What Are CRM Workflows: The Beginner’s Guide

What are Automated CRM Workflows

Automated CRM workflows are pre-defined sequences of tasks or actions within a customer relationship management (CRM) system that are triggered automatically based on certain events or conditions. These workflows help streamline and automate repetitive processes, such as lead nurturing, sales follow-up, and support case management, allowing businesses to improve efficiency and provide a better customer experience. Automated workflows also reduce the need for manual intervention, which can help reduce errors and free up time for other tasks.

How to use CRM Workflows to Build Sales Efficiency

By automating these processes, sales teams can spend more time focusing on selling and less time on administrative tasks, leading to increased sales efficiency across a number of sales functions:

1. Lead Nurturing: Automated workflows can help nurture leads by sending targeted and personalized communications, such as email campaigns and follow-up calls, at the right time.

2. Sales Follow-up: CRM workflows can automate the sales follow-up process by automatically triggering follow-up tasks based on specific actions, such as email opens, link clicks, and form submissions.

3. Lead Qualification: Workflows can help quickly qualify leads by automatically routing them to the appropriate sales representatives based on defined criteria, such as industry, geography, or product interest.

4. Sales Pipeline Management: Workflows can automate the sales pipeline by automatically moving leads through the different stages of the pipeline and triggering notifications to sales representatives as needed.

5. Opportunity Management: CRM workflows can help manage opportunities by automatically updating the status of opportunities, sending notifications to sales representatives when an opportunity is at risk, and triggering reminders to follow up with customers.

CRM Workflow Benefits

With time becoming an increasingly value resource in 2023, workflows continue to grow relevance as a key aspect of modern sales and marketing strategies. CRM workflows offer numerous benefits to businesses, including increased efficiency, improved customer experience, better data management, and improved collaboration between sales and marketing teams. By leveraging the power of automation, businesses can streamline their sales processes, improve their bottom line, and gain a competitive edge in their respective markets.

One of the main benefits of CRM workflows is increased efficiency. By automating repetitive tasks and processes, sales teams can focus on higher-value activities and improve their productivity. This can result in faster response times, better follow-up, and more opportunities to close deals.

Another benefit of CRM workflows is improved customer experience. Automated workflows can help ensure that every customer interaction is consistent and personalised, providing a better overall customer experience. By automating lead nurturing and sales follow-up, customers receive timely and relevant communications, which can help build trust and foster long-term relationships.

Additionally, workflows can automate the collection and categorization of customer data, making it easier for sales teams to access and analyze the information they need to make informed decisions. This can help improve the accuracy of sales forecasts and enable sales teams to identify areas for improvement.

Finally, CRM workflows can help improve collaboration between sales and marketing teams. Workflows can be designed to trigger automated communications and tasks, reducing the need for manual intervention and improving communication between teams. This can help teams work together more effectively, leading to better results and increased sales efficiency.

Potential Drawbacks of CRM Workflows

CRM workflows offer many benefits to businesses, but it’s important to be aware of the potential drawbacks as well.

One potential drawback of CRM workflows is that they can be difficult to set up and maintain. Workflows can be complex, requiring detailed knowledge of the CRM system and the sales process. This can be time-consuming and can also lead to errors if the workflows are not set up correctly. We recommend trying a CRM system with an in-depth (and free) onboarding process to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.

Another potential downside of CRM workflows is that they can be inflexible. Once a workflow is set up, it can be difficult to make changes, which can limit the ability of sales teams to adapt to changing business conditions. Additionally, workflows that are too rigid can result in a lack of personalization and a poor customer experience.

Additionally, CRM workflows can lead to over-automation. Workflows can automate tasks to the point where sales teams are no longer involved in the process, which can lead to a lack of accountability and decreased engagement. Over-automated workflows can result in a lack of creativity and reduce the ability of sales teams to come up with new and innovative solutions.

Finally, CRM workflows can also be expensive. Implementing a CRM workflow system can be a significant investment for a business, both in terms of time and money. 

