How Automated Workflows Can Improve Content Marketing

Friday, September 20th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Content marketing has a lot of moving parts. You have to define your goals, audit your current content to understand what's performing well, generate new ideas, assign content creation, edit the content, post it, and finally monitor its performance. 

Automated workflows help companies manage these many tasks while minimizing confusion and keeping the content marketing team all on the same page and up to date. Let's talk about how workflows can be developed for content marketing tasks and how the right workflow software is essential.

Group of people sitting around a table working at laptop computers

What is an automated workflow?

Workflow automation is a series of automated steps that have been put together in a way that makes an overall process easier.

These workflows can be used for all sorts of business processes, but of course, we're going to discuss how you can use one to make your company's content marketing strategy that much easier.

How can automated workflows improve content marketing?

Content marketing isn't typically a strategy that people realize can be improved with automation. While it's mostly keyword, research, content planning, content creation, and publishing, there are still processes that can be improved with an automated content marketing workflow.

What does your content marketing process look like right now?

Many companies have several cooks in the kitchen when it comes to content creation. The SEO specialist does keyword research to determine which keywords are most likely to rank. Then it's assigned to the writer, who creates an optimized article around the keyword. 

After the writer is finished, it hits the editor, who makes sure the keyword is used enough times, there are enough inbound and outbound links, and more. The graphic designer then puts together the graphics for the publication and promotion of the article. 

And finally, it's published on the blog and sent through the promotion strategy.

Illustration of laptop computer and document labeled blog

Making sure you have a set process for content marketing is step one in your workflow management. Each person involved needs to know what their role is and when in line it happens.

You can easily create a workflow that assigns the task to each person in the pipeline as each portion of the project is completed. This helps to ensure that no pieces in the process are overlooked, and the article is created seamlessly.

There are also ways to create workflows for your SEO analysis, writing, editing, and promotion strategies. Put together checklists to adhere to so no one forgets any piece of the puzzle. Make sure you take note of the best platforms to share your new article on so that it gets the most traction possible.

Putting together workflows for your content marketing is the best way to make sure that nothing gets lost in the shuffle, especially if there are multiple people on the team working on these articles.

How can I create a workflow for my content marketing strategy?

Putting together workflow applications is our specialty! Take a look at our workflow software to find everything you need to put together a more organized and automated content marketing process.

Watch the demo now to find out if our software will work for you and the way you manage your content marketing. The great thing is that it can be adjusted to fit nearly any process, so we highly recommend you give it a try.

4 Ways Automated Workflows Speed up Expense Reimbursement

Thursday, September 19th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

What does the expense reimbursement process look like within your company?

In most cases, employees have to have their receipt, fill out an expense report for each individual purchase, submit the report(s), then wait (sometimes weeks) to receive their reimbursement.

It's a tedious process that most employees complain about on end. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Creating automated expense workflows can help to speed up the expense reimbursement process tenfold, making your employees happier, and increasing efficiency for your company.

Restaurant owner looking at his tablet

Here are 4 ways your company can use workflow software in their expense reimbursement process.

1. Ditch the paper forms.

Stop making your employees spend hours upon hours filling out paper forms for company expenses, just so they can be rightfully reimbursed.

Instead, move to an online expense claim form that your employees can easily fill out and submit digitally, right from their desk or where they're at on the go.

2. Include receipt upload.

Reimbursement is typically contingent on submitting a receipt, and an employee is simply out of luck if they happen to lose it. Because this can be frustrating for employees, why not make it easier, and allow them to snap a photo of their receipt as soon as they get it.

Then they can easily upload their receipt into their digital form and be on their merry way.

3. Approve more quickly.

When your company receives these digitally, you're able to go through and approve them more efficiently. You can set your forms up to automatically email submissions to the people who need to approve these expenses and be input into a spreadsheet.

Having this information in a spreadsheet can be much easier. It allows those in charge of expense approval to go in each day, approve or deny new expenses, input their name so the company knows who managed it, and quickly send an approval or denial response to the employee.

4. Reimburse more quickly.

Once an approval has gone through, an automation can be set up that sends it to the accounting department, and the money can be put back into employees' wallets sooner than before.

Manual reimbursement processes can take weeks for an employee to be reimbursed. When it comes to large work expenses, this can be tough on the employee when they have to wait long periods of time to see that money go back into their pocket.

