Marketing business processes are the most important components of the company’s success, and it is BPM software that can make them even more effective and efficient.
Oftentimes, business processes become too meandrous and complicated. In such cases, they fail to improve your business and make it grow faster; instead, they act as roadblocks. Therefore, it is very important for today’s enterprises to review the whole set of their workflows, so that they could get assured that all the aspects of their business processes are well structured and optimized. It is essential to know that there is no resource expenditure when it comes to time, money, and work force.
Trying to improve, optimize, and customize their workflows, organizations apply to business process management software, known also as BPM systems. One of the solutions of the kins is bpm’online – a cloud-based platform, which can automate any internal process of the company, from documentation approval to complex projecting involving several teams. Bpm’online provides a set of tools that let companies effectively manage marketing business processes, as well as client service and sales. This platform implies careful modelling, designing, execution, monitoring, and analysis of each workflow within the organization. It removes all the duplicated and unnecessary activities, improves even unnamed and unstructured processes, helps enterprises segment their database, obtain a 360-degree view of their customers, and so on. You can read about other functions, features, and advantages of bpm’online at https://www.bpmonline.com/crm. Besides, it is interesting to have a look at CRM Software reviews, as they reflect the opinion of real users who have managed to achieve great results with the use of such systems.
About Business Processes
When we speak about marketing business processes, we mean, first of all, the collections of interrelated, structured actions or tasks, which are aimed at production of specific services or products. All these procedures serve a particular goal (associated with the company’s sphere of activity, as a rule) for a certain client or a group of clients. Normally, business processes are visualized as flowcharts with the succession of activities, which intersperse corresponding decision points. In some cases, they are represented as process matrices reflecting the sequence of procedures based on certain relevance rules.
By way of illustration of marketing business processes, let us consider order receipts, invoicing, order delivery, update of the employee data, approval of the marketing budget, and so on. These processes occur at all levels of the company’s performance; they may include both the invisible and visible for the client activities and the procedures. The term “business processes” refers also to the combination of all steps undertaken by the company’s staff on their way to the final business objective.
There is another notion closely connected with the concept of marketing business processes – workflows. Workflows are the movements of data or material from one work position or activity to another. They may include different procedures, employees, and instruments associated with different steps of a business process. Sometimes, workflows are sequential (when every new step begins only at the completion of the previous one); in other cases, they are parallel (when multiple steps occur all at the same time).
Why Do We Need Business Processes?
Effective and efficient processes benefit a company in different ways:
- They make the whole organization more competitive. When a company has implemented a business process management platform and improved its workflows in the best possible way, it gets the opportunity to evaluate its strong and weak points, as well as identify the opportunities for their further development. Firms with effective marketing business processes easily improve the quality of their goods and services, establish better relations with their purchasers, constantly increasing the level of customer satisfaction and loyalty. Such enterprises are better able to cope with possible issues, as they can quickly respond to various changes in the today’s competitive marketplace. Finally, companies with well-organized processes are aware when their work is absolutely correct and when they need to change something. And, what is more important, they can easily and quickly correct all their mistakes.
- Marketing processes enable business growth. When an enterprise leverages its processes – with the use of corresponding BPM and CRM solutions, – it becomes much easier for its employees to produce new goods and services. They get the opportunity to do it quickly and efficiently, without the necessity to re-invent the wheel. Besides, as soon as the company’s workflows have been improved with the use of BPM tools, it is sure to have no problems with new employees. The system can easily and quickly cross-train the new specialists, which lets the organization avoid business interruption in cases of high personnel turnover. The software of the kind and the business processes it improves enable enterprises to understand who is best to assign for different tasks, purposes, and missions.
- Marketing business processes increase profitability. Organizations with defined workflows easily find opportunities to boost their efficiency, with no risk for the overall quality and consistency. Such companies have no troubles identifying duplicated activities and the spheres that are being overlooked. With business process management systems, they maximize the importance of everything they do, as they ensure that the results of their efforts will be leveraged elsewhere. All this lets them save both time and money, which is the key to success in the today’s landscape.
