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improve your workflow automation

“Every successful organisation needs to make sure things run smoothly—be it onboarding new customers, or increasing customer engagement.”

But as you grow, handling everything manually can be hectic and pretty unrealistic. In order to manage customer satisfaction at scale, you need improved systems to accomplish your goals. And Salesmachine automated workflows can help you with that.

To be clear, Workflows refer to the series of processes accomplished in steps, from start to completion, thanks to which you can accomplish an entire project, such as onboarding a new customer or handling an upsell opportunity, in a totally automated – yet personalised – way. 

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • What do you mean by workflows
  • Different types of workflows
  • Fundamental components of workflows
  • Difference between workflows and processes
  • Automated vs manual workflows (we call these Playbooks)
  • How to create and manage automated Workflows with Salesmachine
  • Key takeaways

What is a workflow?

Workflows are the system of organising recurring processes and tasks to standardise best business practices, which gives the result of bridging the gap between current and desired task’s goals.

For example:

Let’s look at this simple workflow example regarding employee onboarding:

  • You send an offer later to the candidate
  • After that, the candidate sends you the signed copy of the letter.
  • Once it’s done you schedule a meeting with him to make him aware of the working process.
  • And next you assign a manager who will help the candidate with everything.

But in Customer Success, workflows can be more complicated than this one…

Types of Workflows

Workflows are further divided into three categories

  • Process Workflows 
  • Case Workflows
  • Project Workflows

Let’s get a look at each one of them briefly. 

Process Workflows

A task interprets a process workflow when the steps are predefined and recurring in nature. And this means you are aware of the steps and the direction it would take even before any item begins the workflow.

In business, process workflow deals with an indefinite number of steps going through them. And a limitless number of products can be handled in such a workflow by just making a few adjustments. 

Case Workflows

In Case Workflows, you don’t know the path needed to finish the item from the beginning. The consequent actions keep getting visible as you gather more data. Customer support tickets are the best Case Workflows examples.

Also, the workflow path keeps changing along the way and cannot be figured out further without proper research and analysis. So its steps cannot be predetermined at the initial stages. 

But like the process workflows, case workflows are also capable of processing indefinite numbers of steps, but the human or AI capabilities can affect its optimal efficiency. 

Project Workflows

Project Workflows also has predefined steps of rules like Process Workflows, but there is more agility in the process or the steps. 

You can easily predetermine the effects of each step till its finalisation. But the bandwidth of items it can deal with is restricted to only one. 

Basic components of Workflows

All types of Workflows have variations in them based on the output, but apart from this, you can still find some common factors correlated to them.

And, here they are:

  • Trigger

It refers to the stage or event that initiates a workflow. Triggers include a conclusion, a particular time or date, an activity or even a reaction towards a situation or rule. Any event that executes your plans, leading to a particular outcome, is a trigger.

  • Activity

Among all basic components, the most complicated one is activity. It has three components— task, actors and data.

  • Tasks

Tasks or activities are steps you need to finish to reach goals. Either employees can do it or you can automate this with a software like Salesmachine.

But doing it manually depends upon the type of task and size of the organisation. And here Workflows automation softwares can help you save time and effort while also being cost-effective.

  • Actors

Anyone or anything, whether it’s a person or software who handles or influences the work process in any way, is an actor. 

Identification of actors involved in a workflow is also essential for smooth operation, and identification is also known as “workflow X-ray”.

  • Data

Sharing of facts is crucial as the task progresses through each step. It can be a report or database information. And in the case of automated workflows, it can be formed to fill data.

The simplicity or complexity of a workflow corresponds to the amount of work that needs to be done. They can be highly detailed or a simple end-to-end process. 

  • Outcome

It refers to the outcome of the above two steps as it depends on steps involved in trigger and activity components. The Workflow outcome should have features like differentiable, identifiable and relevancy, that also provides real-time actionability.

Are workflows and processes the same thing?

Certainly Not.

Workflows are just a checklist of the task involved in a process, while processes are a broader concept that includes information, documents, and methods needed to complete a job from start to end.

Workflows only state the tasks needed to be done to achieve a result, but the process involves the data required for the happening of each step in a Workflow. 

Simply saying, Workflows themselves are a part of a larger process. Workflows are more like a helping tool in the process— there can be a process without a Workflow, but Workflows without a process are a nuisance. 

For instance, a well-thought customer onboarding is a process. The automated triggered-based email campaigns designed to accomplish this process are Workflows. 

Onboarding Workflows are created in Salesmachine to ensure smooth customer onboarding. They are triggered by events specific to your company, types of product and customers. 

Automated Workflows vs Manual Playbooks

As it sounds, in manual workflows, human intervention is needed to enhance customer success. While in an automated workflow, employees optimise different steps with a cloud-based workflow and don’t have to involve themselves in data transfers.

Salesmachine automated Workflows are designed to reduce manual hours while managing other tasks… especially the ones that require a human-touch. For these, Salesmachine has created automated Playbooks – best practices that keep the team in a state of alert when a situation needs their personal attention. 

How To Create And Manage Automated Workflows with Salesmachine?

Enough said about types and benefits of Workflows. Now it’s high time we talk about creating one. Salesmachine allows you to create fully automated Workflows in a couple of clicks.

Step 01- Create a new workflow

Click on the automation module, select workflow, and click on new workflow on the top-right of the screen.

Step 02- Name your workflow and add a description

Naming your workflow will help you in distinguishing multiple workflows.

email personalization

Step 03- Choose a trigger

  • Select and entity type

You can choose between target contacts or accounts and it will target the actions on specified ones.

email personalization-customer engagment

  • Choose a trigger type
    • When contacts/accounts enter or leave a segment
    • When contacts/accounts enter or leave a stage
    • When contacts/accounts health declined or progressed 
    • When contacts/accounts (any contact within the account) perform an event

email personalization-customer engagment

  • It’s time to select a trigger

You can choose a trigger according to the trigger type, such as stage, segment, etc. And Salesmachine also has an option to add an additional filter to block certain contacts or accounts to trigger the workflow.

email personalization

Step 04- Define actions

Create steps of actions that will be created automatically when the account triggers the workflow.

email personalization-customer engagment

Step 05- Add steps of actions

To add a new step, you should click on step. The next step would be to inserting the actions:

  • Email
  • HTML email
  • Slack notification: receive a message on a public channel or DM
  • Owner attribution: assign owner
  • Team notification: send an email to the owner of the contact/account or all admins if no owner
  • Webhook: send the contact/account data to a specified URL. Use this action with Zapier to create actions in more than 200+ services (ex: create a trello card)

Step 06- Add delay between steps

Use delays to wait hours or days before to create a series of actions. And every delay is counted from the moment the contact or account moved out of the previous step. 

And if there is no delay between steps, all actions are sent immediately—which we don’t recommend.

Step 07- Add step and delay conditions

You can add conditions on step to delay and create them only when the contact or account conditions are satisfied. For example, you would like to activate a new user for onboarding with a series of emails then the workflow might look like this:

  • Step 01: Send email, how to get started?
  • Delay 1 day
  • Step 2 (condition: only if contact never used feature), send email use feature A to create B

Step 08: Enable the workflow to make it live.

Once the workflow is live, accounts or contacts that have triggered actions will action the workflow.

email personalization-customer engagment

Wrapping Up

It all boils down to the conclusion that brainstorming and devising Workflows to execute several processes can bring an optimal mapping system to achieve a customised approach to a customer’s journey.

That makes the whole process seamless without compromising the potential scalability and flexibility range.

So scale your company quickly and robustly. And handle your other business aspects, while Salesmachine handles your Workflows.

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