What Is CRM Automation? The Ultimate Guide

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Customer relationship management (CRM) software enables companies to collect and organize consumer data to help inform and facilitate marketing, sales, and customer satisfaction processes. Decision makers, sales staff, and customer service representatives can use these insights and information to focus their work, improve performance, and create better customer experiences.

CRM software is useful for both B2C and B2B operations. However, collecting and managing the vast amounts of necessary data generated by transactions, marketing, sales efforts, and customer engagement can be a full-time job. But with the right tools, CRM automation is possible.

What is CRM automation?

CRM process automation relies on technology to handle specific jobs with little or no human effort. For example, these time-saving advances sort and organize data so that specific pieces of information are easier to find. This can save hundreds of hours of copying and pasting figures into spreadsheets or combing databases for details to use in a sales report or information necessary to research a promising lead.

CRM process automation allows staff members to focus on implementing strategies and communicating with customers instead of being occupied with repetitive tasks that, while necessary, are also time-consuming.

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Benefits of CRM automation

CRM process automation is a time-saver, but it also brings a host of other benefits. Automation software can populate spreadsheets and create reports without human intervention, but the benefits go well beyond these basic tasks.

Here is a closer look at the advantages it can bring to your company or organization.

Reduced chance of human error

Automation can limit the errors that inevitably occur from manually inputting data. For example, when a potential client fills out a contact form, a sales automation system will transfer the exact information from that form into a list of sales leads.

It can also automatically alphabetize the list and make it searchable by contact or company name, location, email, or any other data points entered into the form. If an employee entered hundreds of these leads manually, mistakes would not only be possible, they would be likely. 

Finally, CRM automation software can make calculations with 100% accuracy (provided they are set up correctly in the first place). Human error is common with these types of operations, so using automated tools to make the calculations can reduce overall risk and avoid rework. 

Better customer satisfaction and engagement

CRM automation is good for customers as well. Automation creates more consistent and streamlined user experiences, and gives team members more time to focus on customers.  

Some CRM software options, such as low-code automation, make it easy for teams to create forms and portals that customers can use to send and track their requests. Portals also make it easy for customers to find information and documents. 

Increased sales

CRM automation can help increase conversions in several ways. First, the system can accurately organize all data about leads. This makes it easier for teams to find the information they need to close a sale or make specific offers to a potential client based on their needs.

Second, automation CRM helps sales teams build relationships by automating emails, notifying sales reps of pending action items, and encouraging timely follow-ups.  

Finally, in some industries, contracts, licenses, and other documents are necessary for onboarding new customers. Sales automation CRM software can help populate these important files with data that representatives have already collected, limiting the time needed to complete paperwork.

What can a CRM automate?

This will vary depending on a company’s operations, industry, and wide range of processes. Some firms can streamline their marketing emails and create automated follow-up updates for prospects or leads based on a customer’s actions with the previous correspondence. 

Many of the most common tasks workflow automation CRM software deals with are sales-related. Here is a closer look at the most common sales-related tasks CRM software can automate:

Lead generation and qualification

CRM software can automate some aspects of the sales funnel. For example, CRM automation can capture incoming leads and convert them into records before routing them to the appropriate salesperson.

CRM automation can also help sales staff categorize leads based on their level of interest in particular products or services. The system can handle lead data based on the first interaction that you have with the potential customer, whether it involves filling out a form on your site, responding to an email, or interacting with a chatbot.

The CRM system can also gather data from subsequent interactions online or via email. This can further focus sales efforts and help qualify exactly what the potential customer is looking for from your company.

These qualifications can help salespeople focus their efforts on the specific things that a lead is interested in and spend time on leads that are likely to convert instead of those that are still weighing their options.

Customer onboarding

CRM automation can help streamline the process of customer onboarding. When a prospect or lead becomes a customer, CRM automation can trigger the onboarding process and import all the new customer’s information to provide a seamless experience. 

Sales goal management

One of the primary advantages of CRM sales automation is its ability to track sales performance. This is useful for sales goal management because it provides visibility into how well sales teams are performing against their benchmarks and goals. 

Also, an automated system can help you track goals in real time, which can be quite useful if your company relies on a high sales volume. You can also use the latest activity data to update your forecasts and see if you need to adjust processes to reach your benchmarks.

Outbound sales process

Lead generation and qualification are important steps in the outbound sales process. However, sales automation CRM software can help with other aspects of these efforts, as well. 

For example, it can help sales staff schedule meetings, demonstrations, or calls with potential customers. In preparation for these interactions, which are often the last step before the lead becomes a customer, salespeople can call up all previous data on communications with the prospect.

After these meetings take place, you can analyze the sales results. CRM automation makes it possible to gather and categorize data from hundreds or thousands of sales interactions. Decision makers can use this information to make strategy or process changes that could bring better results.

Learn how to build better workflows with the Definitive Guide to Workflow ManagementDownload the guide

Differences between CRM automation and marketing automation

Marketing and CRM go hand in hand, and the two often overlap, especially when it comes to lead generation and qualification. However, there are some important differences.

Marketing automation focuses on the processes related to lead generation and conversions. Marketing processes are concentrated on making first contact with leads and getting them interested in forming a deeper relationship with the company.

CRM software helps facilitate and manage this deeper relationship by gathering more information about leads and customers and making it accessible to sales and account management personnel, who can then use it to close the deal and give customers a tailored product or service that they want or need.

How to set up CRM automations

CRM automation setup typically involves integrating an automation system into your existing tools. Follow this five-step framework to learn how. 

  1. First, if you use online forms to generate leads, you can connect the form to your CRM system so that it automatically creates an entry for each new lead and begins populating it with data immediately. This step sets the sales effort in motion and gives your team the goal of adding more data with subsequent interaction.
  2. The next step is to automate lead qualification by defining the rules and conditionals that the system will use to categorize potential and current customers. You can create segments for customers or leads who show interest in specific classes of products or services. Alternatively, you could categorize based on email responses, browsing history on your website, or sign-up for a freemium subscription or service.
  3. You can also create and automate communications with new leads or customers. This step requires drafting messages or emails that you will send to each new customer. You can personalize the content by making it unique depending on a lead or customer’s qualifications or category.
  4. You should also ensure the system collects analytics to let you gauge the performance of this messaging in terms of customer retention or up-selling.
  5. Add automated customer service tools, such as chatbots, to your website and mobile app. These AI tools will route customers to a human sales representative if they need additional assistance.

Automate your sales processes with Pipefy Sales CRM

Pipefy is designed to maximize sales team agility without adding to the IT backlog. A visual user interface means users won’t need coding experience to manage their sales pipeline. For example, you can use our sales pipeline template. Pipefy gives them an IT-approved set of tools to manage many aspects of their CRM processes. 

Pipefy’s low-code CRM alternative gives sales teams an easy-to-use and customizable toolbox for building, modifying, and automating their sales processes — allowing the sales team to be agile and the IT to be in control.

See why more companies trust Pipefy to automate their CRM processesPipefy Sales CRM

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