If you have a small business or work in a startup, ideas to improve the company’s productivity are always welcome, right?
After all, you want to work less and deliver more, but there’s not enough time in the day (or week) to put all your bright ideas into practice.
So how do you manage a small business by working less and delivering more? A great way to start is with sales, service, and marketing process automation to help your team do more and faster.
Through the magic of automation, your small business team can become a true productivity machine at work.
So, here are ideas to improve your company’s productivity with the fine automation you can implement now!
Automatic reply to e-mails
First impressions are crucial, especially as your business grows and expands in the marketplace.
You don’t want your team to be known as “the one that takes 2 weeks to answer an email”, especially if it’s a question from a new potential customer. It’s not the expected scenario when it comes to how to run a small business. This type of lead is very valuable and your intention is to make the best possible service from the first contact to celebrate the closing of the deal.
Make a good impression on prospects by using email automation to answer questions immediately.
This super-fast response creates a relationship with potential customers, and automation can assign the response to the request to the most appropriate sales representative.
You can also use Gmail’s automatic response functionality.
Forward the leads to a sales representative
Speaking of forwarding requests, automation is the perfect way to keep leads moving in the sales hopper. If you want to learn how to run a small business, this point is essential.
Many CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems have an integrated task automation technology perfect for this case. Go deeper into the previous tip by creating a workflow to self forward leads to specific team members when they contact your company.
Enter the prospect’s contact information as well as any relevant information within your CRM and use automatic routing to direct them to the most appropriate team member. If the contact occurred via email, include the automatic response “Thank you for your contact” to start a relationship on the right foot.
Again, customize these automatic responses to the maximum to impress your prospects throughout the purchase journey.
Turn business cards into relationships
Knowing how to run a small business involves dealing with your contacts. Did your team make great connections at a conference?
Take a few minutes to include informaç˜ões of new contacts in your CRM before you leave the event – or take a picture of each of the business cards and upload them to a lead card in the Trello application connected to your CRM.
Then use a marketing automation tool to schedule an email follow-up campaign for your contacts. You can send automated emails on specific dates after the event and turn those business cards into active leads.
Schedule meetings with no round trips
Scheduling a meeting can be like a ping-pong game sometimes. It usually involves a lot of taking and bringing. So one tip on how to run a small business efficiently is to use scheduling software. With it you can advance your availability in an email and make it automatically schedule a time that fits both.
If customer or lead cancel, or if you have the whole schedule busy, automation will send an update to the calendar to show everyone’s availability.
Facilitate the request for help
Offering an exemplary service is perhaps the best way to get new customers and keep current ones happy. Make it easy for customers to contact you by including links like “Contact Us” on every page of your website and in emails.
The trick is this: when customers click on the link, your customer service software will forward the request to your chosen staff member, sending a reminder for follow-up.
You can integrate this process into your CRM to open an official service order and send an automatic follow-up email so the customer knows you are handling it. This is a good way to organize a small business.
Use a chat or a bot
Chats are complementary to the FAQs and encourage users to contact us immediately with questions about their offers. This means that you can start a conversation immediately, considering this person as a new lead.
While chats require a person at the end to deal with any questions your FAQ does not answer, chat bots offer complete automation thanks to Artificial Intelligence.
Chatbots require more time and effort to implement and adjust than normal chat. Considering this, this list with the most popular chat bot services is a good place to start if you are interested in implementing your own bot.
Clear your email lists
Knowing how to run a small business involves organizing your contact list, in which case the phrase “the more the merrier” doesn’t make much sense. At first, all the people who signed up wanted their emails. But over time, they change their mind.
Streamlining your lists can help improve your marketing messages – and it’s good karma to stop sending those unwanted emails. After all, who doesn’t love getting to the inbox zero of emails?
Marketing automation software can help reduce your lists. Take advantage of engagement metrics to identify subscribers who haven’t opened their messages in the last 120 days. Then, schedule a series of three automatic emails for those inactive people asking:
“Do you want to continue receiving my e-mails?” If they answer with a “yes,” the software will remove the “inactive” label. If they click “no” or do not open the message, they will be removed.
If the phrase “how to improve my small business” still occurs in your head, start with this automation. See this blog post on automation with a CRM for small businesses to ease your way to improving productivity in the company.