CRM

What is CRM Automation?

lemlist team
LAST UPDATED
June 7, 2024
READING TIME
7 min.

Tracking leads, their interests and conversations can easily become overwhelming for B2B sales teams. 32% of sales reps say they spend more than an hour each day on manual tasks.

Since CRM is customer relationship management, with CRM automation, your team can save time while focusing on what really matters - building relationships and converting leads. 

This post will guide you on how to be more efficient, close more deals and increase your business revenue by automating sales tasks with your current CRM.

What is CRM Automation?

You most likely already have CRM software within your business as there are several popular CRM automation tools like Hubspot, Zoho and Lemlist (for salespeople).

CRM automation is the process of using the CRM to automate several manual tasks within your core business functions like marketing, sales and support to increase productivity. 

What to Automate in a Business Using a CRM

CRM automation can help in many different ways depending on what tool you choose. However, at the basic level, your automation should;

1. Find and manage contacts

Your CRM should be able to automatically capture, manage and update contact information like name, job title, location, company, social media profiles and even other information like preferences, where they are in the sales funnel, previous interactions and more. 

For example, lemlist can find contacts from various databases, verify them and add them to your list in just a few minutes. 

2. Manage leads

Automate how your leads move through your sales funnel and the accurate labels for each one. So this could include lead scoring, nurturing and qualification. That way, your team always knows what to say to each lead because they have the right information. Plus, they can always prioritize the most promising leads which will save time and resources.

Go a step further by automating sales tasks based on lead behavior or scoring. For example, immediately assign a sales associate to a lead with a high score and assign marketing to a lead with a low score so no opportunities are missed. 

3. Automate multi-channel outreach

Set up personalized campaigns based on user behavior or triggers and stay connected to your customers. Whether it's via a cold call, email marketing, Linkedin outreach or even onboarding messages within your software, you’re sure to reach them at the right place and time. 

Now, don’t simply automate the personalisation to demographic fields. Set up personalized flows based on the channels your leads, product recommendations, pricing quotes and even proposals in your messages based on the prospect's industry, company size and previous interactions. lemlist offers integration with popular CRMs like Pipedrive, Hubspot and Salesforce so you can import these leads faster into your preset workflows. 

4. Automate other tasks

Set up automated reminders to check in with leads, hop on a call, attend an event and more. This way you never have to worry about missing anything.

5. Insights and analytics

Get valuable insights about your sales pipelines and customer interactions through automated reports that are always up-to-date. You can customize the insights you want to receive so you know what exactly to optimize for and double down on.

For example, use CRM tools that help analyze your call recordings highlighting areas for improvement and giving suggestions on how to improve future calls. 

Why Should You Use CRM Automation in Your Business

By leveraging CRM automation, your sales team can enjoy numerous benefits including; 

  • Increased efficiency when you can free up time spent on repetitive tasks and focus on what really matters - nurturing relationships and getting more deals.
  • Acquire more quality leads for less thanks to contact verification
  • Gain more lead conversions as a result of using the right information to provide a personalized experience
  • Strong customer relationships and more satisfied customers who will likely renew their contract because they feel heard and seen
  • Increased productivity especially your sales team can close deals faster
  • More data-driven decisions through the valuable insights from automated reports
  • Higher sales and profits from the reduced inefficiencies

How to Get the Most from Your CRM Automation Software

Before launching a full CRM automation strategy, you need to work out how you’ll maximize your investment in the software. Some key steps we recommend include;

1. Choosing the Right CRM

The type of CRM you opt for will determine how everything else is set. For example, if it has limited automated features, there’s not really much you can do there. So you need to research and find software like lemlist with extensive automation features that will also match your budget. 

You also need a CRM that is user-friendly, mobile-friendly and easy to switch to. You don’t want to choose a CRM automation software that will frustrate your sales team. They need to be able to find whatever information they are looking for in seconds. 

The modern salesperson is also always on the go. So ensure your CRM has a way for them to track their tasks and update communications directly from their mobile devices. Most importantly, it shouldn’t take months to migrate to a new CRM. It should easily integrate with other tools.

2. Mapping Your Sales Pipeline

Think of your sales pipeline as a roadmap to closing deals. Now you cannot automate every single step because you’ll lose the overall human touch. This is why you need to clearly define each stage of your sales pipeline to identify areas for automation. 

Start by defining each stage in your sales funnel, for example, lead generation, qualification, proposal and closing. Next, have a breakdown of activities per stage like having discovery calls, sending proposals, and scheduling meetings to mention a few. 

With this breakdown, analyze each activity and identify repetitive tasks that can be automated. So an example could be sending an automated email after a lead capture or assigning tasks based on lead scoring. 

3. Cleaning Your Data 

When you have inaccurate or incomplete data you can have many missed opportunities, and ultimately a frustrated sales team. For one, your conversion rates would be very low. 

