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Are monotonous, labor-intensive tasks driving you crazy and killing your sales team’s productivity?
Are you close to having a breakdown every time you check your to-do list?
But don’t panic; take a deep breath (and maybe comb your hair, too)...
We have some good news for you!
Automation task software is here to save the day.
And before you ask: no, not by replacing you completely like an important study from Oxford University predicted back in 2013.
Things have gone a bit differently (luckily for us sales professionals) because you can never underestimate the importance of the human touch in closing deals and building relationships.
So how exactly can automation task software help?
It can take over approximately ⅓ of your low-value adding sales tasks (according to McKinsey & Company, and not some random guy off the street) and free you up to focus on what matters most.
Cool beans — read on, and we’ll show you how to benefit from automation!
Task Automation Definition and Brief Introduction
Let’s take it from the very top.
Automation task software, commonly referred to as marketing automation or sales automation software (even though these are only part of the equation), is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.
It’s a software-based solution that empowers your team by automating a series of tasks that would otherwise eat away at productivity.
What kind of tasks are we talking about?
- Marketing and communication
- Lead scoring
- Lead routing
- Lead generation and nurturing
- Contact management
- Activity and interaction logging
- Website chat boxes
All these applications are one of the key reasons why automation tools are now so widely used around the business world, regardless of industry or market focus.
To put that into perspective, you should know that the marketing automation software industry alone is estimated to be worth nearly $9 billion by 2027.
And that’s only part of the story because automation task software is often bundled into all-in-one CRMs like Salesforce, Hubspot, and our very own Ringy CRM.
This one-stop-shop approach helps companies simplify their tech stacks, improve data management and sharing, and maximize effectiveness and alignment between sales, marketing, and service teams.
Speaking of benefits...
The Seven Major Benefits of Task Automation in Sales
We know the phrase “it’s going to save you a bunch of time” is probably enough to convince you that you need some task automation tools in your life.
However, we won’t leave anything up to chance, and we’ll take you through the seven most significant benefits of this type of technology.
But we’ll do so at a table to avoid spending too much time preaching to the choir.
The benefit of task automation
Why it matters to salespeople
Better, faster customer experience
More productive employees
A greater focus on innovative thinking and problem-solving
Data-driven decision making
Reduced risk of errors
Increased alignment between sales, marketing, and service
Lower costs and increased revenue
Do long tables bore you? Did you just skim through the benefits?
No problem. Some of us are visual learners, and that’s a-okay.
So let’s summarize that block of text for you in a graph, a pie chart, and a meme.
The pie chart:
The meme (this one’s a bit exaggerated, but you get the point):
Six Common Automation Task Tools in Sales
When we say automation task software, we’re actually referring to a vast amount of applications and tools.
We’ve already mentioned a couple of types in the sections above (like marketing automation and all-in-one CRMs), but there’s more...
And it’s come time to uncover them in the table below, and then show you:
- How to get started with automation software
- Our ten favorite platforms
- Three real-life case studies
Then keep reading and scrolling!
Task automation tools
How they help sales professionals
Artificial intelligence software
Marketing automation platforms
Contact management solutions
Lead generation tools
All-in-one sales CRMs
How To Get Started With Task Automation Tools in Sales
It’s surprisingly easy, and we’ll prove it.
- Map all of your current sales processes (yes, all of them — we know this is boring, but you have to do it if you want to pick the right tool). Look for:
- Inefficiencies and bottlenecks
- Duplicate tasks
- Create an ideal version of the status quo, clearly noting which tasks you’d like to automate. Examples include:
- Lead routing
- Drip campaigns
- Scheduling demos
- Make a list of the required features your company absolutely needs, outside of automation, of course (i.e., a mobile app, integrations with other tools, powerful analytics).
- Carefully consider your IT requirements and finances to determine whether you’d prefer an open-source, free, or paid SaaS solution.