Put together an automated workflow that allows employees to see their approved reimbursements more quickly. Set up direct deposit, consider using company credit cards, and more.

Don't let your employees wait weeks on end before they see their reimbursement. Putting together workflows that allow them to more quickly and easily submit expense reports will help to streamline the entire process and make it move more smoothly for your employees and for your company.

Mature casual man using a laptop

How can I speed up reimbursement with automated workflows?

Creating a new form and putting together new automated processes and workflows can greatly help improve how things work at your company. We're all for it.

In fact, with our workflow software, you'll be able to easily revamp your entire expense reimbursement process into something that works better for both you and your employees. Watch the demo to learn more about how our software works so you can hit the ground running when you sign up.

What Makes an Online Form Perfect?

Thursday, September 5th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

The online form that is perfect for your needs depends heavily on context. 

Woman using a smartphone

Knowing your form users is the first step to designing the
perfect online form. 

Additionally, what is perfect today may be less so tomorrow due to the rapid pace of innovation and technology advancement. 

But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get it right! With the right form software and knowledge about attitudes toward forms, you can create the best online forms that perfectly meet your needs while delighting form users. 

And it is with your users that you should start when designing online forms. After all, if users don’t want to complete your form, it benefits no one. Make sure the first step in any form initiative is learning about who will be using it. Once you know that, you can make the most of the following qualities that make online forms outstanding.

A Perfect Form Looks Great on Any Device

These days, you can’t assume that form users are in a desktop environment with a full keyboard. Customer-facing forms often reach people who are using mobile devices. And an increasing number of employee-facing forms are used by workers with mobile devices. For example, field technicians need to be able to see forms clearly on the mobile devices they use in the field. 

Great-looking forms are uncluttered and use readable fonts. Form field labels are readable and unambiguous, so users know which information goes in which fields. Branding touches, like logos and colors, may be evident, but they shouldn’t overwhelm what appears on the screen.

It Is Also Brief

When you create online forms, it’s natural to want to collect as much information as possible. But form users don’t see it that way. They see a form and subconsciously judge whether filling it out is worth their time. Therefore, it’s essential to keep online forms as brief as possible while collecting the key information you require. A landing page form, request form, or even an application form will turn users off it looks like it will take too long to complete. 

Frustrated man

Nobody wants to input their life story just to access
a complimentary white paper.

It’s Mobile-Friendly

In today’s world, you can’t take for granted that people will use your form with the benefit of a big screen and a full-sized keyboard. Taking a mobile-friendly workflow approach is best because it also helps you ensure your forms aren’t overly long. 

Mobile-friendliness is also about more than just how a form looks on a small screen. It is about minimizing the amount of typing required of users. You can reduce typing with radio buttons, checklists, and drop-down menus. And you can also store previously entered information so that filling out a form a second or subsequent time auto-fills blanks that the user has completed before. 

It Acknowledges Form Submission

We have all had the experience of completing and submitting an online form only to have nothing happen or be taken to a new screen with no indication of what happened to our form. People need closure. They need to know that once they click on “Submit,” their completed form has gone where it’s supposed to go. 

A simple pop-up “thank you” notification or automatic navigation to a “thank you” screen reassures users that their efforts in completing an online form were not wasted and that the form has been sent on its way successfully. 

The “perfect” online form is highly context-dependent. Designing it requires that you understand the people who will be using it. Are they busy moms carrying a toddler and a phone simultaneously? Are they field technicians submitting important jobsite information? Are they shoppers relaxing at the end of the day?

Know your form users, and you can design online forms that suit both their needs and yours. PerfectForms is online form software that makes it easy to create fully customized online forms with no programming required. Take a look at the PerfectForms demo video for inspiration, and if you have questions, please contact us at any time

Posted in Workflow Design | Comments Off on What Makes an Online Form Perfect?

Online Forms and Workflows Help Small Businesses Manage Innovation

Thursday, August 29th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Innovation has gone from being a “nice extra” for businesses to being essential for success. 

Innovation light bulbs

Innovation is for every company, not just tech companies and startups.

Competition is fierce, and businesses increasingly set themselves apart through innovation of products, processes, and business models. Rather than pursuing one big idea that will change everything, however, businesses must incorporate innovation into their everyday operations and their corporate culture.

Moreover, businesses must have a process for gathering, evaluating, prioritizing and developing ideas, so that the real winners make it through to prototyping, pilot testing, and ideally to general use. Online forms and automated innovation workflows can make such a process reality.

