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May 6, 2021 5 min read

How to Leverage Visual Thinking and Guide Your Team to Repeatable Success

Visual thinking helps make intangible or complex ideas visible.

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Elizabeth Mankowski

Elizabeth Mankowski
Director, Business Solutions Practice

Research shows that the human brain can process images and colors more quickly than just words and data. This is why we are drawn to charts and diagrams that represent both simple and complex data sets. Looking at a visual reminder can signal the next step in a process or alert us if we’ve missed a step. The constant presence of a visual representation helps keep users focused on the task at hand.

This technique is called visual thinking. Visual thinking is about using a set of tools to help make intangible or complex ideas visible. It can be a drawing on a whiteboard, a storyboard of the problem-solving process, or a workflow in a customer relationship management (CRM) platform.

In my last post, I talked about the importance of this strategic visualization when shifting from spreadsheets to a CRM solution and how Creatio assists team members in thinking about their workflow visually. Keying off color-coded indicators and simple pictures, shapes, arrows is a powerful way to drive productivity in your teams.

Here, I'll walk you through how we use Creatio’s visual functionality to help teams manage sales performance and operations with ease.

Visual Thinking in Lead Management

While working with a new Creatio client recently, our CRM and Sales team focused on the power of visual thinking to design a lead management process that would drive uniformity and efficiency across their international Sales team.

This particular client manufactures and distributes their own products, and they sell directly, leveraging a distributor network. Like most organizations, they have a wide variety in their customer base—not to mention various levels of decision-makers—so they needed a sales process that elevated all types of customers’ buying behaviors and preferences.

With Creatio’s flexible templates and capabilities, we designed a Case workflow representing the earliest stage of their funnel, which captures all relevant tasks necessary to win new business or expand their footprint with existing customers. A Creatio Case is a repeatable set of steps to follow through consistently on a predefined process, and these Cases can be implemented for lead management, opportunity management, or customer service requests.

Opportunity Management Workflows for Visual Thinkers

Below is an example of how we use visual facilitation techniques in Creatio to help businesses improve sales visibility across stakeholders so they can act fast on prospective sales. While this example is one method of segregating the funnel, other organizations may use different terms to represent these stages of the sales process.

  1. The Target = Opportunity management workflow starts at Target. Many organizations group Targets outside their CRM platform, but Creatio provides flexibility to integrate this top of the sales funnel stage to allow a complete picture of the lead. Targets are added as Companies and Opportunities and include information-gathering tasks like identifying store managers, decision-makers, brands, or product lines of interest, and setting a likely maximum spend amount.

  2. The Prospect = The next stage of the workflow is Prospect. Creatio’s opportunity management flow populates to-do activities for sales teams, helping them gather more information about specific stock-keeping units (SKUs), projected timeline and budget, and initial sales meetings.

  3. The Appointment = By the time the Opportunity reaches the Appointment stage, the Sales team prepares pitch presentations for products, pricing, and timeline, in a session with all decision-makers. Creatio displays visual tasks to remind each Sales Rep to prepare, get their manager’s review (if above a certain threshold,) and schedule the meeting with the prospective customer.

  4. The Negotiation = This stage includes all activities between the presentation and closing the deal. It may include providing sample products so prospective customers can be confident in the quality of items they would stock. Any negotiations on pricing or discounts are captured in the Creatio Opportunity workflow so that any Sales team member can view the history of pricing changes.

  5. Won Sale = When the deal is won, the Opportunity transitions to Won Sale, and production ramps up to fulfill the order. The post-sale activity workflow starts here as the Opportunity workflow ends.

  6. Lost Sale = When a deal is lost, the Sales team is committed to capturing the Lost Reason and reviewing any trends periodically.

Every Sales team runs a bit differently due to the nature of the business, the industry in which they operate, and the people leading it. With the flexibility built into Creatio, you will find all the tools you need to support your process. Using the Opportunity management workflow to abstract and visualize a set of predefined steps enables your team to execute any process consistently, time after time.

If you’re new to sales process mapping and looking to translate your processes into a digital toolset, partnering with a seasoned service and consulting team can give you the structure and guidance you need to launch your new tools successfully. From visualizing thought processes in business environments to identifying problems to building solutions to training your team on new business models and processes, Highland is equipped to walk with you every step of the way.

Would visual thinking help you with your next digital challenge? Contact us to find out.