CRM systems play an important role in many organizations. However, they can be difficult to manage and take a long time to work with. Let’s change that!
In this blog post, we’ll walk through the process of getting started with CRM and setting up your custom workflow for efficient management of your data.
Examples Of Efficient Workflow In CRM
CRM systems are designed to make the life of a salesperson easier, but it can be hard for them to understand how their workflows might change with CRM.
For example, if you’re using Salesforce as your CRM and need to create an opportunity from an email, in order to do so you have to go into the lead tab and then click on “create new.”
This seems like a lot of steps when all you want is just one button that says “create opportunity” or something similar. In this post, I’ll give examples of other workflow designs that exist within different CRMs.
This blog post will provide examples of workflow in CRM and how developers can be successful with these tools.
Sales Process Automation
In most CRM systems, the term workflow designates a sequence or progression of necessary steps to complete a sale or another business process. Advanced CRM software, like Bitrix24, can partially or fully automate workflows in CRM.
Here’s an example of what a workflow might look like in CRM.
When an incoming lead comes into CRM, the data has to be checked for accuracy first. Then a sales agent has to contact a prospect, finding out their needs and qualifying or junking the lead. If the information is ‘sales qualified’, an office visit or remote demonstration is scheduled. After the rally, a quote or an invoice is sent. Finally, an accountant has to make sure that an invoice was paid within 30 days.
Whereas workflows were usually presented as diagrams or charts in the past, they are commonly ‘encoded’ into CRM nowadays. So, for example, invoice status (paid or unpaid) is automatically extracted from accounting software, and reminders for past due invoices are emailed by the system without human involvement.
Your enterprise CRM system has many features designed to streamline your business processes — some of which you may not have explored yet.
Workflow automation is one of the more popular features, as it eliminates the need to perform a lot of tasks manually. You can easily set up rules within a simple user interface to automate many of your day-to-day tasks.
CRM vendors provide a lot of options for workflow automation.
Using drop-down menus, you can create automated responses to virtually any event in the CRM system. These responses can be triggered by specific events, field entries, or even the passage of time. Here’s a look at some of the most common workflow automation applications and how they can benefit you.
It doesn’t make sense for your sales managers to meet with every salesperson every day in a busy sales office. However, it does make sense for them to be updated when high-quality leads are entered into the system. Workflow automation simplifies that task and makes sure that nothing is overlooked. For example, using field-dependent triggers, your CRM administrator can:
- Set up a trigger that alerts the sales manager any time a business with more than a set number of employees is entered into the system.
- Automatically generate follow-up reminders for the salesperson in charge of the account.
- Receive automatic notifications about any status changes related to the account.
As contracts near their expiration date, account managers need to be actively pursuing renewals. You’ve already converted the lead into a customer; it only makes sense to retain them. Using time-based triggers, you can automatically:
- Notify the appropriate rep of the impending expiration at set intervals in advance of the close date.
- Send alerts to managers or retention specialists for high-value accounts.
- Automatically send emails to the client, letting them know that the expiration date is approaching and offering them options for renewal.
If you want to keep your customers (and who doesn’t?), you need to respond to support issues quickly and efficiently. Support issues involve multiple departments, and everybody needs to be on the same page. Using conditional triggers, workflow automation allows you to:
- Automatically change the client’s status to “contact immediately” in the salesperson’s CRM when a support ticket is entered.
- Generate an email to the client, apologizing for the issue and letting them know that you’re working on a resolution.
- Notify relevant support staff, managers, and salespeople by email or SMS, especially in high-value customers.
In a nutshell, workflow automation allows you to automate CRM-related tasks that you may currently be handled manually.
So whether it’s contacting relevant parties, sending welcome emails to new clients, or contacting a CSR about a customer issue, it can all be automated.
Customer interactions that rely heavily on manual processes can be hit or miss. A key benefit of automation is providing a consistent customer experience. Workflow automation allows you to develop standardized response protocols and ensure that they’re followed. A good process that is consistently followed will almost always translate to more positive customer experiences.
