Customer relationship management (CRM) software can be highly beneficial for small businesses. For your business to fully reap the benefits, you’ll need to create CRM workflows.
With CRM workflows, you can automate several sales, marketing, customer support and account management tasks, thus freeing your team’s time for more complex, meaningful tasks. CRM workflows can also alert your team to major lead and prospect updates that could help you nab your next customer or client. Best of all, CRM workflows are easy to set up, even if perfecting them takes some trial and error.
CRM software combines several tools into one, with several departments that use the software for their own purposes. 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 be used to 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 key 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. Every time a customer takes a certain action, your team doesn’t have to manually complete all the steps required thereafter. Instead, the CRM automatically handles it. [Read related article: How to Choose CRM Software]
CRM software can automate a wide range of tasks, including:
CRM software houses many tools, and you can set it up to automate many important workflows relating to marketing, customer support, and account management.
Now that you understand how versatile and useful CRM workflows can be, here are some steps to create them:
Although automation saves time and tasks, you should never automate all of your work. For example, tasks pertinent early in the sales funnel are better suited for automation than lower-funnel processes, most of which inherently require human interaction.
After you decide which high-funnel processes you’ll automate, test your automation processes, and compare your results with your ideal metrics. Additionally, your sales, marketing and customer service teams may have valuable insights into which CRM workflows are helping or hindering their work.
With most CRMs, setting up workflows involves the same basic steps:
This process usually takes just a few minutes; further, CRM workflows are flexible and can be adjusted as needed.
After you set up your workflows, you and your team should observe how well (or poorly) your CRM workflows are helping your team achieve its goals. Run tests to identify workflow flaws, and revise your workflows as needed. Running, testing and revising workflows in this manner is crucial to properly using your CRM.
Let’s say your tests determine that, although your help ticketing process is automated, your team is still taking longer than expected to resolve tickets. You should inform your team of any adjustments you make to your CRM workflows to solve this issue (or revert help ticketing to a manual task).
No matter the task or department, never implement workflow changes without telling your teams. Doing so could lead employees to think that certain actions have been triggered when, in reality, your workflows no longer trigger them.
You can also gain valuable employee feedback when apprising your team of changes. Often, employees who sense that your workflow changes might pose challenges will say so. You can then use this feedback to inform future workflow strategies.
A CRM workflow that makes life easier for one team may be a substantial obstacle for another. Never use workflows that empower one team at the expense of another – instead, go back to the drawing board and find a solution that works for both teams.
In doing so, your teams’ input will again prove valuable. If you’re trying to create CRM workflows that both your sales and marketing teams can use, speak with each group about what’s succeeding and what could be improved. Keep workflows that help teams, and eliminate those that hinder them.
Don’t be afraid to revise, rerun and retest your workflows as often as needed until you perfect them. The better your workflows, the more streamlined your operations will be, which can lead to a happier, more successful team.