The use of automation in companies increases worldwide. In the long run it improves our quality of life, as we can spend out time elsewhere.
The use of automation is becoming more widespread. In both our personal and professional lives, automation has the potential to save us vast swathes of time and make processes more efficient. In some cases, automation can even take specific tasks off our hands altogether.
There is much talk of automation being bad and fears that it will replace jobs. However, the reality is the tasks automation takes off our hands are often the most mundane, time and energy-sapping things we do.
In the long-run, automation will improve our quality of life if it enables us to work fewer hours or at least spent them doing something interesting! For me, this should be the long-term purpose of automation. Not automation to help us invent other tedious things to do! If this is the objective, there should be no question that automation should be seen and embraced positively.
Here is a summary of the top 20 automation companies in the world right now, and how you can use their products in your business (and life!).
Where else to start but with ourselves?!
With Contractbook’s document automation tools, small and medium-sized companies can save a significant amount of time and reduce the amount of errors in legal documents. Complete a questionnaire, and your document is produced for you! Automate your sales journeys. Auto-generate NDA’s. We can do the whole lot.
HubSpot is one of the world's most famous companies. If you work in any business that uses SaaS and digital technologies, you have likely heard of them.
HubSpot allows you to automate a vast range of marketing and CRM initiatives, making sure you are always sending the right message to your customers at the right time.
In a world where chatbot technology is becoming more widespread, the number of companies developing innovative chatbot solutions will inevitably grow.
MobileMonkey is among the most exciting of these. In addition to helping you develop bespoke chatbots and responses, this tool also centralises all of your chats into one inbox, meaning when human intervention is required this is also more efficient!
You cannot have a list that talks about automation and not include Zapier on it!
While there are individual tools that deliver incredible automations and solutions on their own, Zapier allows you to bring all the SaaS tools and apps in your tech stack together to automate a vast range of operations. Zapier is kind of at the heart of what it means to be a modern automation tool. To get the best results from any tech stack, it is vital you can integrate your apps.
Ensuring the tools you use are interoperable before you buy them is step one. Using Zapier to connect them without the hassle of using coding or APIs is step two, and your productivity is set to skyrocket!
Utilising automation in your business is not just about taking advantage of marketing tools. In the introduction to this list, I mentioned one of the most significant benefits of automation: it can take mundane, time-sapping tasks off our hands.
One of the most frequent tasks in your business that takes a lot of time for little return? Payroll processing.
As such, you need a payroll software tool to automate this for you – remember to make sure it integrates with your time tracking software, so you get your payroll done by doing literally nothing yourself!
Gusto is one of the best payroll tools out there.
Clockify is one of the best time tracking apps in the world, and integrates seamlessly with a range of other tools to help you ensure your payroll is accurate each month. In turn, this can then feed into your accounting software or other SaaS platforms to help you measure the true productivity and efficiency of your business.
Speaking of accounting software, you could easily spend hours searching for the best solution.
While each platform has its pros and cons, Wave is potentially the strongest, especially if you are a startup and want various solutions in one place without needing to use integrations. Best of all, it is free, only incurring charges if you use Wave to send or receive payments!
To continue (and complete!) the list within a list of HR automations, we come to BreatheHR.
While you can use BreatheHR as an all-in-one HR tool, where it really comes to life is in automating processes like employee data audits and helping you out in filtering applicants in your recruitment processes. BreatheHR does what any great HR-related tool should do; takes the heavy lifting out of your hands so you can focus on people, the reason you do the job!
Do you use a range of platforms to help deliver your business goals, including some of the ones we have mentioned in our list? If so, then at some point, you have probably thought about how much time you spend moving between them to find out different pieces of information relating to your performance.
How frustrating is that?
While the best apps can integrate with each other, sometimes you still cannot get the data from all of them in one place.
That is where Databox comes in, making it easy for you to create custom dashboards integrating your data from various social media, marketing, CRM, and other automation platforms.
If you know you need to invest in search engine optimization but do not have the budget to hire the right agency, SEMRush is the tool for you. SEMRush automates reporting for the keywords you rank for, the links pointing to your site, and even crawls your site periodically to tell you where you need to improve and delivers specific action plans for you to work on.
Sure, you need to do the work, but at least the checking is done for you!
