The purpose of salesforce automation is to automate some of the most crucial but repetitive business processes, removing the need for manual involvement.
Serving your clients in the most personalized way possible while still running other demanding tasks in your organization is the dream of every business.
However, it may not be possible to focus all the attention on a given client’s needs, as that would mean sacrificing other vital activities or employing an unmanageable number of salespersons or taking too much focus from the sales operation director.
Thus, automating some tasks in a company not only smoothens a firm’s operations but also improves cost efficiency for maximum profits.
This detailed overview takes you through the essential information you need to know about salesforce automation and how you can implement it in your business to smoothen your operations.
What is salesforce automation (SFA)?
Salesforce automation (SFA) is a technology system that automates business tasks and processes, particularly sales, marketing, and customer service. For example, automating follow-up emails to leads.
The goal of SFA systems is to improve efficiency and productivity by automating repetitive tasks and increasing visibility into customer data. SFA is a subset of CRM (customer relationship management) software.
Salesforce automation (SFA) software helps salespeople stay on top of their game by managing contacts, creating forecasts, and tracking leads.
SFA systems automate many of the operational tasks within a sales department, including:
- Capturing potential customer details via phone or email
- Automatically tracking all communications with potential customers
- Automatically generating quote and invoice documents
- Tracking sales opportunities through the sales pipeline
- Managing product catalogs
Types of salesforce automation
Salesforce automation can be classified into workflow automation, process builder, approvals, and visual workflow. Let’s take a look at each of these categorizations.
1. Workflow automation tools
Workflow automation can streamline a business process by replacing tedious, manual tasks with an automated sequence of actions.
Workflows can trigger actions in response to data changes, either internal or external to the system. They can be set up for various processes, such as time-off requests, expense report approvals, and sales pipelines. Once set up, they operate automatically.
A workflow defines the steps to perform and the actions to take when a record meets specific criteria.
You can use workflow to do the following:
- When a new lead is entered, create task records, and send an email alert to the lead owner.
- Assign leads or cases to different people based on criteria and send an email alert to the appropriate person.
- Update records automatically based on specific criteria. For example, if a case has been open for more than 30 days, change its status from New to Working.
2. Process Builder
In Salesforce, Process Builder is a workflow tool that helps you easily automate your business processes. It provides a powerful and user-friendly visual representation of your process as you build it. Instead of writing code, use clicks to develop strategies and accelerate your business by automating essential tasks.
The Process Builder supports two types of actions: immediate and scheduled.
- Immediate actions run as soon as the criteria for the activity are met.
- Scheduled actions run later, e.g., one hour after a record is created or updated.
You can use the Process Builder to perform tasks such as updating a field on an account, creating an event in Salesforce, or sending email notifications.
With the Process Builder, you can:
- Create processes that your users can initiate from a button on a mobile app or from a custom button on a list view
- Provide detailed error messages when methods fail to act
The approval process automates the steps required for a record to be approved, from the initial submission to final approval or rejection. This is an excellent option for anyone who wants to streamline their sales processes and create an intuitive way to approve their records and manage them all within Salesforce.
The approval process begins with someone submitting a record for approval. Then, depending on your criteria, it will either be automatically approved or sent to your specified approver(s) for review.
Next, the record goes through each step of your approval process until approved or rejected. Once approved or rejected, notifications are sent out as needed.
The approval process allows you to:
- Set up multiple approvers
- Set up criteria that can determine if a record should go through an approval process or not
- Set up alerts and notifications when a record needs to be reviewed or has been approved/rejected
- Recall an item if it was submitted in error.
4. Visual Workflow
Visual Workflow is the drag-and-drop tool for creating robust workflows. It allows you to create screens for users and multiple decision points in your process, allowing you to automate complex business processes.
You can use Visual Workflow to develop solutions that require user input or multilevel branching logic, such as auto lead assignment, account creation, and order management.
Visual Workflow includes two types of flows:
- Screen Flows are used to create guided steps for users to follow. They include screens, visual elements like images and charts, and collecting data and running actions based on user input.