Forms and Workflows for Gathering Ideas

Does anyone still think that a locked suggestion box with a slot on the top is a good way of inspiring great ideas? To really pursue innovation, companies need a way to collect ideas as a general practice, and in the service of defined innovation initiatives. Online forms are ideal for this. 

Suppose you want to kick off an innovation initiative to develop a new product to add to your product line. The starting point, or the “wide part of the funnel” in this initiative can be an online form where people can describe their product ideas. Completed online forms can be automatically sent to designated decision-makers whose role is to determine which ideas are worth pursuing.

Workflows Can Help Evaluate and Prioritize Ideas

If your innovation initiative has sparked several good ideas, the next step is to evaluate them more thoroughly. Generally, it’s best to have a small team go through ideas individually, flagging their favorites, and putting them into priority order. With an automated workflow that each team member can access, this can be done efficiently.

Busy brick office

Automated workflows make the process of evaluating and prioritizing
innovative ideas fast and efficient.

After each team member has evaluated and ranked ideas, the team can meet to discuss their choices and come to a consensus about which two or three ideas are best for further development. With an automated workflow, this doesn’t have to involve pen and paper or endless phone calls and emails.

Surveys, Workflows Help Select Innovations to Pursue

Perhaps, once your evaluation team has chosen a “Top 3” list of innovations to pursue, you want to put it to a vote among all employees. If your online form software allows for creation of surveys, this can be done with outstanding efficiency and effectiveness. The completed survey forms can send data to a spreadsheet or database so that votes are easy to tabulate without any manual data entry. Choosing the winning idea is fast and fair.

The right workflow software is the key to being able to implement an innovation program that works. Not only can you create a general innovation workflow to replace the old-fashioned suggestion boxes, you can create specialized workflows to go along with more targeted innovation initiatives.

PerfectForms is workflow software that makes it easy to create online forms, surveys, and automated workflows that eliminate a lot of the drudgery involved in sifting through a mountain of ideas. Workflows for evaluation can be limited to authorized users, while innovation suggestion forms and surveys can be open to all participants. Gathering data and making sense of it is easy with PerfectForms, due to its powerful reporting capabilities. 

You can test drive PerfectForms by signing up for a trial and see for yourself how easy it is to create fully customized online forms and automated workflows. Innovation is fast becoming mandatory for business success and having the right tools to manage innovation is essential. PerfectForms has the power, flexibility, and scalability you need. If you have any questions about PerfectForms, we encourage you to contact us at any time. 

Workflows Help You Manage 3 Critical Elements of Business Reputation

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

The reputation of your business is an extremely valuable business asset.

Mechanic with customer

Online reviews and ratings have made business reputation
more important than ever. 

While it isn’t tangible, or something you could liquidate to raise cash, nonetheless, reputation is essential to sustained success today. In fact, reputation is a key differentiator in a world where consumers have more choices than ever. Reputation also affects the quality of employees you’re able to recruit and retain.

Developing a strong business reputation and maintaining it requires sustained effort. Some aspects of reputation management for businesses can’t be automated, but you might be surprised at how many aspects can be. For this you’ll need the right attitude, commitment, and tools. Here are three critical elements of business reputation that you can manage better with the right workflow management.

1. Customer Service

People want a consistent, positive experience when they interact with your customer service team. Developing customer service workflows for your customer service team can help tremendously. When your team knows exactly what to do in every type of customer service interaction, you can be confident of consistent, effective help for customers.

Automated workflows for customer service tasks can help keep interactions on track and productive. A customer service rep who knows exactly which workflow (or branch of a workflow) to access in a given interaction is able to help people more quickly, diffusing any hard feelings and solving problems. This requires not only that you have comprehensive automated workflows, but that you take time to train reps on how to use them. 

2. Accuracy of Online Business Listings

You might be surprised to learn how important the accuracy of your online business listings are. Many businesses take full advantage of Google business listings because they help people discover their business and learn key facts like operating hours, phone numbers, and even parking situations – all at a glance. A complete, accurate, up-to-date business listing helps your website perform better when people use search engines.

Google my business icon

Keeping business listings accurate at all times helps your
website appear in more search results.

