In most CRM systems, the term workflow designates a sequence or progression of steps that are necessary in order to complete a sale or another business process. Advanced CRM software, like Bitrix24, can partially or fully automate workflows in CRM.
Here's an example of what a workflow might look like in CRM. When an incoming lead comes into CRM, the data has to be checked for accuracy first. Then a sales agent has to contact a prospect, finding out his or her needs and qualifying or junking the lead. If the lead is 'sales qualified', an office visit or remote demonstration is scheduled. After the demonstration, a quote or an invoice is sent. Finally, an accountant has to make sure that an invoice was paid within a 30-day period.
Whereas in the past workflows were usually presented as diagrams or a chart, they are commonly 'encoded' into CRM nowadays. For example, invoice status (paid or unpaid) is automatically extracted from accounting software and reminders for past due invoices are emailed by the system without human involvement.