A CRM is a tool used by marketers to help manage their relationships with customers.
It can be an invaluable asset in understanding your customer base and helping you plan the next steps in marketing campaigns, but it takes time and effort to really get the most out of this powerful software.
Table of Contents
- 1. What Is Workflow?
- 2. Workflows in CRM Systems
- 3. Reasons Why Workflow is Important:
- 4. How CRM automates workflows
- 5. How to use CRM workflow management
- 6. What Types of Workflows Can CRM Automate?
- 7. Connecting with Leads Faster
- 8. Increasing Conversions with Email Follow-Ups
- 9. CRM Workflow Automation Tools
This blog post will cover some basics about how to set up your CRM workflow so that you can have a more streamlined process for managing leads, contacts, and accounts!
What Is Workflow?
Workflows in a CRM are valuable tools to business professionals because they are automated. You can create rules to automate the day-to-day tasks that take up too much time. Specific actions can be automated, such as assigning a new task to a user, sending alerts to your sales team members, and updating the value of a field on the record.
In addition, workflows tend to work in the same way, regardless of the system you use. The user of the system who is creating the workflow will define the triggers and actions. Workflows make a foundation for business activity to happen more efficiently. You’ll be able to view, operate, manage, analyze, and improve your business.
When creating a workflow, the end goal is the same: to automate your daily process, saving your business time and money and allowing your sales team to focus on the essential things, pleasing your customers.
The fundamentals of the workflow engine within Salesforce.com and SugarCRM are the same, but the overall user experience is different.
Workflows in CRM Systems
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.
For example, in CRM, the plan 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 lead 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 nurturing or leading them further into the sales funnel are pursued.
Once the lead 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.
WordPress ERP has published a complete guide on how you can improve your sales using CRM workflow automation in this post.
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.
Reasons Why Workflow is Important:
No Paper Trail
Workflow keeps digital copies of files, automates tasks, alerts those who need to take action, and records everything relevant to the process.
Workflow helps to identify duplicates in your system, which allows you to delete the copies and avoid confusion later on.
Accentuate the Positives
Want to keep your employees engaged and improve productivity? Workflow allows you to assign tasks to people based on their strengths and skillsets.
Workflows provide regular insights into your processes, the team members involved, and how your organization meets its deadlines.
Workflows provide triggers to keep sales activities moving according to a timeline. This further enables team members to see when and where input is needed.
How CRM automates workflows
CRM software combines several tools into one, with several departments that use the software for their purposes. For example, a sales team can use a CRM’s most fundamental features, such as lead tracking and communication logging.
Outside of sales, the best CRM software can establish and grow B2B or customer relationships. Some CRMs can assist a sales team with marketing.
Some CRMs include analytics, project management tools, dialers, and chatbots that streamline essential work tasks from one dashboard.
Regardless of their features, most CRM software comes with workflows through which one customer action, often called a “trigger,” automatically generates another set of actions. So every time a customer takes a specific effort, your team doesn’t have to complete all the steps required after that manually. Instead, the CRM automatically handles it.
How to use CRM workflow management
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.
Here are the steps you need to follow.
Step 1 – Define the Goals and Objectives of a Workflow
The first step in employing a good CRM workflow management solution would be to have specific goals and objectives defined in customer relationships, sales, and marketing not to lose 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.
Step 2 – 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.
Step 3 – 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 input on what areas they need to help with, which areas are challenging, etc. This is so that you can customize the CRM workflow management tool according to their preferences and make work easier.
Step 4 – 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, set 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.
What Types of Workflows Can CRM Automate?
CRM software can automate a wide range of tasks, including:
- Email newsletters. Whenever a customer joins your email list, your CRM can set up an automated workflow to send the new subscriber an email thanking them for joining and informing them what they can expect from future newsletters or emails from your company. Your workflow could also include internal measures, such as generating a CRM file for the customer and appropriately scoring your new lead.
- Lead scoring. A lead scoring system assigns values to all of your leads on a scale that typically runs from 0 to 100. Your CRM can set up workflows to automate this process – in the above email newsletter example. Your CRM can score your lead upon list signup. Your CRM can also score leads any time they take actions that move them through the sales funnel. It can also notify your sales team of valuable lead follow-up opportunities.
- Drip marketing. Through automated drip marketing campaigns, your customers receive a sequence of marketing emails that nurture leads and move them along the sales funnel. You can often launch these campaigns from within your CRM, and you can then set up workflows that score leads based on their engagement with your drip campaign.
- Lead generation. Before you embark on a drip campaign, you’ll need to have targetable leads. To find these leads, you can set up CRM workflows that enable lead generation. Whenever someone follows through on your company’s calls to action, you can trigger a CRM workflow that labels the customer as a potential lead.
- Lead alerts. CRM workflows can notify sales managers when leads that meet specific criteria are entered into your database. You can also set up workflows that alert your managers to key changes with these accounts or when urgent follow-up is needed.
- Account management. Workflows can be created that alert you to client contracts that are set to expire soon and thus require resigning or renegotiation. These can be either one-time alerts or staggered, recurring notifications. For simpler contracts or monthly subscriptions, you can automatically send renewal emails.
- Reporting. Most CRM software can generate a wealth of reports. They can often automatically send these reports. With the right CRM, you should be able to set workflows for any report.
- Call logging. Automated call logging is part and parcel of CRM, and CRM workflows for call logging are the cherry on top. Zoho’s CRM software can ensure that missed calls are returned by letting users set up workflows that automatically generate callback tasks for unanswered calls.
- Customer service. With CRM workflows, you can automate the process through which help tickets get completed. You can send customer service emails, flag customers for personal follow-up and alert relevant support reps. These workflows can also escalate and de-escalate issues or close help tickets.
Connecting with Leads Faster
When visitors come to your site, they’re showing an interest in your product or service. These leads need to be captured before they leave your site.
This is what makes web forms critical. For example, you’ll find many businesses using popups that get triggered when a visitor is about to leave to get them to sign up for their email newsletter.
However, you can use the form to collect information about visitors who want to know more about your offer. This includes their name, email address, and phone number. Once they fill it out, the information is stored in your CRM.
Your sales team is then alerted to their systems and mobile devices. If they’re not available, then the info is forwarded until a free agent makes the call.
After they get in touch with the lead, they insert additional details into the CRM, such as what product or service they’re interested in, their address, and so on.
Increasing Conversions with Email Follow-Ups
Qualifying leads makes it easier to convert them into customers. In addition, having a way to automate the qualification process can free up time, enabling your salespeople to focus on closing deals.
One way to go about this is with email follow-ups. Email is one of the most efficient methods for reaching out to leads. However, while they handed over their email address in exchange for free information, you can’t expect them to convert right away.
It takes multiple touchpoints before a lead converts. This requires consistent nurturing, which your sales team may not have the time for.
You can automate your email follow-ups in a personalized/segmented drip campaign. With CRM software, you can monitor how your emails are doing.
Experimenting is key to seeing which subject lines, messaging, imagery, CTAs, and deals convert the best. In the end, you have a sales team that’s more productive and prospects who are happy and willing to become a customer.
CRM Workflow Automation Tools
The right CRM workflow automation tools will allow you to program complex workflows with ease and manage customer relationships more efficiently.
In terms of functionality and features, Salesforce is one of the few software in the same league as Microsoft Dynamics 365. Like Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce offers options to automate CRM and ERP processes, significantly increasing its use cases.
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