A good CRM solution focuses on the one thing that keeps your business alive – the customer. The best CRM systems offer the most efficient means to reach out and get to your customers as well!
This means your solution should offer a host of tools including workflow automation, contact management, social media management, social listening, analytics and everything else in between that helps you get closer and establish a strong bond with the end focus, that is, the customer.
Now there are a million different CRM solutions out there in the market today offering a number of these features. For the same reason it can be quite difficult to narrow down options and choose the best one.
You ultimately need a solution that best fits your organizational needs and structure. More specifically it needs to fit your internal workflows and enhance it for improved efficiency. Only with a properly defined workflow with clear-cut processes will you be able to determine the right solution needed for your business. And only with the right solution will you be able to reap the benefits of a good CRM solution.
The term workflow essentially describes a sequence of tasks or a series of progressive steps leading up to an end goal in a business process. In CRM, the goal could be to complete a sale or solve a customer complaint or create and launch a marketing campaign etc. In other words workflows clearly define the means and the ways to reach the final objective of a business process.
For example, in B2B business a lead may be captured with an opt-in form on the website. Having checked out a few pages on your website or having downloaded resources on your website, the lead will then be analyzed for quality and probability of conversion. After establishing quality a sales agent is assigned to contact the lead for further nurturing and depending on the lead’s readiness to purchase, other steps for nurturing or leading them further into the sales funnel are then pursued. Once the lead is deemed “sales qualified” or an SQL, discussions, site visits or demos are arranged for the final pitch. If the lead is satisfied the quote is discussed and the invoice is sent. The product or service is delivered as discussed and the accountant ensures settlement of payment within the agreed time.
The above would be a typical example of a CRM workflow in B2B business carried out for pursuing leads and closing a sale.
Back in the day, CRM workflows like these were mapped out and presented in detail with the help of charts, graphs and diagrams for team members to study and form routines with. However, now advanced CRM solutions are used to carry out workflows where tasks can be encoded into the system. Processes can be automated either partially or fully using CRM workflow tools and team efficiency can be increased.
For the same reason, companies now use efficient CRM solutions to complete their CRM workflows and achieve maximum efficiency.
This is where the concept of workflow automation in CRM finds its relevance. A comprehensive solution comes with intelligent automation tools that allow you to identify repetitive and redundant tasks that do not need excessive manual intervention and effectively automate them to speed up the entire process. With CRM workflow automation tools you can fully automate processes or partially automate parts of the workflow according to requirements.
This way CRM workflow automation improves the overall efficiency of sales and marketing teams and allows managers more time to concentrate on creative tasks like strategy development and product ideation.
WordPress ERP has published a complete guide on how you can improve your sales using CRM workflow automation in this post.
Some of the most efficient and all-encompassing CRM solutions available in the market today offer reliable tools for workflow management.
For example, Agile CRM, comes with a full-blown workflow automation segment with tools to define, set and follow-up tasks. It allows you further define priorities, set statuses for customer service queries, and ensure consistency in workflows. It aligns all team members with the steps in the workflow and makes sure that everyone is on the same page, ensuring maximum productivity and achievement of objectives.
In customer relationships it is critical to have entire workflows mapped out clearly to provide seamless customer services. To do so, you first need to have a clear idea of how you are going to incorporate workflow management into your manual system.
Here are the steps you need to follow.
Step 1 – Define goals and objectives of a workflow
The first step in employing a good CRM workflow management solution would be to have specific and precise goals and objectives defined in terms of customer relationships, sales and marketing to not lose sight of the end goals. This allows you to better craft the steps required to achieve those objectives, adding and assigning team members wherever necessary.
Step 2 – Figure out manual workflows and identify areas that need automation
The next step is to clearly map out the manual workflows and identify areas that are redundant, repetitive, futile and time-consuming to apply automation and speed up those tasks and improve efficiency.
