Salesforce Process Builder fundamentals
In the first of a series of articles on Salesforce, we look at how Process Builder in Salesforce can help sales managers drive more revenue.
1 – Saves time and effort for Salesforce admins
2 – Uniform way to enter data, easy to train up new starters
3 – Helps out finance department
4 – Better customer understanding
5 – More data accuracy
6 – Makes sales teams more efficient
7 – Better communication
8 – Stops business slipping through the net
9 – More time for sales reps to help customers
10 – A worthwhile investment
Salesforce is more than a CRM. It’s an invaluable resource for your sales team. However, from a sales manager’s point of view, there are two problems that seem to conflict with each other:
- Salesforce is a vast application, with a myriad of different useful functions. You want to use it to its full potential.
- You don’t want your team spending valuable selling time dealing with Salesforce. They need to be servicing your customers.
With its feature Process Builder, Salesforce aims to solve this conflict. When set up correctly, it can be used to drive efficiency and close more deals. Rather than take up more of your team’s time, it could free them up to make more calls and take more meetings.
In this article, we’ll look at Process Builder in more detail. We will find out what it is and what it does, as well as how it can help your Salesforce admins, sales managers and sales reps. Let’s get started.
What is Salesforce Process Builder?
Process Builder is a ‘point and click’ administrator tool in Salesforce that can be used to set up automations that assist you in the sales process. It was launched in 2015 as a successor to its Workflow feature. Workflow still works, although it is no longer included in Salesforce enhancements.
Process Builder in Salesforce performs every task that Workflow does (except sending outbound messages), plus some new tasks too. It also gives admins more control over the automation. For example, in Process Builder, you can set the exact order of automations. That wasn’t possible using Workflow.
When could you use Salesforce Process Builder?
Here are some of the assignments you can automate using Process Builder in Salesforce:
- Create a record
- Update related records
- Post to Chatter
- Submit a record for approval
- Consolidate Workflow – move across different Workflow rules into one easy Process
- Send email
- Trigger an automated launched flow
- Set up a Quick Action – to log calls and administrate records
Examples of automations that could be set up using Process Builder could be:
- Posting to Chatter when an Opportunity is Closed-Won for an amount between $2M and $5M
- Submit an Opportunity for Approval when it is Closed-Won for an amount more than $5M
Process Builder allows Salesforce admins to set up these automations easily. Automations are presented visually in the form of a flowchart. This means admins can programme clusters of automated events that work in an ‘if this, then that’ sequence. All you need is a ‘trigger event’, a set of criteria that the trigger event either does or does not meet, then a following action. Admins do not have to write any code to set up automations in Process Builder.
Process Builder was launched to a positive reception amongst the Salesforce community. Users were pleased with the expansion around what an administrator was capable of. A few quirks were spotted in the initial roll-out, but they have since been ironed out.
Benefits for organisations
Before we look at how Process Builder in Salesforce can help sales managers, we need to look at it from the point of view of your organisation as a whole.
The member of your team who will benefit the most from Process Builder will be your Salesforce admin, whether that’s a dedicated Salesforce expert or a member of your IT department. Process Builder represents a massive time and effort saver for Salesforce admins. If they were previously using Workflow, setting up automation involved complicated coding processes and cobbled-together workarounds to make automations happen correctly. Now, it can all be done in one easy-to-use flowchart process.
To have a uniform way of setting up processes is especially useful when admins leave and are replaced. It’s easy for new starters to pick up how the automations work, without having to interpret complex systems. A further benefit of automation using Process Builder is that it frees up your Salesforce admin to do other things that bring more benefit to the organisation.
Other areas of your organisation that can benefit from the effects of using Process Builder include your finance department. Your staff that chase payments will benefit from Process Builder functions such as the automatic updating of addresses in the account’s contact screen. If a customer changes their location, this ensures your invoices are more likely to go to the right place.
Benefits for sales managers
It’s a fact in sales that the more information you have on your customers, the more likely you are to close deals. Salesforce Process Builder enables sales teams to have more information on their customers, more accessible than ever before. For sales managers, that can make a big difference when it comes to hitting targets.
There is information you always need to know when running a sales team:
- Number of deals closed
- Potential deals in pipeline and more
With Process Builder, this information will be more accurate, as well as being easier to collate. Processes such as turning a potential deal into a closed piece of business are now done automatically. With automated updating, Process Builder helps you manage your highest-value customer accounts more effectively. A follow-on from this is that you can serve these customers better.
Using Process Builder in Salesforce helps drive efficiency in sales teams. It helps create a uniform way that your Salesforce CRM presents information, with fewer blank cells or knowledge gaps. When you use automated systems, you don’t need your individual team members to rely on their own methods of carrying out tasks in Salesforce. Everything is done the same way, every time. This helps you work smarter. It is also useful when you have new starters on your team as they will find it easier to slot into your way of doing things.
Increased use of functions such as Chatter in Salesforce boost communication within your team, this is useful if you are running a large team, or a team spread across different locations. If your team are bombarded with automatic emails from Salesforce, for example, you can use Chatter to take away some of those unnecessary messages. Process Builder makes Chatter easier to set up.
Probably the most significant benefit of Process Builder, however, is the time it gives back to your sales reps. If they can be on the phone or out meeting customers instead of entering data into Salesforce, they will close more deals. Your reps may also find it motivating, that a pretty dull part of their job is now performed by automation. Talking to customers is much more fun than filling in forms.
Benefits for sales reps
As well as saving time for your sales reps, using Process Builder in Salesforce can bring other benefits.
Reps rely on data when they are selling and they need to be able to access it easily, often in seconds if they are on a call with a customer. Using automated processes in Salesforce makes this much easier. For example, there are less likely to be gaps in the customer’s contact information, the calls the rep has made before and the proposals that have previously been made.
Reps can also use Salesforce to ensure pieces of business do not slip through the net. You can set up alerts and reminders to ensure they are on top of all pieces of business in their pipelines. For example, if a Lead is created from a Web Form, you can use Process Builder to set a rep a task to follow up with them.
All of these things help reps perform their roles to a higher standard. It makes them more accountable and ensures they are more likely to have an answer when their manager asks them a question. You can do it all without Process Builder, but it’s certainly not as easy.
A worthwhile investment?
To sum up, using Process Builder in Salesforce brings obvious benefits to organisations. While these benefits will be felt the clearest by technical members of your organisation, such as Salesforce admins and IT staff, sales staff can reap the rewards too.
If you are not using Process Builder already, try it out. Invest some time in working out how individual automated processes can benefit your sales operation, set up some automations and test to see if they help you. Process Builder should be simple to use for your admins, and if it isn’t, there are many tutorials available online.
Remember. Automation is there to help you.