Learn how you manage and assign work and become more efficient using workflows inside the new ResultsCRM.


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Hello everyone and welcome to today's free training Thursday. I have with me our results product specialist Mike Honig and he'll be taking us through workflows in ResultsCRM. As a reminder, these webinars will be available on www. AbacusNext.com/webinars, and will also be sent to all attendees at the end of the broadcast. Without further ado, I'll turn it over to Mike.

Thank you Amanda. I appreciate that, and thank you everyone for attending. We are going to cover workflow in ResultsCRM, and just because I've got a lot of material to cover today, I'm going to leave everyone muted. If you do have questions along the way please use the GoToWebinar area and we'll address those questions either at the end or after the webinar's completed we'll get back to you. So, couple of things. Workflow as I think of it is really primarily used for a couple of things. It's used to standardize processes and experts over the years have all agreed that one of the success factors for successful companies is when they can standardize processes and practices. So their follow-up is standard. Their customers all walk away with the same experience and feeling well taken care of. So, processes are important for that and workflow as well. In a CRM system, processes can also address the need to schedule workflow, to schedule follow-up, and do all those things while minimizing clicks.

In Results, you're able to create a library of predefined processes, and we'll take a look at that and the steps for doing that today. You can set up standardized processes, and they can be either automatically triggered. For example, if I get a new lead in the system, I might want a lead follow-up process to automatically get triggered, and we do that. That way nobody has to spend the time, and remember to go into that new lead, and click to add the scheduled activities for follow-up. That way, we can ensure that nothing falls through the cracks and all the business that you do comes your way.

Processes in Results are really defined as one or more activities in a specific order at specific intervals and assigned to the right users, and there's really two types of ways to use this. The first is by defining all of the activities in the process with predefined intervals between them, but some processes don't lend themselves to that. For example, if I have a process where the first step is to get a permit, I don't know how long it's going to take to get the permit so I can't really schedule the rest of the process until I know that permit has been received. So in Results we also have the facility to create, as what I think of, as work flow whereas each step in the process is completed it triggers automatically the next steps in the process, and this is a really powerful feature.

I've seen it used in a lot of different ways, and I'll show you today how to set that up and give you some examples, but if you think of an office process, office workflow where one person completes part of the process, when they complete it they put the papers in a folder and walk into somebody else's desk to do the next step, and then they take it and hand it to somebody else to do the next step.

That's workflow and Results lets you automat and digitally pass that file from person-to-person. It can also be used in the manufacturing process. So when step one is completed it sends it to the next person who's on the next machine, or whatever the case may be and they know that's being done, and when combined with projects in Results, that function can be really powerful, and really it's the type of workflow that can be used in all sorts of different companies. What I wanted to show you, the first step in setting up any workflow, whether it be a process or a specific workflow is to think about what the steps are, and Results when I go to the setup has a very powerful tool for setting up the activities to match the processes. So when I set up an activity, if I click to add a new activity ... So I just give it an activity type, and we'll make this a maybe a permit, and we'll call it get permit. Here, I'm going to make it more specific. We'll say that this is a building permit.

Yeah, permit. When I have these activity types, I'm just going to show you a couple of things, we can have it automatically set a start date. We can have it automatically assign it to a specific person. So in my example, if there was just one person in the company that was in charge of getting the permits, I could have this permit always assigned to Frank. And bear with me. Activities in Results can be set to be billable, and I know that a lot of our clients are looking at this and they provide services, and if you have billable services you can assign a billing account, and Results is set up to automatically do the billing. The other really powerful feature here on setting up the activities is you can predefine the notes. So, if for example getting the permit required several steps, one option is to actually put a checklist, and I can even in the description say, "See checklist."

I can go ahead and list all of the steps, whatever they happen to be, so that when I've assigned this to somebody they find it on their to do list and when they open it they'll have the whole checklist right in front of them. So they don't even really have to think about it. I can also, if I want, have an activity that automatically has a document attached to it. So I can attach a document, so if there was a form that needed to be filled to submit to get this permit. When I assign that activity I can have it automatically attach that form so they don't have to go looking for it.

Once I've defined the steps that I want ... and I'll go ahead. Oh, activities. Okay. Once I've assigned the steps that I want to go in that process, I just go to set-up and maintain processes, and I love showing this to people because I've been told that other CRM systems will often have similar functionality, but that you pretty much have to hire a programmer to set it up for you or be a programmer. In Results the set-up is very straight forward. So if I want to set up a new process, I just click to add, just like I did with that activity, and I can get ... and the process ... And I'm going to show you, in this case, a process where maybe there's 10 steps to getting the permit and they're not dependent on one another. So I can just go ahead and put in step one, and maybe it's a call, and call for appointment, whatever the case may be. Now I can add step two, whatever that happens to be, et cetera.

In this case I can say, "Okay, I'll send the email one day later." So, I can go ahead and just continue adding stuff. When I add them I can put in override notes. So, if their notes are different than would normally be on that activity type, and I can either use the person that's normally assigned to permit applications or just email, or just override that. So we were going to assign Frank, so I'll assign Frank here, and continue down the list. So that's how I would set up a process where the steps are not dependent on one another, and a good example is probably what I'm mentioned, a lead follow-up. So if I've got a new lead in the system, I could have a new process that automatically assigns all of the steps. So this could be one or a hundred steps in the process, and these can be used in all sorts of different ways.

