Leverage Plays to Automate Your Sales Workflow

Article author
Sarah Malone


Many Apollo users leverage plays to:

  • Automate administrative and prospecting activities to book more meetings
  • Improve efficiency and create repeatable, scalable sales processes
  • Generate more pipeline and drive more revenue

This use case explores the steps you can take to use plays to automate actions in your sales workflow.

Refer to the sections below for a sample workflow that walks you through the recommended steps to set up an example play. This includes setting up a sequence, a list, and custom fields for your play, mapping the custom fields to your CRM, and customizing a play template with the assets you created.

Back to Top

Sample Workflow

A Message From Yoda We Have!

Patience you must have, young Padawan, for you are on your own path and have your own objectives. This is just one sample workflow of one of the many plays you can run. Use it as a guideline and alter the process to fit your goals. Only then great results you will see. For more context and use case inspiration, hop into the Plays Overview article.

Plan Your Play

Let's say you're Head of Customer Success at a growing software company. You want to create a play to reach out to your customers 3 months before their contract is due for renewal.

Your goal is to increase retention and strengthen customer relationships. So, you set up a play to encourage your CSMs to be proactive, maintain a personalized approach, and automate manual tasks to increase their overall efficiency.

You want to ensure each contact you enroll in the play is contacted by their dedicated Customer Success Manager.

Let's run through the steps you take in Apollo to set up a killer play that helps your team get ahead of renewals.

Back to Top

Create Users in Apollo

Before you begin, you need to ensure that all the CSMs you want to enroll in your play exist in Apollo and have a mailbox from which to send emails.

Important First Steps

Hop into the Add, Deactivate, and Reactivate Users article for the steps to add users to your Apollo account. Then, refer to the Link Your Mailbox article to make sure each user connects their mailbox to Apollo.

Integrate Your CRM with Apollo

If you haven't already, you also integrate your CRM with the Apollo platform.

Salesforce or HubSpot

Please note, Apollo's CRM integrations come in 2 delicious flavors: Salesforce and HubSpot. Use the links below for the CRM that you want to integrate and configure with Apollo.






Once you've connected your CRM to Apollo, your customer data stays accurate and in sync. Now, you're ready to create a sequence for your renewal play.

Create a Sequence

You work with your CSMs to build a personalized multi-channel sequence to engage with your contacts in the run-up to their contract end date.

Upcoming renewals sequence example

New to Apollo sequences?

Hop into the Sequences Overview article for a quick introduction. Then, follow the steps in the Create a Sequence article to get started.

Create a List

Then, you create a company renewal list specifically for this play so that when a contact meets the play criteria, you can automatically add them to this list.

Example renewal list

Need a Pinch of Guidance?

If you're new to lists and are wondering where to start, follow the steps in the Create and Edit a Contact or Company List article.

Create Custom Fields in Your CRM

Next, you create 2 custom fields in your CRM:

  • 1 for your CSMs so that Apollo enrolls the right CSM for each contact.
  • 1 for the renewal date so that Apollo only enrolls the contacts who are due for renewal


New custom field screen in Salesforce

Salesforce Users

Need a helping hand creating a custom field in Salesforce? Feast your eyes on the Create a Custom Field article in the Salesforce Knowledge Base.


Create a Property in HubSpot

HubSpot Users

Need a refresher on how to create a custom property in HubSpot? Sneak a peek at the Create and Edit Properties article and the Property Field Types article in the HubSpot Knowledge Base.

Create and Map the Custom Fields in Apollo

Now, you're ready to create the custom fields in Apollo and then map them to the equivalent custom fields you created in your CRM. This allows you to sync custom data back and forth between Apollo and your CRM to run your play with ease.


You can create 3 types of custom fields in Apollo: custom contact, account, or user fields. For this specific use case, you create a custom contact field for your CSMs. You also create one for the contract renewal date.

Create a custom contact modal

Need a Pinch of Guidance?

Follow the steps in the articles below to create the custom contact, account, or user fields that you need to run your play(s):


If you are a Salesforce user, you map the custom contact and/or lead fields in Salesforce with the equivalent custom contact fields when you create or edit them in Apollo.

Create custom contact modal with Salesforce mapping field

Apollo supports linking your custom contact fields to a Salesforce Contact Field or Salesforce Lead Field—depending on what makes the most sense for your integration. You can also sync to both object types at the same time. If you do so, the Apollo custom contact field automatically becomes "Read Only." You can disable the "Read Only" setting by removing one of the mapped objects.

Map Away the Day!

For more general information about Salesforce mapping in Apollo, please refer to the Link Custom Salesforce Fields to Custom Apollo Fields article.


If you are a HubSpot user, you map the custom contact fields you created in HubSpot with the equivalent custom contact fields when you create or edit them in Apollo.

Create custom contact modal with HubSpot mapping field

More on Mapping

For more general information about HubSpot mapping in Apollo, refer to the Configure HubSpot Data Mapping article.

Back to Top

Play Time!

The World's Your Oyster

In this article, we customize an existing template but don't let that stop you from getting creative. You can customize existing templates or build new plays from scratch, automating up to 14 actions to work smarter. For more information about how to create plays from scratch, check out the Create a Play from Scratch section of the "Create a New Play" article.

Now that you've created and mapped your custom fields, it's time to set up your play.

You launch Apollo and click Plays.

Plays button in top nav

Then you click All templates.

All templates button

You scroll to the Get ahead of renewals template and click Try it.

Try it button in template library

Then you review the play summary and the actions you can automate. If you don't want to automate an action from the list, you click the checkbox to deselect it. Then, you click Create.

Create button in renewal play template modal

Next, you click Edit filters to segment your target audience.

Edit filters button

You click Custom fields, select the renewal date field you created earlier, and apply a timeframe of 3 months from now.

Custom fields filter

You may also want to include or exclude specific contacts, accounts, or personas from the play. When you finish selecting the filters you want to apply, you click Save filters.

Save filters button in filters config modal

You select the renewal sequence you created in the Add contact to sequence action.

Add contact to sequence action in play

Then, you select the custom CSM field you created in the Send emails from: section.

Send emails from field in action

You add the renewal list you created to the Add to account lists field.

Add to account lists field in action

Then, you create a task for the CSM to reach out and set up a call before the upcoming renewal date.

Contact task in actions

When you've made the recommended adjustments, you click the tick icon.

Tooltips modal in plays

Finally, you review the play details and check the configuration settings are set to your preferences. When ready, you click the Activate toggle and the Save changes button.

Activate toggle and save changes button in play

And voila! You have successfully activated the play. Now, you get ready to increase retention with your proactive renewal strategy!

Check On Your Play

Remember to keep an eye on the play activity log to ensure everything is ticking along just fine. To do so, open the play and click Show activity on the right.

Play activity button

Back to Top