Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Task Automation (Workflows)

Tucked away at the bottom of the Task Dashboard is a tab you may have hardly noticed and most of you may be afraid to touch. It's the "Task Automation" box, and it's incredibly powerful. But, like most features in AddressTwo, the trick is harnessing that power.

First, what's task automation all about. Well, let's say you get a call-in lead from an ad you placed. Perhaps every time a lead comes in, you want your sales team (or you) to be reminded to do a fixed pattern of follow-up. For example: day 1, call; day 2 send a postcard; day 5 call again; day 10 send an email. You get the idea...

Second, how does task automation work? First, you have to determine which direction the tasks increment. In the example above, these tasks cound "up from" a due-date. The other option would be to count down to a date. This comes into play when some future event is known, and you want to do certain tasks prior to that date in preparation for it. Changing this option will toggle the text in your task series to either say "X days after due date" or "X days prior to due date."

Finally, once you have designed the series of tasks, how do you schedule those tasks for a given contact? Two ways: manually or automatically. Manually simply means that you would go to the contact for whom you wish to queue this entire series, click the "Add a Task" icon and then select the newly created task series from the bottom of the "Type of Task" drop-down list. In addition, you can also choose to queue these series of tasks automatically as a trigger on a web form.

Happy tasking.

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