How to Scale and Sustain a Business Model with RPA Part 1
Organizations use digital workers to automate routine and repetitive workflow processes. However, these automations are often confined to select departments, such as finance and human resources.
Companies that use robotic process automation (RPA) need to look beyond deploying a few processes to scaling and sustaining a business model with digital workers. When RPA is used across the business, it can be a significant source of revenue generation.
Trends Impacting Digital Workforce
Many companies face challenges around RPA enablement. RPA has roots in finance and banking, and other types of companies tend to limit RPA to finance, human resources, and call center.
When companies collect automation processes centrally, these processes constitute a program. A program requires getting the whole line of business (LOB) on board. Lately, more discussion is being created around how RPA can play a role in lead-to-cash processes. However, these discussions are still only focused on call center and customer engagement.
RPA opportunities exist in the area of getting leads into a CRM system when information is gathered at an event such as a trade show. RPA can be used to manage the product catalog when giving quotes. Digital workers can also get information into multiple systems. Salespeople may deal with more than a dozen separate systems and people in the enterprise. RPA can ensure information is entered quickly and correctly.
Companies are held back by not engaging with LOB. Sales and marketing organizations haven’t been exposed to RPA. In the mature market, companies are looking at ways to free up sales reps and use RPA for revenue generation.
The product catalog is a great opportunity to use RPA for revenue generation. In the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) space, the pricing model is continuously changing. When a client calls, the sales rep needs the correct pricing system.
Companies have dedicated pricing analysts that go to vendors and use a spreadsheet to collect pricing information. Pricing is cut-throat because OEM is a commodity industry. Sales reps have a problem getting the price on time and getting the correct price. RPA can get the pricing in the right format to give the correct quote.
RPA can be leveraged to compare prices to ensure that your company is competitive on its quote. RPA can balance competitors’ prices against the margin you need to make a profit.
Digital workers can see which sales reps are being more competitive. If you look at the sales cycle activity that can be pulled from the CRM, you can see which reps are closing and which are generating the most margins and determine if more education is required.
RPA for Marketing
RPA can be used in marketing to cross-sell and upsell. A call center rep can have a more meaningful interaction while the digital worker is carrying out backend support.
Digital workers can help generate revenue when callers are negotiating a renewal. A chatbot and RPA can work together to look at a customer profile and come up with options to choose from. The whole negotiation of what’s in the customer’s package can take place without involving an agent. If unsatisfied, the customer can escalate, and the rep will be way ahead of the game. The chatbot is going to follow the rules to present an offer that has the right margins.
Web portals are another opportunity to generate revenue through automation. When a customer goes in to request a set of products, the process used to take days. The request would be sent to finance before it could be approved. Now the process can be completed in less than a minute, giving customers buying power faster.
The bottom line is the cost of time. RPA brings revenue in faster and reduces possible churn. Customers may go somewhere else to buy if they need to wait.
Giving RPA Cross Functionality
To use RPA for revenue generation, companies need cross functionality. Many organizations fall into the silo approach. To achieve transformation, they need to get out of this.
An example of how to use cross functionality is leveraging net promoter scores. Net promoter scores talk about the experience of working with an agent. Companies can use a net promoter score to see if it is learning. Is your company giving customers a better experience?
With net promoter scores, companies will ask five questions, when they really only need one answer: on a scale of 1 to 10, how do you feel about your interactions with our company? This information can be used to get additional input that can be directed to the right area of the business for training purposes. RPA can pull this data and send it through email to the right person.
A digital worker can calculate the promoter score, making sure you have enough inputs and that it is calculated correctly. Humans have a tendency to drop scores they think are unreasonable. A digital worker removes this bias; it applies the same logic every time. A digital worker knows how to perform a complex calculation. The calculation needs intelligence behind it, as well as sufficient and accurate data.
What Executives Need to Do to Achieve Transformation Through RPA
To succeed with RPA, executives need to use a governance model along with an aspect of change management and cross-functional exposure. When putting steering committees together, executives need to educate members on RPA use cases.
The steering committee needs to have cross-functional representation. Marketing and sales should be involved and must understand what RPA can do for them. Executives should give sales and marketing a vested interest in RPA.
For example, RPA frees sales reps from entering information. One of the cleverest uses of RPA has to do with collecting information from meetings and events. If a prospect is invited to a meeting and others join, RPA can populate contact info for additional participants automatically.
At a trade show, a rep will collect all the leads on a spreadsheet. This info needs to be entered into the system and then be distributed. This process has a high chance of failure. An upload never works well. A digital worker will do it more accurately and faster. This is another way RPA gets leads to sales faster and keeps leads from getting cold.