An approval Workflow directs a document or other item for approval or rejection to one or more individuals. The workflow approval phases implement standard automation that improves communication and decreases the backlog of approvals required.
Error-free workflow approvals can enhance your sales and quotation procedures, allowing your sales staff to close more transactions faster and with fewer mistakes. Moreover, by streamlining the workflow of team members, automation will reduce income leakage, enforce responsibility and punctuality, and enhance internal communications.
Approval Workflow Types
Approval protocols in sales operations can help keep internal communications moving and deal with stakeholders informed. Here are some sales approval workflow examples.
- A salesperson can launch a discount approval procedure to ensure that everyone is in agreement with a new contract when a customer wants a discount.
- Billing approval procedure: This approach reduces mistakes and enhances efficiency when billing revisions are required.
- Legal or compliance approval workflow: contract review and approval are required steps in the sales process to guarantee that all transactions match normal company standards and regulatory rules.
Approval Process Elements
An approval workflow process consists of the following steps:
- Choose a workflow type (such as approval or feedback).
A salesman, for example, who wants to authorise a discount on a product for a client
- Choose a file for approval.
Pick a file and then select “Get Approval” from the Workflow menu; reviewers can then accept, reject, suggest revisions, or choose another option. Due dates allow you to keep track of how long it takes to complete activities. Each extra reviewer should be added by assigning them to your paper.
- Required papers are forwarded to reviewers, who will either accept, reject, or hold them for further discussion.
- The salesperson who initiated the procedure will be notified via email of the approval status and the following actions. When a discount is approved, the sales representative is free to proceed with the offer.
Approval Workflow Common Issues
One of the most typical problems that arise during an approval procedure is when an approver modifies the document that they are intended to approve. This can lead to delays and uncertainty in the approval process, as well as inaccurate or incomplete approvals.
Another typical problem is when approvers do not have access to the document that has to be approved. This might be due to security constraints or simply because the approver lacks the necessary rights.
Another problem might arise when an approver signs a document but later discovers they made a mistake. This might be due to erroneous information, misinterpreting the document, or failing to double-check anything.
Finally, when an approver does not receive notification of a document that has to be authorised, this is a common problem. This might be because the approver’s email address is inaccurate or the notice was banned by a spam filter.
These concerns may be addressed using automated approval processes, which trigger events as papers progress through the approval process, resulting in a seamless sales process.
How to Choose Approval Workflow Software
Automated approval procedures should interface with your existing CRM platforms, such as Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
The following characteristics should be included in approval workflow tools:
- Alerts for automated approvals: Every organisation may automate its approval procedures by informing the right individuals when human input or reviews are required.
- Workflow applications without coding Leading workflow solutions enable nontechnical users to automate portions of their processes, such as form filling, task scheduling, and email response.
- Authorized workers may utilise cloud-based workflow software whenever there is an Internet connection, while offline access allows them to accomplish activities when they are not near a networked computer.
- Workflow software enables users to exchange documents with others by granting them access, setting permissions, and tracking changes.
- Workflow management tools that automate signature capture and verification can speed up the process of gathering legally binding signatures on documents.
Designing an Approval Workflow
An approval process is a set of steps that must be taken in order to accept or reject a request. Depending on the type of request, the procedures may differ, but they often entail gathering information from relevant parties, reaching a decision, and conveying the findings.
There are a few elements to consider while building an approval workflow process:
- Who should be involved?
- What information must be gathered?
- What method will be used to make the decision?
- How will the findings be disseminated?
Each stage of the process, as well as who is responsible for each job, should be clearly defined.Furthermore, there should be a means to track the request’s progress through the workflow so that everyone involved is aware of where it is in the process.
A basic step in selecting and configuring workflow management software is to divide the workflow into tasks and processes.
Determine the approval starting points.
Documents such as sales proposals or quotations, invoices, purchase orders, and contracts are submitted to begin the approval process.
Workflow must be defined
Workflows may be divided into two categories, which are classified as follows:
- Parallel: A sequence of actions is handled at once with this strategy to progress the work toward completion. Employee onboarding, for example, frequently necessitates the completion of numerous duties at the same time.
- Sequential: A rules-driven workflow continues along a sequential route based on which rules are activated in a sequential workflow (or sequence). A loan application, for example, follows a sequential workflow, with each stage completed before moving on to the next.
Establish the approval conditions
The approval conditions are one of the most important aspects of an approval procedure. These are the grounds for approving or rejecting an output.
In the case of the vacation workflow, approval factors may include whether the employee is available, if he or she will be required urgently during that period, or how many other individuals will be on vacation at the same time. Approval requirements in a content approval workflow might include accurate grammar and spelling, reaching the specified word count, or satisfying the assignment request.
Define the Results
The results component of an action item represents the action taken as a result of the process results. In the case of a sales quotation approval procedure, it might be the acceptance or rejection of a contract. After identifying the phases of the workflow, you will have all of the information you need to automate your approval procedures.
The Advantages of Using Approval Workflow Software
A workflow describes the processes for an approval process, establishes a team structure, and ensures that everyone is aware of who has approval authority. It helps everyone remain focused on their jobs. Other advantages include:
Approval workflow software is intended to make the process of approving papers or other objects more efficient. This sort of software can enhance productivity and accuracy while minimising the need for manual involvement by automating the approval process.
One advantage of adopting approval process software is that it may help guarantee that all essential approvals are received as soon as possible. This is especially critical when deadlines must be reached or items must be authorised by various parties.
Another advantage of approval process software is that it may aid in the reduction of mistakes. This sort of software, by automating the approval process, may help to guarantee that all approvals are completed accurately and that no information is lost. When it comes to fixing errors, this can save time and irritation.
Automation of approval workflows can also help to increase communication between stakeholders. By offering a central area for approvals, this sort of software may make it easier to manage the status of things and ensure that all stakeholders are up to date on the latest developments. This can aid in the avoidance of misconceptions and delays.
Any business needs approval workflow software to ensure uniformity. By automating the approval process, you can ensure that all choices are made in accordance with business policy. Approval workflow automation also reduces the need for human document inspection and approval, which can lead to inconsistency.
Bottlenecks have been reduced
Bottlenecks can be a big source of annoyance. They can create delays, impede production, and result in financial loss. Approval workflow software can help to reduce bottlenecks and keep corporate operations running smoothly by automating the approvals process. For example, rather than depending on a single human to approve every request, the programme may send requests to numerous approvers at the same time.
Furthermore, you may tailor approval process software to your company’s particular requirements. You may, for example, determine the number of approvers required for each type of request and set up alerts to tell you when a request is awaiting approval. This degree of personalization guarantees that your approval process runs as smoothly as possible.
Installs Deal Barriers
Sales approval workflow software protects businesses by developing approval processes for agreements. This guarantees that product configurations, pricing, and discounts adhere to business policy and that no transaction is completed without the necessary permissions. Companies may prevent costly mistakes and guarantee all agreements are evaluated before being concluded by automating sales approval operations.
Accelerates the Sales Cycle
Approvals are frequently time-consuming and tedious. They demand that papers be reviewed, signed off on, and distributed. However, by making it easier for people to approve things, you can shorten the sales cycle and maximise revenue. A shorter sales cycle has the added benefit of increasing sales representatives’ and customers’ satisfaction.