In the startup world, most team members wear multiple hats: marketer, sales rep, support rep, etc. As they have a lot on their plate, any “shortcut” that can help them optimize their time is, ultimately, a win for the business. This is especially true in the SaaS industry where customer churn can be fatal.
SaaS automation tools can help teams spend their time more efficiently. By automating the repetitive, low-impact, high-effort tasks, you free up time that you can then invest in scaling your business.
In this article, we’ve gathered the best business automation software we think SaaS businesses should use, along with advice from entrepreneurs who have successfully implemented them into their businesses.
Purpose: For many businesses, SaaS automation starts and ends with Zapier. And we agree because most tools on the internet today have a Zapier integration.
The great thing about this tool is that it allows anyone to integrate apps and automate workflows without the need to write any code. Do note, Custify also has a native Zapier integration designed to give our clients much more flexibility.
“In SaaS, it’s all about customer engagement. If you don’t stay top of mind, they’re going to churn,” Adam Smartschan.
Adam is Chief Strategy Officer at AltitudeMarketing. He uses Zapier to connect their e-commerce and payment systems to their CRM and marketing automation platform.
Saves time on: anything really. Most tools have a Zapier integration that you can use to bring everything into one single dashboard and automate repetitive tasks.
Cost: starts with a Free plan, scales based on number of api calls.
Purpose: Funnelfly is loved by startups especially because it helps them automate the sales journey (if you’re a small team, you know how overwhelming this can get). With this tool, you can track leads from the first call or email and see their progress in the Sales Pipeline.
Saves time on: creating email marketing campaigns. Funnelfly provides email copy templates and integrations that help small sales teams automate workflows. It also integrates with Gmail and G Suite, which means email campaigns appear as one-to-one communication, which increases open and reply rates.
Cost: starts from $29/month.
Purpose: We saved the best for last – Custify helps businesses automate Customer Success. If the previous tools help you market to and acquire new customers, Custify helps you increase Customer Lifetime Value to boost retention and prevent churn.
Saves time on: customer nurturing, reachout, and more with automated onboarding and automated outreach. Custify helps you monitor user behavior with the help of Health Scores and alerts you when customers don’t get value from your product. Then, you can reach out to them (or you can set up an automated reach out process) to push them on the right track before they get the chance to churn.
Cost: starts from $199/month.
Purpose: Gartner predicted that, by 2021, “85% of customer interactions will be handled without human intervention.” So if you’re not using a chatbot yet, there’s no better time than now to implement one. And MobileMonkey is a great option because it allows you to unite multiple communication channels (website, Facebook, Instagram, SMS, etc.) into one inbox.
Saves time on: managing your communication channels. The best part about this tool is that if you need to update your chatbot script, you don’t need to log into each platform and make changes – you only need to update your script once in MobileMonkey.
Purpose: Hubspot is a Jack of all trades type of SaaS automation tool because it helps automate marketing, sales, support, and more. However, one of its best use cases is creating workflows that automate touchpoints across multiple channels.
This is also how Richie Pusateri, Content Manager at Postal.io uses it:
“Deliver content that is relevant to the corresponding stage in the buyer’s journey.”
Saves time on: creating personalization at scale. This is impossible to do manually, and where Hubspot excels. The platform has all the components you need to run successful inbound marketing campaigns to stay top-of-mind for your leads and keep your customers happy.
Cost: starts from $740/month
Purpose: this is a social media marketing automation tool that helps you create campaigns that drive traffic for up to 12 months. How it works is that it pulls information from your RSS feed to create social media promotional content from your blog posts.
Saves time on: creating promotional content for your website pages. With MissingLettr, you no longer need to waste time figuring out what to promote when; the platform provides quick recommendations of various promotional texts and images to go along with them. It even detects new blog posts automatically!
Cost: starts with a Free plan.
Purpose: Hunter is a complete solution for effective cold email outreach. It helps you find professional email addresses and ensure they are valid and can receive emails. Users can easily create lead lists and import them to dedicated email campaigns that can be personalized and automated.
Saves time on finding decision-makers’ valid email addresses, automating personalized cold outreach campaigns, and verifying email addresses from large prospect lists in seconds.
Cost: Hunter offers a free plan with limited credits, while paid plans start at $49/month.