If I was going to set up a process that was part of a workflow, what I would do is think about what needs to be completed first, and then break that down into individual or multiple tasks. So here's an example, if I'm doing a 1040 tax return, I thought I would give you a very timely example seeing as it's almost tax day, the first step would be getting an engagement letter. In my mind if I want to have it trigger the next step in the process, in the workflow, I would leave that here as just one process. The account review would be part of that, and there might be several steps in that. So I would go ahead and break it down into the individual steps, and I'll show you why because I would then go back to the activity set-up because here I can use this drop down. So when I get that engagement letter, and mark it completed, this is where workflow comes in.

I've got this flag here to say what process to automatically trigger when this activity is marked completed, and I'll demonstrate that. So I can use this in a very powerful way to move that file from person to person as it gets completed. So let me demonstrate. If I come into the system ... I'll demonstrate both. Let's say that I've got a new contact. So, I can add a contact, and if this were a new lead, just put in the basic information. It may or may not have a company name. I put in the address, et cetera. It's got room for phone numbers and email addresses, all of that. I'm not going to put in all of that, but down here if I were to flag this as a prospect, maybe a new lead, I can put the source. As soon as I saved this, it tells me that the new lead process been triggered.

That means when I look at the activities here, I can see that it's automatically used today as the start date, and assigned the follow-up activities. It's assigned them to several people. You can really mix and match and use this in whatever way works for you. I just wanted to show you that that's one way that it's often used. You could have a different process for when somebody becomes a customer. So maybe you want to send them a welcome letter, those sorts of things, and it becomes your sort of fail-safe to make sure those things get assigned, and you can always go back into the system and make sure that they've been completed as well. So that's one way that I could use just a defined process, and I'll show you here an example of how I can use workflow as well.

So, we've got Joe, Joseph, and maybe he hires us to do his tax return. We can set up this project in Results, and there's a lot of other fields we've got. We can show the status, the stages, et cetera, but what I wanted to show you is that when I come into the activities here, often when there's an activity window there's a button that says, "Activate a process." So, this is where users can really save themselves a lot of steps. If this was a process that had 20 steps, I can have that whole library of project templates to use. In this case I'll just use this 1040 tax return example, and when I do that it's going to trigger that.

What it's done is assigned George to get the engagement letter. That first step in the 1040 tax return. So when George comes in, he'll find that assigned to him on his to-do list. There may be a document attached if there's a standard engagement letter, whatever that happens to be. So, George can reach out to the client, have them return the engagement letter. When he gets that it can easily be attached right to the activity record, so that way the engagement letter becomes a permanent part of this project and the customer record.

When he marks that completed it's going to assign the account review process, and the account review process we can see was these five steps. So it's showing me what's assigned on the left. So I can see that it's assigned five other steps. To contact the client, have a meeting, do the review. Here's one that had a check list in the notes. So I can see the check list there, and when somebody in the tax preparer role ... And this is an interesting side trip. Results lets you set up two types of users. Users that are logging into the system, what you would consider licensed users, but you can also set up what you refer to as virtual users, and these are users that aren't signing in under that name.

So, I might have a firm where there's half a dozen tax preparers. They can have it set up, so that whenever anything gets assigned to a tax preparer it shows up on their homepage, and they can grab it and do the work. So you can assign tasks to roles as well, or teams, or crews, whatever makes sense. So now my tax preparer comes in, takes a look at this, puts in notes, adds additional documents perhaps, does the review, and as soon as they mark it complete it assigns somebody to track when the information is in.

So, I'm going to speed up a little bit here. So here we've got George assigned to make sure that all the information gets received that's needed for the return. Here again he can easily attach it right to that record. So he's looking, if anybody's reviewing this they'll be able to come in here and see exactly what's been received, and probably the notes on what was requested. If there was an email that went out with a list of items that needed to be received, that would show up right here as well. When everything's received he marks it as completed, and then it triggers someone else to take that information and prepare the return.

So here we've got a tax preparer. He's going to pick it up. He'll find all of the documents attached right to the project record, so everything's centralized. That's the main focus of CRM. He does that, marks that that's completed, and now it assigns it to somebody else to review the return. We've got a very, as you can see, a very organized workflow that's assigning it to the right people. It's only assigning it when it's due, so each user is able to come into the system and see exactly what's on their plate, find the documents that they need, the notes that are required, all of the information right there. In fact, if I'm reviewing this and I had a question for the client, I'm always going to be one click away from the client's record as well. So I can get right back to the client record, have all his contact information, any additional notes about that client, et cetera, and then come back and finish my review, mark it completed. At which time it's going to trigger somebody to send out the return. So it needs to be printed and sent.

When that's marked completed, and here again I can attached the finished return and email it out, and now it's going to trigger that it's time to bill. So, we've gone through the full process, that return got completed, and now it's come back to George to go in and send out an invoice for the tax prep work, and that's completed. So I hope that makes sense. My intention today was really to show you how to do this in Results, and I think I gave you at least a little bit of an overview. So, an idea of how that's set up in results. Just define the activity types first using the defaults, leveraging the defaults, to make life easier for your users with check lists, and attached documents, attached files automatically get send to them. So once the activity types have been defined, then you can use the process management to either create the individual processes for the work flow so that you can have each activity trigger the next step in the work flow, or you can use those activity types to create a defined scheduled work flow for follow-up or whatever standard processes you want to use in the company can be defined as workflow in Results.

I've given you a few ideas of how that can be used, but most companies will use it much differently than I've shown you and really it's extremely flexible, and that's the whole idea in Results is to manage your workflow in the way that works for your company, and centralize the information so that you can best serve your clients, get the business that you do, and have everybody working from the same sheet of music. So thank you so much for your time today. I hope that that information is useful, and as Amanda said, this webinar will be sent to you as a follow-up, and it's going to be posted on our website as well. Have a wonderful afternoon and a good spring.

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