- Do some research and find a couple of suitable task automation platforms that could work (we’ll help with this in the next section).
- Test the water by signing up for a few demos and free trials
- Pick the option(s) that enables you to get as close as possible to your ideal sales process.
And you’re done.
We told you so.
And now that you know the drill, let’s move on to our ten favorite automation tools and help you simplify one of the most time-consuming steps — the research and identification phase.
The Ten Best Task Automation Software
We’ve broken our favorite tools down into three categories:
- Open source — suited for companies with plenty of in-house IT resources and expertise that would like to create a fully customized solution
- Free — the perfect place to start with automation if your budgets are tighter than an Olympic sprinter’s spandex
- Paid — ideal if you want to get your hands on a proven automation solution with unlimited features and zero coding requirements
At a Glance
Task Automation Software Open Source
Task automation tool
$2,990 to $59,990 with a 30-day free trial + cost of hosting
Free + cost of hosting
Free + cost of hosting or £95 to £475 if handled by SuiteCRM
Task Automation Software Free
Task automation tool
Free (or $50 to $1,200 a month if you upgrade)
Free (or $18 to $83 a month per user if you upgrade)
Free (or $16 to $50 a month per user if you upgrade)
Free (or $8 to $16 a month per user if you upgrade)
Task Automation Software Paid
Task automation tool
$99 a month + cost of credit packages
Available on request via a custom quote — third-party sites mention a cost of roughly $99 to $399 a month per user
$29 to $149 a month per user
* Prices as of November 2021
Task Automation Software Open Source
Bitrix24 is the ultimate open-source enterprise platform.
It’s got you covered from sales funnel automation all the way to an all-in-one CRM, project planning, and website building.
However, it requires a sizable upfront investment and plenty of in-house expertise to customize it to your business needs — it’s not one for the light-hearted.
Price: From $2,990 to $59,990 with a 30-day free trial + cost of hosting (Nov 2021)
- Advanced automation (sales funnel, marketing, workflow, and communication)
- Complete customization
- Unlimited business processes
- One-time fee with free updates and support for one year
- 30-day free trial available
- Highly secure with 256-bit SSL-encrypted connection and two-step authorization
Mautic is the world’s largest open-source marketing automation community.
And it’s no surprise — this free platform is potent, flexible, and easy to set up.
It’s excellent for:
- Email and SMS marketing
- Contact nurturing
- Building landing pages
- A/B testing
- Drip campaigns
But remember that Mautic is only a marketing automation tool, so you’ll need to integrate it with other platforms (like a sales CRM or scheduling software) if you want more functionality.
Price: Free + cost of hosting (Nov 2021)
- Cutting-edge marketing automation
- Easily integrates with your CRM and social media accounts
- Intuitive user interface
- Free to download and customize
With over 1 million downloads and 4.5 million active users, SuiteCRM is one of the most popular open-source CRM systems globally.
What makes it so attractive?
It’s a low-cost solution for companies wanting complete control of their CRM without having to sacrifice functionality and automation.
SuiteCRM takes care of sales, service, and marketing, so you can rest assured that it’ll help you increase cross-department collaboration and gain a 360-degree view of your customers.
Price: Free + cost of hosting or £95 to £475 if handled by SuiteCRM (Nov 2021)
- Excellent sales and workflow automation features
- Real-time dashboard
- Intuitive with a relatively flat learning curve
- 20+ modules for powerful customizability
Task Automation Software Free
1. Hubspot CRM
Hubspot CRM has to be your first stop if you’re looking for free (but not open-source) automation task software.
It’s a market leader in the CRM, automation, and inbound marketing spaces.
And its cloud-based free sales platform (with unlimited users, unlimited storage, and up to one million contacts) is perfect for helping your agents deal with every stage of your sales pipeline, from identifying leads to closing the deal.
There’s just one drawback — upgrading to a paid version will be expensive.