This is why an important step in maximizing automation is cleaning data. So before you activate any automation or workflows, dedicate the time to clean your existing data. Eliminate duplicate entries, standardized formats and ensure all contacts are verified. 

Again, using the right CRM helps automate this step as a tool like lemlist would automatically verify contacts before adding them to your database and merge any duplicate contacts. 

4. Creating a Standardized Process

One cause of incorrect data is inconsistency in data types and entries. So to be able to find user data and not have any errors in your automated workflows, establish clear guidelines for data entry within the CRM. clearly define data fields, standardize naming conventions and set expectations for the data quality you want to have.

So for example, do you save dates as DD/MM/YY or MM/DD/YY? Setting default attributes for each data type is also a good way to enforce consistency in data entry. It will also help in getting coherent reports post-campaign. 

5. Customizing and Optimizing Your Automation

While standardization is important, a little customization goes a long way in adding that human touch to your automation. So personalize your content by adding targeted content recommendations for different audience segments. 

You can also switch up the flows so for example have three different onboarding flows for new leads. So one could get video content recommendations and another could get blog posts. What you customize will depend on your business model and brand tone. Plus, you can always track the results and optimize where necessary. 

6. Training Your Staff

Even the most user-friendly CRM requires proper training. So whether you have new salespeople on your team or existing ones, empower them by providing training on the CRM automation functionalities so they can maximize the CRM’s full potential. Teach them the best practices for data entry and utilization. 

Now, don’t just leave them after the onboarding, offer ongoing support to your sales team after the initial training too. Do this by sharing any knowledge-base articles, readily available trainers or even a channel to ask questions.

7. Monitoring 

Like every other sales strategy, effective automation is also data-driven. So set relevant performance indicators to help you assess the impact of automation on your overall sales performance. So for example metrics like conversion rates, sales cycle length and customer satisfaction scores. Depending on what results you get, you can adjust the CRM automation to optimize and get even better results over time.  

Convert Even More Leads with an Automated Outreach Tool 

Again, the most important step in getting CRM automation right is getting the right tools first and this isn’t just your CRM, but also your outreach tool. Your outreach software should offer enough automation especially for generating leads and nurturing them to maximize your sales ROI while smoothly integrating with your CRM.

You can start with the lempire stack where you can find, contact, and convert leads while keeping your CRM in sync.

