Designing workflows

Workflows are the lynchpin that makes your sales and marketing automation turn your business into the efficient, growing system you want it to be.

Complex cascading workflows can automate any part of your business.

Workflows are built using two components :

  1. Trigger
  2. Actions

Tringers are things that someone does to initiate the workflow; for example, when a lead :

  • Clicks a link in an email
  • Watches a video
  • Visits a webpage
  • Interacts with you on social media
  • Updates contact data
  • Fills out a form
  • Sends a text message
  • Opens a chat session
  • Calls a salesperson
  • Requests an appointment
  • Attends an event

Triggers then cause a workflow to happen.

Workflows can be any combination of different actions; for example when your CRM :

  • Sends an email
  • Puts a contact into a sequence of emails (also known as a drip campaign)
  • Adds a contact to a group (or market segment) within your account
  • Tags a contact
  • Assigns or appends data to the contact record
  • Sends a text message
  • Creates a CRM activity (for example, a salesperson follow up with a phone call or discovery meeting)
  • Sends a printed piece to the contact
  • Records a conversion

After you determine your customer story arcs and internal processes, it’s time to translate those into workflows. You need intimate knowledge of how the people in your organization do their jobs to set up these workflows. Your objective is to ensure their jobs get done right every time.

Workflows are used to prevent problems or issues going unsolved or follow-ups not getting done.

Considering limitations of your workflow

Workflows can only be triggered by actions you can measure. The principles of a fully integrated CRM, where the CRM is measuring every channel possible, give you the power to automate virtually every step of engagement with your leads and clients. If you don’t measure an action a contact makes, you can’t take action on it to help steer that contact down a path.

On the other side of the workflow, the more you connect to the action side of a workflow, the more you can make happen. If workflows can schedule CRM activities, send emails, send text messages, trigger campaigns, and/or update contact records, you can cover the more common actions in your workflow.

Communicating across multiple channels

Omnichannel marketing describes a consistent customer experience across different channels; similar language and design are used for email, brochures, and social media sites. The same idea applies to your workflows, when you send emails, drive people to webpages, and send printed collateral with your workflows, make sure your leads see consistent content and language.

Workflows activated by your Zoho CRM should allow you to communicate across any number of channels, but you want to be careful. Be sure you think through your overall strategy and buyer journey before you decide to everwhelm your leads and clients with too manu messages.

Remember that your automated, workflow-activated messages should conform to message, the better, For example, you chould be able to design a single email and personalize it based on the recipient’s demographic information.

Personalizing emails should be a simple process.

Cascading rules should place content in your messages as they are sent, personalizing the experience for each recipient.

You also should be careful to not inundate your leads and clients. Keep your messages focused and don’t flood them with too many emails or text messages. Workflow activation limits should prevent too many messages.

Workflow activation limits should prevent too many messages, but be cognizant of each workflow, so you don’t annoy the people you’re trying to sell to.

Building different workflow actions for opportunities

Deals are objects that track larger sales deals. If a workflow gets activated and connected to a new deal, you should be able to specify different behavior based on the deal characteristics.

Deals have a creation date and a close date, representing when the deal was realized and when the sale is expected to be completed. As such, you should be able to define CRM activities based on those dates.