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Essential Stage-Based Automations

Workflow Automation is an essential tool for managing large volumes of Prospects, Clients, or Accounts.
"Workflows" are automated emails, calendar appointments, or tasks which are associated with particular stages in the Opportunity Record.  You can associate multiple items with a particular stage, and set certain items on a delay.  These emails/calendar appointments/tasks have the ability to be auto populated with client information, saving an enormous amount of time.
Since the concept of Automations can be somewhat abstract I will illustrate Workflow's flexibility by taking you through how I use it with my own process.  Hopefully you will be able to find parallel situations for your own business!

Introductory Email

In 95% of cases the introductory email I send out follows a basic formula -- meaning that I would not want to waste time repeating it.  I want to cover the basics:

1. Welcome to Prophet
2. Who I am
3. A few Prophet features to utilize
4. Call me if you have any problems! 

Proposal Follow-Up Reminders

I am a big Outlook Calendar user as opposed to Task user. (Task users fear not -- it can be made as a task as well).  To wit, I like to call to follow up on my proposals, rather than sending an email.  I rely on an automated calendar event associated with my "Proposal" stage to help stay on track.  (I can't tell you how much money this particular reminder has helped make for me!)

Meeting Follow Up Emails

After I have a call or meeting I like to send a quick follow up message to the attendees.  This demonstrates that I am attentive to any issues they may be having, and that I am accessible.  The "Meeting Follow-Up" Email Automation is flexible and editable, and I usually like to consolidate the action items into that email for future reference. 

Awaiting Payment Communication

I HATE having to send this one!  To any of my clients reading this -- please pay on time!  The good news is that a gentle reminder to "pay-up" only takes a single click.


How to make Workflows Successful:

1. Know your process.  There inevitably will be elements of your process which are mundane and repeat items -- that’s what we want to automate!
2. Outbound communications like emails should be set to a "0" day-delay.  This means that when you trigger the automation they will appear and offer you one final chance to make any necessary edits ("Great round of golf last weekend, Bill….etc).
3. Utilize the "Delay Days" feature for reminders with Tasks and Calendar Events.
4. You can attach documents to your templates, such as Brochures or Forms.  That will save a few steps for introductions, etc.  

This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what Workflow can accomplish.  My recommendation for beginners is to automate reminders first, and then build out into external communications.

Happy selling -- Barry McDonough 

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