Solving Problems or Finding Problems, What’s More Important?

We’ve all heard about how business process automation can increase channel revenue and customer loyalty, and reduce support headaches.But will automation really work for us? If you are running a thriving business, you probably already have a process that works. Why and where does it need improvement?What parts of the business can be automated, and more importantly what parts should be automated?

The right answer usually comes from both business intuition and factual data. Take sales leads management as an example, managers usually know in their gut when marketing activities are not making a real difference in sales.  However the reason for that is often not as intuitive. Are qualified leads too few and far in-between? Are they getting to the hands of the right people too late? Were they sent to the wrong people? Were they followed-up promptly? Getting feedback from the channel on these questions can be a challenge because of the size and diversity of your channel, and the simple fact that everyone’s busy. Can automation help us find the right problems first?

The answer is yes. We are so used to thinking about automation as a problem-solving tool, sometimes we overlook its ability to identify problems that require attention at the first place. Back to managing sales leads as an example, we can:

  • automate the process of collecting sales leads so that leads from all sources are cataloged and accounted for in one place.
  • automatically track where leads are sent and systematically follow up to get status updates.
  • use automation to make it as easy as possible for our distributions to provide feedback, and automate the way inputs are tallied to produce insightful and instant metrics

Consider this when you plan your process automation projects:  First make your business process transparent. Better visibility will lead to intelligent and faster improvements.

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