So, ladies and gentlemen, we have set up our zurmo installation we’re selling hard! We’re entering contact info, closing opportunities, creating projects, collaborating on tasks, closing our deals and cashing in, you name it. This software is receiving the severe stress test it asked for. But why would we work hard if we could also work smart? Repetitive tasks you do over and over again should be automated. Zurmo makes this easy by implementing something called workflows.
Our manual workflow
Before we can automate anything, we have to know what exactly it is, that needs to be automated. We have to find a way to easily describe our manual workflow, so let’s get into it.
A copywriting Zurmo workflow use case
Imagine I have copywriting business. My clients come to me with projects that involve research, writing and editing certain texts. To make life easy, I’ve made a skeleton of tasks to be done for every job, so that I work consistently and deliver a perfect end result for my client. All my tasks are bundled under one project.
Mr. Smith’s Project – Write about dogs
- Task 1: Do research about dogs
- Task 2: Interview pet store owner
- Task 3: Write text about dogs
- Task 4: Ask mom to proofread my text
So the workflow that I have to go through, knowing that the client wants me to do a certain project, is the following:
Create contact/account > create opportunity > create product > Status of opportunity and product CLOSED:WON > create project > create tasks > get the work done > deliver end result to client
Obviously creating the contact and account info can’t be automated. Creating the opportunity and the product is also very client related, but the next step can be automated!
Automating our manual project workflow
Imagine every time we change an opportunity to CLOSED:WON (or lost), the products in the opportunity would also change to CLOSED:WON (or lost). Then, the system automatically detects that some products are closed won and it triggers a second workflow that creates a related project. Finally we could add a bunch of tasks to the project to keep my job structured and consistent.
Unfortunately, this can’t be done in the Zurmo CRM system…just kidding! Actually, it’s perfectly possible, but we’ll need a couple of workflows for this; just follow along!
Automatically closing products related to closed opportunity
As we said, we first need to close our products, so that our system detects that a project needs to be created. To make a workflow for this, go to the upper right hand side of the screen, and click the cogwheel and select Administration. Make sure you are logged in as a superadministrator.
Next, in the left hand menu at the bottom, we click on workflows. Next, in the top menu select workflows > create workflow, or if you’ve never created one before, click the big green button as indicated in the image by the third red arrow).
Now we have to select the opportunities module and click Next.
Now we arrive at the triggers screen. This can be a bit tricky, but you have to ask yourself: when does this workflow have to run and when doesn’t it? We only want to trigger the workflow whenever an opportunity is changed to closed:won, so we need to drag the Stage field into the dropzone.
Then you will need to select Becomes and Closed Won and click Next.
Next, we need to specify the action that has to occur whenever the opportunity is closed won. It needs to update a related record: namely the products of the opportunity. Click action, update related. Then select the products module.
This will show us what we can do with the products. We want to change all the products to the stage closed won. We can do a lot more of course, but this is outside the scope of this article. Select Stage, select As and also Won. Then click Save.
Now simply click Next, this is all we have to do here.
In this section, you could choose to compose an e-mail message to notify somebody of the fact that products have been won, however this is completely useless to me currently so I skipped this step. I clicked Next.
Finally, we can name the workflow, give it a fancy description and don’t forget to select both new and existing records. It has to be active of course. Then click Save and you’re done.
That’s it for step one of our zurmo create project workflow tutorial. We have automated the monotonous closing of long lists of products. You could do the same for closing:loss. Next the workflows for project and task creation have to be made in a similar fashion. I think I’ll leave that to you or maybe I’ll cover this in a next installment. 😉 Let me know what you think. If you have questions, suggestions, notes, just give me a yell in the comments below.