- Auto Launched Flows are used to perform automated tasks without requiring user interaction. These include email notifications, data updates, or record creation.
Salesforce automation examples
With salesforce automation (SFA), you can capture leads directly from your website or social media; then, add those leads to an automated drip campaign with one click of a button.
The purpose of SFA is to help your business work more efficiently by automating repetitive tasks.
These tasks may include:
- generating leads through automated marketing campaigns,
- nurturing leads through automated series of communications,
- tracking leads through their lifecycle, and
- measuring the success of your marketing efforts using analytics.
Consider when your salesperson calls up a customer for the first time in the morning and ask them what products they’re interested in buying. Instead of typing their name and address into the customer database, the agent can use SFA to fill these details automatically.
What is the difference between salesforce automation and CRM?
Although CRM systems are similar to SFA systems, there is a difference between the two types of technology.
CRM software emphasizes organizing and tracking customer interactions throughout their lifecycle with a company — from initial contact through purchase. While SFA software focuses on automating front office operations such as lead generation, prospecting, and customer acquisition activities.
The customer relationship management (CRM) system automatically records all the stages in a sales process. The system gathers and centralizes customer data from their interactions with the company, with the aim of molding relationships from the onset.
These tools help you manage your customer interactions across every channel and department.
- lead-management tools for tracking customer inquiries and turning those inquiries into sales opportunities
- contact management tools for keeping track of all contact information for prospects and customers
- customer service tools for managing customer complaints or problems; marketing campaign tools for planning and executing marketing campaigns
- customer-segmentation tools for grouping customers by similar characteristics such as industry or location
- analytical reporting tools for identifying trends in historical data
- forecasting tools for predicting future revenue
What’s the main purpose of salesforce automation?
The goal of salesforce automation is to increase productivity by automating repetitive tasks. By freeing employees from time-consuming, mundane tasks, organizations can reallocate human resources to more strategic processes like analyzing data, creating new products, and expanding market share.
Reasons why you need salesforce automation
Salesforce automation helps businesses perform essential tasks such as managing opportunities, prioritizing operations, and streamlining sharing of information.
1. Manage crucial business opportunities
Salesforce automation helps keep a record of every ongoing sales activity and opportunity. It keeps track of every customer interaction and the stage of purchase each customer is at.
Managing all these opportunities could be overwhelming for workers, and they are likely to underdeliver important contacts.
With an SFA, you can effortlessly drive leads and give every customer’s personalized experience in line with their preferences.
2. Prioritize operations and deals
Paying more attention to cold leads that are less likely to yield to sales could hurt a business’ overall output. Thus, distinguishing between low-end and high-end sales deals is paramount in resource allocation.
With salesforce automation software, you can view the potential of every arrangement in the table and decide better on which ones to put more focus on.
3. Enhance information sharing
Sales processes are much more manageable when a sales team has enough information on the history and previous interactions with the business. The data can offer them well-informed deals and build better relationships. For this, a salesforce system does a great job revealing all the required information of each customer whenever needed, without needless consultations.
Even better, when an employee leaves the company or is absent, the ones who steps in can smoothly proceed with the pending tasks.
Components/functions of salesforce automation
Salesforce automation includes lead management, opportunity management, sales forecasting, accounts management, product management, event management and order management.
Let’s explore these components of salesforce automation.
Sales professionals can use lead control to track which leads are most likely to buy based on their demographics and other data.
Lead management includes capturing and tracking leads from when they first appear until they are qualified for the product/service. In addition, lead management tracks activity history, including phone conversations and emails.
Opportunity management enables sales professionals to manage opportunities by tracking the status of each chance during the sales process.
Information captured within this part of the program includes the probability of purchase, deal size, and estimated close date.
Some systems also provide order entry functionality to allow salespeople to enter orders directly into the system once a deal closes.
Managers use sales forecasting to estimate future sales based on information provided by their team members. Each team member offers estimates for their team leaders’ opportunities to help them inspect the expected sales figures.
These comprise existing customers’ details, whose contact information and history of business transactions with the company are tracked.
The business managers get a complete overview of a customer’s relationship and history. They quickly access information such as the customer’s contact details, previous and current order details, past messages, and transactions.