But inaccurate business listings can harm your search engine success. That’s because Google regularly checks that the information on your business listings and your website match perfectly. When they don’t, they may penalize your business in searches. An automated workflow that kicks off the same day of every month, for example, can step the user through the process of comparing business listings and website listings to ensure they are as accurate, complete, and up to date as possible. 

3. Distribution and Analysis of Customer Surveys

One classic method of improving customer service is through customer surveys. Asking customers for feedback, analyzing that feedback to produce insights, and then addressing those insights helps you meet customer needs better. Automated workflows, complete with beautifully designed, mobile friendly survey forms reach consumers where they’re at and help you gather, analyze, and act on the data you collect. 

The right workflow software will help you not only create the survey forms that encourage customer interaction, but also helps you collect, analyze, and report on the survey data. As a result, you can respond to customer sentiment much faster than you ever could through surveys managed without automated workflows. 

Great workflow management requires great workflow software, whether you’re striving to improve customer service or automating various back office processes. PerfectForms offers you the level of flexibility, scalability, and power you need to automate business processes that improve your business reputation. You can create customer service workflows, monitor and manage online business listings and website information, and create surveys that help you understand your customers better. 

We encourage you to watch the PerfectForms demo video so you can see PerfectForms in action and discover just how easy it is to use – whether for customer service processes or other business processes. And should you have any questions, we invite you to contact us at any time

Workflow Software Helps You Accelerate Recruiting and Hiring

Thursday, August 15th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Automated workflows and new employee recruiting go together naturally. 

Career fair

Whether you use job fairs or headhunters, the right workflows
accelerate the hiring process.

The hiring process has a lot of moving parts, but strong workflow management can make sure all the parts work as they should while reducing errors and making the process as efficient as it can be. Other benefits of using automated workflows in the hiring process include reduction of paperwork, reduction of status phone calls and emails, time savings, and transparency. 

Here are several types of recruiting workflows that can make the hiring process far less painful.

Workflows for Candidate Sourcing

Candidate sourcing begins with creation of an accurate job description. Different companies source job candidates differently, and different types of roles within the same company may be sourced in different ways. 

However a company decides to source candidates for a particular position, the right workflow software makes it easy to create a standardized workflow to ensure that ads are placed in all relevant publications, or that all relevant recruiting agencies and websites know about your open position. Such a workflow can be great for reducing duplication of effort.

Workflows for Shortlisting Candidates

How the hiring team creates a shortlist of candidates will also be particular to the company and to the role. Creating a standardized, automated workflow that allows hiring team members to score candidates helps ensure every team member’s voice is heard, and that no candidate is overlooked. When a workflow is used for scoring and shortlisting candidates, it’s easier to ensure that personal bias doesn’t creep into the hiring process.

Workflows for Coordinating Interviews

Coordinating interviews for candidates on your shortlist is a task that is well-suited for automated workflows. Whether the interviews will be in person or via video conference, having a workflow for scheduling interviews, knowing which questions to ask, scoring interviews, and moving on to the next candidate are helpful. 

Job interview

Coordinating job interviews helps ensure the right people are
there to meet and talk to job candidates.

With the right workflow, any hiring team member at any time can check on whether a candidate interview has been scheduled, can prepare for interviews, and can share feedback on interviews. It’s a great way to ensure that all hiring team members stay on the same page at all times.

Workflows for Making and Closing Offers

Likewise, a workflow for creating job offer letters, calculating compensation offered, and tracking the status of offers made can save valuable time and duplication of effort. If an offer is turned down, this can be recorded in the workflow for later reference. Once an offer has been made and accepted, the workflow can prompt further actions, such as scheduling the new hire’s first day of work.

Workflows for New Employee Onboarding

New employee onboarding is an essential part of the hiring process. How onboarding is handled has a major effect on how likely the new employee is to stay with the company. Automated workflows ensure that no steps are left out, and they can even lighten the new employee’s burden by making online forms easy to fill out with autocomplete, and auto-population of form fields.

Whether or not you create automated workflows for recruiting and hiring, you should create a workflow for onboarding because of the many benefits such a workflow offers to your new employee and your HR team.

Creating customized hiring and recruiting workflows requires great HR workflow software. PerfectForms fits the bill. With PerfectForms, no coding is required, and you can create your own forms and workflows from scratch or use the included templates. PerfectForms also integrates easily with spreadsheets and databases, so data can be collected and stored easily. And it offers powerful reporting features so you can make sense of your data and gather valuable insights. 

