As we discussed earlier this month
, the holiday season is the perfect time to send gifts, cards, and tokens of appreciation to your clients and set a tone for the new year. But what if you have a very long list of clients? Perhaps you'd like to send cards to some, gift cards to others, and gift baskets to some of your best clients. How do you go about dividing up a meal of a contact list into manageable pieces?
We recommend stratifying your clients--in other words, sorting them into tiers. For instance, you can decide to use four tiers, A, B, C, and D. You can then create a customized field on your contact record layout, by which you can label your clients. If you go through your clients, you can quickly label them an A, B, C, or D, in your tier field and you save yourself work for next year, too.
Once you have your database of clients stratified, you can update them based on how your business changes. At our office, we have a custom report that takes different variables into account (frequency of business, quantity of sale, how long someone has been a client, etc.) which we can then run every month. The report generates a list of what tier each client should be at, and we then update our contact records accordingly. This way, we can quickly pull up a list of our tiered clients and market to them using the levels as a guide. We may check in with our A's once a month via phone to see if there is anything they need. We may check in with the B's just as often, in hopes they become A's. You may want to run a drip marketing campaign so your C's and D's keep you in mind, even if they don't need your services as frequently.
And for the holiday season, you can run a quick look-up of your contacts by tier, and you have sorted mailing lists ready to go. You can refer back to our previous blog to learn how to print mailing labels or envelopes for holiday cards. And if you are interested in our help setting up a stratification report like ours or customizing fields, please give us a call at 847-520-0860.
And from the KSC team, we sincerely hope you have an enjoyable holiday season with you and yours. Thank you for visiting our blog. We are grateful for your readership!
The traditional holiday card is a sweet way to say you are thinking of your clients this time of year, and with ACT!, you can cut down on the prep time and tedious busy work necessary to put them together. We recommend selecting cards and filling them out by hand for a personal touch. However if you need to save time and energy, there are several great vendors available who will fill them out for you. We then recommend using ACT! to print out labels or to print addresses directly onto the cards. This is a seriously simple process.
1) Create your lookup
First you will want to decide who will be getting cards and how you will organize them. We recommend either creating a group which you then add all card recipients to, or selecting recipients by a commonality--all clients, all networking contacts, etc. If you have them marked off by ID Status already, you can then create a lookup based on the ID Statuses very simply. Once you have the card recipients organized, create a lookup of all those contacts.
2) File>Print>Labels or Envelopes
From your lookup, go to the File dropdown and select Print. From the Print window, you can select either Label or Envelope (label if you will be printing address labels, envelope if you will be printing addresses directly onto your envelope).
3) Select your stationery
Stationery companies like Avery make it easy to print directly from your computer. ACT! has the dimensions of the most popular labels already saved as default. Simply select which product number matches the labels or envelope size you have purchased, and ACT! will print your labels so they fit on the labels or envelopes you've selected.*
4) Preview and print
You can then preview your labels, save the document and print later, or print right away. It's that easy. You have then reduced the amount of time you've spent on an activity that strengthens your current relationships, giving you time to create new ones.
If we could be of any assistance to you as you put together your holiday cards or gifts, please give us a call at 847-520-0860. *If you would like our help creating a template for an envelope or label that does not come with ACT!, we are happy to help.
Are you prepping for a trade show? Trade show season is a great time to advertise your business and get your products and services in front of your clients and prospects. But in order for you to show the right people your wares, you need to make sure those people know to come see you! One way to use ACT! in order to make this happen, is by setting up a drip marketing campaign through Swiftpage
, or by sending postcards via Remarkable Mail
Swiftpage’s Drip Marketing functionality gives you the ability to create campaigns that can be sent specifically to who you want to reach, when (more on Swiftpage, a subscription-based service that integrates with ACT!, can be found here
). Drip marketing allows you to set several stages to a campaign to make sure you reach your target audience. If for your first stage you choose to send out an email advertising your trade show booth, you can customize the next stage of your campaign by making sure that those who opened and clicked through the email from the first stage, do not receive the next one—the next email can then be sent out to those who did not open the first email. There are various ways to tailor your campaign to reflect how you want to communicate with your customers. Swiftpage also has an option to send postcards as a stage. If you just want to send out postcards but don’t want to run an entire campaign, Remarkable Mail is another option for sending out postcards to your ACT! contacts.
