What Small Business Tasks Can You Automate?

What Small Business Tasks Can You Automate?

Published By : salientprocess March 1, 2024

Contrary to popular belief, automation isn’t reserved for the big guys. Small businesses can also find value in automating customer service, sales, marketing, and other processes. Explore the benefits of automation for small businesses and the tasks it can simplify.

Different Areas Your Small Business Can Automate

When it comes to workflow automation for small businesses, the possibilities are countless. Here are some of the most common processes companies automate:

1. Leads

Automation can manage leads through tracking, scoring, and prioritization processes. Your sales personnel can then dedicate their time to leads with a higher conversion likelihood, improving both productivity and sales numbers.

Your company can find and retain leads more efficiently than ever, thanks to automation. Here are some examples of using automation for lead generation:

  • Add a contact form to your website: When a prospective client fills out and submits this form, they’ll receive a prewritten response like “Hello, [First Name]! Thank you for your message. Someone from our team will be in touch with you shortly.”
  • Automatically assign leads to sales representatives: With the right automation software, you can auto-assign leads to your sales team based on specific criteria like location. As a result, your sales managers won’t have to spend nearly as much time allocating leads to the rest of the team. They can devote their time to more meaningful tasks like cultivating client relationships, building sales strategies, guiding the team, and chasing targets.
  • Offer free content: Consider offering free industry resources like PDF guides, e-books, and videos to display your expertise and potentially capture leads. Add a form to your website that allows people to sign up for an email newsletter and free content. When they enter their name and email address, they’ll receive these requested resources at the click of a button.

2. Sales

Automation can expedite a variety of mundane sales tasks, like data entry, follow-ups, and lead nurturing. Sales team members can free up their time to speak with prospective clients, forge customer relationships, and seal deals — all of which are key pieces to the sales puzzle.

Technology can automate various sales processes. For example, when the software identifies a new lead opportunity, it matches this individual with a sales representative. The sales rep can then call the prospect. If the call goes to voicemail, the software can send a follow-up email.

The software can mark a lead as “qualified” when it determines the prospective client has the authority and budget to make a buying decision. The rest of the sales exchange can play out from there. You can set up different automation features based on victories and losses, along with leads who aren’t yet ready to commit.

3. Customer Service

Automating responses to your business’s most popular inquiries saves significant time and labor. You can respond to customer inquiries in seconds. You can also personalize these automated responses for a humanistic touch.

You don’t need to frame a reply manually, double-check for typos and grammatical errors, or run responses by your team. Simply send a prewritten answer to a question by entering a short code unique to each response.

5 Ways to Automate Your Small Business

Now that we’ve explored the different small business tasks that can be automated, here are some specific features to consider:

1. Chatbots

A form of conversational artificial intelligence (AI), a chatbot simulates realistic conversation without human intervention. It generates natural responses using machine learning algorithms and pre-programmed scripts. Chatbots can answer common customer inquiries. If necessary, they can also redirect support requests to the appropriate team member.

Additionally, you can use chatbots to gather marketing data and provide personalized offers. Chatbots can support marketing campaigns by:

  • Offering information about products and services.
  • Engaging with prospective clients.
  • Encouraging sales.

2. Email Marketing

Automation tools let you send customized bulk emails to your target audience. You can craft an email message and deliver it to thousands of recipients. You don’t have to manually edit their contact information, names, and other details. You also don’t need to copy and paste your original content for every new message.

You can even automate the newsletter subscription process. The software can compile a list of subscribers’ email addresses and send them regular newsletters. Plus, you can split this list into segments — such as geographical locations — and deliver messages relevant to each group.

From scheduling social media posts to publishing newsletters, automation fulfills many repetitive marketing tasks.

3. Lead Assignment and Scoring

As mentioned above, automation can help you assign leads to corresponding sales representatives. Say you have a lead from California. The automation software can assign them to someone from the California sales team.

Additionally, automation can ensure more accurate and efficient lead scoring. It can quickly score leads based on predefined criteria, helping your business identify the most likely converts. Focusing on the most valuable leads saves considerable time and effort in the long run.

4. Calendar Entries and Bookings

Automation can streamline the process of scheduling meetings. It can send invitations to the correct recipients and update calendars when they RSVP. Automation can also set up notifications and reminders, ensuring team members never miss critical appointments and project deadlines.

5. Data Capture

Data capture extracts data from electronic or paper documents, transferring it to a computer-readable format. Automating data capture minimizes the need for manual data entry and conversion.

The Benefits of Small Business Process Automation

Small business automation offers an array of perks, such as:

  • Time savings and efficiency: Automation can free up about 20% of a sales team’s capacity by relieving workers of repetitive, labor-intensive tasks. Employees can then focus on more creative and strategic aspects of their jobs, like client engagement and strategy development.
  • Decreased costs: Automation lowers expenses associated with hiring and training workers for routine procedures. It minimizes operational costs from manual data entry, paperwork, and other administrative processes. You can also reduce support staff costs by automating customer service chats.
  • Higher-quality work: Humans are prone to errors, especially when performing the same tasks for prolonged periods. Automation ensures more accurate and consistent outcomes, improving the overall quality of work.
  • Increased customer satisfaction: Tailored email marketing campaigns and chatbots provide a more efficient, personalized client experience. They offer 24/7 support and content customized to your audience.

Experience the Value of Automation for Small Businesses

Are you ready to facilitate your small business operations with automation? Salient Process is prepared to assist you. As a leader in business automation services, we can work with you to implement a range of solutions, including:

  • Chatbots and Conversational AI
  • Robotic Process Automation
  • Integration Platform as a Service
  • Document Management and Ingestion

To learn more about automating your small business workflow with Salient Process, contact one of our experts today!