Why Automation Is No Longer Optional
In this economic climate, spending human and financial capital on things that don't provide measurable return is business suicide. There was undoubtedly a time when customers were plenty, credit was overflowing, and businesses thrived, despite lack of a focused marketing strategy.
But as Dan Kennedy put it: "the new economy has flushed out the bottom-third of everything." Bottom-third businesses, employees, and vendors have all but disappeared. The next-third, hanging on for dear life. And just a small portion of the upper third thriving while most are struggling.
In this landscape, it is ever so important to continually be attracting new clients, selling more to existing clients, and increasing the frequency in which those clients come back. To handle this manually is a dire mistake. Extending your sales messages to other forms of media (print, online video, cd/dvd presentations, etc), tracking which ones are being consumed by qualified prospects, and spending personal time, if necessary, only with the prospects and clients who have raised their hands and expressed serious interest is now a requirement.
Every process, every system, and every employee must be maximized. In my primary business, HearandPlay.com, what my employees do on a day-to-day basis is not left up to chance. As soon as they log into our automation & crm system, they are presented with dozens of tasks to complete. Tasks like:
- Contacting customers with declined or problematic orders (who've already received an e-mail with instructions)
- Contacting recurring customers with expiring credit cards
- Following up with those who started an order but didn't finish
- Contacting those who have watched an entire 25-minute sales video and expressed interest at the end
- Contacting recent cancellations of a monthly program
- Contacting prospects who have requested more information on a program
And this only scratches the surface.
We're not waiting for the phones to ring. Our automated system takes prospects from the very beginning (submission of e-mail in exchange for lessons) and pushes the serious ones through an organized, predetermined process. Quite frankly, human interaction is not needed for 95% of transactions. But when necessary, we are spending precious time on the right activities.
In his book, The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker said: “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” Being effective first, and efficient second, is far more important than doing the WRONG things right. Technology makes effectiveness and efficiency achievable in mass.