It’s important to carefully consider the downsides of CRM workflows before implementing them and to make sure that the workflows are set up and maintained properly. By being aware of the potential drawbacks, businesses can make informed decisions about whether CRM workflows are the right solution for their needs.

CRM Workflow Best Practices

In order to get the most out of your CRM workflows, it’s important to follow best practices. We’ve provided some suggestions from our experiences below:

1. Start with a clear goal: Before setting up your CRM workflows, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve. Are you looking to streamline your sales process, improve customer experience, or both? Having a clear goal in mind will help you create workflows that are tailored to your specific needs.

2. Keep workflows simple: CRM workflows can be complex, but it’s important to keep them as simple as possible. Avoid over-automating tasks and try to create workflows that are easy for your sales team to understand and follow.

3. Use triggers: Triggers are events that trigger a workflow, such as a form submission or a change in customer status. Using triggers can help ensure that your workflows are triggered at the right time, improving efficiency and customer experience.

4. Personalize communications: Personalized communications are key to building trust and fostering long-term customer relationships. When setting up your CRM workflows, make sure to include personalization in your automated communications, such as email campaigns and follow-up calls.

5. Monitor and adjust: CRM workflows are not set in stone and should be regularly monitored and adjusted as needed. Regular review of workflows can help identify areas for improvement and ensure that your workflows are always aligned with your goals.

6. Test and refine: Before deploying your CRM workflows, it’s important to test them thoroughly and refine them as needed. Testing can help you identify any potential problems and make sure that your workflows are working as expected.

Workflow Alternatives

CRM workflows may not always be the best solution for every business or CRM. Below is a list of reputable CRM workflow alternatives offering similar benefits:

1. Zapier: Zapier is a popular automation tool that allows businesses to automate tasks and workflows without the need for complex coding. Zapier integrates with over 3,000 apps, making it easy to connect your sales and marketing tools and automate tasks such as lead capture, email follow-up, and data analysis.

2. Make.com: Make.com is a cloud-based platform that offers an alternative to traditional CRM workflows. Make.com provides a suite of tools for sales, marketing, and customer service, including lead management, email marketing, and customer support. One of the key benefits of Make.com is its simplicity and ease of use, making it a great option for businesses that are looking for a more streamlined approach to CRM.

3. Process Street: Process Street is a workflow management tool that allows businesses to automate their sales processes. Process Street provides a range of features, including task templates, checklists, and workflows, making it easy for businesses to standardize and automate their sales processes.

4. Trello: Trello is a popular project management tool that can be used as an alternative to CRM workflows. Trello allows businesses to manage tasks and projects in a simple and visual way, making it easy for sales teams to stay on top of their to-do lists and track their progress.

Whether you choose Zapier, Make.com, Process Street, or Trello, it’s important to choose a solution that meets your specific needs and helps you improve your sales efficiency and customer experience. Before making a decision, be sure to consider the features and functionality of each option to ensure that you select the right solution for your business.

Make Your Decision

CRM workflows are a valuable tool for businesses looking to streamline and automate repetitive tasks in their sales and marketing processes – when used correctly. They offer numerous benefits such as increased efficiency, improved customer experience, better data management, and improved collaboration between teams. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential drawbacks, such as the difficulty of set up and maintenance, inflexibility, over-automation, and the cost of implementation. To ensure that you get the most out of your CRM workflows, it’s important to follow best practices such as starting with a clear goal, testing and refining your workflows, and continuously monitoring and improving them. By considering the potential drawbacks and following best practices, businesses can make informed decisions about whether CRM workflows are the right solution for their needs.

Why not have your say and request your own workflow automation to be created with Teamgate CRM? Or get started with a free 14 day trial


Andrew Martin

Andrew is the Chief Executive Officer for Teamgate CRM. With 10+ years of experience as a Military leader, he specialises in leadership and management and is a lover of all things sport.

Sales CRM Blog

A Sales CRM that keeps you well

Free 14-day trial

Try now


be the first one to get the newest industry updates