Step 3 – Consult sales and marketing team members for inputs
The CRM workflow management tool is ultimately going to be used by your sales and marketing team members. Hence, it is important to consult them – the end users for inputs on what areas they need help with, what areas are challenging for them etc. This is so that you can customize the CRM workflow management tool according to their preferences and make work easier for them
“If you’re not connecting with the people in your organization, you’ll never deliver the experience that you want for your customers” – Lynn Skoczelas
Step 4 – Implement, test, tweak, repeat
Finally, implement the CRM workflow management tool after carefully considering the information gathered. Add and set tasks, plan and arrange schedules, set actions, set lead scoring techniques for faster lead qualification checks, set KPIs etc. and enforce the automation effectively.
Once it is implemented, constantly track and measure progress and make changes until the best outcome is received.
Now to achieve maximum efficiency with CRM workflow management, you need to use the right software.
Here are the 7 best tools to consider for the coming months.
Agile CRM is one of the most versatile and holistic CRM workflow management tools available today. It comes with well-designed features to facilitate efficient and effective completion of workflows. From adding tasks to setting priorities to setting statuses and KPIs, Agile CRM offers a whole range of capabilities in workflow management alone. You can apply automation partly or fully to workflows, integrate it with other important applications, sync data and keep each person in the workflow up to date with the progress.
In addition, it offers intelligent CRM analytics as well which you can intelligently use to gain the competitive edge.
Apart from CRM, the tool comes with a dedicated email marketing tool and social media management tools to offer an Omnichannel customer relationship experience. On top of everything, being cloud hosted, it is one of the most reasonably priced and easy to install CRM workflow management software in the market today.
Hubspot is another all-encompassing CRM solution that offers a separate segment specifically CRM workflow management. And one of the biggest highlights of the solution is that provides ample scalability. It comes with a visual dashboard where you can see real time updated progress details within the sales funnel, where you can add or remove tasks, schedule appointments, track performance of team members and many more. It allows you sync customer data across channels like email and social media and integrate the information into your Outlook or Gmail for easy accessibility. Furthermore, it can also integrate easily with third-party applications like Office 365.
Zoho is a comprehensive and complete brand solution that includes everything from accounting to collaborative applications. Its cloud hosted CRM solution is one of the most popular ones in the market today simply because it is extremely user-friendly and involved no hassles whatsoever in installation. It comes with an array of features for customer data collection spanning multiple channels and insightful real-time analytics to make improvements. In the same way it also offers features for workflow management and comes with a whole library of applications that you can choose to integrate.
SalesForce is another one of the most popular solutions in CRM workflow management tools as well as sales and marketing tools. Over 150, 000 companies world over utilize the system to automate and implement efficient workflows, including some of the biggest names in various industries like Amazon, Toyota, Macy’s and Spotify. Apart from CRM workflow management the brand also offers tools for contact management, lead management, email marketing, accounts management, social media and many more. It also comes with a handy mobile app that allows you to stay on top of customer interactions even on the go.
Pipedrive is more of a sales oriented solution that offers an efficient CRM workflow management tool. It allows you to categorize your leads because of the stages of each of them throughout the sales funnel. It also offers an insightful analytics tools to help you measure your performance in CRM. Likewise, it features email integration as well along with flexible features to sync other applications as well, in the form of add-ons. It serves to be the perfect solution for companies that have fairly long and complicated CRM workflows and high numbers of incoming leads.
Freshsales, as the name suggests, is another versatile solution that is specially made for sales teams. In its workflow segment, it offers features like lead scoring, lead, account and contacts management, SMS integration etc. Apart from its efficient workflow management tool where you can add tasks, assign team members, set priorities and measure performance, it also features tools for event tracking, email marketing, profile enrichment and analytics.
Insightly is perhaps one of the most affordable solutions in this list that offers the best value for money with a top-notch CRM workflow management tool. With ample storage capabilities, far set monthly credit limits, unlimited custom reports and API access, Insightly serves to be an all-rounder when it comes to features. It also allows email marketing as well as third-party integrations. In its workflow segment it offers features such as pipelines and activity reports along with Google calendar and Contacts integration to facilitate smooth and seamless workflows.
In all the above 7 tools mentioned, each of them have their own unique strengths and capabilities. You need to choose a CRM workflow management solution that offers the best features in workflows and is flexible enough to adapt to your unique organizational structure as well. It ultimately decides whether the end goal of establishing good customer relationships and improving sales will be achieved feasibly. It provides the most important means to manage team workflows and make the most of a CRM solution.