Dynamics 365/CRM on-demand workflows are like little racehorses waiting inside the starting gate for the gun to go off. You may have dabbled with them previously for CRM functions, but how about with ClickDimensions? In truth, there’s already a nice list of uses. And we’re going to go through them together based on different scenarios. Now, if you’re not familiar with on-demand workflows, don’t worry— I will give you a bit of an introduction first.
Workflows are a CRM feature that you can use to perform specific tasks with existing data within CRM or even to create new data and records. You can set workflows to run in the background automatically, when something specific occurs or you can have them waiting until called upon.
On-demand workflows are the ones you run “manually,” but I use manually loosely because something needs to make it run. With ClickDimensions, the nice part is that you don’t have to stand by to press a button throughout the day. Unless you want to, then by all means. But none of us have that kind of time, right?
Let me show you an example of what an on-demand workflow looks like—this one’s job is to update a Job Title field on a contact record. One thing to note here: Since workflows are a native CRM function and not a ClickDimensions entity, if you need assistance with setting them up beyond this you will want to reach out to a CRM resource such as an admin or partner.
Enter the Entity
The entity that you’re going to run the workflow for will be specified in the workflow’s Entity field. In my example, I’m using the contact, but there are quite a few very viable entities, so you have many possibilities!
Make sure you select for the process to be run “As an on-demand process.” Then you will start adding your steps (see the bottom of this screenshot).
Choose Your Field
In this case, I am updating the Job Title field as mentioned above with my desired value:
Save it, then activate it and voila!
Now let’s talk about how we can use on-demand workflows like this with ClickDimensions.
Automating Automations – Using Campaign Automation to Run Your Workflows
Thanks to the Workflow action in campaign automation, you can publish your campaign automation, stand back and let the workflow work its magic. It will be there to “press the button” on your behalf for every participant that reaches that step. And you can have all kinds of Workflow actions in your automation, like even ending every path with one to update records upon completion.
The scenario here is what I have within my double opt-in campaign automation. To briefly revisit, the workflows update the contact records for each participant depending on how they completed their path based on previous actions. This allows me to have a recorded status on every contact record, which I can see when working with individuals.
This next one here is special. With some custom fields in place and multiple on-demand workflows to signify phase steps, you will know where your participants are in a campaign automation just by glancing at their records!
One final note regarding campaign automations and the workflows used within them: They can only be set up for contacts and leads. If you have both in the same automation, you will want to make two versions of each workflow, one for your contacts and one for your leads.
Advancing Your Advanced Finds – Running the Workflow on Advanced Find Results
I know, I know, advanced find is a CRM feature. But ClickDimensions entities and data are accessible within the advanced find tool thanks to our native integration.
In an advanced find, there’s a Run Workflow button that you can click after you get your search results to run an on-demand workflow. The easiest example I have on hand is from another one of my blog posts here, where I created a custom CRM field to map sources on contact records. Through some nifty advanced find work, I was able to run one of multiple on-demand workflows to mass populate the contacts that came up in my results to all have the right information entered in the Source field.
This is huge. Now you’re using this to continually affect and update fields on the go, and since on-demand workflows aren’t constantly running in the background, make plenty of them and run them at the end of these searches, and all in conjunction with ClickDimensions entities and records.
Updating Your Records in Record Time – Run an On-Demand Workflow on Lists of Records in Views
Just think about all the views you may use on a normal day. Views of email statistics, web analytics and posted web content? No problem. This blog post talks about running on-demand workflows on excluded email records to help weed out invalid addresses in your marketing lists.
And this post shows you how you can run on-demand workflows on email events to create notes on contact records after specific actions, such as a click on an email.
Full-Contact Contacts – Run the Workflow from the Contact Itself
Save time navigating through the menus, set up some loops to run an on-demand workflow regularly without having to have tons of different versions of the same workflow running all the time. An example would be here— send out an email to wish people a happy birthday automatically. Add a little FreeMarker into those emails and stand back. You don’t have to do anything. It just goes and goes and goes.
Or, to take the recurring email to the next level, you can use an on-demand workflow to send them daily, monthly or even a relative time, such as the first day of the month. Just follow this link to take a look at the full process.
Accountable Accounts – Running the Workflow through the lens of Accounts
On the heels of the previous example, we’re still shooting for the contact, but now we’re taking a step back to run the workflow through the account record. The example from this blog post has the on-demand workflow process outlined as Method 3. Bonus: This one does go through quick send emails and some neat things with the ClickDimensions import tool too.
And that wraps this up. I hope this gives you a new perspective on on-demand workflows, creates a wellspring of ideas on how you can implement these in your systems, or at the very least, some fantastic new ways to use them with ClickDimensions that you can keep in your quiver for just the right occasion!