It does this by automating data entry, managing customer relationships, tracking customer interactions, and capturing insight from every interaction. This helps companies better understand their customers’ needs, build stronger relationships and increase sales.
Salesforce automation aims to automate some of the most crucial but repetitive business processes, removing the need for manual involvement.
Every business dreams of serving its clients in a personalized way while managing other tasks simultaneously.
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, 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 about salesforce automation and how to 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.
SFA systems aim 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 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
What are the benefits of salesforce automation?
Salesforce automation saves time, increases productivity, and lowers operational costs.
Let’s take a more detailed look at each to understand why SFA is an important part of any business:
Since the workforce does not spend much time performing mundane tasks, they can pay more attention to critical and demanding jobs.
Salesforce automation (SFA) is a process that assists salespeople in selling more efficiently and effectively. With SFA, sales representatives can dedicate more time to sell instead of carrying out administrative tasks. This process also provides them the information they require to finalize 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
Customers can easily access vital services with the most automated tasks, 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.
SFA can also connect with an organization’s back-office systems to help access information. With this connection, sales reps can easily access customer data and details on the fly.
The sales team manages 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.
Enhances lead nurturing
SFA helps companies manage a lead from prospect to the 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.
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 automated 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 over 30 days, change its status from New to Working.
2. Process Builder
Process Builder is a workflow tool in Salesforce 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 users can initiate from a mobile app or 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 and manage their records 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 determining whether a record should go through an approval process.
- 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, data collection, 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 button click.
SFA aims 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.
- Measuring the success of your marketing efforts using analytics.
Consider when your salesperson calls a customer for the first time in the morning and asks 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 in these details automatically.
What Is The Difference Between Salesforce Automation & 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. In contrast, SFA software automates 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. They include:
- 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.
Organizations can reallocate human resources to more strategic processes like analyzing data, creating new products, and expanding market share by freeing employees from time-consuming, mundane tasks. HRM software is also a great way to achieve this.
Sales force automation aims to minimize time consumption and simplify sales procedures. It provides further advantages that can enhance your profits, including:
- Increases accuracy. If you perform a task multiple times, the chances of making a mistake increase. To avoid this, complete the task once or twice and duplicate it for future use. Automating the task will save time and reduce the likelihood of errors.
- Allows your sales team better use their time. Your sales team can now dedicate more time to the essential aspects of their job as they no longer have to spend time writing emails and performing repetitive tasks.
- Ensures no lead is forgotten. When leads are tracked manually using spreadsheets, calendars, or anything other than a CRM or SFA tool, they can be lost. Using SFA ensures that you keep track of all your leads.
- Fosters smart sales forecasts. Sales forecasting can be done intelligently by reviewing previous sales, examining the current sales database, and utilizing potential opportunities from pipelines. Moreover, utilizing Sales Force Automation (SFA) can assist in creating better leads from existing customers by analyzing their purchasing history and developing personalized marketing campaigns.
- Boosts employee engagement and retention. Using SFA often makes salespeople feel more productive, leading to increased job satisfaction.
- Reduces the cost of workforce resources. Saving time and reducing overhead can be accomplished by automating and streamlining repetitive tasks sales representatives perform.
- Allows quick responses. If a lead submits a form on your website and waits for a sales representative to contact them, they may become impatient with the delay. SFA allows for instant communication with the leads.
Why You Need Salesforce Automation
Salesforce automation helps businesses perform essential tasks such as managing opportunities, prioritizing operations, and streamlining information sharing.
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 each customer’s purchase.
Managing all these opportunities could be overwhelming for workers, who will likely 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 less likely to yield sales could hurt a business’s 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 discovery 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 each customer’s required information whenever needed, without needless consultations. Even better, when an employee leaves the company or is absent, the ones who step 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 in more detail.
Sales professionals can use lead control to track which leads will likely 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 purchase probability, 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 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 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 into 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.
How do you implement salesforce automation?
To implement salesforce automation, you must categorize your sales processes, define the critical SFA information, and strategize and choose your SFA provider.
Let’s explore these steps in more detail:
1. Categorize your organization’s operations
The first step in implementing any salesforce automation system is for your sales manager to list all the activities your company’s salespeople perform.
Your aim should be to automate only those activities that are repetitive and time-consuming. You may overwhelm your staff if you try automating too many operations simultaneously.
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 be the most challenging and time-consuming part because much of this information may not currently be available within your existing systems.
3. Figure out your incorporation strategy
The third step is determining how your existing sales processes and customers will fit into your new system. You must implement an effective strategy that supports your salespeople and customers over the long term.
This step will also include considerations such as which SFA provider you’ll use, what features are necessary for your company, and how the system will be integrated with existing databases and applications.
4. Assess various SFA providers that fit your needs
Once you have defined these critical areas, you can look at potential solutions and make the necessary organizational changes.
You should look for a provider that can offer custom solutions, offers customer support and training, and offers reliable updates. Additionally, you want a system that allows for scalability so you can continue to grow your sales team. It’s important to consider why your Salesforce software integration might fail and what steps you can take to mitigate it.
Critical factors to consider when choosing an SFA Provider:
Integration requirements – Ensure your system aligns with the provider’s solutions. The SFA provider you settle for should be well suited to incorporate your organization’s order management, customer bases, and other vital operations.
Cost – 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 it should save the time and resources that go into handling all the repetitive duties in your company.
Scalability – 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 – To make an informed purchase of software for your business, it’s important to assess customer satisfaction by checking ratings and reviews. This will provide an accurate snapshot of the software’s strengths and weaknesses, helping you make the best decision based on your requirements.
Salesforce Automation: A Great Deal For The Future
Salesforce automation is a great way to improve efficiency and reduce labor costs. It allows you to track sales processes, automate repetitive tasks, better manage customer relationships, and more.
By categorizing your operations, defining critical SFA information, strategizing and choosing the right SFA provider, assessing various providers that fit your needs, understanding integration requirements, and considering cost, scalability, and reviews, you can successfully implement an effective SFA system that meets your business’s needs.
With a well-managed system in place, you can reduce labor costs and increase sales efficiency. The benefits of leveraging salesforce automation technology are immense for organizations of all sizes.