One of the most common questions I’m asked as a Product Consultant goes something like this, “How can we automate more of our internal sales processes in CRM with ClickDimensions?”
It’s really a great question. While there’s a lot that you wouldn’t want to or couldn’t automate because it requires the human touch, there are plenty of processes that don’t need human interaction to be completed. These are the logistical portions that can easily be forgotten, omitted or overlooked, resulting in inconsistent data in your CRM, gaps in recorded customer journeys and all-around bad practices. Well, here’s one way to keep your data healthy and intact while also teeing up your teams to focus on what they do best.
For this process, we will use some of the best tools we have in our Dynamics 365/CRM and ClickDimensions quivers while also using a few new ones that, in my opinion, are some of the most underrated entity powerhouses in CRM. Here’s the strategy: We are going to create a ClickDimensions campaign automation that triggers off a form submission, routes via a selected product in the form, then automatically creates an opportunity associated to the corresponding product’s price list and contact’s account via an on-demand workflow, and then assigns it to the participant’s owner and notifies them with a CRM task.
*Note: some of these steps are Dynamics CRM processes. If you’re stuck or unsure, check with your CRM partner or admin—they will be your best go-to for help.
Now, some of you may be saying, “You can do all of this with just a workflow. Why use a campaign automation instead?” Easy. Campaign automation is going to give you something that the workflow won’t. When you run your leads and contacts through a campaign automation, you’re getting participant timelines and overall percentage-based statistic data, all linked together with dates and journeys. Pair this with the human element of what your sales and customer success teams will record in CRM on their own, or even make this another component within an existing campaign automation you have already, and you’re getting the entire customer journey as data. Start to finish.
Within those blue series blocks in the campaign automation above is the setup of the opportunity records, by product and any action I want to use to notify the participant’s record owner. In this example, I know that this contact’s Customer Success Manager has two opportunities to follow up on for different products, and two corresponding CRM tasks. We haven’t even looked at the contact record for this person, yet we already have a lot of good data set up just from the contact filling out the form! Worth it, right?
To really get started, we need to work on our building blocks to put all of this together.
Step one this time can be a few different things. I recommend using CRM price lists and products, so that’s my first step. I want as much data in my CRM as possible, so having my products sorted is going to help me do that. You may already have this set in your CRM, but if you don’t already, you’ll want them for sure. And why not? You will be able to get that beautiful data all lined up in your CRM for you to analyze. You do want to get all the data possible in your CRM, right?
In our example, I’m using a product bundle for my fictional clothing company.
Now that products are done, step two is the form. Making a ClickDimensions form is easy to do, and we have some step by step lessons here. If you don’t want to make your own forms, the ClickDimensions product consulting team can do it for you, along with creating other ClickDimensions assets. Not sure if you have product consulting hours? Contact your Customer Success Manager to learn more.
Here’s something to be aware of: the process outlined here is great for forms, but it can be even better when utilized alongside a form capture. Why? Because you may already have some forms in place with complex requirements or product/service selections, and all you need to do there is link the fields you want from the form capture to ClickDimensions.
Consider this example too: say you have something conditional set up (the fields change based on the selections checked/input by the submitter) where your submitters can arrive at a section to select a product, which you’ve set for form capture and feed into your CRM. This process may seem small, but will save you so much time. Weaving them into your internal processes is what changes them from a simple blanket to a beautiful tapestry of data and efficiency. And that’s exactly what we want.
I’ve made a form, and in this case, to ensure accuracy, I want the Email and Company Name fields to be required. This should keep us accurate later when we start referencing accounts. As far as mapping your products goes, this is entirely up to you. In my example, I’ve made a checkbox field for each product. These fields are not required, so my submitters can pick and choose what they want. Everything else here is preferential, though I highly advise adding a CAPTCHA for submission security.
Now, I’m not worried about mapping my product fields to the contact records because I’m creating the opportunity, the posted form and the campaign automation, and I’m really using this to get me to the account. So, adding a custom lookup field for products to go on the contact form when I’m not even going to use that as a reference really isn’t needed with how I am utilizing this setup. Again, you may have a different feeling about it or a different use for that data, so if you need it, then do it! It’s very much up to you.
Last note on my form. I added an autoresponder action within the form. I wanted to have the personal touch, but I also didn’t feel like I needed to track the responder, so I found it easier to not make it a Send Email action within the upcoming campaign automation, and simply attribute it to the form instead. You can do whichever way you prefer.
Next, we’re on to the on-demand workflow. We will want it to be on-demand in the campaign automation, so it can run only when called. Set up the action to Create New Record, and we’re going to use the opportunity. You will want to make one of these workflows to create an opportunity for each product line/price list you have. If you need a refresher, check out my blog post all about the joys of on-demand workflows here.
There are tons of fields here. Now, let’s be realistic, we may not know some of these answers, but fill in as many as you like or are able to complete. If you’re unsure what to add, here are the minimum requirements to make this process based on this blog post work as intended:
2. Company (as account)
3. Potential Customer (contact or as account)
4. Owner (account owner)
This way, we have all the base info we need to associate an opportunity as best we can to accounts in CRM. Make sure that name, email and company are required in your form. I also recommend adding your price list here. Now I can hear the next question you’re going to ask: “Why won’t it let me add the specific products from my price list?” I wanted that too, when I was first building this process out and experimenting, so I totally understand. But after putting in a lot of thought, here’s what I realized: in truth, this is just an opportunity, so with the price list only, your salespeople are still in line to talk to the customer about which product on that price list will be the best fit, rather than just assigning it automatically and going from there. Think of it as a way to let your salespeople and Customer Success Managers really shine and put them in a position to find what works best for your customers.
As a final note about the workflow, you could get more complex here, adding steps to check for existing opportunities or other important information to help filter what’s created. For now, I’m just setting up the foundations, so, if you want to take it a bit further, go for it. If you’re unsure how, chat with your CRM partner or admin for ideas and advice.
Now that we’re all done with the workflow, all you need to do is save and activate.
At this point, we need to build the campaign automation, which won’t take long.
Here is what is within the Decision Node:
And a look inside the series:
Now this is just my take on that, and I like the Create Task Activity action. You can add or subtract whatever you want after the workflow and put in your way of notifying your account managers/sales reps/customer success. But this way we’re ensuring that when someone selects a product on a form an opportunity is created. We are utilizing all that info we’ve collected with our forms to do as much of the logistical work as possible beforehand, which in turn frees up our salespeople to focus on what they do best. Make sure you publish this bad boy when you’re ready and let it fly!
Are there other triggers and starting points for this? Yes! Experiment and look around. Maybe a marketing list and custom CRM fields is more your style instead of a form. Do it. Even better, you can always implement this process into your already existing campaign automations or add them to new ones like the one my colleague, Kelly, talks about in her series of sales opportunity blog posts here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).
Here’s another example from the one I used for this post, doubled up with a marketing list to an email send to start as an interest campaign based on a list generated of contacts that showed interest from a survey.
The cherry on top is that as opportunities fail and succeed… I’ll say it one last time… you’re getting the entire customer journey as data. And who wouldn’t want that?