Manual data entry is one of the most inefficient and tedious tasks in the corporate world. It can not only make you sleepless, but it can also cause you to lose precious time and resources which could reduce your productivity.
These mind-numbing tasks can be automated with technology, which eliminates human error and allows you to focus on what really matters: workflow automation.
What is Workflow Automation
Workflow automation refers to the use of rule-based logic for launching a series of tasks that run themselves without human intervention. Once you have established the rules, automation workflows can send emails, set reminders, and schedule tasks without any human intervention.
Automating workflows can save your business time, money, and errors, and increase productivity by leveraging self-operating systems that perform manual tasks.
How does workflow automation work?
Workflow automation relies typically on a series of if/then statements to trigger another task. The action was taken by an employee, a leader, or another stakeholder will determine how the workflow branches.
Let’s take a look at an example workflow that can be used to convert a submission into a deal.
- A visitor to a website submits a form.
- This action automatically enrolls the visitor into a drip campaign. This creates a new deal, and changes the status to “New.”
- The lead receives the first email in the drip campaign asking for a meeting.
- The lead clicks through the meeting scheduler to create an appointment.
- An email thanking the lead for their cooperation is sent, confirming the time and date.
- CRM workflow automation creates a task and assigns it a sales rep.
- The automated workflow is ended when the sales rep reaches out to you personally.
Workflow automation can be beneficial for almost every department of your business. Technology can make it easier to work smarter and not harder, regardless of whether you’re in marketing, finance, or human resources.
We’ll be covering some of the most common workflow automation examples.
Workflow Automation Examples
- Subscribe a user to your drip campaign after they download a resource.
- Place each lead at a different point in the pipeline for a given action.
- When someone contacts you via social media or email, it creates a new ticket.
- If duplicates have been identified, you can either delete them or merge two properties.
- If candidates have been inactive for a certain period, it is possible to remove them from the database.
- From start to finish, the expense approval process.
Automation can be used by any team or in any business situation. Although it is primarily used for marketing and sales, it can also help with customer service, operations, and financial management.
Marketing Workflow Automation
With workflow automation, some of the most repetitive tasks within marketing can be automated, including sending emails and updating social media. Automation is possible with workflow automation. Marketing automation software You can set up email workflows to nurture specific types of prospects and schedule your entire social media calendar.
Marketing automation includes:
- Subscribe a user to your drip campaign when they download a resource.
- After a customer purchases a product, you should welcome them to your company.
- Reminding users to go to the checkout after they have added items to their cart
- Schedule social media posts across multiple platforms
- Marketing tasks distributed among team members
Sales Workflow Automation
Automating sales workflows streamlines the tedious prospect and lead management tasks so reps can concentrate on selling and not entering data. An automated sales workflow automates the process of taking leads through the pipeline based upon their actions. It can also enroll prospects in drip campaigns, and update deal stages as the deal progresses.
Sales automation includes:
- Place each lead at a different point in the pipeline for a given action
- If they have stopped responding to emails, you can move them out of the pipeline
- After a lead has downloaded an ebook, a sales rep sends an introduction email to them.
- Once the lead has set up a meeting or appointment, it is time to update the deal stage
- Once a lead has booked a meeting, create tasks for sales reps
Customer Service Workflow Automation
Customer service is greatly improved by workflow automation. Workflow automation is incredibly useful in customer service. It can be used to launch surveys and take care of common questions, tickets, and cases by sending out a series of emails or creating tasks.
Customer service automation includes:
- When someone contacts you via email or social media, they can create a new ticket.
- A series of emails are helpful in helping customers to be onboarded
- Enrolling NPS®, and sending them surveys, into different email campaigns based on their rating
- To assign tickets a priority label based on the tone of the email or message
- Once a resolution is reached, tickets can be resolved and archived.
Operations Workflow Automation
The lifeblood of every organization is operations. It can also be automated to reduce the need for manual data entry.
Operation tasks that can be automated include:
- If duplicates have been identified, you can either delete them or merge two properties.
- Managing permissions for new team members
- Establishing priorities for different businesses processes
- Automatically compiling reports every quarter
- You can create tasks using third-party tools like Slack, Zoom, and Asana.
Human Resources Workflow Automation
HR automation software will automate the process of entering all your new hires’ personal data, including addresses and social security numbers into payroll, expense, and insurance systems.
