Your enterprise CRM system has a lot of 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. Within a simple user interface you can easily set up rules 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 applications of workflow automation, and how they can benefit you.
Sales Process Automation
In a busy sales office, it doesn’t make sense for your sales managers to meet with every salesperson, every day. 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. 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.
Account Management Automation
As contracts near their expiration date, it’s important for account managers 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 be able 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 the case of high-value customers.
Workflow Automation and Business Processes
In a nutshell, workflow automation simply allows you to automate CRM-related tasks that you may currently be handling manually. 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.