Price: Free, or $50 to $1,200 a month (Nov 2021)
- The incredibly powerful free version
- Real-time notifications on lead behavior
- Advanced automation functionality, including:
- Marketing automation
- Sales automation
- Live chatbots
- Scheduling tools
- Data entry
- A wealth of training materials
2. Freshsales (formerly Freshworks CRM)
Next up on our list of impressive free task automation tools is Freshsales.
It’s a fully-fledged sales CRM with enough automation features to make even the most complete standalone automation tools jealous.
We love that Freshsales has a built-in phone, SMS, messaging, and email capabilities and that it comes with a little something called Freddy AI (if you upgrade) that empowers you with predictive lead scoring, deal insights, and accurate revenue forecasting.
Price: Free, or $18 to $83 a month per user (Nov 2021)
- Great free package, but certain key functionality is reserved for paid packages
- Wide range of sales automation, from welcoming leads to sending invoices
- Built-in VoIP functionality
- Comes with a top-notch mobile application
3. Really Simple Systems
Are you working in a small business that focuses on B2B clients?
Then Really Simple Systems (RSS) might just be the all-in-one automation tool for you.
As their brand name gives away, this platform’s main selling point is just how simple it is to set up and use.
You’ll be up and running in minutes, and you’ll provide your team with an effective solution that enables them to run and automate sales, marketing, and customer support tasks.
Price: Free, or $16 to $50 a month per user (Nov 2021)
- Complete CRM perfect for sales, marketing, and service teams
- Excellent customer service
- The free version includes two users, unlimited contacts, and 100MB of storage
- Affordably priced if you decide to upgrade
- Stress-free integrations
Do you hate organizing meetings and demos?
We get it — the back-and-forth emailing and the rescheduling is a nightmare to keep up, especially when you have dozens of meetings every week.
Calendly is here to rescue you from all the hassle of scheduling by:
- Equipping you with a meeting link
- Letting your recipients pick an available table from your schedule
- Automatically adding the meeting to your calendar
Price: Free, or $8 to $16 a month per user (Nov 2021)
- Allows users to set availability rules, schedules, and appointment channels
- Synchronizes appointments automatically
- So intuitive even a baby can use it
- Integrates with CRM systems
Task Automation Software — The Paid Alternatives
Full disclosure: Ringy is our CRM system and automation platform.
And that’s why when someone asks us for a task automation definition, we sometimes slip up and just say “Ringy,” expecting them to know what we mean.
But jokes aside, we’re extremely proud of our platform, and we whole-heartedly think it deserves a place on the Olympus of automation tools.
Because it's an affordably-priced CRM system (with unlimited users and a single price point) that gives salespeople everything they need to succeed, from marketing automation to pipeline tools to contact management.
$99 a month + cost of credit packages (Nov 2021)
- Cutting-edge features at a surprisingly low price
- Integrated VoIP softphone with progressive dialing and smart local ID
- Drip campaigns (email and SMS)
- Unlimited video conferences
- Free onboarding
- Smartphone apps (iOS and Android)
2. DemandScience Intelligence (formerly Leadiro)
Struggling with lead generation?
- Don’t feel bad because 68% of companies admit to having the same issue
- Don’t overlook this automation tool.
It’s called DemandScience Intelligence, and it’s a unique platform filled with accurate business contacts for a wide range of target industries.
DemandScience makes it a breeze to generate lead lists and update contact information.
N.B. It’s best to use this tool together with a sales CRM as you’ll need help scoring and contacting all the new leads you’ll generate.
Price: Available on request via a custom quote — third-party sites mention a cost of roughly $99 to $399 a month per user (Nov 2021)
- Exceptionally accurate data (no less than 95%)
- Advanced filtering functionality
- Contacts in 108 countries and counting
- Supports account-based marketing
- Technographic intelligence
If budget isn’t a major concern, Close CRM needs to be in the running for your next automation task tool.