A good CRM solution focuses on the one thing that keeps your business alive – the customer. The best CRM systems offer the most efficient means to reach out and get to your customers as well!
This means your solution should offer a host of tools including workflow automation, contact management, social media management, social listening, analytics, and everything else in between that helps you get closer and establish a strong bond with the end focus, that is, the customer.
There are a million different CRM solutions out there in the market today offering a number of these features. However, it can be pretty tricky to narrow down options and choose the best one for the same reason.
It would help if you ultimately had a solution that best fits your organizational needs and structure. More specifically, it needs to provide your internal workflows and enhance them for improved efficiency.
Only with a properly defined workflow with clear-cut processes will you be able to determine the right solution needed for your business. And only with the correct answer will you be able to reap the benefits of a good CRM solution.
The term workflow essentially describes a sequence of tasks or a series of progressive steps leading up to an end goal in a business process.
In CRM, the goal could be to complete a sale, solve a customer complaint, create and launch a marketing campaign, etc. In other words, workflows clearly define the means and the ways to reach the final objective of a business process.
For example, in B2B business, a lead may be captured with an opt-in form on the website. Having checked out a few pages on your website or having downloaded resources, the information will then be analyzed for quality and probability of conversion.
After establishing quality, a sales agent is assigned to contact the lead for further nurturing. Depending on the lead’s readiness to purchase, other steps for facilitating or leading them further into the sales funnel are pursued. Once the information is deemed “sales qualified” or an SQL, discussions, site visits, or demos are arranged for the final pitch. If the lead is satisfied, the quote is discussed, and the invoice is sent.
The product or service is delivered as discussed, and the accountant ensures payment settlement within the agreed time.
The above would be a typical example of a CRM workflow in B2B business to pursue leads and close a sale.
Back in the day, CRM workflows like these were mapped out and presented in detail with the help of charts, graphs, and diagrams for team members to study and form routines with. However, advanced CRM solutions are now used to carry out workflows where tasks can be encoded into the system. As a result, processes can be automated either partially or fully using CRM workflow tools, and team efficiency can be increased.
For the same reason, companies now use efficient CRM solutions to complete their CRM workflows and achieve maximum efficiency.
This is where the concept of workflow automation in CRM finds its relevance. A comprehensive solution comes with intelligent automation tools that allow you to identify repetitive and redundant tasks that do not need excessive manual intervention and effectively automate them to speed up the entire process. With CRM workflow automation tools, you can fully automate processes or partially automate parts of the workflow according to requirements.
This way, CRM workflow automation improves the overall efficiency of sales and marketing teams and allows managers more time to concentrate on creative tasks like strategy development and product ideation.
Some of the most efficient and all-encompassing CRM solutions available in the market today offer reliable tools for workflow management.
For example, Agile CRM comes with a full-blown workflow automation segment with tools to define, set, and follow-up tasks. It allows you further define priorities, set statuses for customer service queries, and ensure consistency in workflows. In addition, it aligns all team members with the steps in the workflow and makes sure that everyone is on the same page, ensuring maximum productivity and achievement of objectives.
It is critical to have entire workflows mapped out clearly in customer relationships to provide seamless customer services.
To do so, you first need to have a clear idea of how you will incorporate workflow management into your manual system.
Define goals and objectives of a workflow
The first step in employing a good CRM workflow management solution would be to have specific goals and purposes defined in customer relationships, sales, and marketing to avoid losing sight of the end goals.
This allows you to craft better the steps required to achieve those objectives, adding and assigning team members wherever necessary.
Figure out manual workflows and identify areas that need automation
The next step is to map out the manual workflows and identify redundant, repetitive, futile, and time-consuming areas to apply automation and speed up those tasks, and improve efficiency.
Consult sales and marketing team members for inputs
The CRM workflow management tool is ultimately going to be used by your sales and marketing team members. Hence, it is essential to consult the end-users for inputs on what areas they need to help with, what areas are challenging for them, etc.
This is so that you can customize the CRM workflow management tool according to their preferences and make work easier.
