Forms exist to create a consistent method to collect data. They are one of the "secret ingredients" to evolving workflows and processes in your business.
Forms have many uses. They might be for something as simple as customer feedback or to support a more complicated process in your business, such as onboarding a new customer.
Maybe you are using forms and they are physical sheets of paper printed out and filed. Maybe they are digital PDFs. Or, perhaps forms simply haven't become part of your workflows yet.
Regardless of the state of forms in your business, it's time to consider making them a more central part of your business.
Modernizing your workflow with forms
When you think out the structure of a process in your business, at some point there is a need for data entry. A well-designed form at the right stage of a process can greatly improve efficiency and consistency with your process. If using a modern forms solution, you likely will gain access to data and metrics that you would not have been able to in the past.
Here are an example scenario to consider:
Ricky is the Sales Manager for Cold Cut Combos, Inc. His outside sales team handles the initial contact with potential customers as well as manages demo booths and conventions throughout the country. To keep licensing and support costs down, the outside sales team does not have access to their systems. His inside sales team has full access to their sales systems and focuses on following up, quoting, and selling their products to qualified leads.
Ricky is running into a problem where his outside sales team is struggling with entering contact information for potential new customers. Additionally, while their demo booths are getting a lot of traffic, he suspects they are losing out on opportunities because they only collect business cards.
After a discussion with his team, Ricky determines they need to update their outside sales processes. The outside sales team expressed frustrations with the process of sending into the inside sales team. The inside sales team expressed frustrations with inconsistent information. Ricky had his own frustrations with not having visibility into how effective their demos are.
How about we use forms?
Ricky decides to integrate two different forms into their workflow to help with the problems.
The first form is a "New Customer Lead" form that his outside sales team can use whenever they meet with a lead that could be a good fit for their business. This form includes fields his inside sales team is looking for as well as a couple of new questions to ask that were frequently missed in the past.
The second form is for a "Customer Sign-Up" form for their demo booths. The plan is to have people that stop by at the booth able to fill out this new form via a tablet at the booth. If someone hands them a business card, then the sales team can add their info to the form when they have time to do so via the tablet or their laptops.
Both forms are using a modern form system that allows the use of any device to fill out a form (Tablet, PC, Mac, or even just a phone!). Coordinating with IT, automation is configured to send any filled out form to the inside sales team to process. A filled out form is also added to a database that Ricky can use to review and analyze to gauge how effective the new processes are.
So what does a modern form look like?
For our demo, we are going to use Microsoft Forms. It's a great solution that is included with your Office 365 subscription, is easy to use, and integrates with the entire Microsoft 365 Suite.
The created forms are accessed via a website and could look something like this:
Once sent, a ticket is made for the Inside Sales team with the details to review and process. For Ricky, he now has access to data that he didn't have before.
Of course, this is demo data, but carefully designing your forms can give you very useful insights, in real-time! You can take things a step further by exporting into Excel or integrating your analytics software!
Just a single form is all it takes
When carefully integrated into your workflow, a simple form can completely transform how you work. Our example was for a sales scenario, but there are opportunities for forms to help throughout every department in your business.
Solutions like this used to be costly and time consuming for many businesses, but not anymore! With the right resources in place, your business can be ready to incorporate a "forms mindset" into your workflow in no time!
Interested in having a conversation about technology in your business?