SharpSpring launches visual workflow builder to enhance lead generation and sales

  • SharpSpring recently announced the launch of their Visual Workflow builder. The new feature intends to make the process for creating workflows easier and brings it in line with the likes of Pardot and HubSpot. In this post, I talk about the changes that are being launched, why they’ll benefit you as a user, and how you can get started.

    Historically, SharpSpring’s method for creating workflows involved creating a list of actions called Action Groups (see below) and separate triggers called Tasks. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this, and many prefer it, but it often results in needing multiple Action Groups and Tasks for what should be a single workflow. Also, you would find yourself needing to sketch out your workflow on paper to make sense of it on screen. However, this is where it has all changed!

    What’s changed?

    The layout essentially. The mechanics and back end technology of how the automation process works remains the same (which is a good thing!).

    Why will it make a difference to my day job? 

    The Visual Workflow builder brings to life the automation process and gives a clear visual representation of the journey your leads will take. This is fundamentally important. If you can see clearly the different paths and destinations your leads will go on, based on actions they take, you will be able to create far more innovative and powerful automation sequences, and turn more leads into sales.

    You will also make fewer mistakes!

    How does it work?

    The best way to show you how it works is to do a real-life example. First, let’s set the scene.

    We have a new lead who has just filled in a form to download one of our guides on marketing automation and we want to alert our sales team to this. However, it would be too early to jump on a prospect just because they’ve download one piece of content. We want to nurture this lead with more interesting content based on what we know about them! Let’s get started:

    Firstly,  head into SharpSpring and select Visual Workflow under the Automation tab. When you have named your workflow, click the plus sign to setup your trigger. This is the action that the lead must take to be enrolled in the workflow:

    In this example, the lead has filled out our form to download our guide on marketing automation. So our trigger would look like this:

    Next, we want to trigger an alert to the sales team. When you click the plus sign, you will be presented with the following four options:

    1. Action – decide on an action that you would like to happen, for example send an email to a lead
    2. Filter – include or exclude certain people who meet the trigger criteria by adding a filter
    3. Time Delay – you have the option to delay the action from taking place. For example, if you want to send an email 2 days after they filled out the form, you would add a delay before adding the action
    4. Action Group – easily import a current action group into your new Visual Workflow

    For this example, we are going to select ‘Action’ and choose lead notification email. This will send an email alert to the sales team:

    Next, I want to send the lead an email on comparing marketing automation systems, but I don’t want them to receive it immediately after downloading the guide. Therefore, I’ve added in a Time Delay of two days and then scheduled the email:

    Now, we could end the workflow right there, but this is where branching comes into play!

    We can create a new branch if the lead takes an action on the email. By clicking the plus sign, you will see the Trigger option. By clicking on this, you will be presented with triggers that are relevant to the Action:

    If we select ‘Visits from the email’ we can create a new series of Actions should the lead visit our website from the email we’ve sent them. Here, I’ve added a pre-exisiting Action Group that contains a series of seven emails on getting the most out of marketing automation:

    There you have it. Of course, there are many more options available but this should give you a nice starter for ten. Have a play around and see what workflows you can come up with – the real value will come in testing different workflow strategies across your prospect clients and optimising over time!

    Will my existing action groups and tasks still work?

    Yes, your existing tasks and action groups will work just as they did before. The Visual Workflow builder just gives you a different option and a simpler way of creating workflows. However, the smart money is that tasks and action groups will eventually be phased out, primarily because they do the same thing. Therefore, we would recommend creating all of your new workflows in the Visual Workflow builder. Don’t worry, if you are one of our existing SharpSpring clients, we will give you ample warning if tasks and action groups get placed on the chopping block!

    As a gold certified SharpSpring partner, we are accustomed to creating workflows that really make a difference to your contacts user experience, so feel free to get in touch if you would like to know more.

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