laundry error).
Transfer contact information from the business card to your CRM tool, tagging each person as a conference or event contact. Then use automation software to schedule an email to be sent, whether you want to follow up an hour later or the next day.
Writing even a brief “nice to meet you” email to each new contact can drain your time. Streamline the process by writing an email template that feels personal but could apply to any new contact from the event:
“Hello again, [Contact Name]!
It was great chatting with you at the conference this week. If my services can be helpful to you, I’d love to continue the conversation.”
Want a shortcut? Download an app that scans business cards using your smartphone’s camera and uploads contact information to your records. Keap’s mobile app, which is free, adds a person’s name, contact information, address, and company directly to Keap starting your follow up automation (scheduled for the next day) straight away.
Win more with a Phone Tag
It’s easy to lose a game of phone tag when you’re busy running a small business. Say you leave a voicemail for a potential client, and he returns your call when you’re in a meeting. You make a note—in your mind, maybe on a Post-It note—to call him back when you return to your desk. But alas, voicemail again.
If the game continues, all while you’re chasing other players, you might eventually give up—either intentionally or because you were too busy to remember the call. That means you had a lead, and you lost it.
Keep score by establishing an automated process for returning phone calls. Using automation software, you can note in the system that you left a message for a contact. Doing so triggers an automatic email to him: “I just left you a voicemail. Sorry I missed you! If I don’t hear from you, I’ll follow up tomorrow.” The software then reminds you to make the call tomorrow, as promised, no Post-Its required. And no lost leads, either.
Framework your sales pipeline
The road from prospect to paying client includes a few stops. Mapping the route—and adding automation to the journey—helps your sales reps guide prospects from one destination to the next, ensuring no one gets lost along the way.
Automation software organizes the existing process that sales reps follow to close a deal. When the process is clearly defined, sales reps can move leads from one stage to another, ensuring consistency and providing visibility into where each lead needs to head next.
Define the sales process by four basic stages:
- New opportunity:A lead has been identified. When a lead is tagged as a new opportunity, the software assigns a sales rep to contact him.
- Contacting:The lead moves into this stage when a sales rep calls him. If the sales rep reaches him, the lead advances to the next stage. If the call goes to voicemail, an automated email is sent as a follow-up (see below: “Win more with a phone tag”).
- Engaging:The sales rep is talking with the lead to learn about his needs and how your product or services can benefit him.
- Qualified:The lead moves into this stage when the sales rep determines that he’s qualified, meaning that he has the budget and authority to make the purchasing decision. The rest of the sales process plays out from here, with different automated actions set up for wins and losses, as well as leads who aren’t yet ready to make a decision.
“Don’t underestimate the value of an exceptional client experience”.
Automatically generate repeat business
For most business owners, a sale isn’t a one-time event. You want a customer to buy again—and again and again, especially if you sell a recurring service or a product that needs to be replenished on a regular basis. After all, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70%—compared with 5 to 20% for a new prospect, according to the authors of the book Marketing Metrics.
Don’t wait for customers to realize they need to restock and slowly come around to making the purchase. Be proactive by automating prompts for future sales.
Automation software starts the clock when a sale is made, and sends a follow-up email after a predetermined length of time. If you sold a 30-day supply of a product, your customer will automatically receive an email shortly before it’s time to reorder:
“I know your supply is running low. Would you like to buy more?”
In the email, include a link to the product so the customer can simply click and purchase without having to search around your website. In these situations, automation offers a win-win: convenience for your customer, sales for you.