By Steve Southin, Co-CEO, PAVE
From sales to finance, and IT to marketing, workflow automation can liberate almost any department from the burden of tedious manual processes. A workflow automation process begins with a clear objective and ends at process evaluation. Let’s take a look at how to choose a solution for a process that would clearly benefit from some degree of automation. Here’s a checklist to identify the must-haves in a workflow automation solution:
Leaders choose to automate a process to make it easier and more efficient. Speed is an obvious factor. If the solution isn’t helping you get to a certain point faster, it is not worth the money.
Simplicity (for employees)
Automation is meant to make life easier, so the solution itself should be easy to use. Look for a user-friendly interface. You want something easy, that won’t require excessive training or onboarding. Your staff won’t use an overly complex system. Just think about how most salespeople use a CRM properly. They might use it for some simple things, but few take the time to learn and use all of its functions.
Simplicity (for vehicle shoppers)
Dealership staff are not the only ones who tend to not use complicated technology. Automation in sales and service processes can be scary and disconcerting for consumers as well. You need to find a solution that consumers will be able to use without getting frustrated and giving up. Nothing can drive consumers away faster than a bad automated process. And once you lose a digital customer they are lost forever.
Most cloud-based software comes with interoperability with other cloud apps. You want workflow automation solutions with API compatibility. Look for something that will fully incorporate and map into your current technology and business processes. After all, the point of automating a process is to improve upon an existing one. You are not looking to reinvent the wheel here so be sure the solution will work within what you already know works.
Reports and data
You can’t improve the process without reviewing it. The best workflow automation software solutions will offer reporting and data. You want the data collected to suit your integration requirements. Something consistent and relevant and be sure to ask who will own any data collected by that solution.
Workflow automation solutions in a mostly digital world must work from any location and on any device. Salespeople and BDC agents are no longer shackled to their desks. The most successful ones are on the lot taking pictures and shooting videos for customers. The best solutions keep that in mind are ones that can be used by staff on the go. At the same time, consumers are also on the move. If the solution is consumer-facing in some way, be sure they can use it on any device as well.
There are many options in the workflow automation solution market, especially for car dealers. No matter what your situation, you want workflow automation software that is fast, flexible for your staff to use, and one that will exceed customer expectations. A solution should satisfy a current need, and not create more work in an area where you are looking to simplify.
Automotive sales and service teams are spread thin and are always running in a million directions. A good automated process keeps their involvement to a bare minimum and should keep a digital sales pipeline running smoothly and deliver higher sales faster.
About the Author
Steve and his 25+ years of automotive retail and wholesale experience deliver in-depth domain knowledge that was essential in his focus as PAVE’s creator and product architect. Steve also has 15+ years of technical and startup expertise that he gained as an Autotech entrepreneur, with his second recent successful exit being the Bumper App, which he brought to market in 2012 and successfully exited through an acquisition by Vicimus Inc. in 2017.