How Salesforce Flows Can Simplify Complex Business Processes & Increase Your ROI
Complex business processes are not just challenging your employees but also exhausting crucial business resources across numerous verticals. Salesforce Flows might just be the tool your business needs to reduce admin time, tackle complex – seemingly impossible – business processes and increase your overall ROI.
This blog will help you understand what Salesforce Flows are as well as how they can benefit your organisation. We’ll further outline best practice business use cases for you to implement flow, enabling you to work smarter, not harder.
The Salesforce Flow solution
We live in an increasingly evolving digital world, in an age of Big Data both in which information overload and complex business processes are seemingly inevitable. If your organisation struggles with repetitive manual tasks or complex business processes that could be simplified by automating them, then the Salesforce Flow can be the most powerful tool in your Salesforce toolbelt.
In Salesforce, flows are a core feature of Salesforce and offer no-code (declarative) functionality for a wide range of use cases. They can be used to help build and automate complex business processes and manual tasks, such as create, update or delete records, creating tasks, sending emails etc. As the flow builder is a declarative interface used to build individual flows, it doesn’t require technical programming language skills or experience.
The 5 different types of flows available
To simplify respective business processes, there are 5 types of flows available within Salesforce:
- Screen Flows: These flows require input from users and guide you through processes on your screen. They are either launched as an action or embedded as an element on a Lightning page.
- Schedule-Triggered Flows: These are run in the background and launch at a specific time and frequency for each record in a batch of records, and apply changes as per the defined criteria.
- Auto-launched Flows: These could be subflows that can be incorporated and launched automatically or even by code.
- Record-Triggered Flows: These flows run in the background when a record is created, updated, or deleted.
- Platform Event-Triggered Flows: When a platform event message is received, these auto-launched flows run in the background.
Before elaborating further on how Salesforce Flow can benefit your organisation, let’s have a quick look at a current and predominant trend within the software industry.
Predominant software trend: Clicks, not code
Imperative programming and declarative programming are the two types of programming one can turn to.
Imperative programming, or traditional/code-oriented programming, denotes the programming by using certain coding languages, such as Java, C#, C++, and the Salesforce language APEX, etc. This, in turn, requires a skilled developer with programming knowledge and experience to build an application line by line, using code.
Declarative programming, on the other hand, accomplishes the same end results without needing code. This is accomplished by using drag and drop solutions or flow builders that are used to create components, which can be reused and packaged to be distributed. Consequently, this programming approach provides a much quicker turnaround time.
Surveys from the field show that over 70% of IT leaders currently use or intend to use low-code development in the next 12-18 months. The trend is further underpinned by Salesforce’s ‘Clicks, Not Code’ ethos, as they increasingly provide applications using the declarative over the imperative programming, putting them at the forefront of the entire declarative development movement. This consequently makes their products more accessible and easier to maintain over time.
5 reasons your organisation should use flows
Being of declarative nature, the Salesforce Flow brings along a huge array of benefits for all your business verticals:
- The biggest benefit for many organisations is the huge decrease in general admin time, since both common, repetitive tasks as well as complex processes that are time-consuming can be handled by flows in a much quicker manner. This, in turn, frees staff time and increases productivity overall, as more time can be devoted to other essential aspects of the employee roles.
- Flows further reduce the need for code and developers, as the declarative application will not require you to hire a specialist coder or software developer, putting more control into the hands of your respective team.
- By reducing admin time of tasks and increasing productivity, your organisation is able to save money on staff hours for tasks that flows can now do automatically. Furthermore, with flows being a no-code solution, the costs of ownership – meaning the costs to maintain the application itself – are comparatively low. As a consequence, the organisation’s overall ROI will increase.
- Moreover, flows provide a great tool for simpler problem solutions, as issues can be identified without having to dive into lines of code. They are easy to maintain and grow, and also allow convenient project customisation as well as editing thanks to the drag-and-drop features. Therefore, processes are generally more accessible – with everyone being able to follow along with what you build – and ongoing maintenance more simplified.
- Lastly, flows further enable you to build rather complex systems, by simply calling APEX, enabling you to connect your Salesforce Flow to any external system you require for your business process. Whenever a solution cannot be built with Flows alone, APEX is able to handle the complex logic for you thanks to the compatibility of these two separate systems and you can mix and match these two.
Best practice business cases for you to use flows
The following best-practice business use cases display only a few examples of how you can leverage flows in Salesforce.
Update unrelated records with ease
Let’s start with the simplest use case for Salesforce flows: If you have a custom object called ‘insurance records’ and your insurance manager would like the account data to be updated with the total eligible, claimable amount from the unrelated insurance object every time a claim is lodged, flows are able to look for the change in the record and update the account records as per the desired filters.
Delete outdated and irrelevant data records
If a customer requested your organisation to delete all his data (in consideration of the current GDPR regulations in place), flows enable you to find the respective details in the system and delete them one by one. Or, alternatively, you can also build a simple flow that can be triggered to cascadingly delete all information belonging to the respective record.
Automate your data storage management
A flow can further be used to automatically delete a huge amount of data when it reaches a certain ‘storage age’. An example of that is when your business would need to delete all the customer data that is older than five years for a particular account.
Convenient user guidance throughout any type of business process
Use flows to guide users through different steps of your respective business processes. One of the classic service industry use cases is when a customer calls you and would like to update their details and other information. For that, you can simply build a screen flow and let your customer service representative use the flow to find and update customer details in seconds.
A most recently added feature adds further value and improvement to flows, as you can now also create multicolumn screens in the Flow Builder, which allows you to divide each flow screen into multiple sections and columns for a more effective layout. The new layout is responsive as columns stack vertically so they fit perfectly on mobile phones, enhancing both your user as well as your customer’s experience overall.
The opportunities are endless.
Before scheduling an initial consultation with any Salesforce partner to kick off your Flow project, you should reflect upon the following:
- Do you have any flows that you need created or already have flows in place that you need to modify?
- Do you have a lot of repetitive, mundane processes?
- Is there any complex, manual business processes that you want to be automated?
- Do you have multiple single workflows or process builders that could be consolidated into a single, more manageable flow automation?
- Does your team have a good understanding of best practices with flows?
If you would like to know more about Salesforce Flows and aspire to modify any of the above-outlined business processes in your organisation, we advise you to reach out to our experienced consultant team. We’re here and have your back to detect and look into any internal process that can be modified for the better – all with the help of Flows, a unique tool for simpler problem solutions for every type of business
Pracedo is an award-winning Platinum Salesforce Consulting Partner that delivers Salesforce implementations to charities, NGOs, and enterprise customers across the globe. Pracedo builds powerful partnerships that can impact more than just revenues. As a Premium Salesforce Partner in London and Melbourne, we have the experience and expertise to help you maximise your Salesforce investment and build improved customer pipeline processes and communication cycles. Everything we do is powered by our unique purpose, which puts people at the heart of our work. That’s why we pledge to give 1% of our product, time, and profits back to our community. Pracedo specialises in Salesforce Sales Cloud, Salesforce Service Cloud, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Pardot, CPQ and Billing, Salesforce Community Cloud or Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud implementations and customisations.