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Streamlining Business Processes with Workflows and Entity Fields

ClickDimensions has a lot of great features that users can utilize in a variety of marketing and sales efforts. Our live-training academy and help site are both great for learning how to use these features, and we strongly encourage ClickDimensions users to take advantage of these resources to familiarize themselves with any features they will be using. However, there may be some situations where you want users who do not have (and, for all practical purposes, do not need to have) in-depth knowledge of a given feature to be able to follow and engage with business processes that utilize that feature.

For example, you may have some users who are responsible for entering new leads into your CRM, while another set of users will call those leads after some time has passed. You want the lead-entry users to trigger a specific text message, email or campaign automation based on some piece of data (an area of interest, geographic location, etc.) which will prep these leads for a call from a sales user in the second group who will determine which post-call actions should be taken. How can you make sure that each lead is run through the correct processes and sent the appropriate materials, while minimizing the possibility for user error?

CRM workflows! By creating workflows that are sensitive to the contents of various standard and/or custom lead fields, you can make sure that all the correct materials are sent to each lead, without pulling your lead-entry and sales users away from their primary tasks of entering and calling leads.

Define

Let's flesh out the example scenario a bit more, so that we have something more concrete to work with.

As new lead data is acquired at conventions and other live events, it is your lead-entry user's job to manually enter this data into CRM as new leads. All you want your lead-entry user to do is enter this data into a lead record, but you would like for a few things to happen once the lead is created:

  • Send the lead an email, in their preferred language, following up on the event.
  • Subscribe the lead to your blog, if they expressed interest.
  • Assign this lead to the appropriate sales user after one week.

Once the lead has been assigned to them, the sales user will call the lead. After this call, you want the sales user to simply mark a field on the lead record to indicate their level of interest: high, moderate, low or refused. This interest level will then trigger further sales processes, the details of which will not be covered in this post.

Plan

Now that we know what we want to happen, let's think through how we can make it happen using the available tools.

1. Send the lead an email, in their preferred language, following up on the event. This can be accomplished by building a workflow that runs on the creation of a lead, checks the lead's preferred language and attended event, and then sends the lead an appropriate email. Two custom fields will need to be added to the lead entity and form to allow the lead-entry user to enter this data.

2. Subscribe the lead to the blog RSS feed, if they expressed interest. This can be accomplished by adding a step into the above workflow that checks to see if the lead wants to be subscribed to your blog's RSS feed, and then takes the corresponding action. A custom field will need to be added to the lead entity and form to allow the lead-entry user to enter this data.

3. Assign this lead to the appropriate sales user after one week. This can be accomplished by adding a step into the above workflow that checks the lead's region, waits one week and assigns the lead to the appropriate user. You can use the lead's default country/region text field if you'd like, but creating a customer option set field will reduce the chance of user error.

4. The sales user marks a field on the lead record to indicate level of interest, which triggers further sales processes. This can be accomplished by creating a workflow that runs when the lead is updated, checks the lead's interest level and then takes an action to initiate the additional sales processes. A custom Interest Level field will need to be added to the lead entity/form. Further, an additional custom field and corresponding workflow steps will need to be added to the lead in order to make sure that these post-call processes only run when the sales user updates the lead following the phone call.

Build

Now that we have planned how we are going to automate these processes, we can easily see how to actually build it. We will be creating two workflows, each of which checks the data within one or more lead fields:

1. Lead-Creation Workflow

  • Attended Event
  • Preferred Language
  • RSS Subscriber
  • Region

2. Post-Call Workflow

  • Interest Level
  • Called in the Last 24 Hours?

Before building the workflows, you will need to create all of the custom fields that will hold the data referenced by the workflows. For this example, I have created custom option set fields for attended event, preferred language, region and interest level because option sets ensure that all the user has to do is select the appropriate option, thus eliminating the possibility of a typo. This is important because a single typo can throw off a workflow that is checking for a specific value in given field. I have also created custom two-option fields to indicate RSS subscribers and whether a lead has been called in the last 24 hours. This latter field will be used to make sure that the post-call processes are only initiated on leads that have been called that same day.

I have added all these fields to my lead form:

Now, let's expand to give a more detailed settings and process outline for each workflow. For the sake of clarity, in this example I have used only two options each for the Attended Event (Event A and Event B), Preferred Language (English and Spanish) and Region (North America and Europe) fields, but you can of course use as many options as you need to and the structure will remain the same:

Note: I use a Create: Send ClickDimensions Email step for all "send email" steps listed below, and the Update Marketing List Workflow Assembly for all "add to Marketing List" steps.

Lead-Creation Workflow

  • Organizational Scope (may be different, depending on your business structure)
  • Runs on the creation of a lead record
  • Checks that the lead's Attended Event equals Event A
    • If so, check that the lead's Preferred Language equals English
      • If so, send the lead the Event A English follow-up email
    • Check that the lead's Preferred Language equals Spanish
      • If so, send the lead the Event A Spanish follow-up email
  • Check that the lead's Attended Event equals Event B
    • If so, check that the lead's Preferred Language equals English
      • If so, send the lead the Event B English follow-up email
    • Check that the lead's Preferred Language equals Spanish
      • If so, send the lead the Event B Spanish follow-up email
  • Check that the lead's RSS Subscriber field equals Yes
  • Set wait timer to wait for one week
  • Check that the lead's Region equals North America
    • If so, assign the lead to the North America sales user
  • Check that the lead's Region equals Europe
    • If so, assign the lead to the Europe sales user

Here's what the lead-creation workflow looks like in CRM:

Post-Call Workflow

  • Organization Scope (may be different, depending on your business structure)
  • Runs when a lead record's Interest Level field changes
  • Checks that the lead's Called in the Last 24 Hours? field equals Yes
    • If so, check that the lead's Interest Level equals High
      • If so, initiate High Interest sales process
        • Execute a one-day wait timer
        • Update the lead's Called in the Last 24 Hours? field to No
    • Check that the lead's Interest Level equals Moderate
      • If so, initiate Moderate Interest sales process
        • Execute a one-day wait timer
        • Update the lead's Called in the Last 24 Hours? field to No
    • Check that the lead's Interest Level equals Low
      • If so, initiate Low sales process
        • Execute a one-day wait timer
        • Update the lead's Called in the Last 24 Hours? field to No
    • Check that the lead's Interest Level equals Refused
      • If so, execute internal process for handling leads that have refused sales
        • Execute a one-day wait timer
        • Update the lead's Called in the Last 24 Hours? field to No

Here's what this workflow looks like in CRM. As you can see below, I've used Add to Marketing List steps for each of the "Initiate X sales process" workflow step, but these are just placeholders. What you use for these steps depends on the specific sales process you want to send the lead through for each respective interest level:

Now, once these workflows have been activated, we have successfully automated a number of sales and marketing processes without requiring our lead-entry and sales users to do anything significantly different from what they have always done, while minimizing the chances of user error.

Happy Marketing!

Written by Weston Packard, ClickDimensions Senior Product Specialist

About the Author:

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Weston Packard is the Lead Product Specialist at ClickDimensions.

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