These are some of the automated workflow tasks that can be done in human resources:
- If candidates have been inactive for a certain period of time, it’s possible to remove them from the database.
- Emails to candidates who have not made it to the final round
- Search for keywords in job history to filter candidates
- Current employees can get W2s
- After employees have been with the company for a certain period of time, collect their feedback.
Finance Workflow Automation
Finance process automation software allows you to create forms, track workflows, and automate all your travel requests, reimbursements, and budget approvals, and can even be used to design them.
Finance automation includes:
- From start to finish, the expense approval process
- Managing vendor and contract approvals
- Prioritizing wire and ACH requests
- Travel expense management based on activity and location
- Budget approvals are based on predetermined parameters
Let’s now learn everything you need to know about automating workflows.
Best Workflow Automation Software in 2022
HubSpot’s marketing and sales, service, operations, and management software all operate on one platform. This makes it an excellent choice for workflow automation. All of the software is connected, which allows you to align your teams’ processes and reduce friction between tasks.
It is easy to connect service tickets with existing contacts, handle leads, and manage customer data all from one platform.
Best for – HubSpot is highly recommended for growing businesses that haven’t tried workflow automation yet, or for established businesses. Starter plans are available. As your business grows, you can upgrade to additional features. This is especially recommended for sales, marketing, service, or operations departments.
Nintex has over 3,000,000 workflow apps on its platform, helping more than 8,000 enterprises manage, automate and optimize their business processes with minimal coding knowledge.
With a variety of workflow automation tools, such as process mapping, advanced workflows and process intelligence, your business can map and execute each of its processes and monitor their performance.
Best for – Nintex is highly recommended by enterprise businesses that have established processes. This robust software combines a user-friendly workflow design tool and powerful integrations to connect all your apps. It is recommended for finance, IT, law, HR and finance departments. This is the best enterprise workflow automation.
Kissflow is trusted by more than 10,000 companies including Domino’s, Michelin, and Pepsi. It’s a workflow automation software that allows your business to create workflows that automate tasks within your sales, human resources, finance, administration, and marketing departments.
Kissflow has over 50 pre-installed business management apps, such as sales orders and expensing, triggers and conditions, and reporting dashboards to streamline your business processes.
Best for – Small businesses that are just beginning to explore workflow automation will love Kissflow. It’s easy to automate processes thanks to its simplicity and ease of use. This tool is especially recommended for finance, HR, and procurement departments.
Integrify is a workflow automation tool that lets you create workflows with drag-and-drop builders, and run sequential or simultaneous flows. You can collaborate on tasks, request tasks, test your automated workflow processes, set up reminders, and streamline your business processes.
Integrify provides workflow examples, user knowledgebases, and an API open to rest that allows integration with other databases. You can also import and export data from Excel, PDFs, and Excel.
Best for – Small- to medium businesses that want to automate their daily tasks will love Integrify. Integrify’s drag-and-drop “Process Builder”, makes it easy and simple to automate a process, from beginning to end. This is especially recommended for administrative departments.
Zapier allows you to automate workflows in any business process by connecting to over 1,000 web apps like Facebook, QuickBooks, Google Drive, and Google Drive. You simply need to create a workflow using their editor. Then, select the apps that you would like to be included in your workflow and design them.
You can create a workflow to automatically copy an attachment from Gmail to Dropbox. Then, you will receive a Slack message about this download.
Best for – Zapier has been highly recommended by freelancers and small to medium businesses who use many tools that don’t talk with one another. Zapier can connect two different workflow automation tools, such as MailChimp for sending emails and Typeform for collecting leads. This is especially recommended for service and marketing departments.
Flokzu makes it easy to create tasks and business rules without writing code. Flokzu’s workflow automation software will automatically assign every new task to the appropriate user or role as soon as the workflow stage is completed.
Flozku also offers a dashboard for reporting that shows your business processes.
Performance and metrics such as the number of tasks that are currently being delayed, the tasks assigned to each user or role, the tasks completed, and the time it took to complete each task will provide you with the data you need to improve and optimize your future workflows.
Best for – Flokzu is highly recommended by individuals and teams who want to improve their time management and task flow. This workflow automation platform has a key feature: Users will be notified of pending tasks via email. It is an excellent tool for project management. This tool is recommended for all teams.
Workflow Automation Will Help You Grow Better
Businesses that want to grow and scale without letting any things slip through the cracks need workflow automation. You can grow your business by letting technology do the manual work.