I do a lot of training and consulting sessions for vtiger on workflows that involve escalations. The managers often look at Vtiger workflows as a magic solution to all their follow up problems. If a scheduled call is left unattended for XX days, “Send the sales rep and the sales manager an email!”. It is a good thought, but if there will be more than 2 or 3 escalations per day, then the escalations will actually make the problem worse by jamming up people’s email boxes.
The first, best step is to work with your team on disciplined list management. Make sure everyone is focused on clearing their task/call/ticket list daily. Make sure managers are using the list views to evaluate how far ahead or behind the team is. Encourage them to be creative in solving backlogs. Encourage people to ask for help when their backlog is growing. Measure turn-around times. Set goals and communicate performance relative to goals.
Once you have that list discipline entrenched in your company culture, invest in reports and/or a dashboard tile or two that will reflect performance versus goal AND a graphic representation of the escalations. Typically it would be a red bar graph or red slice of a pie graph that would represent how big the problem is. Anyone can click on it to see a list of the over dues. Then then team can use that list management discipline to attack the backlog.