You can empower your learners to be able to request registration onto upcoming training events by configuring an approval portal. At the most basic, this functionality allows your:
- Students to browse your catalogue and request events that fit their role and schedule
- Administration team to accept or reject the request based on whatever criteria might apply, including event occupancy requirements, student role or rank, prerequisite status, and more
Creation of an approval functionality requires you to complete several configuration elements, including:
- Creating an Approval Portal
- Creating Course and Event Content that will Appear in the Portal
- Configuring your Opportunity Workflow to Process Training Requests
- Creating Automated communications
- Making and Managing Event Requests - Student and Administrator Journeys
- Making and Managing Cancellation Requests
Let’s look at each of these steps.
1. Creating an Approval Portal
First, you have to create a portal that will be defined by its approval functionality logic. Generally, setup of a portal and its configuration is something you’ll do with the help of your Customer Success Manager and/or Administrate support staff.
- Set your approval portal brand
- Create your LMS portal
- Create a weblink portal that ties to the LMS portal; this is what allows your catalogue of courses and events to be viewed by potential students
- Configure your weblink portal using graphQL - this includes:
- Identifying that it is an approval portal
- Setting region and currency logic
- Identifying the course categories that should appear in your catalog
Now that your portal is configured, you need to map specific course and event content to it.
2. Creating Course and Event Content that will Appear in the Portal
To get content to appear in your approval portal, you need to ensure a few elements have been setup correctly on any course templates and events you want to appear in the approval portal.
- Navigate to Course Templates
- Click into any course template you wish to appear in the approval portal
- Map each course template to the category/categories you identified will show in your approval portal
- Navigate to every event you wish to appear in the approval portal, creating as many as you wish to be available to your students
- Assign all events to:
- Locations that match your approval portal’s region
- Pricing that matches your approval portal’s currency
Now you need to configure your opportunity workflow to allow your staff to process training requests.
3. Configuring your Opportunity Workflow to Process Training Requests
Your opportunities must be reconfigured to allow you to process training requests; namely, so that you can receive the requests, review them, and then either accept or reject them.
- Navigate to Opportunity Layout in the Control Panel
- Create a new attribute called “Rejected Reason” so that your team can identify why the request was not approved.
- Navigate to Opportunity Workflow in the Control Panel
- In the Stages tab, create a new Stage called “Requested” and give it an Open status. This is where your new requests will land
- Click into the Steps tab
- Add a few new steps:
- Review Request, which is where any new request will land;
- This is associated with an “Open” status
- Add the new attribute “Rejected Reason” to this step so that it displays for your administration team
- Approve Request, which is where successful requests are moved
- This is associated with a “Won” status
- Reject Request, which is where you’ll push requests that you do not approve, whatever the reason
- This is associated with a “Lost” status
- Add the new attribute “Rejected Reason” to this step so that it displays for your administration team; it may make sense to make this a required field so that every rejected request supplies details for your staff
Your new steps should look as follows:
- Click into the Transitions tab and add the following transitions:
- Request Received, which takes the request from the API order lead entry point (you’ll define this later on step 11) to the Review Request step
- Request Approved, which takes the request from Requested to Approved, and includes a trigger for “Create Registration.” This is the logic that automatically pushes the student onto the event
- Request Rejected, which takes the request from Requested to Approved. In this case, we want to require that the attribute “Rejected Reason” is completed so that your team always identifies the reasoning for this transition
Your transitions should look as follows:
- Click on the “Entry and Follow Ons” tab
- Identify your Review Request step as the entry step for both - this identifies the “Review Step” as the default initial step for any new sales opportunity you make manually
Your “Entry and Follow Ons” should look as follows:
Click on the Settings tab
- Set your Lead Entry Step for API Orders to your “Training Request”. This assures that all requests coming from your portal will initiate in the “Review” step.
*Note that it’s up to you to designate whatever entry step initiates an API order; this merely acts as a passthrough that gets the request to your Review step.
Your Settings tab should look as follows:
At this point, your Opportunity Workflow provides all the entry and transition logic required for your team to be able to process your requests. Now we’ll put together some automated communication functionality so that students can be informed of their processing training requests at every step.
