Software to automate workflow
1. Monday.com – project management software to manage work better
2. Slack – communication software to chat with your teammates
3. Calendly – scheduling software to handle meetings better
4. Woodpecker – email automation software to automate email outreach
5. Salesflare – CRM software to manage leads and contacts in one place
6. Appear.in – a video call software to handle video meetings quicker
“Time is money”. We hear it every day, not only in business context.
Still, being aware of that, we waste our time on many manual and routine tasks which could be easily automated.
Every entrepreneur cares about time. In this post, I would like to show you the tools I use to boost my productivity which helps me save at least one hour every day.
Does workflow automation mean we will become redundant someday?
Definitely not. We can use our saved time for other, more creative tasks like building relationships, searching for new growth opportunities for your business or simply take a rest to build stamina for new challenges.
Updating your team about project’s status
“Have we already prepared the materials?”, “When do we plan to launch the marketing campaign?”, “Who is responsible for the graphics?”
If these are the questions you’re hearing as well, you might also be annoyed with the structure of projects within your team or company.
Nowadays, as long as you have at least more than one ongoing project, project management tool becomes a must to structure and manage the work appropriately.
Flexible projects’ customization in Monday
With Monday, you can easily customize the structure of your project, depending on your current needs. Need to add a responsible person for each project’s stage? Want to set the deadline for each part? That’s what you can easily do using a Monday app.
We love to present the data in a visual way. Monday is one of the few apps letting you present the projects visually, using simple Gantt charts.
TIP! Take all your project notes in your project management app so that your team can access them anytime, even if you’re not around.
Repeating the same things all over again
Do you feel you explain the same things to people in your company all the time?
Don’t you think you could be more effective, passing the information to multiple people at the same time?
Sometimes, repeating the most important things is crucial to better explain our thoughts and intentions but it’s worth to minimize the number of repetitions, collecting all the team members in one place, passing the message clearly to everybody.
You can easily connect with a larger audience, e.g. using a Slack application, which lets you easily set up channels for particular projects or teams.
Communication channels in Slack
Slack lets you easily communicate with your team but its best feature is the ability to create specific channels for your projects or teams. This means, you can create a “sales” channel, where you’ll be able to communicate the sales opportunities to your sales team.
One of the most interesting Slack features is the ability to search through the conversations. Your most important data will never be lost in the lines of hundreds of messages!
TIP! Don’t create too many channels. They should be rather general, otherwise, you might find it difficult to browse through your conversations (Slack browser allows you to search through specific channels, not through “whole” Slack app)
Sending e-mails with scheduling the meetings’ time
Settling the suitable meeting’s time, especially using email can last forever.
When the date does not suit one person, setting the time starts from the beginning, which can discourage the whole team from the meeting, even before it starts.
A really nice solution to this problem can be a Calendly app, which can help you in setting the time for one-on-one meetings and Doodle application which lets you easily set the suitable meeting time for larger teams.
Easy meeting scheduling using Calendly
One of the nice Calendly features is a “landing page” letting your visitors easily book a meeting with you at your available time frame.
As an organizer, you can set up the hourly and daily time periods of your availability.
TIP! Integrate Calendly with your Google calendar, which will let you manage all your events in one place.
Contact with new leads
Contacting potential clients takes time, especially if you communicate via email. Still, it’s one of those activities which cannot be fully automated. After all, we want to make our communication personal and establish a long-lasting relationship with our potential customers.
However, when sending mass emails to larger groups of recipients (e.g. with some marketing materials), we can easily personalize mass mailing using an app like Woodpecker.
Automated mailing via Woodpecker
Woodpecker lets you easily plan personalized email messages to many recipients. If you already have your subscribers/clients base, their names, job positions, you can easily address your emails, automatically inputting your recipient’s name or his/her business’s name.
TIP! Use this mailing only for simple marketing emails. It’s not worth to automate the whole communication as each of us expects a personal attitude and we want to build a true, long-lasting relationship.
Woodpecker application lets you easily track the statistics of your email, which provides you with the information who clicked on the email included in your message.
TIP! Plan your follow-ups in the time when your recipients can actually be sitting at their computer, which increases the chances of opening and reading an email.
Another app for automated mailing campaigns
Saleshandy is an alternative application for sending out automated and Personalized Email Campaigns. It can provide you with a bunch of additional features, like pre-defined templates for your campaigns (if looking for an inspiration) and some more advanced attachment sending functionalities.
TIP! Sending attachments in your mailing campaigns might not always be a smart move as this might decrease deliverability of your emails.
Managing your contacts’ list
Usually, we note the list of people we want to contact to approach them with some questions or just to have a chat. While the paper card with the list of people or tasks might seem to be an effective daily solution, in the long-term it might become really problematic, not only for you but also for your whole business.
What happens when somebody leaves your company and doesn’t leave any information that he/she contacted a particular person in some company?
Planning and scheduling the contacts using a CRM app
Salesflare allows you to store all your contacts in one place. Thanks to this app, you can easily plan your activities related to particular accounts and monitor the “status” of your contacts.
CRM app also lets you share your contacts and emails within your organization, which will help you avoid duplicate contact with the same person by multiple team members
TIP! In order for your CRM to be effective, you and your team have to use it! Persuading everybody to use a CRM is difficult but you’d quickly find out it results in better work time management and easy access to information.
Trying to connect via Skype…
“Something doesn’t work…”, “What’s your Skype login?”, “I can’t install the application…”, These problems in video conversations means we lose a lot of time we could use for an effective talk.
I personally use Appear.in, which lets me easily connect with the group of people using one simple link which can be inputted using any browser.
Organizing a meeting via Appear.in
There is nothing easier than organizing a meeting, using Appear.in application. One link for all participants, everybody can easily enter the conversation using any internet browser.
When everyone is already in the room, you can easily communicate using video, chat or stickers.
Thanks to Appear.in, with a single click, you can share your screen, showing every participant your actions on your computer.
TIP! You can use one room for all conferences. If you decide you don’t want anybody more to enter the room, you can click a lock to “lock a room”. Then, you will have to manually accept every participant.
Connect apps to automate your workflow
Single apps are very helpful in better time and tasks’ management but you will benefit from a full power of SaaS apps, only if you connect them, automating particular processes within your company.
Monitor link clicks within your CRM
You can easily connect Woodpecker app to other apps, like CRM systems, which lets you automatically transfer the data between those systems (e.g. if the recipients clicked the link in your email). Thanks gathering the data in one place, you can easily monitor prospects interested in your product or service.
Notifications about new clients and leads in Slack channels
It’s worth to keep your team updated about the successes and new events. However, you don’t have to message them every time, manually. You can automate it so that when a deal is won in your CRM, a notification is sent to your team in Slack.
Automatic mailing campaign to your meeting participants
Letting your participants book a meeting via Calendly and connecting it with a Woodpecker app, you can easily send automated, personalized messages, e.g. with additional educational materials.
An hour a day is only a beginning
Using the appropriate apps and “structuring” your workflow, you can easily save at least an hour every day. In my opinion, it’s only a beginning to the full automation of your work time.
If you use many different tools, you can easily find more connections between them, letting you create one automated process and as a result, save even more time.
Implementing the apps will take time and it might seem irrelevant. However, with time it’s not easy to realize the positive impact of automation on your comfort and most importantly, the satisfaction of your daily work and team communication.
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This article, in PL version was originally published in Marketing And Business – an online portal helping Polish companies grow using the best marketing and business strategies.