Last week we discussed how to pick the right CRM and while some of my listeners might have thought it was a bore fest, it gives us a good foundation for this message.  In fact, I did this podcast first, and realized that some of my listeners don’t even have good CRMs for us to have this crm automation conversation.   So without further ado – let’s dive into 9 Things Your CRM Should Automate For Your Business.

1.  Immediate Lead Follow Up

When you first get a new opportunity (can we call it a lead, from now on?  thanks), what happens.  Even the most basic email providers have an autoresponder function that people usually use for vacation.  Your CRM should have this too!   So when you get a new lead what happens?  This is what the automation is for.

I recommend an email and a text and phone call task assigned to a sales person.  Email is expected and likely ignored, the text is a great touch that can make your business feel like it’s actually responding.  Nothing closes a sale like a phone call, the one part that can almost be automated, but not quite.

In general you want all your communication (especially your crm automation) to be short and to the point.  Open ended questions are also good.

Example: “Thanks for registering/ordering/contacting us!  We’ll be with you in [set time].   In the meantime, what questions did you have?”

2.  Assigning A Lead To The Right Person

Once you get a lead what happens?  Wait, didn’t we already talk about that.   Some CRMs don’t let you assign who gets it, and it’s a problem.  The best automated systems are ones that can identify the type of lead and assign it to the right person.  This will allow specialization.   This will make no sense if you are soloprenuer but if you have a team it makes total sense.

In the podcast I use the example of insurance.  IF you get a new auto insurance inquiry and a new commercial insurance inquiry do you want them to go to the same person?  Of course not.

To take this idea one step further, you could/should customize your automation to fit the type of lead that is coming in.  So that not only are they assigned to right person but that your automation plan actually communicates with the lead  and moves the ball forward.

Example: “Hey!  Thanks for checking out auto insurance prices on our site today.  I’ll be sending over our auto comparison guide for you. ”  (then the CRM sends them an email shortly after the text).

3.  Helping You Transition On Your Sales Funnel

When I say Funnel, all my internet marketing friends will get excited but most business owners don’t use this term.   Every business has a funnel, but you call it “stages” or “phases.”   A more proper definition is likely sales cycle.

  • There is the pursuit of a lead,
  • the lead appointment,
  • the lead conversion to a client,
  • the exchange of service or products for monetary compensation,
  • there is the execution of service or delivery of the product
  • the closing of a sale
  • the after sale

A good automation plan will take into account your businesses stages and have plans that can be assigned to each.   There are communication and tasks that are repeated at every point and these are the tasks and communications that should be automated.

4.  Help You Identify Hot Leads and Opportunities

My favorite feature of many of the expensive CRMs is that it uses behavior to execute it’s plan.   Things like return visits and shopping cart abandonement can be planned for and communication can be automated.   However, if your CRM doesn’t do this and many don’t then consider other ways to figure out your hot prospects.   Maybe it’s time from registration, and another criteria like valid contact info.    The ideas is that automation isn’t simply plans, but also tools to bring you opportunities.

5.  Nurture Long Term Potential Opportunities

Speaking of tools to bring opportunities, creating a long term nurutre program might very well be the most profitable thing you do.   As you may know, I was a real estate agent for 15 years.  The average client sells their home every 10 years in the Atlanta area.   It’s easy to see why the statistics say that 85% of all home sellers would use their old agent but didn’t because they didn’t stay in touch.   That’s some serious tenacity to stay in touch with a customer for 10 years!

A nurture program can fix this.  I love Gary Keller’s book, the Millionaire Real Estate Agent.  It talks about how you should touch your clients 33 times a year to overcome this problem.  The hard part is executing this.   Your CRM should be able to help you stay in touch.   33 Touches seems like a lot but it’s not:

  • 12 Newsletters (automated)
  • 8 Holiday and Birthday (or anniversary, etc) (automated)
  • 4 Phone Calls (automated tasks)
  • 4 Personal Emails or Letters (automated)
  • 4 Texts (automated)
  • 1 Client Event

6.   Appointment Reminder And Processes

Having an appointment reminder is a no brainer.  The problem is that many of us rely on Google Calendar to do the reminding and frankly that’s why some people deal with no shows.  You should build out your appointment reminder plan.  Here’s an idea.

  • Thank you text/email for appointment
  • Reminder email/text about upcoming appointment
  • Homework or questions to think about before appointment – something like a trigger to remind them how valuable
  • Final reminder – Bonus points if you do something like, “Hey Name, looking forward to seeing you today.  How do you like your coffee?”

7.  Customer Review or Satisfaction Process

As mentioned in the nurture plan, one of the most overlooked areas for business is the after sale business.  With the importance of ORM (online reputation management) getting reviews is essential.   Let’s be clear, when someone is looking for your brand, Google shows your business (or your competitors) with reviews right next to it.  If you’re interested in Local SEO, you can check out our episode on it, but your CRM can help you get more feedback and help you get reviews.   One clever setup is..

  • Email – How’d we do 1 to 5
    • If the user clicks 1-4 they get taken to a form to fill out “what went wrong?”
    • If they click 5 they get taken to your portal of choice.

If you’d like a low cost way to do this, check out our 4rd Local Service.

8.  Referral Generation Plan

In the same line of thinking as post closing and getting reviews as well as nurtures is a referral generation plan.   The only way to generate referrals is for you to ask.  So whether that’s a simple plan like a reminder to ask for referrals or more complex where you include incentives and even gamify-ing the referral experience.  The point is you need to think about this process.

Furthermore, what about when someone actually sends you a referral.  Do you have a plan that rewards them properly?

9.  Birthday and Holiday Plans

This is so stupid simple and yet most business owners (myself included) do not do this!  Set it up in the beginning with a new client and leave it on autopilot.

Tools mentioned in the podcast

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