Have we got business automation all wrong?
Automation is currently all the rage in the workplace.
Everything from robots in warehouses to customer service chat bots are currently in use. It is easy to see why so many companies are taking the step to automate their systems, because automation removes a high cost base from companies — if the automation system is deployed correctly.
There are certain instances within the startup environment where automation can be dangerous.
Let me take a little time to describe a phenomenon I’ve called the “Founder’s Dilemma,” and some steps you can take to avoid the problems that arise from finding yourself in this situation.
To understand why the Founder’s Dilemma exists, you need to know that the salaries of sales personnel are often in excess of US $35,000 per year. If a new company wants to employ a dedicated salesperson, they would be expected to bring in over $35,000 that very year. As a new founder, your business may not be prepared or ready to grow at this pace. This leaves a founder asking, how do I grow my business by around $20,000 a year, without inheriting these overheads?
The common, internet-provided answer to this question is to invest in SaaS products that automate marketing and sales processes. For a few hundred dollars, you will strip out the need for sales staff…. Hold that thought. Whilst you’re at it, you can also remove the roles of marketing and accounts, as they’re available at the click of a button, too.
I have seen so many founders deploy this strategy, and spend hour upon hour familiarizing themselves with new software, rather than creating a product that suits their clients and the market. You soon learn, however, that frustration creeps in with automation software. In an ideal world what happens is you sit there with an ever-growing mailing list (good), open rates have increased (good), cost-per-click is lower (good), impressions are high (good), more people are seeing your products (good), and sales are through the roof!
Unfortunately, sales are not through the roof. To assume sales will go through the roof is to assume that sales cycles are one-dimensional. There are a few lucky businesses that do have a one-dimensional sales process. However, in most of the businesses I work with, sales processes are incredibly diverse and sometimes difficult. Procurement can involve lengthy tender processes and compliance checks, working with corporates involves filling out lengthy registration forms, you might need sign-off by various organizational departments, and then there are those deals where you spend time jumping between legal, HR, and accounts, even though you have won the business, and just want to crack on.
This is why we built Tubular, not as an automation tool, but so you can process and track your deal flow, and spend more time creating your products and generating business, as opposed to being stuck in your business software. Tubular allows you to make practical decisions around deal flow, track payments from clients, and forecast at the click of a button. We believe that developing better sales cycles, not just campaigns, transforms businesses.
Automation software should be part of your sales cycle, not BE your sales cycle.
We believe the below to be true and a good visual of the Founder’s Dilemma.
Our company runs on Tubular we build Tubular to aid us with the struggles we faced managing our complete sales process. Tubular has significantly grown our own sales and the acquisition of users. From Leads to managing the signup process, to following up after becoming a paying customer. Tubular : If you’re not already a customer, we invite you to try Tubular Free for 14 days.