A Common Transition is a Transition that can be executed from all States in a process.
For example, in a Deal follow-up process, you typically know if you have won or lost a deal after the record goes through several stages such as qualification, negotiation, discount approval and so on. So Deal Lost is a Transition that is available only towards the end of the process. But assume that a customer shows no interest and you want to drop a deal at the Qualification stage itself. In such a case, you must be able to execute the Deal Lost Transition right then - rather than go through all the intermediary stages.
To make this possible, you must make Deal Lost a Common Transition by selecting the checkbox as seen in the following image. Once you do, you will see the Deal Lost Transition on all States.
Automatic transitions have been introduced in Blueprints, to help you combat process delays. Often, a record that traverses through a process tends to stagnate in a particular state and you may not even realise it. This causes unwarranted delays. One thing you can certainly do is set an SLA for the state and be notified whenever there's an escalation.
But ultimately, SLA is also a notification or a task/field update of sorts— the record at the end of the day, needs your manual intervention in order to progress further in the process. If you only want to be notified of escalations, you may configure SLAs. On the other hand, if you want the system to act and automatically move a record from one state to another at any point, you can now create automatic transitions.
Available from the Enterprise Edition onwards
So what are automatic transitions and how do they work?
An automatic transition is one in which a record in a Blueprint automatically moves from one state to another, after a specified "Wait" time has elapsed.
As per the process, in order for a record to go from State A to State B, you will have to perform a Transition A. If this Transition A has not been executed within a said time period, say, 5 days, then the Automatic Transition configured for that state will get executed and the record will be pushed forward automatically to another state in the Blueprint as per the configuration.
For instance, in the following screenshot, CRM will wait for one of the transitions to take place: Either "Confirm Interest" or "Drop deal". If no action is taken on this record until a said date, the record will be moved to the "Price Quote" stage automatically and the users can take it up from there.
To configure an automatic transition
Select the Automatic Transition checkbox as you create a regular transition.
Then, mention a "Wait time" and corresponding automated actions.
According to the following screenshot, the deal follow-up process flow has a handful of major steps to be performed before a price quote can be drafted — namely, Contact establishment, qualification, needs analysis and value proposition. If a particular deal has moved to the "Contacted" stage but the user has not taken the action required for Qualification, Blueprint will wait for 5 days and directly move it to the "Id.Decision Makers" state. From there the user concerned can take over drafting a price quote.
A price quote cannot be created without knowing requirements, contact details etc, so there the action items from previous states can also be done altogether at this point, without wasting any more time.