4. Creating Automated Communications
An important feature of your approval portal functionality is messaging - ultimately, keeping your potential students informed of their request status is paramount. In this case, opportunity transition triggers can be put in place so you can send messaging:
- To acknowledge the initial request has been received and is being reviewed
- To inform a student their request has been accepted
- Or to inform a student their request has been rejected
- Create three communication templates:
- Request received
- Request approved
- Request rejected
- Create three communication triggers
- All three will:
- Tie to the relevant communication templates you just created
- Use the “Opportunity” target
- Use Trigger type “Opportunity Transition”
- Use Audience type “Contact”
- Identify the proper transition for when you want each of the three to fire
- Request Received: will fire when a lead transitions into your “Review Request” step
- Request Approved will fire when a lead transitions from “Review Request” to “Approve Request”
- Request Rejected will fire when a lead transitions from “Review Request” to “Reject Request”
- All three will:
Once in place, each of your triggers should look as follows:
- Once saved, navigate back into the Opportunity Workflow dialogue and visit any of the three transitions you just associated with a trigger and you’ll see that the communication is identified as part of the transition at the bottom of the dialogue:
- At this point, it’s always wise to go into your Sales Opportunity system, create opportunities manually, and then ensure you can both:
- Transition the opportunity to every step of the process as your team will need to be able to
- Receive proper messaging at each step of the journey (Request Received, Request Approved, Request Rejected)
Now that you know you can process requests manually, you need to step through the process as a potential learner to ensure all connections are working properly in the portal.
5. Making and Managing Event Requests - Student and Administrator Journeys
Before inviting students to your new approval portal, you need to ensure all aspects of it are functioning properly. Here are the steps to complete.
- Navigate into your portal - as needed, you can manually create credentials to this new portal on your contact record using the “Set Up Account” dialogue, selecting your new approval portal brand, and then sending yourself a password setup email:
*Note: give consideration to how you want your students to gain access to your new approval portal. A common strategy is to create a Welcome Event that includes an On Registration trigger that ties to a communication template with an LMS Setup Link in it. Your event can consist of a simple instruction document or video for using the portal, which is a great way to get your students familiarized with the event request workflow you’ve provided them.
- Acting as a potential student, login to the portal. Upon entry, verify several new elements are in place:
- Catalogue icon (green box): clicking this takes students to your catalog of courses
- My Requests icon (yellow box): clicking this takes students to a grid of their event requests
- Click the Catalogue Icon
- Click the “Categories” dropdown on the top right side of the screen and verify the Categories you mapped to the portal appear as expected
- Click on any course card you’ve created events for and verify that available events appear with an orange “Request” button on the right:
- Click the request button on the right of an event
- Click the “Complete Booking” button to affirm your event request:
- This immediately takes you to the “My Requests” dialogue. Verify that the request has the status indicator “Awaiting Approval”
- Navigate to your email inbox, and verify that you received the “Request Received” email
- Acting now as an Administrator, navigate to the TMS, and verify that a Sales Opportunity was created for your event request - this should be at the top of your opportunity list if you sort newest to oldest
- From here, ensure you can progress the opportunity to “Approve Request” step:
- Verify the successful registration by navigating to the event and affirming the student is now on it
- Verify you received the “Request Approved” email by navigating to your email inbox
- Return to the portal, and navigate to your “My Requests” dialogue, where the request you made should now show “Approved” status:
- Repeat the request process following steps 3-11, though this time transition the opportunity to your “Request Rejected” step.
- Verify you receive the Request Rejected email by navigating to your inbox.
- Return to the portal, navigate to the “My Requests” dialogue, and verify your request shows a “Rejected” status.
At this point, you should feel confident approval portal functionality is working as desired, both for students and administrators. You’ll want to create a request processing routine for your staff, which may be as simple as tasking someone to review requests in the sales opportunities that are in the “Review Request” step:
The final piece of the Approval Portal functionality is the cancellation request functionality.
6. Making and Managing Cancellation Requests
An additional feature of the Approval Portal functionality is that it allows students to request cancellation from any of the events they’re on.
- Log into the student portal and navigate to “My Courses”.
- Click the “Cancel Registration” button:
- Provide a “Cancellation Reason”:
*Note that reason options need to be populated using graphQL, and should be identified when you’re first configuring the portal with the help of your Customer Success Manager.
- Add a note as desired and click the “OK” button:
- This immediately populates the “My Requests\Cancellation Requests” grid:
- Return to the TMS and click the Events dropdown
- Click “Manage Cancellation Requests”:
- The request populates the “Awaiting Approval” dialogue:
- Click the three-dot edit icon on the right side of the request you wish to process:
- Click either Approve or Reject request from the dropdown menu, which results in a verification popup allowing you to complete the action, as well as send an email to the learner:
- Check the “Send email to Learner” box, which allows you to specify a variety of elements associated with the email:
- Identify the required email details and once you’re satisfied with the outgoing mail, click the OK button
- Return to the portal, and in the My Requests page under cancellation requests, you can see that the request was processed successfully:
At this point, you’ve successfully setup your approval portal and ensured all elements of the workflow function as desired.