In this series of articles about Salesforce Automation, we have explained and demonstrated how each of the automation tools can be used and provided an example or two for each one.
The advantage of automated features in Salesforce is more than just making life easier by automatically performing tasks that we would previously have to do manually. Automating tasks ensures they don’t get forgotten, provides a consistent experience for the customers every time, and can make these tasks perform only when a complex set of criteria are met. As our Salesforce consultants here in Los Angeles always say: “information should be hand-entered into Saleforce.com only once – Salesforce automation should take over and do the rest without any manual actions!”
Here are some great examples of typical process automations that most organizations using Salesforce.com will have implemented.
Leads (or Prospects)
- Automatically reply to new leads created in Salesforce via your website to confirm you have received the customer inquiry and advise the expected response time. This not only gives the customer reassurance that you actually received their inquiry but also sets the expectation about when the customer can expect a reply.
- When a new inquiry is received from the website, automatically refer sales leads to the sales team and service leads to the service team.
- Notify the account owner when a lead from a new person at an existing account is received. There may have been a staffing change at this company that the account owner should know about.
- If a new lead has not been responded to within a given time frame, notify the supervisor of the team responsible for follow-up.
Opportunities (or Sales Orders)
- Advise the Sales Director of high-value opportunities over $100k so he/she can reach out to the customer’s CEO/CFO to help support the sales team.
- Advise the Sales Manager when an Opportunity reaches the value proposition stage so they can provide assistance to the sales consultant to prepare a winning proposal.
- When an account makes their first purchase (Opportunity is closed/won), change the account status from New to Active Client.
- Advise the Account Manager when a new urgent or high impact support case has been raised by contact from one of their accounts. Prevent nasty surprises when making a sales call!
Support Cases (or Help Desk)
- When a case is closed for a high-value customer, send a survey email 7 days after the close date, seeking feedback. Alternatively, create a task for the account owner to contact the customer for personalized feedback.
- Set the target resolution date for a customer support case based on the support plan the customer has purchased. Eg Premium – 1 day, Standard – 2 days, Basic – 3 days.
The following examples are more complex Salesforce automations that may require a combination of the automation tools to perform the required actions.
Joe is the Service Manager for a machinery business. When a sale has been made to a customer, he has to take some of the line items from the Order and create Assets so his team can provide warranty service for the equipment. He does not create assets for consumable items (like fuel, lubricating oils, and filters). Each different product has a different warranty period so this can be quite a time-consuming process for him. If the assets are not created before the customer requires service on the product or there is a breakdown in the first few days, the customer may be refused service on that product.
This a complex automation that is well suited to a Flow. When an Order is marked as paid, the Products listed on the Order (Line Items) need to be individually inspected to see if they include a warranty. For each product that does contain a warranty, a new Asset record needs to be created, including the product details, warranty period, purchase date and this Asset needs to be linked to the customer. This can all be completed automatically, the minute the Order is marked as paid.
Joe can also use these asset records to provide a reminder to the sales staff when the warranty is about to expire and this is an opportunity to sell an extended warranty or to offer a trade-in on the new product. If Joe knows the age and has a full service history for the asset, a trade-in price could be automatically calculated too.
Julia is the Project Manager for an IT Company. She needs to know immediately a sale is made to a customer that involves new work for her project team so she can schedule the resources required to deliver the project.
This requirement can also be automated with a Salesforce Flow as follows: When an Opportunity is changed to Closed/Won and it contains project tasks (Products) to deliver the product to the customer, a new project record can be created from the line items on the opportunity, together with the descriptions, quantities, prices, and dates required. Julia then knows well in advance what is required to deliver this project for the customer so she can plan accordingly and there is no delay or errors in communicating between the sales and projects team.
James is the support Manager for an electronics retailer. His team provides technical support for the products they sell. They are well trained and do a great job but the pressure of reducing costs while maintaining a quality support service is proving challenging.
Setting up an Auto-reply to a new support case created via the website with not only the case details but with instructions on how to solve common problems and how to search the customer support portal for self-service answers can help. This will not only reduce the effort required by the service desk but can also provide the customer with an answer immediately, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.