Implement, test, tweak, repeat
Finally, implement the CRM workflow management tool after carefully considering the information gathered. Add and set tasks, plan and arrange schedules, set actions, charged lead scoring techniques for faster lead qualification checks, set KPIs, etc., and enforce the automation effectively.
Once implemented, constantly track and measure progress and make changes until the best outcome is received.
Now to achieve maximum efficiency with CRM workflow management, you need to use the right software.
Here are the seven best tools to consider for the coming months.
Agile CRM is one of the most versatile and holistic CRM workflow management tools available today. It comes with well-designed features to facilitate efficient and effective completion of workflows. From adding tasks to setting priorities to setting statuses and KPIs, Agile CRM offers a whole range of capabilities in workflow management alone. You can apply automation partly or wholly to workflows, integrate it with other essential applications, sync data, and keep each person in the workflow up to date with the progress.
In addition, it offers intelligent CRM analytics, which you can intelligently use to gain a competitive edge.
Apart from CRM, the tool comes with a dedicated email marketing tool and social media management tools to offer an Omnichannel customer relationship experience.
On top of everything, being cloud-hosted, it is one of the most reasonably priced and easy to install CRM workflow management software in the market today.
Hubspot is another all-encompassing CRM solution that offers a separate segment, specifically CRM workflow management. And one of the biggest highlights of the solution is that it provides excellent scalability. It comes with a visual dashboard where you can see real-time updated progress details within the sales funnel, add or remove tasks, schedule appointments, track the performance of team members, and many more.
It allows you to sync customer data across channels like email and social media and integrate the information into your Outlook or Gmail for easy accessibility. Furthermore, it can also integrate easily with third-party applications like Office 365.
Zoho is a comprehensive and complete brand solution that includes everything from accounting to collaborative applications. Its cloud-hosted CRM solution is one of the most popular ones in the market today simply because it is highly user-friendly and involved no hassles whatsoever in installation.
It comes with an array of features for customer data collection spanning multiple channels and insightful real-time analytics to make improvements. In the same way, it also offers parts for workflow management and comes with a whole library of applications that you can choose to integrate.
SalesForce is another one of the most popular solutions in CRM workflow management tools and sales and marketing tools. Over 150 000 companies world over-utilize the system to automate and implement efficient workflows, including some of the biggest names in various industries like Amazon, Toyota, Macy’s, and Spotify.
Apart from CRM workflow management, the brand also offers tools for contact management, lead management, email marketing, accounts management, social media, and many more. It also comes with a handy mobile app that allows you to stay on top of customer interactions even on the go.
Pipedrive is more of a sales-oriented solution that offers an efficient CRM workflow management tool. It allows you to categorize your leads because of the stages of each of them throughout the sales funnel.
It also offers insightful analytics tools to help you measure your performance in CRM. Likewise, it features email integration and flexible features to sync other applications as well, in the form of add-ons.
It serves as the perfect solution for companies with relatively long and complicated CRM workflows and high numbers of incoming leads.
Freshsales, as the name suggests, is another versatile solution that is specially made for sales teams. Its workflow segment offers features like lead scoring, lead, account and contacts management, SMS integration, etc. Apart from its efficient workflow management tool where you can add tasks, assign team members, set priorities, and measure performance, it also features tools for event tracking, email marketing, profile enrichment, and analytics.
Insightly is perhaps one of the most affordable solutions in this list that offers the best value for money with a top-notch CRM workflow management tool. With ample storage capabilities, far set monthly credit limits, unlimited custom reports, and API access, Insightly serves to be an all-rounder when it comes to features.
It also allows email marketing as well as third-party integrations. In addition, its workflow segment offers features such as pipelines and activity reports along with Google calendar and Contacts integration to facilitate smooth and seamless workflows.
In all the above seven tools mentioned, each of them has its unique strengths and capabilities. Therefore, you need to choose a CRM workflow management solution that offers the best features in workflows and is flexible enough to adapt to your unique organizational structure as well.
It ultimately decides whether the end goal of establishing good customer relationships and improving sales will be achieved feasibly. It provides the most important means to manage team workflows and make the most of a CRM solution.
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