What you need to know about Act! 20.1 #ActCRM

How will the latest Act! update benefit your business?

Act! Custom Tables - Data and Processes

Custom Tables: Increased Efficiency for Sales Automation

Act! has supported the ability for third-party add-ons to add and work with custom tables since version 10.02. Now, with the newly released 20.1, this functionality can be added by a simple upgrade to Premium Plus.

As an individual salesperson, Act!’s custom tables help you to improve your efficiency and track detailed information on the contacts and companies you deal with or even on the Opportunities and Groups you manage.

In the screenshot below, we have a custom table showing vehicles. If you run a car dealership, this is a helpful table to track. For example, you might get in touch with the buyer of the 2006 and 2013 cars to see if they are interested in a trade-in.

Act! Custom Tables - Vehicles

Clicking on any of the line items brings up a detailed dialogue (Click to see full size):

Act! Custom Tables - Vehicles - popupAct 20.1 ships with some custom industry templates including:

● Mortgage brokers. Detailed documentation matters in mortgages so keeping detailed files in Act will help you satisfy the compliance department.

● Wealth management. The information you gather at this stage will help you to satisfy the regulatory requirements imposed on financial companies.

● Residential real estate. Most people buy several properties over their lives, so there is a significant benefit to staying in touch with past customers over time.

● As well as templates for Event Planning, Consulting, Project Management, and Product Inventories.

Are you worried that your industry or need is not covered by a template? You can use the custom tables capability to create your design. I recommend getting an Act! consultant to help you with this if you have not done it before.

How Does Custom Tables Benefit Sales Managers?

Let’s start with the obvious benefit. Your front line sales staff will have an easier time at work. They will be able to walk through each part of the sales process with ease. If you regularly hire new sales staff, this guidance will support your sales training program.

● Sales Training Resource: Act is a powerful resource to enhance your sales training. For more insight, read my past article How To Use Act! for Your Sales Training.

Adding custom tables to Act also helps sales managers better understand the performance of their sales staff. In addition to tracking primary activity metrics like the number of calls and emails sent, you can monitor higher-value aspects of the sales process.

Here are some ideas:

● Presentation. In contrast to basic sales metrics like call levels, you can track higher value measures. One option is to follow the number of presentations made to prospects especially if you have customised service offerings.

● Relationship Depth. In complex B2B sales, a single point of contact is not going to be enough to close a deal. You also need to line up internal champions. Imagine you are selling an extensive business insurance policy. Aside from senior management, who else needs to be involved in winning the business? You may need legal to support the purchase. If you are selling to a bank, you might also want support from compliance and risk management. With custom tables, it is easier to track and understand these complex sales relationships.

Tip: Act becomes the most useful when users fill it with comprehensive data. As a manager, you can create custom views to make sure staff are covering the basics like phone numbers, email addresses, and discounts.

Streamlined Integration with Outlook

As I have previously posted, Swiftpage announced, last Dec, that it was completely re-writing the Office integration. See the detailed letter, here: Letter from Lorcan Malone, Dec 2017

If you are concerned about how different systems integrate, it is tough to trust them. You never know if the information you are looking at is up to date. Picture what how this problem would like in sales:

You use a third-party tool to pass data back and forth between Act! and Outlook. Unfortunately, the third party connection breaks down for a week when a new version of Act comes out. While you wait for updates, you regularly have to switch back and forth to get all of your sales data. If you are moderately busy, you are probably going to forget to track and log your emails and meetings.

Likewise, the same problem could occur in account management. If customer requests are not tracked accurately, you might risk the business relationship.

Whew! Who needs that kind of anxiety worrying about out of date records? Fortunately, the improved Act! integration with Outlook eliminates this concern. Specifically, Act! now has robust two-way synchronisation with Outlook. You no longer have to worry about third-party software breaking down. All of your emails to customers are automatically added to Act!’s history.

There is also a new synchronisation module to sync contacts and activities. Not just to Outlook, but optionally directly to your MS-Exchange or Outlook365 server.

The Next Step To Bringing Act 20.1 To Your Business

How does Act 20.1 help your company improve its operation? Finding your way around these new features may be tough. That is why I would like to invite you to contact me for a free assessment to see how you can boost productivity with custom tables.

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