If you are building web applications, testing them and fixing bugs before you deploy them is a vital part of your process.
Whether you have a small team and need to use Selenium effectively as your QA employee, or simply want to add another layer of testing to your process, you should consider this a must use! Best of all, Selenium enables code-free testing, meaning no expertise is necessary, although if you do have a tech team you can also use it for reproducing bug scripts to learn more about common issues, and much more!
Another automation testing tool, Cucumber is a fantastic tool to help you verify code and get more from your development projects, whatever tools are in your tech stack.
Cucumber requires more expertise to use than Selenium, but is still a brilliant tool to consider given the time it will save you in your development processes. As a collaborative tool, long-term Cucumber will act as an automated training tool as well as a code checker, and is an ideal training aid for junior developers!
When we talk about marketing automation, it is easy to fall into talking about tools that generate reports and data. But what about the tools that actually do the marketing automation?!
That is where something like AdRoll comes into its own. Sure, you need to do some manual work upfront, such as on your creatives and ensuring they match up to your brand identity, but once you are set up, a huge part of your retargeting is taken care of!
Speaking of marketing, if your business does any sort of pay per click marketing, then the chances are that you spend at least a small percentage of your budget on Google Ads. If not, what are you doing?!
For novice marketers, Google Ads used to be a graveyard where our business growth hopes went to die. You just waited for the inevitable call from your account manager to tell you the solution was to give Google more money.
Those calls still come, but using Google Ads has got far easier to use in recent years, and with a wealth of automation opportunities including dynamic remarketing and landing pages, it is a must use!
Of course, you probably use Google search every day of your life without realising this is a massive automation, too!
No matter the size of your business, attracting new business is a vital aspect of what you do. Yet, depending on the scale of your business development operation, you might not have the time to take care of every single lead yourself!
This is where using Marketo comes into play.
Depending on your business model, you might have to get involved personally at some point, but if you have a CRM pathway setup you might be able to automate the full process from first brand contact to taking out an annual subscription.
It is easy to find inbound calls analytics software, but eSalesHub might just be the best one out there.
Your business might “record calls for training purposes,” but this usually does not mean what most people think, who have visions of people listening back to calls. Instead, what inbound calls analytics software does is enable you to track call outcomes and even commonly used keywords in the calls, helping you to tailor how your telephone teams deal with calls to create more positive outcomes, from sales to the customer service team!
Whichever way you cut it, outbound selling is tough. Whether you spend hours on the phone or trying to craft the perfect email to cold prospects, you need to work really hard - and be absolutely amazing at what you are doing - to have any success at all.
That is why you should use tools that can automate cold emails in a variety of circumstances, and Buzzbuilder is a fantastic choice. Whether you met someone at a trade show (or on Zoom!), are revisiting old leads, or want to find out how many of your LinkedIn connections are actual business opportunities, Buzzbuilder can automate those tasks, and many more!
If you know anything about digital marketing, then MailChimp is unlikely to be something that is new to you.
However, what you might not know is the ways you can use automation features to do everything from nurturing leads to sending updates from your blog, to ensure you keep in touch with your database even when you do not have the time to send a newsletter yourself!
You might already use MailChimp, but if you are not using the automation features, you are not getting as much out of it as you could and should be!
As you will know if you read this blog with any regularity, we love integrations and tools that can bring diverse datasets together. If you are marketing across multiple channels, then Funnel is something you should consider using for your business.
Funnel integrates with over 500(!!) data sources, giving you what is perhaps the best big picture view of what your business is doing online, from how much engagement your answers to Quora questions earns to how many products you are selling on eBay. Wherever you get your data from, Funnel will pull it together and generate automated reports that will help you make better decisions.
Best of all, it is 100% code free!
One of the biggest challenges - and opportunities - in modern marketing is the sheer number of ways in which you can communicate with your customers. Not only can you make that much more achievable by embracing automation, but a tool like Omnisend captures your leads from all locations and them communicates with them via the relevant channel - hence its name!
Why use five tools to automate your customer and lead communications when you could use one?
There are some incredible examples of automation in use around the world. The chances are that you see some of them in action and probably even use some of them daily! If you do not feel like you are using the potential of automation to its advantage right now, either in your personal or work life, start to think about how you can! The time you will save, and the impact it could have on your life, are well worth the investment!