We invite you to watch the PerfectForms demo video to see it in action. And if you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us at any time. 

Workflow Automation is the Answer to These 4 Questions

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Many people believe that workflow automation is something that’s only available to big enterprises. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Women interior designers

Workflow automation may disproportionately benefit smaller businesses.

Also true is that smaller businesses can benefit disproportionately from workflow automation. They can do things more efficiently and reduce error rates while maintaining the agility possessed by smaller enterprises. 

Today’s no-code workflow software is accessible to businesses of all sizes and all types. It allows companies to automate processes without hiring a programmer, and quickly start enjoying the benefits of workflow automation. Workflow automation for small businesses is the answer to several common business questions, including these four.

1. How Can We Reduce Error Rates?

If a number needs to end up in a spreadsheet or a database, how does it get there? Does someone copy it from a catalog, or have a worker who knows the number write it down? If so, it’s easy to see how errors can enter the process. 

Workflow automation uses workflow software to prevent these problems. Numbers entered into a workflow can be checked for accuracy before being sent to a spreadsheet, database, or other processing system. The same is true for numbers scanned using a barcode or QR scanner. 

Standard business forms that are online rather than on paper do away with errors introduced due to bad penmanship, lost, or damaged forms. Workflow automation is perhaps the best single solution for reducing error rates.

2. How Can We Overcome the Limitations of Spreadsheets?

Spreadsheets are wonderful, flexible tools. But when they are shared, how do you account for changes to them? It’s not easy to ensure that everyone is working from the same version of a spreadsheet at all times, but workflow automation can help. 

Man appearing confused while looking at his laptop screen

Shared spreadsheets can cause problems if not managed properly.

Rather than entering data into a spreadsheet, users can enter the data into an automated workflow, which updates the spreadsheet while recording every input. That way it’s easy to learn if numbers have been changed, and if so, by whom. Workflow automation makes spreadsheets far more useful and accurate.

3. How Can We Get Invoices Out the Door Sooner?

Invoices that are late being sent out affect cash flow, so it’s crucial that companies send them out promptly. An automated workflow for creation and distribution of invoices can ensure that invoices go out on time, every time. 

Multiple users can enter invoice data into a workflow, and the workflow uses the data to automatically create and distribute invoices. Invoices that cannot be sent out electronically can be sent to a printer automatically, and the person(s) responsible for mailing them can be notified automatically when they are ready to go. The result is a faster invoicing process, better accounts receivable processes, and better cash flow.

4. How Can We Get Status Updates to Managers More Easily?

Project managers naturally want to know the status of the projects they oversee. But phoning or emailing project workers to find out status can waste a lot of time. Project management workflows eliminate that wasted time. 

With a project management workflow, project workers can work within the workflow, and provisions can be made to automatically update project managers when milestones have been reached, or when other specific tasks have been accomplished. Automated workflows also allow authorized workflow users to check on project status at any time, with no phone calls or emails necessary.

Workflow automation isn’t just for big business. And today’s no-code workflow software means that workflow users can design their own workflows to meet their needs exactly. PerfectForms is workflow software that requires no programming. It allows users to drag and drop form and workflow elements into place, and easily test and modify workflows before they’re deployed.

PerfectForms encourages you to browse our many case studies to see the results of workflow automation in action. And if you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us at any time.

Is Your Automated Workflow Ready for Prime Time? Here’s How to Tell.

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Workflows are standardized series of steps designed to accomplish a specified process or task. 

Hands drawing a flowchart

Automated workflows may have their roots in sketches or diagrams made by process users.

All steps in a workflow may run consecutively, or some series of steps may run in parallel for more complex processes. Automated workflows take as much of the manual processing out of tasks as possible. For example, a series of paper forms may be replaced by a linked series of online forms. 

Automation can significantly boost the efficiency of a process while reducing error rates, so businesses often turn to automated workflows to sharpen their competitive edge and increase productivity. But rare is the situation where you can just create an automated workflow and immediately have everyone start using it. 

In almost every situation, you have to thoroughly test automated workflows before “going live” with them. Otherwise, you risk the chaos of unforeseen problems and the time investment in fixing the problems and fixing the workflow. Here’s how to ensure your automated workflow is ready to be deployed.

Testing by the Workflow Creator or Workflow Team

With the right workflow software, programming is not required. This means that the people who actually use the workflow can have more input into workflow design. A single individual may be able to create a simple workflow. More complex ones, however, typically require a small team to develop and automate the workflow.

