As you deepen your expertise in automation, you’ll likely transition from automating isolated tasks to automating entire workflows. This shift can significantly magnify the value you bring to your organization.
What is a workflow?
A workflow is a repeatable set of steps in a process. The key is that these are business-critical activities, as opposed to one-off tasks or personal productivity hacks.
For example, a basic sales process might have five basic phases, with different workflows associated with each phase:
- Prospecting: Identifying and qualifying potential customers.
- Engagement: Initiating contact and presenting your offering.
- Negotiation: Handling objections and negotiating terms.
- Closing: Finalizing the sale and processing payment.
- After-Sale Service: Providing support and building relationships for future business.
As you might have guessed, workflow automation is streamlining and automating these workflows. It is usually more valuable than task automation because it contributes to a core business activity and usually replaces a longer chain of manual steps.
Workflow inspiration by role
Here are some common workflows by job function. Look them over for inspiration for workflows you might automate in your work.
|Marketing operations||Streamlining lead collection, managing paid campaigns, reporting metrics, segmenting subscribers, tracking offline conversions|
|Social media manager||Tracking brand mentions, sharing content across platforms, logging posts, curating content for posts|
|Sales||Following up with prospects, scheduling demos and consultations, tracking sales pipeline, updating and managing contacts|
|Accounting||Invoicing, client onboarding, filing expense reports, updating CRM with payment statuses, collecting signatures|
|eCommerce||Fulfilling orders, tracking sales, adding customers to a mailing list, notifications for failed charges, inviting customers to leave reviews|
|Project manager||Creating reports, assigning tasks, reminders for deadlines, tracking time|
You’ve looked for automation opportunities in your day-to-day tasks and workflows. In the next lesson, you’ll turn to other people for inspiration – looking at automation best practice based upon your role.