​How many different Workflows do you have set up in your account? Only one? Do you only have one type of sales lead? Of course not, so you shouldn't only have one Workflow. One of the "power features" of Open Leads is the Workflow, which gives you the ability to set up different followup processes for different types of leads or different sales scenarios.

Let's examine some different scenarios -

Phone leads versus Internet leads - if you have an Open Leads contact form on your website, but you also receive phone inquiries, you would want to approach those leads from two distinct directions within Open Leads - thus you should have an Internet Lead Workflow that is triggered automatically when the form is submitted on your website, and a completely separate "Phone Lead" form and Phone Lead Workflow that is used internally when a new lead calls in. How should these Workflows differ?

Your Internet Lead workflow should immediately generate an Email Autoresponder, personalized and crafted specifically to complete the initial contact confirmation with the new lead. This autoresponder serves two functions - 1) to provide confirmation of the receipt of the inquiry to the submitter, and 2) to introduce you and your company and to begin to establish rapport with the lead. This prepares them for the next point of contact as you begin to qualify them and nurture them through the sales process.

Your Phone Lead Workflow, on the other hand, does not need to offer this initial email contact - you have begun that process with the phone call.

Then next steps, the followups, may be similar, but need different timing. Your initial followup with the Internet Lead should be within 24 hours of their inquiry to you, whereas you may have need for an email followup before the next phone contact with your Phone Lead. Separate Workflows, with divergent steps ensures that each type of lead is followed up with in the proper manner.

What about "cold" versus "hot" leads? Here is another case for creating different Workflows. Often times Open Leads users create single Workflows that are "cradle to grave" - or in other words carry a lead all the way from initial contact to closed sale in a single process. However it is never the case that all leads are nurtured along at the same pace. Some leads have a very urgent need for your product or service, while others may need to be brought along at a slower pace, or perhaps have a longer purchase cycle. In these two scenarios, it makes sense to break your sales process into stages - having one or more Workflows for the intial contact stage, but then having separate Workflows for the intermediate and final steps. Workflows are not only triggered by form submission, but they can also be automatically triggered by completing a task, branched using a Yes/No answer upon task completion, or manually from within the Lead Detail screen.

Let's assume, in this instance that we are starting with an Internet Sales Lead Workflow that is triggered automatically when a form is filled out on your website. You have an Initial Email Followup Call task in this Workflow, accompanying an immediate Email Autoresponder. Your followup call is to find out more information about the prospect, and to further qualify them for your product or service. You can set up your Open Leads workflow to ask a branching question when you complete the followup call task, such as "Is Prospect ready to purchase?" If the answer is "Yes" you can configure your account to trigger a "Hot Prospect" Workflow that moves them to the next stage in the purchase cycle. But you can also trigger a "Cold Prospect" Workflow with a "No" response, which contains a completely different set of followups, such as a drip email campaign, emailing carefully constructed emails to the prospect at timed intervals, or perhaps scheduling phone followups at longer intervals than you would use for a "Hot Prospect." Setups like this ensure proper, timely and effective followup with each individual lead, avoiding "one-size fits all" pitfalls.

Workflows can also update statuses, Types and more as you move the prospect along the sales process. Take a look at how you have yours set up to make sure you are making the most of your Open Leads toolbox.