These include the items offered by a company that meets the needs of its customers. They are made accessible to the customers online to make their purchase process more effective and direct.
SFA for business-to-business (B2B) sales tracks leads from marketing campaigns through the entire sales cycle (quote creation) and then aftermarket service or repeat sales activities.
This component comprises a product’s price and configuration. When a customer purchases, this functionality turns the product’s price quotes to accurate price tags for formal transactions and recordings.
It helps plan and schedule a firm’s events, such as trade shows and seminars. It comprises events calendars and reports for efficiency in managing upcoming events.
What are the benefits of salesforce automation?
Salesforce automation saves time, increases productivity, lowers operational costs and more!
Since the workforce does not spend much of their time performing mundane tasks, they can pay more attention to more critical and demanding jobs.
The salesforce automation (SFA) process helps salespeople sell more effectively and efficiently. It allows them to spend more time selling, fewer administrative tasks and gives them the information they need to close more deals.
Boosts accuracy and effectiveness in operations
Performing a task repetitively can lead to boredom and increase the chances of error. But, completing the job perfectly once and then saving it for automatic application in similar settings will prevent exhausting manual repetition, which could lead to a mistake.
Improves customer service and retention
With most of the automated tasks, customers can easily access vital services, making them more satisfied with the company.
Salesforce Automation improves customer service through higher accuracy and faster order processing and delivery times. Customers are less likely to become dissatisfied because they receive their products faster than otherwise.
Enhances information access
Having an SFA system in place means your team will have all of the information they need at their fingertips. They’ll develop a better understanding of the marketplace, make smarter business decisions, generate more leads and win more opportunities than before.
An SFA can also connect with an organization’s back-office systems to help access information.
The sales team use time more effectively
Automating routine tasks allows staff to focus on more essential duties. Sales managers can also manage their teams more effectively by accessing accurate data about performance.
It enhances lead nurturing
SFA helps companies manage a lead from prospect to customer by tracking activities such as email communication and phone calls. This makes it easier for a sales rep to follow up with customers, and unqualified leads can be filtered out of the system faster.
Lowers operational costs
By automating repetitive tasks, a business reduces workloads that could otherwise demand longer working hours. Employees are thus saved from working overhead.
So how do you implement salesforce automation?
To implement salesforce automation, you need to categorize your sales processes, define the critical SFA information, strategize and choose your SFA provider.
Let’s explore these steps.
1. Categorize your organizations’ operations
The first step in implementing any salesforce automation system is for your sales manager to list all the activities that your company’s salespeople are currently performing.
Your aim should be to automate only those activities that are repetitive and time-consuming. If you try to automate too many operations at once, you may overwhelm your staff.
2. Define critical company information to guide the system
The next step is to identify the essential information that needs to be captured by the SFA system and determine how it will be used. This can often prove to be the most challenging and time-consuming part of the process because much of this information may not currently be available within your existing systems.
3. Figure out your incorporation strategy
The third step is to determine how your existing sales processes and customers will fit into your new system. You need to ensure that you implement an effective strategy that supports your salespeople and customers over the long term.
4. Assess various SFA providers that fit your needs
Once you have defined all of these critical areas, you can begin looking at potential solutions and making the necessary changes within your organization.
Some of the critical factors to consider when choosing an SFA provider are:
- Integration requirements
Make sure that your system aligns with the provider’s solutions. The SFA provider you settle for should be well suited to incorporate your order management, customer bases, and other vital operations in your organization.
The SFA provider you choose should give you the absolute value for your money. This means that it may not be the cheapest out there but should save the time and resources that go into handling all the repetitive duties in your company
Opt for software that can accommodate your company’s growth. Your business is bound to expand with time. Thus the SFA software you choose should have room for expansion.
Don’t automate your operations based on the volume and size of your current process to avoid execution complications in the future.
- Reviews and ratings
It is crucial to gauge customer satisfaction towards the software you look to implement in your business. Ratings and reviews will give you a clear snapshot of the software’s strengths and weaknesses. Hence, you can make a more informed purchase based on what you need.