Back in July, 2014 ActiveCampaign quietly introduced CRM functionality to their marketing automation platform. Up until then I think it is fair to say that the were focused mainly on email marketing.
However, with this new feature, it makes it pretty simple to automate most internal workflows you may have in your business. So let’s take a look at how it works.
[pullquote align=”normal”]CRM makes it pretty simple to automate most internal workflows you may have in your business [/pullquote]
So if you are going to use CRM with ActiveCampaign, there are three key terms you need to get your head around:
A pipeline is an end to end process. For example, it might be the process you use to get a sale, or quote on a development job, or onboard a new customer. The end of one pipeline may lead to the beginning of another, like winning a new job leads to onboarding that customer.
A stage (as the name implies) is a stage in that pipeline. So each pipeline will be made up of the any number of stages, which is entirely up to you when you build your pipeline.
A deal is the actual sale or ‘deal’ you are trying to track and can have a potential dollar amount attached. So if you are quoting on a job for some development work you might have a (potential) $5000 ‘deal’ working its way through the ‘stages’ of your ‘pipeline’.
At the end of that process that deal is either won or lost.
This is all easier to understand if we work through a specific example.
So let’s use a fairly common example for landing a new customer.
- The process will start with a new potential customer filling out a form on our website and submitting an enquiry.
- From there, we need to schedule a followup call with one of our sales staff to scope out the work.
- Then we prepare a proposal for that customer.
- The proposal will then be sent out.
- A few days later one of the sales staff will follow up with a call to see if that lead has any questions and wants to go ahead with the work.
- At that point we will call the deal ‘won’ or ‘lost’.
So our example pipeline will have 5 stages and look something like this:
- Enquiry Submitted
- Call Scheduled
- Creating Proposal
- Proposal Sent
- Follow Up Call
Now let’s take a look at how we build that ‘Example’ pipeline in ActiveCampaign.
Create A New Pipeline
Go to the menu bar along the top and choose Deals, then from the dropdown menu to the left choose ‘Add a new pipeline.’
From there we create the stages in our pipeline.
Using the gear icon to the right or the link on screen create a new stage.
Give your new stage a name, assign it a colour and click ‘Add Stage.’
From there, create the rest of your stages and drag them left or right until the are in the proper sequence.
Now lets look at how we add a deal.
Creating A Deal
A deal is the granular thing you want to track. It is probably easiest if you think of it as a sales opportunity with a monetary value attached. However, in reality it can be anything you want to track through a process, such as a website opt-in you want to turn into a paying customer or a new customer you want to guide through an onboarding process.
There are two main ways to create a deal:
- Manually within the system.
- Via an ActiveCampaign automation.
Deals are attached to a specific contact and are ‘owned’ by a user in ActiveCampaign.
Let’s have a look at how to create a deal manually first.
Below each stage you will see an ‘Add A Deal’ link. Click on this to bring up the deal dialogue box.
The deal will require:
- A title
- An optional monetary value
- What pipeline and stage it belongs in
- Which staff member ‘owns’ that deal
- Then the contact information for the contact the deal is linked to
Once you have added the deal, you should see it in your pipeline, under the appropriate stage. You will also see the monetary value for that deal and the combined total for all deals in that stage.
You can also add a deal using an automation. In our example, the customer filled out an enquiry form on our website. From there we want them to be automatically added to the ‘Enquiry Submitted’ stage with a new deal assigned to their contact record. We also want to alert the sales staff to schedule a followup call with that contact (the next stage in the pipeline).
So when the user submits the form we want an automation to make this happen.
Then create a new deal in the first stage of our pipeline.
Then we want to notify the sales department to follow up and schedule a call.
So the final automation would look like this.
Now the deal has been created an the sales department notified, what happens next?
Progressing The Deal
Now we need to progress the deal through the various stages in our pipeline.
So let’s assume it goes something like this. Our sales staff receive the notification that there is a new enquiry waiting and they jump into ActiveCampaign to schedule a followup call with the customer.
All they need to do is find the deal sitting in the first stage and click on it open it up and see all the deal details.
Click on it to open the deal screen and see all the details
From here we can review the details of the enquiry and schedule a call (and correct the typo) for tomorrow. As you can see, you can add other types of tasks to the deal as well as create you own custom tasks.
Once you have added the task details, it remains in the task history below.
Once the call has been completed we can move it to the next stage (‘creating proposal’). This can be done by either dragging it to the next stage, using an automation, or in this case, just assigning it to the next stage from within the deal details screen.
You would use similar action to progress the deal all the way to the end of the pipeline.
Closing Out The Deal
Eventually the deal will reach the end of the pipeline. Then the sales team follow up with a call to try to close the deal and begin with the work.
Once the follow up call has been completed the sales staff can open the deal and mark it as ‘won’ (we’ve got the business) or ‘lost’ (they have rejected our proposal). That will mark the end of that deal through this pipeline.
Of course, if we have won that deal, it may just move to the beginning of another ‘fulfilment’ pipeline to deliver the work.
At anytime you can go back into the pipeline to see which deals have been won, lost or are still open. Just change the view in the upper right of the screen, then change the status of deals you’re looking for from the drop down menu on the left.
Well that is it.
That is using CRM with ActiveCampaign in a nutshell.
I would love to hear how you are using deals and pipelines in your business.
So please, go to the comments section below and share how you are using ActiveCampaign CRM.
Feel free to ask any questions there as well.
If you want to give ActiveCampaign a try, you can set up a free trial account here.
If you have any questions or just need a tip from the ninjas, join us in the Automation Nation private Facebook group.
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