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Calculate the ROI on Web Automation

August 18, 2020
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At Captain Data, we enable customers to automate all their tasks on the web to focus on value added work.

Automation is often seen as some kind of "magical black-box that will do the work for you" - but it’s not that easy 🙈

Automation products are, in fact, technologies that will streamline processes and automate tasks to reach operational efficiency, reducing long term spendings and growing revenue.

The path to Return On Investment with automation

A common question that comes up when discussing with Customers and Prospects is related to ROI of automation, aka "How many $$$ will I earn if I invest 1$ in automation?".

This can be tricky to estimate because it is two-folded, since you have to consider the increase of revenues produced and the cost of labour (this one being a soft KPI).

Cost of labour

Because automation is freeing up people's time, the return in terms of $ is indirect.

It does give more free time needed to take concrete actions that will impact the business; we’ll dig further into that below.

Increasing revenues

Automation streamlines process that humans were set to do manually.

When such processes are automated, the ROI is instantaneous and the impact on revenues is easier to measure.

For example, one of our customers wanted to streamline one specific daily routine applied to their sales team. Here’s the description:


Day 1

  • Cherry pick 25 profiles with Sales Navigator
  • Send them a connection requests with a personalized message
  • Add each profile to a spreadsheet (first name, last name, company name, linkedin profile url, message sent)

Day 2

  • Compare the spreadsheet with the people who accepted the connection request
  • Follow-up on this message and update the spreadsheet
  • Repeat the steps from day 1

… and so on during the whole week.

The purpose of this process was to consistently generate a number of leads each week.

However, it was almost impossible for the Sales Representatives to keep up with the process, and for the management to track their actions.

The volume of leads generated was not as high as expected and the manual work was redundant with the consequence of bringing motivation and productivity down.


With Captain Data, they were able to automate this process for the whole sales team in three steps, by:

  • Streamlining the existing process with automatic search for 125 profiles per sales rep per week
  • Sending 25 connection requests per sales rep per day; all the data being synchronized to a spreadsheet
  • Scaling the process to 100 connection requests per sales rep per day

The results were astonishing in terms of cost of labour because it cut down the time spent on these tasks per sales rep by 80% and ensured the process efficiency, since 100% of tasks were done by all sales reps.

It enabled them to multiply the number of leads generated per month by 100 in one week 🚀

Detailed Analysis

Let’s take another example about data enrichment for lead generation purposes.

Let’s drill down the process:

  • You have a list of 1000 websites
  • You want to find the social network information for each one of them in order to qualify and contact them

In order to complete this task, you’d have to:

  • Visit each website
  • Find the data you are looking for: Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter or Instagram pages, or even emails and phone numbers
  • Copy-paste everything in a spreadsheet.

Let's break this process down in terms of time:

  • Opening 1000 pages in your browser (3 seconds per page) from your spreadsheet (5 seconds)
  • Navigating inside one page (to make it simple) and find the data
  • Copy-pasting 1000 Facebook URLs
    → 1000 copy (1 sec per copy)
    → 1000 paste (1 sec per paste)
    → 1000 switches from your web browser to your spreadsheet (5 sec to switch).
  • Do the same for LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, and then for the emails and phone numbers,

All in all, you'd need to:

  • Open 1000 pages → roughly ~10 000 seconds
  • Copy-paste +7000 links → roughly ~70 000 seconds

It would take you an entire day to do it all, if you work like a robot, with a great laptop, without making any mistakes.

At Captain Data, it takes about 2 minutes to set this up:

  • Upload a CSV file containing the list of websites
  • Press Launch
  • Grab a coffee while Captain is working
  • Once ready, download the results

How much it really costs you

Let's estimate a minimum wage at 1500€/month; that is 375€/week, or 75€/day.

All in all, for one single operation, it would probably cost you at least 150€ to do it.

Captain Data's most used subscription enables you to automate 50 000 tasks per month, for 200€/month.

Enriching 1000 websites with social data amounts consumes you only 1000 tasks.

For roughly the same price, you can either enrich 1000 websites manually, or 50 000 websites automatically.

And we’re only talking about a simple use case that only involves one step.

Invest - Automate - Scale 🚀

At Captain Data, our expertise and platform enable us to automate sales, marketing and recruiting tasks, amongst others, helping business teams reach operational efficiency.

Our specialty is creating workflows: we’re basically chaining up multiple manual steps, such as the one we previously described.

To continue the previous example, you could imagine that from the social URLs we found, we’re fetching company and/or people data, to better qualify leads, for example.

We can add as many steps as you need, and even integrate data inside the tools you use, like your CMR.

All this without writing a single line of code.

A few use cases your team might be swamped in with manual work:

  • Enriching people and company data
  • Generating leads on LinkedIn and many other platforms
  • Sourcing candidates
  • Collecting customer reviews
  • Integrating web data to your workflow and across your favorite SaaS products or internal databases

If such use cases ring a bell, now would be a good time to work with us.

We'll help compute the ROI you'd get by investing in web automation and get the operational efficiency your company deserves.

In the end, everything comes down to a simple choice: do you want to over-achieve because your team has the time to focus on real work, or would you rather see them waste their time?

Guillaume Odier
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