Get weekly outreach tips
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Thanks! You've successfully subscribed to lemlist newsletter
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
G2 Rating
Price
Best for
Standout feature
Con
4.9
star
star
star
star
star
$30/mo
$75/mo
$2,999/mo
Large, distributed sales teams
AI evaluation precision, gamified KPIs
Lack of tracking system
4.6
star
star
star
star
star-half
Not publicly available
Sales operations and finance teams
Powerful configurability
Limited training resources and complex to navigate
4.4
star
star
star
star
star-half
Not publicly available
Mid-market and enterprise businesses
Comprehensive incentive management
Potentially high cost and steep learning curve
4.7
star
star
star
star
star-half
$15/user/mo
$40/user/mo
Enterprise: custom price
Complex sales structures and businesses of all sizes
Complex sales structures and businesses of all sizes
Steep learning curve
4.6
star
star
star
star
star-half
Not publicly available
Collaborative teams
Connected planning
Complexity and steep learning curve
4.6
star
star
star
star
star-half
Not publicly available
Companies with complex sales structures
Complex incentive compensation management (ICM) with high efficiency and accuracy
Complexity for smaller teams and potentially high costs
4.7
star
star
star
star
star-half
Not publicly available
Companies who want to automate commission calculations and payouts
Simplicity and ease of use
Lack of features like redirection
4.7
star
star
star
star
star-half
$30/user/mo
$35/user/mo
Custom: upon request
Businesses that need a comprehensive and user-friendly sales compensation management software
Ease of use and adoption
Lack of ability to configure the product based on user needs
4.8
star
star
star
star
star-half
Not publicly available
Companies with modern sales culture and businesses who want real-time insights
A built-in dispute management and real-time visibility
Users say it works slowly, customer support is slow
4.9
star
star
star
star
star
$30/user/mo
$50/user/mo
Smaller sales teams
Powerful automation
Lesser user base and average user interface
4.7
star
star
star
star
star-half
Not publicly available
Companies with scalable needs
Automated Commission Calculations
Lack of filtering by date, no mobile app
ERP vs. CRM
ERP
CRM
Summary
Backbone of a business's internal operations.
Backbone of customer-centric interactions and operations.
Goal
To centralize and streamline core business processes in a company.
To increase customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty, and boost sales.
Focus
Internal operations and processes across departments (finance, accounting, inventory, supply chain, HR, and sales).
All interactions with leads and customers.
Manages
Internal business data like financial data, inventory levels, production details, supply chain, HR info.
All customer data like contact info, purchase history, communication history, customer preferences and more.
Users
Finance, accounting, operations, supply chain, and HR departments.
Customer-facing teams like sales, marketing, and customer service.
Benefits
Streamlines operations, improves data accuracy, enhances decision-making, boosts collaboration, increases productivity.
Improves customer relationships, increases sales, strengthens customer service, personalizes marketing campaigns, provides insights.
Price
$150 per user per year on average.
$10 to $30 per user per month on average.
PRM Tool
Rating
Feature
Pro
Con
Mobile App
Integrations
Free Plan
Pricing
4.65
star
star
star
star
star-half
Org-wide alignment
User-friendly layout and database
Suboptimal as a personal CRM
square-check
Lack of tracking system
square-check
Team: $20/month
Business: $45/month
4.7
star
star
star
star
star-half
Social Media Integration
Easy contact data collection
No marketing/sales features
square-check
Lack of tracking system
square-xmark
7-day trial
$12/month
4.75
star
star
star
star
star-half
Block Functions
High customization capability
Not a dedicated CRM
square-check
Limited
square-check
Plus: €7.50/month
Business: €14/month
N/A
Open-source
Open-source flexibility
Requires extensive manual input
square-xmark
Limited
square-check
Self-hosted
$9/month or
$90/year
3.1
star
star
star
Simple iOS app
Ideal for non-tech-savvy users
iPhone only
square-check
iOS only
Limited
square-xmark
1-month trial
$1.49/month or
$14.99/month
3.6
star
star
star
star-half
Smart Contact Management
Feature-rich and flexible
Reported bugs
square-check
Rich
square-xmark
7-day trial
Premium: $13.99/month
Teams: $17.99/month
4.4
star
star
star
star
star-half
Customizable Interface
Customizable for teamwork
Pricey for personal use
square-check
Rich
square-xmark
Standard: $24/member
Premium: $39/member
4.7
star
star
star
star
star-half
Integrated Calling
Integrated Calling
Too sales-oriented & pricey
square-check
Rich
square-xmark
14-day trial
Startup: $59/user/month
Professional: $329/user/month
4.8
star
star
star
star
star
Business Card Scanning
Business Card Scanning
Mobile only
square-check
Limited
square-check
$9.99/month
4.45
star
star
star
star
star-half
160+ app integrations
Comprehensive integrations
No free app version
square-check
Rich
square-xmark
14-day trial
$29.90/month or
$24.90/month (billed annually)
Capterra Rating
Free Trial
Free Plan
Starting Price (excluding the free plan)
Maximum Price (for the most expensive plan)
Best for
4.5
star
star
star
star
star-half
square-check
14-day
square-check
€15/month/seat billed annually
€792/month/3 seats billed annually + €45/month for each extra seat
Versatility and free plan
4.2
star
star
star
star
square-check
30-day
square-xmark
But it offers reduced price to authorised nonprofit organisations
€25/user/month
€500/user/month billed annually (includes Einstein AI)
Best overall operational CRM
4.3
star
star
star
star
star-half
square-xmark
square-check
Limited to 3 users
Comprehensive incentive management
€52/user/month billed annually
Small-medium businesses and automation
4.5
star
star
star
star
star-half
square-check
14-day
square-xmark
€14/seat/month billed annually
€99/seat/month billed annually
Sales teams and ease of use
4.1
star
star
star
star
square-xmark
square-check
Limited 10 users
$9.99/user/month billed annually
$64.99/user/month billed annually
Free plan for very small teams up to 10
CRM goal
Increase the sales conversion rate for qualified leads from marketing automation campaigns by 10% in the next 6 months.
SMART Breakdown
1. Specific: It targets a specific area (conversion rate) for a defined segment (qualified leads from marketing automation).
2. Measurable: The desired increase (10%) is a clear metric, and the timeframe (6 months) allows for progress tracking.
3. Achievable: A 10% increase is possible based on historical data and potential improvements.
4. Relevant: Boosting sales from marketing efforts aligns with overall business objectives.
5. Time-bound: The 6-month timeframe creates urgency and a clear target date.
Actions
Step 1: Refine lead qualification criteria to ensure high-quality leads are nurtured through marketing automation.
Step 2: Personalize marketing automation campaigns based on lead demographics, interests, and behavior.
Step 3: Develop targeted landing pages with clear calls to action for qualified leads.
Step 4: Implement lead scoring to prioritize high-potential leads for sales follow-up.
Step 5: Track and analyze campaign performance to identify areas for optimization.
Outcomes
Increased sales and revenue
Improved marketing automation ROI
Marketing and sales alignment
Data-driven marketing optimization

What you should look at next

Receive weekly outreach tips in your inbox, sent to 210 000+ salespeople, marketers, founders, and entrepreneurs worldwide!

Subscribe to the lemlist newsletter
You've successfully subscribed to the lemlist newsletter!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.