It’s a phenomenal SaaS platform, which delivers a wealth of features (think of things like next-level automation, robust reporting, and email, texting, and telephony in a single platform) and a super-intuitive user experience.
You’ll love using it, but don’t get fooled by the “starter” and “basic” packages — they don’t offer enough functionality to make it worth your while.
You’ll have to go for one of the $99 or $149 a month per user packages, and that’s quite a cost when compared to options like Ringy, Really Simple Systems, and even Hubspot.
Price: $29 to $149 a month per user (Nov 2021)
- Multi-channel sales approach
- Central sales hub with automatic logging — bye, bye data entry!
- Designed for the needs of salespeople (and particularly remote salespeople)
- Simple, beautiful user interface
- Takes less than 10 minutes to set up or migrate to
Task Automation Examples and Success Stories
SmartBear, a rapidly-growing software company, was looking for an easier way to identify prospects and move them down their complex sales funnel.
Automation was their answer.
By integrating their sales CRM with a powerful marketing automation tool, they created a process that nurtures their prospects during the early and mid-stage phases with minimal human input and perfect timing.
- 200% more leads
- 80% of global leads generated via automation
Thomson Reuters, the media conglomerate, was tired of generic communication strategies that yielded a high number of low-quality leads and led to conflict between their sales and marketing departments.
They needed to do something different.
And since they lacked the resources to personalize communication on such a massive scale, they turned to automation to provide them with both customization and optimization.
This allowed them to realign their sales and marketing teams and target the right prospects with relevant communication and nurturing.
- 23% increase in leads
- 72% drop in time to lead conversion
- 175% growth in revenue attributed to marketing leads
Managed Maintenance Inc. (MMI)
MMI, a management solutions provider, was well ahead of the curve and had both a CRM system and an automation tool.
However, there was one problem — they weren’t integrated, and they operated entirely separately.
This left their sales and marketing teams technologically siloed and contributed to a clunky sales funnel for their customers.
But rather than throwing away more money on the wrong tech, MMI decided to revamp their tech stack with a brand new solution that was perfectly integratable and allowed them to start automated lead scoring and nurturing.
- 75% increase in lead generation
- 30% of new sales managed via their automation task software
Automation Task FAQs
Which Business Tasks Should Be Automated?
There are nearly endless opportunities when it comes to automation.
Here are a few task automation examples:
- Marketing communication
- Scheduling meetings and demos
- Lead scoring and qualification
- Contract renewals
However, always be careful not to over-automate your sales process and leave your customers feeling like they can’t reach out to a human agent.
What Is Sales Pipeline Automation?
Sales pipeline automation is the process of automating as many steps as possible in a lead’s journey through your sales pipeline.
It usually consists in sending them relevant material (i.e., a white paper) and scheduling meetings and follow-ups (i.e., demos) when they reach a certain stage of your pipeline.
This enables you to gently nudge leads towards a closed sale without having to remember and manually action a thousand different things every day.
Why Is Sales Automation Important?
- Reduces the cost of making a sale
- Frees up your sales agents to focus on higher-value tasks
- Increases both customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction
- Reduces voluntary and involuntary churn
All in all, sales automation is the whole nine yards, and every single sales department in the world should be making use of it.
Final Remarks: Ready To Get Automating?
Let’s answer that one for you.
Yes, you are!
But before you go, please take one last look at the proven benefits of automation:
- Better, faster customer experience
- More productive employees
- A greater focus on innovative thinking and problem-solving
- Data-driven decision making
- Reduced risk of errors
- Increased alignment between sales, marketing, and service
- Lower costs and increased revenue
And ponder the best task automation software from each of three categories:
- Open-source task automation tools: Bitrix24
- Free task automation tools: Hubspot CRM
- Paid task automation tools: Ringy
P.S. If you decide Ringy is a good fit for your organization and requirements, don’t hesitate to request a personalized demo of our all-in-one solution.