When the Going Gets Tough - Automation Gone Wrong (Automation Series: Part 2)

Technology | 9 minutes to read

28th Aug, 2018

Automation is impacting every facet of the sales process. The fact that 73% of organisations are already using automation for their email activities (as per one of global market studies), is in itself a validation for the exponential industrial percolation of automation.

Organisations across all business verticals are automating entire or some parts of their sales and marketing engines, freeing their resources from iterative tasks.

However, you need to realize this fact that the benefits of sales process automation are directly related to how well you implement it. Because when it comes to marketing automation or any process automation for that matter, things could go wrong quite easily and quickly, leaving you in a world of problems you did not have earlier if it is not implemented with the right vision and strategy.

In part one of our automation series, we talked about the journey between investment to the implementation of automation in a business ecosystem and how to go about creating a successful implementation strategy.

In this article, we talk about the other side of automation, when things go wrong and impact your business, the side you don’t want to see. But if you play your cards right, you wouldn’t have to. So, let’s dive in.

Losing sight of the goal
When you don’t plan your implementation strategy well enough, the implementation process ends up being so complex and long-winded that you ultimately lose sight of the goal for which you were automating in the first place.

When this happens, your priorities shift from achieving the goal to figuring out how to get the process back on track. And eventually, the implementation takes longer than it was supposed to, and your budget goes off-track as well, impacting other business priorities.

Even the smaller details like the expected number of users or even any possible acquisition or expansion or regression planning to something bigger like correct calculation of the cost vs time vs implementation complexity effort – any slip-ups here and you’re in for a toss. 

Difficult to Adopt
When the automation process is not streamlined with your existing business operations, the platform will get difficult to adopt by your teams or will have a slow adoption rate, even if it has all the desired features.

When this happens, it means that the framework using which the development and implementation strategy were built, is flawed. In such a scenario, you will be forced to burn your bridges and start all over again. Not sounding like a pretty situation definitely! 

Resistance to Change
When you don’t make your team, the end users of the automation platform, a part of your implementation strategy – right from the very beginning, they will surely resist to something that they feel is being forced on them. Inertia is not so uncommon in our species after all.

This is not only going to adversely impact the team productivity but will also prevent the organization as a whole from reaping the benefits of automation.

Process Mismatch
An in-depth knowledge of the processes you are automating is the key to a successful automation. Without that, you will end up creating and implementing something radically different than what your team is used to, causing endless user-generated problems and back and forth.

When your end users, i.e. your team, don’t know what they are working with, their productivity is bound to take a hit.

Data Issues
A big part of process automation is data capturing and data processing. When the implementation strategy doesn’t factor in data capturing and processing points, an external data process will be created, which most likely won’t be in sync with the overall automation, thereby causing unnecessary delays and in worst case scenario, loss of critical data.

Things which may seem trivial when looking at the bigger picture, such as correct prioritisation on transaction data capture and storage at the right time etc. because even things like delay in data upload can cause a parallel system to crop outside automation platform etc. 

Unnecessary Features
Another big fall out from a poorly executed implementation strategy is that you end up building and adding more features into the platform than you intended or actually needed.

This will not only bloat the platform with unnecessary features but also confuse your end users. Such unnecessary features also end up eating into the resources meant for the necessary tasks.

 When implemented right, automation has the potential to streamline an organization’s marketing engine, making it work in tandem with its sales ecosystem, to produce a measurable impact on the revenue stream.

According to some industry researches which were published on CMO Council as well, loss of productivity and mismanagement of leads cost companies $1 trillion every year. And it’s a huge chunk! No company would wish that their bucks are a part of that $1 trillion.

 So, no matter which side of the pie chart you are in, you have to admit the critical importance of automation in this digitized business ecosystem. And on top of that, the correct way to go about it, otherwise, you read above how a wrong approach can land you in a bigger trouble than you were in before while costing you money as well for that.

Having said that, remaining seated on the fence is still not an option, at least not in today’s day and age – it is akin to slowly writing yourself off altogether! Automation is the way in which the world is progressing and you got to catch the train – but before that, learn the best way to go about it – right from understanding your actual needs to selecting a trusted partner. 

This is a part of 3-Blog series on Automation. For 1st Part click here and stay tuned for the part 3 where we will talk about fusing automation with innovation.


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