The workflow creator or team should test the automated workflow under a range of conditions – including erroneous conditions – to see what happens. What happens when someone enters text into a form field that requires a number? What happens if someone accidentally enters a negative number when a positive number is required? In a sense, the workflow team should try to stress, and even “break” the workflow under controlled conditions to see what happens and how they can prevent such issues.

Testing by Selected End-Users

Happy editor with team members

Having selected end-users try out the workflow before general deployment
is a good idea, so necessary changes can be made without major disruption.

Once a workflow has been thoroughly tested by the workflow creator or workflow team, it’s still a good idea to limit its use at first. Suppose you create a document management workflow. After initial testing, perhaps you should limit its use to two or three of your top report writers who have been educated about the workflow and trained to use it. 

These people are using the workflow “cold,” and they may be able to see faults that the initial development team missed. They can report back to the development team when they find problems, and work with them to get them solved.

Consider a Small Pilot Program

Before deploying an automated workflow to an entire team or department, it may be worthwhile to designate a pilot project using the workflow to ensure it does what it’s supposed to and that it really does have the potential to boost efficiency and productivity while reducing error rates. 

The team working with a particular client, for example, could brief the client on the new workflow and get their consent to be part of the pilot project. Provisions can be made to go back to the old way of doing things if major problems occur. If this pilot project works as expected, then the workflow can be deployed to the rest of the department or team, with all affected personnel being trained on how to use the workflow.

The key to easy workflow development and testing is outstanding workflow software. PerfectForms is no-code workflow software that allows users to drag and drop workflow elements into place. If the workflow testing process reveals that changes need to be made, PerfectForms allows for easy modifications until the workflow is ready for wider deployment. 

Businesses like yours use PerfectForms for an impressive array of workflow automation tasks. We encourage you to browse through some of our many PerfectForms case studies to see how businesses have automated processes, raised productivity, and increased efficiency in major ways. And if you have any questions, we invite you to contact us at any time. 

Posted in Workflow, Workflow Design | Comments Off on Is Your Automated Workflow Ready for Prime Time? Here’s How to Tell.

Workflow Software Helps You Get the Most from Employee Surveys

Monday, July 22nd, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Businesses use surveys for many different reasons. Internal surveys can help measure employee engagement, while external surveys can gather valuable insights from customers or partners.

Businesswoman using a tablet

Online survey forms are likelier to be completed than paper survey forms.

You can even use surveys to gather information about things that are only indirectly related to business, like “Which weekend is best for the company picnic?” Before online forms, surveys had to be done either in person, on paper, or by phone, and these methods all had serious shortcomings. Online forms can make business surveys not only faster and more effective, but more accurate too – assuming you use the right form software. Here are some tips for getting the most from your employee feedback surveys. 

Do These Things

Here is a list of things you should do when you undertake an employee survey:

  • Define and articulate the purpose and goals of the survey
  • Assign someone as the survey sponsor, a single point of contact who (with appropriate help) is in charge of creating, distributing, and collecting data from the survey
  • Guarantee anonymity so respondents can answer honestly
  • Ensure surveys are brief enough. They should take less than 15 minutes to complete, in general.
  • Compile, analyze, and share survey results when it’s over
  • Take action based on the insights the survey elucidates

With the right form software, creating and delivering the survey can be the simplest and most straightforward part of the whole process. 

Don’t Do These Things

To obtain the real information you need from a survey, there are several things you should avoid doing. For example:

  • Don’t write questions that confirm biases. When you use questions as rhetorical tools (“Have you stopped beating your wife?”) you simply can’t get honest, actionable information.
  • Don’t write confusing questions
  • Don’t include questions irrelevant to the purpose of the survey
  • Don’t survey people too frequently
  • Don’t assume that correlation equals causation. This would be like discovering that both ice cream sales and drownings increase during summer and then concluding that ice cream causes drowning.
  • Don’t hide survey results or everyone will question your motives for creating the survey
  • Don’t sit on actionable results. If your survey doesn’t prompt you to some kind of action, then why did you do it? If you created a survey hoping it would confirm existing beliefs, you probably asked the wrong questions.

Hands with a confidential file

Even if the survey doesn’t confirm your expectations, it’s
important to share the results, not hide them away.