Things to Keep in Mind When Improving Processes
Many companies consider leveraging BPM software in order to streamline, customize, and automate their existing workflows, as well as resolve a number of vexing problems. Here are eight items they should take into account when undertaking a business process improvement project:
Enlist administration support and make sure the company’s executives welcome the project
Frequently, BPI initiatives begin with the intent to change a single issue, as many companies find it quite risky and complicated to correct the whole set of their workflows. But in most cases, such projects slip out of control, and after the improvement of the chosen process the company finds out that it is ready to customize all the rest workflows. Actually, it is in the firm’s best interests to make sure that the project be chartered and approved by the leadership. When all the changes and improvements are visible, there is less apprehension, and the improvement group has the authority to make all the necessary changes to the whole set of marketing business processes.
Identify the key problems of the organization
When you start implementing a BPM platform, do not hurry to attack everything that seems to go wrong. Take time to analyze carefully all the current pain points of your enterprise. It may suffer from sales decreasing, low level of customer satisfaction, inability to handle an important function or loss of performance. In any case, your first step before triggering a BPM project is to determine, which problems demand an immediate attention and enlist them in your improvement plan.
Do not forget about process interaction
It is essential to think global while acting local. In modern organizations, every single workflow is a part of the whole puzzle of marketing business processes. As your employees start considering a certain activity at hand, do your best not to lose sight of how it integrates with the rest of your enterprise. Make sure your improvements won’t change another aspect of the company’s life for worse. Your effort to resolve a concrete problem should not do any harm to the processes that function correctly. If you make such a mistake, you can attack not one, but many workflows at once. Therefore, it is very important to step back in the course of process improvement and determine what is going to happen as soon as the proposed changes have been made.
Look for the chances to save your time
It may happen that some of your employees devote their working hours to unnecessary tasks and missions. And it is up to you to reveal such situations and get rid of them. For instance, one of your process owners may spend several days per month preparing reports for the next specialist in the chain, and this goes on this way for years. The person receiving these reports may never use them – most of such papers are simply discarded. Therefore, it is up to you to find all the unnecessary procedures and tasks and get rid of them.
Make sure the right specialists are involved
Get assured that you have included into the project all the people who have a stake in it. If not, all your efforts can fail, as you need the support of the whole team or, at least, all those who are related to the marketing business processes you are going to improve. The employees excluded out of the project will remember that they’ve been excluded and will confront any improvements proposed. As a result, your efforts won’t be as efficient and complete as they otherwise could be.
Map your processes formally
This is a very important step of the BPM system implementation. When you have a visual representation of how your business processes develop, integrate, and change, you are sure to have a better understanding of how the new system will work. Your team will see how a certain workflow operates, who controls it at a given moment of time, and where it meets with other services and processes. Having a clear process map, you’ll have no troubles with further decision making.
Take time to consider several ‘what-if’ scenarios
Specialists note, that it is unwise to launch a new process and pin it. There are no immaculate variants and decisions; this is why any plan, even the most circumspect, may go wrong. Therefore, when implementing the chosen BPM software, you should consider every possible scenario. Speculate on all the problems that can appear as a result of your changes and break the process. This procedure resembles standard software testing, when IT specialists try to identify possible weaknesses of the new platform and get rid of them in due time. The more effort you make to check and test your BPM solution, the more effectively it will operate.
Spot your measuring instruments
When you can’t measure your marketing business processes, you can’t fix and improve them. So, you need to identify the metrics, which will help you gauge the successfulness of your BPI project. The “pain” and “success” metrics can be determined when figuring out which workflows will be attacked first. Naturally, you can add some new metrics in the process of the project development, and use them along with the existing instruments. For instance, you may be trying to reduce client on-hold time for support to one or two minutes. Choose the corresponding metrics (connected with time and quality of customer support) and use them for measuring the success of the process implemented inside your organization.