Automation Step 2: Map your process

So how did you fare with the four questions yesterday?

Again, if you answered “no” to one or more of those questions, I think you’ll still find this exercise valuable.

But if you answered “yes” to each (even if they’re not in a state that you’re totally happy with), then let’s give ourselves the green light on email automation as a viable solution and…

Make a flow chart (my favorite pastime).

More specifically, let’s map all of the high-level steps involved in your marketing and sales process so that we can evaluate each for its goal and context.

This will allow us to visualize how a new lead flows through your process as-is so that we can evaluate each step and develop our automation strategy around it.

We can also use it to understand what the critical levers are along the way.

Here’s what that looks like generally, mapped to our four questions:

map your process general flowchart

And then to demonstrate what this might look like in practice, let’s return to our friend Larry the lean manufacturing consultant as an example:

map your process flowchart 2

Once we have everything down on paper, we can start to ask things like:

  • Do we have any missing or unclear pieces?
  • Which steps require the most attention?
  • Where do most of our qualified leads fall off?
  • Where are things clunky or disorganized?
  • Where would our time be best spent if we were to improve?

This is the best way to make sure you’re (1) not automating something that doesn’t work all that well, and (2) capturing the context of each step so that you don’t leave out critical nuance when you go to automate and end up confounded as to why it’s “all of the sudden” not working.

Bottom line: have a clear view of what you’re automating and optimizing before you jump in.

And mapping your process is our preferred method for doing so.

P.S. My tool of choice for process mapping is LucidChart, but Google Slides, Powerpoint or (gasp!) pen and paper work just fine 🙂

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