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What is CRM automation?

What is CRM automation?

min read

Customers are at the core of any business — whether B2B or B2C — which means companies spend a lot of time and effort ensuring interactions with customers are as positive as possible. All the measures they take toward that end fall under the broad category of customer relationship management (CRM). 

CRM, at its foundation, is about managing the sales and customer service tasks geared toward engaging current and prospective customers. While it’s possible to handle all of these tasks manually, many of them — including data entry, calendar management, and contact updates — are repetitive and time-consuming. There’s a better solution: CRM automation.

In this guide, we’ll explore CRM automation in-depth and highlight some of the reasons you should consider implementing it in your company. 

<a href="#what-is-crm-automation" class="anchor-link">What is CRM automation?</a>
<a href="#crm-automation-vs-marketing-automation" class="anchor-link">CRM automation vs. marketing automation</a>
<a href="#benefits-of-crm-automation" class="anchor-link">Benefits of CRM automation</a>
<a href="#how-to-automate-a-crm" class="anchor-link">How to automate a CRM</a>

  • <a href="#native-vs-third-party-automation" class="anchor-link">Native vs. third-party automation</a>
  • <a href="#automate-email-follow-ups-and-drip-campaigns" class"anchor-link">Automate email follow-ups and drip campaigns</a>
  • <a href="#take-the-guesswork-out-of-lead-assignment" class="anchor-link">Take the guesswork out of lead assignment</a>
  • <a href="#segment-your-email-lists" class="anchor-link">Segment your email lists</a>
  • <a href="#generate-new-entries-in-your-crm" class="anchor-link">Generate new entries in your CRM</a>

<a href="#crm-automations-in-streak" class="anchor-link">CRM automations in Streak</a>

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What is CRM automation?

CRM automation is the process of automating sales and customer processes within CRM software. Traditional CRM software requires someone (or possibly several people) to regularly tackle simple, repetitive tasks like data entry to keep it running. Automation changes that.

With automation, your CRM system can take care of sales-related tasks like updating customer information and managing your calendars with little to no intervention from your team members. It allows you to easily keep track of all your lead and customer information, even as your business scales. 

Some of the things you can automate in your CRM system include:

  • Appointment scheduling and rescheduling
  • New lead follow up
  • Moving contacts along your sales pipeline
  • Creating tasks and to-do lists
  • Lead scoring
  • Lead and customer data entry
  • Customer service logs
  • Logging customer interactions

These are just some of the possibilities of CRM automation. You can automate a wide variety of CRM tasks as needed to help optimize your team’s productivity and reach new heights. 

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CRM automation vs. marketing automation

It’s worth making a quick distinction between automating a CRM and automating your marketing efforts. Though CRMs encompass a wide range of business activities including marketing, marketing automation is much more narrow. 

Marketing automation can typically handles tasks such as:

By contrast, an automated CRM is devoted to tasks including:

  • Visualizing the sales pipeline 
  • Automatically logging customer interactions like phone calls and emails
  • Automating sales data entry
  • Tracking customer service inquiries

Depending on your company’s unique situation, you may or may not need both an automated CRM and marketing automation. Generally, you would use your CRM as the foundation of your automation efforts and build out from there as needed. 

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Benefits of CRM automation

So why would you want to automate a CRM? Automating your CRM can make a positive difference in your business in several ways including:

Increased productivity

Automating repetitive, time-consuming tasks frees up your sales and customer service teams to focus on more meaningful efforts like directly interacting with leads and converting them into customers. An automated CRM can take care of those tasks with little to no active effort from your team members, increasing overall productivity.  

More informed decision making

Ideally, all the decisions you make within your company would be informed by relevant, reliable data so you can proceed with confidence. To that end, CRM automation gives you easy access to multi-source data about your customers and your interactions with them. You can derive powerful insights from this data to make better, more informed decisions for your business.  

Shorter sales cycle

By helping your teams to get more out of your CRM data, automating your CRM can shorten your sales cycle. You’ll move customers through the various stages of the sales cycle more efficiently, making it easier to complete more sales.  

Reduce manual errors

Manual data entry for CRM-based processes is always going to produce some errors. In the best-case scenario, those errors are fairly inconsequential, but they do have the potential to disrupt your customer relationship management. By automating your CRM, you can reduce these manual errors and be more confident in the reliability of your sales and customer service data. 

Higher customer engagement 

With more accurate and accessible customer data, an automated CRM allows your sales team to take a more tailored approach to customer interactions. You can tweak each customer interaction to the specific customer’s preferences and needs for higher overall customer engagement. 

Between all these benefits, automating a CRM can help a wide range of businesses, from small or single-user teams looking for greater efficiency to larger teams that are scaling and need assistance keeping up with the increased demand.  

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How to automate a CRM

If you’re interested in automating a CRM, there are some key areas you should keep in mind: 

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Native vs. third-party automation

Many CRM platforms include native automation tools. If your CRM doesn’t have native integrations and automation or you need more options, you may also benefit from using third-party automation tools like Zapier that offer additional features and integrations. 

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Automate email follow-ups and drip campaigns

Email is an invaluable marketing tool for businesses, but handling email campaigns manually requires a massive time investment. Consider automating your email follow-ups and drip campaigns to save time. 

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Take the guesswork out of lead assignment

Rather than manually connecting certain leads with certain sales representatives, your automated CRM can assign leads to the most appropriate sales reps automatically. 

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Segment your email lists

An automated CRM can effortlessly segment your contacts into relevant email lists rather than having one large contact list. These segmented lists make it easier to tailor your email communication based on details like interests and past purchases. 

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Generate new entries in your CRM

Manually creating new entries in your CRM to account for purchases and online form submissions is tedious. Set up your CRM to automatically add this information into your system whenever customers or leads take certain actions. 

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CRM automations in Streak

With Streak, automating your CRM is simple. Native integrations and automation allow you to connect Streak to third party apps and automate your workflow right in Gmail.

A screenshot of Calendly Onboarding user interface with Streak integration

Looking for an app we don’t integrate with yet? Use Zapier to connect Streak with 9,000+ apps and automate every part of your workflow from lead generation to cold outreach and follow-ups to adding tasks to your to-do list.

A screenshot of Streak flow automation

There are endless ways to automate your CRM with Streak, including:

  • Direct integration with G Suite
  • Native automations for your pipelines, email sequences, and tasks
  • Over 9,000 integrations through Zapier
  • Automatic email sharing
  • Auto-enriched contacts and lead tracking
  • Reporting tools to help you visualize your team’s progress

Install Streak today to set up integrations and begin automating your CRM.  

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