The operation of BizConnector / Lead Follow-Up is based entirely on business rules. This means that one or more business rules have to be defined in order for the tool to function. The business rules in an account are evaluated and run – in real-time around the clock – by a Rule Engine.
What is a business rule?
The BizConnector definition of a business rule is broader than others available on the internet. For example, in Wikipedia we find ‘Business rules provide detailed guidance about how a strategy can be translated to action’.
We go further than this. Instead of a rule ‘providing guidance’, it executes actions if the rule conditions are met. BizConnector rules are actionable.
A BizConnector rule can be expressed as:
‘When this condition is met, execute this action’.
Or more generally:
‘When these conditions are met, execute these actions’.
A typical condition is the arrival of a new, matching record in the leads database.
A typical action is to schedule a sequence of emails to be sent to a prospect or customer (as in ‘drip marketing’).
Notice the use of the word ‘when’, rather than ‘if’. The time element is vital to the operation of the Rule Engine, which is running around the clock, watching for conditions to arise in order to attempt to ‘fire’. It is not invoked manually, and can be considered a ‘live agent’ operating in real time (or near real time).
A business rule can be thought of as an implementation of a strategy – ie. how the strategy can be translated into action. There is a direct alignment between the strategy and the rule.
The purpose of a rule is to cater to a specific scenario, or ‘use case’. For example, a new lead requesting a copy of a white paper on a web form may be a typical use case, and a rule could be written to fire when that new lead record is added. The rule can be considered to have a relationship with that lead for the period of time that, say, emails are being sent. When the last email has been sent, the relationship between the rule and the lead comes to an end.
Rules are autonomous, and have no explicit dependence on other rules. This makes rules easy to manage, because they can be created and deleted independently.
Sometimes there are implied dependencies, which can be used to great effect. For example, a group of rules can cater separately to ‘hot’, ‘warm’, or ‘cool’ prospects, where prospects can ‘switch over’ to another rule if and when their rating changes from one to another.
Well-designed business rules are powerful tools that can automate the tedious, repetitive tasks that would otherwise slip through the cracks. All the while doing this in strict accordance with the organization’s underlying strategies. They are powerful things, not to be underestimated.