The New Year is the perfect time to take stock and make resolutions for the coming 12 months.
Automation adoption went ahead by leaps and bounds in 2017 and 2018 promises to be another year laden with growth opportunities. So, what do we need to do to position ourselves to take advantage of these growth possibilities in 2018?
Professionally, many of us hold mixed feelings about making New Year’s resolutions. Yes, it seems like a natural time to identify important changes we would like to implement. It’s like an annual “reset” button.
So, now is the time to make some clear resolutions, sweep away any lingering debris from 2017 buckle up and get ready to jump-start the new year.
Here are 7 ideas for New Year automation resolutions to make for your business in 2018 that will make you and your organisation more creative, more productive, and generally more content at work.
- Reduce Email
Eliminate overflowing email and regain command of your inbox. The average worker can spend up to 13 hours a week just reading and processing their emails. The quest for an empty email inbox is never-ending. Besides luring us into a false sense of security a clear email inbox indicates we’ve followed up with everyone we needed to and they have all the information they need to get the job done. So, time to chill.
Both developers and bloggers have tapped into this “Zero Inbox” quest, offering everything from digital sorting apps such as Inbox by Gmail to wildly impractical thoughts on encouraging less email traffic. Tips for reaching this state of inbox zen span using filters, filing emails into folders, only checking email at designated times, and ruthlessly sifting emails into important, can wait and delete categories. Efficiency expert Ari Meisel recommends some simple steps to Inbox Zero in his groundbreaking training at Less Doing.
- Revisit Your Business Processes And Workflows
As they say, time is money and for many businesses, streamlining business processes, particularly when it comes to automating routine marketing tasks is where the action is.
One of your New Year resolutions should be to cast a critical eye over your current business processes and identify candidates for automation. Taking the human interface out of low-value tasks particularly in areas such as email marketing, remarketing and engaging with your prospects as they progress down your sales pipeline can free up resources as well as lifting the effectiveness of your inbound marketing campaigns.
Measuring marketing tasks and streamlining their workflows can yield increased operational efficiency while growing your revenue faster. Now that is a New Year resolution!
- Fast-Track Lead Distribution And Lead Prioritisation
Another aspect of business where time is money or at least conversions is how effectively you distribute and prioritise new business leads. Look for areas to improve your business performance by streamlining your distribution process using simple rules-based models.
Time saved by your sales managers can be reprioritised towards closing deals and coaching their team. Similarly, fast-track your lead prioritisation approach using behavioural and demographic cues to automatically flag priorities rather than slogging through the data manually.
- Help Your Customers
More and more, customers are opting for self-servicing models when it comes to searching for answers to frequently asked questions or resolving simple after sales service issues. They appreciate the power to quickly solve simple queries without having to go through an extended process.
Automating your content and giving your customers access to a self-help library can enhance perceptions of your customer service while allowing you to refocus resources on solving more complex customer service queries and issues.
- Help Yourself
In today’s ultra-competitive business environment, having information at your fingertips enables you to respond to a fast-changing marketplace. Yet, many organisations still lack digital reporting dashboards that display up-to-the-moment information on their organisation’s key metrics.
Adopting a dashboard report places all the content management, marketing and your sales team need for their day in their hands, while team level dashboards encourage friendly competition and drive accountability throughout the organisation.
- Explore Innovative Technologies
As increasing numbers of organisations migrate their daily operation to an online environment, they are discovering the performance enhancements new technologies bring. Machine learning and advanced AI are accelerating the rate of change industries where information is abundant and being able to recognize a pattern from all the data noise confers a competitive advantage.
As the adoption rates for Big Data, machine learning and AI accelerate in line with the capability to apply the technology cost-effectively, expect to see a host of innovative technologies reshape the business ecosystem.
Similarly, voice recognition is finally carving out a place in business after a series of false starts. Apple’s Siri may grab the headlines but today’s voice recognition systems can be set up to operate multiple applications. Given many businesses are being run either on the move, remotely, or virtually, voice recognition’s seamless integration is where these systems are coming into their own. Your New Year resolutions are your opportunity not to be left behind!
- Hold A Bonfire Of Redundant Tech
Nothing emphasizes cleaning out the old and making a fresh start like a purge of old technology. Hold a fax (does anyone still have these things?) destroying party for your staff to celebrate the passing of the technology torch to a gleaming new world of digital innovations.
As smartphones replace desktop computers, we are waving farewell to DVD rentals in favour of Netflix and Amazon Prime. Physical keys and manual switches are being phased out as apps take control of our office and home environments as the Internet of Things gather momentum.
New Year is the perfect time to reflect on your business and where it is heading in 2018. Take time out to not only look back at what was, but to look forward to what could be. Free your imagination and reimagine your business. Try reflecting on what it would look like if you started today with a blank slate. Finally, draw up those New Year Resolutions and ensure you put them into practice rather than just filing them away in a drawer.