Purpose: Chameleon enables SaaS teams to build better user onboarding by streamlining feature adoption and feedback collection. The tool allows you to set up a variety of triggers and, if a trigger is hit when customers look for a solution to their problem, they get an automated answer.
Saves time on: customer support. Dan Bailey from WikiLawn says that, while Chameleon doesn’t help them cut down on the number of support tickets they get, it makes his team more efficient.
“We’re able to get through tickets in almost half the time, and, if Chameleon fails to solve the issue, we already know exactly what they’re looking for and can help them quickly.” – Dan Bailey, WikiLawn.
Cost: starts from $279/month.
Purpose: Act-On is a growth marketing automation platform that enables small marketing teams tight on resources to improve their efficiency and grow at scale. It works by driving customer engagement at every stage of the customer lifecycle.
Personalizing communications and campaigns helps improve brand affinity and loyalty. So, through comprehensive onboarding, training programs, and customer retention strategies, new customers are turned into lifetime partners.
Saves time on: B2B demand generation and B2C sales and transactions. It helps automate the buying journey. With continuous customized engagement, website visitors become prospects, then qualified leads, and, ultimately, customers.
Cost: starts from $900/month.
10. Grove HR
Purpose: SMBs love Grove HR because it helps improve their HR teams’ efficiency by automating core HR functions (time-off, time-attendance, payroll, etc.). This platform is also a centralized place for the safe storage of all their employee records.
What makes Grove HR stand out most is that its mobile app has great self-service functions that enable employees and the HR teams to work – even remotely.
Save time on: manually calculating employee time-off, time-attendance, and payroll information and eliminate the need for spreadsheets. The platform also allows you to send automated follow-up emails to candidates and employees when necessary. Finally, with Grove HR, you also no longer have to worry about missing out on vital deadlines as you can automatically set reminders when necessary.
Cost: Currently offers the Free Forever Program with unlimited users.
Purpose: UserGuiding enables web and SaaS teams to automate their user onboarding and improve product adoption through interactive user guides, in-app messages, and onboarding checklists. It allows you to segment different user groups and set custom triggers based on specific actions to answer users’ questions the exact moment they’re asked with interactive guides.
Saves time on: customer support and sales processes. It eliminates the need for sales demos and 1:1 onboarding sessions with automated guides and triggered tooltips, pop ups, hotspots.
Clients like Marina Matta from Ajar praise UserGuiding for “saving them time during user onboarding and relieving some of the pressure from the sales team.”
Cost: starts from $199/month.
Purpose: Meetgeek is an easy-to-use AI assistant that will transform your long and mundane meetings into rewarding and productive experiences. Meetgeek automatically starts recording and transcribing your notes so you can focus on your meeting. It makes the online meeting experience so much easier, as it allows you to stay on topic and not be distracted.
Saves time on: your online meetings by making them shorter by removing the note-taking part, and allowing you to instantly access extensive notes that can be shared with your team.
Cost: Meetgeek comes with a basic plan for free, and a pro plan for individuals & teams who need more minutes & features starting at $12/user/month.
Does a SaaS Need Automation?
The short answer is yes – SaaS businesses can benefit a lot from using automation tools. There are 2 main areas where automation can help: reduction of time-consuming, repetitive tasks and response time.
Automation is particularly useful for lead generation. The sales process is often complex and difficult to manage by one person or a small team. But the right tools can help you simplify it to a point where you can grow your business even with limited resources.
In today’s business climate, automation is a must if you want to keep up with the ever-increasing customer demands. And SaaS automation tools can help with everything from marketing to support.
Businesses looking for workflow automation software should keep in mind the following when choosing tools:
- features: some tools only focus on one task, while others can help automate tens of tasks; while it’s more cost-effective to invest in an all-in-one tool, you also need to consider your needs and where in your workflow you want to introduce automation
- integrations: the purpose of automation is to help you save time. If the time you save on completing tasks manually is wasted on having to log into each tool to check your status and gather data, then you’re using automation wrong
- analytics: the more insights you can gather about your customers, the better you can plan your future strategies
- service & support: many SaaS businesses don’t think about support when selecting tools. But when you’re investing in automation, you want to make sure you use it efficiently and that there’s someone who can help you when you get stuck.