Triggers are an important part of modeling the buyer journey in your CRM. They’re the impetus for causing you to take action. A trigger is when a lead does something that causes you to take an action in response.

Triggers are possible whenever you can measure a contact’s action. Your CRM must capture these actions to be able to activate a workflow, so you must gather as much data as you can. Email, website traffic, forms, and anything your CRM touches can be part of the triggering process. Some examples of triggers that clients can take are:

  • Read or click a link in an email
  • Visit a webpage
  • Watch a video
  • Share or like a social media post
  • Chat with a customer service rep
  • Meet someone at a trade show
  • Purchase a product from an online store
  • Abandon a process (for example, not completing a purchase)
  • Fill out a form
  • Initiate a support request ticket
In anticipating what a lead could do as a trigger, you can look at it in a couple ways. You could look at an individual action, such as a lead clicking a link, or watching a video; or you could look at a series of actions and use a scoring algorithm. If someone does enough things to warrant a response from you, set up what those actions might be.

You may want to include demographic filtering on the triggers; only certain types of leads activate a response from you. One common filter is making sure your employees don’t activate workflows. You could assign a negative demographic score to all your employees, and then only allow a workflow to be activated if the lead’s demographic score is positive. Another example: You have a product that is only sold to homeowners; if a lead clicks a link to learn about the product, you can suppress the workflow when the person is a renter.

Surveying your processes for triggers

When you use a tool like JourneyFlow to document your processes, you can identify opportunities where a trigger can help a buyer along a journey. This opportunity may include automated communication, or it could flag a contact in your CRM for follow-up by a salesperson. Your CRM tracks when these triggers are activated and what happens afterward.

Limiting over-automation in your CRM

When you set up your triggers, you want to be careful that there is not too much automation happening at once. You can establish workflow limits in a couple ways:
  • Design your triggers in critical steps where people are likely to only go once (for example, relying on scoring instead of an individual action that a lead might take several times in a row).
  • Limit the activation rate of your workflows, so that they can only be triggered once a day, or once a week.
Use one way or a combination of them, but it’s important to think through your interactions and ensure you maintain a healthy balance and frequency of touchpoints with your leads and clients.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Lars Helgeson is a pioneer in sales and marketing technology. His CRM platform for small to mid-size businesses, GreenRope, was built from scratch and has grown to include over 3,000 clients in more than 40 countries since its inception in 2011. He is a frequent speaker for small membership organizations and conferences.

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