Robotic process automation and similar technologies, used mainly to improve back-office processes, increasingly benefit sales and marketing processes as well. A recent Bain & Company survey of roughly 500 North American and European companies found that automation has improved key processes by 10% to 16%, as measured by labor cost reduction, shorter cycle times, and other benefits. For example, companies can streamline the creation of quotes and proposals with automated retrieval of current customer terms and conditions, relevant pricing or delivery details, and even content suggestions based on past successful proposals. Respondents expect these benefits to double over the next two years.
Expanding automation requires tighter collaboration between sales operations and marketing operations teams and their respective IT organizations—groups that often lack an understanding of the other’s world. With the help of process and technical experts, cross-functional teams will better identify the best use cases for automation and select the appropriate tools.