Your Online Form Software Can Ensure You Get Actionable Insights

Surveys delivered via online forms are inherently better than paper-based or phone-based surveys. They’re faster and easier to complete, are more anonymous, and can be evaluated with software to prevent biases from creeping in. But it’s essential that you have powerful online form software that does what you need it to.

For example, your form software should automatically collect data when people submit their completed forms, sending it to analytical software, spreadsheets, or some other system where the data can be analyzed. It should allow you to take survey data and create informative reports from it. And if you deliver the same survey multiple times over the long term, it should help you discover trends in participants’ answers. 

PerfectForms’ Survey Creator is an ideal software solution for delivering employee and other types of surveys. PerfectForms comes with a number of survey templates, including form templates for employee appraisal, course evaluation, customer service, customer satisfaction, and more. Each of these can be modified as necessary, or you can create your own survey form from scratch, with no programming required. With PerfectForms, you can integrate with Google Spreadsheets, Salesforce, web forms, and other systems, routing data to exactly where it needs to go with ease.

Did you know you can test drive PerfectForms for free by signing up for a trial? It’s the easiest way to see for yourself how powerful, flexible, and user-friendly PerfectForms is. If you have any questions about online forms or workflows, we invite you to contact us at any time

Workflows to Turn Leads into Customers

Friday, July 19th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Leads can come from a wide variety of places, particularly if your business has a strong inbound marketing program.

Happy woman with a laptop

Leads often come in through downloads of gated content, or completion of landing page forms.

What you do with those leads can affect the health of your business, including your revenue and your rate of growth. When you create a lead management workflow, you’re positioned to turn more leads into customers. When you lack a defined lead management workflow, however, leads can fall by the wayside, with potential customers feeling the neglect and turning elsewhere for their needs. 

Creating an automated workflow for the express purpose of handling incoming leads will not only increase the number of qualified leads your sales team will have to work with, but will also increase conversion rates, save time, and reduce your marketing costs while increasing marketing ROI.

Before Developing the Workflow, Define Goals and Customer Personas

But before you can create a customized workflow to turn leads into customers, you need to set goals and ensure your team thoroughly understands customer personas. Goals should be reasonable and should require that team members “stretch” a bit, without being overwhelming or unattainable.

Knowing your different customer personas, whether they’re marketing managers, game enthusiasts, stay-at-home parents, or craft beer fans, helps you understand how “warm” they are likely to be when they come into your system, and the best types of content for engaging with them. 

Define the Actions and Events That Will Trigger Workflows

Before fleshing out your lead management workflow, you need to define which events will trigger the workflow. Common triggers for these workflows include:

  • People who download gated content
  • People who fill out a landing page form
  • People who visit pricing pages on multiple occasions
  • People who subscribe to your blog

Whenever one of these events happens, the lead management workflow can begin, helping shepherd potential customers through the sales funnel with content that is most likely to meet their needs. You could even design a simple lead introduction form that allows non-sales employees to notify sales when they know of a potential lead.

Executive men talking

A simple lead introduction form can help non-sales personnel
notify sales of potential leads they may not have known about otherwise.

Steps in a Typical Lead Management Workflow

One popular early step in an automated workflow for lead management is assigning a score to a lead based on the type of content they downloaded, information they included in their landing page form, or other information. Leads that are assigned different scores can be routed differently. Leads with scores that indicate relatively “cool” interest may be signed up for a general newsletter, while warmer leads may cause a notification to a sales associate prompting them to reach out personally. 

Your workflow software should allow you to automatically track lead scores and actions taken, so you can be confident that no leads fall through the cracks. Tracking built into a lead management workflow also helps you see the value of lead management over time. You could see, for instance, that conversion rates or sales increased during the first six months of use of the lead management workflow. Your workflow software should also allow you to create reports so you can make sense of the data you collect. 

PerfectForms is workflow software that gives your team the power and flexibility they need to create a lead management workflow customized to your goals and your customer base. It comes with a number of prefabricated workflow and form templates, including a lead form, a sales inquiry form, and numerous survey forms, but you can also create lead management forms and workflows from scratch, with no programming required. And if you use Salesforce, you can make PerfectForms integrate with Salesforce easily, getting more value out of both.

Automated workflows make sense for countless business processes, including management of potential sales leads. To learn more, why not browse through some of the many PerfectForms case studies, including the Affinity Management Group case study. And if you have questions, you are welcome to contact us at any time