Remarkable Mail is a third party add-on you can install and use to send postcards from ACT!. This solution is great if you want to send postcards to your contacts throughout the year (you purchase the add-on itself once and also pay for each postcard order). You can easily select a group, a single contact, or a look-up and send a customizable postcard to them through the add-on. Using this route, you bypass all the things that are a hassle about mailings—the address labels, the postage, the time it takes to run it to the post office, etc. You just order your cards through ACT! and Remarkable Mail does the rest of the leg work.
If you are looking to get attendees to your trade show booth, think about creative ways to use ACT!, Swiftpage, or Remarkable Mail to get your target audience’s attention. If you would like our help setting up campaigns in ACT! and Swiftpage, please give our office a call at 847-520-0860.
In the past couple of years, our firm has seen a remarkable uptick in the frequency with which our clients are asking, “How can I get ACT! on my iPad?”
And it isn’t just iPads—It’s also tablets and mobile phones—basically whatever mobile device is provided by employers for workers who are constantly outside of the office. And we have found that Sage ACT! Premium Mobile is one of the best answers to the question. What is Sage ACT! Premium Mobile? We figured one of the best ways to help you understand it is to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received from our clients:
What does it look like and how does it work?
Check out this demo video on Youtube to see it in action:
Will Sage ACT! Premium Mobile work on my device?
Sage ACT! Premium mobile can be accessed via an approved web browser on iPhones, iPads or Android devices. Since it is browser based, you can technically access the mobile page on your computer browser, but it is supported for use on the devices listed above on supported browsers (you would have a better user experience using ACT! for Web on your PC or laptop). What browsers are compatible with Sage ACT! Premium Mobile?
Safari® for iPad® iOS4 and iOS5
Safari for iPhone® iOS4 and iOS5
Android™ Device Browsers 2.2, 2.3, 3.0, 4.0 How is Sage ACT! Premium Mobile different from Sage ACT! Premium for Web?
Sage ACT! Premium Mobile is actually just a mobile-device optimized (fancy for: looks and works better on mobile devices) version of Sage ACT! Premium for Web. Your database information will be stored in Sage ACT! Premium for Web, you just use Sage ACT! Premium Mobile to access it from your mobile device. How much is Sage ACT! Premium Mobile?
When you purchase Sage ACT! 2012 Premium, or Sage ACT! 2013 Premium, Sage ACT! Premium Mobile comes with your licensing at no additional cost. There is no subscription for this feature. I have Sage ACT! 2012 Premium and I want to use Sage ACT! Premium Mobile. How do I set it up?
If you are using Sage ACT! 2012 Premium, Sage ACT! 2012 Premium for Web and Service Pack 1 and 2
must be installed on your server to gain access to Sage ACT! Premium Mobile. We recommend calling our office to discuss the process and requirements, and we would be happy to schedule an appointment with one of our technicians to set it up for you.
The desktop version of Sage ACT! 2012 and 2013 can be used in conjunction with Sage ACT! for Web 2012 and 2013 (respectively--2012 works with 2012 and 2013 works with 2013). Here
is a video tutorial on Sage ACT! 2013 Premium Mobile installation.
If you have questions about how Sage ACT! Premium Mobile can work for you, or you would like our assistance getting set up to use Sage ACT! Premium Mobile, please call our office at 847-520-0860
or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
In the past, we have encouraged our clients to keep track of not just sales information regarding their clients, but to also make notes when clients tell them about an upcoming big event in their lives or when they share anecdotes. In this way, ACT! has always served as a tool that helps create and maintain a strong relationship with your clients.
But ACT! 2013 has made it even easier to care for those relationships. Let me show you an example.
Last time you spoke to John, you remember him saying that he was going on vacation to Florida soon. You have a follow-up call to make with him today, so you pull up his ACT! record. You made a note in your database that John was headed to vacation in Florida, so you will probably ask him how is vacation went.
But you are also friends with John on Facebook and linked to him on LinkedIn. So now with Sage ACT!’s social media integration, you can select the Social Updates tab to see what John has said recently on his Facebook or LinkedIn account. John mentioned that he went SCUBA diving on his vacation, and you are an avid SCUBA diver too—so now when you call John, you may inquire about the activities he did on vacation and spend a few minutes sharing your enthusiasm for SCUBA diving.
click to enlarge
By pulling in your contacts’ updates which they shared with you on social media, Sage ACT! 2013 makes it very easy to engage your contacts in meaningful conversation, thereby cementing your relationships with them. And it saves you time—you don’t need to check Facebook and LinkedIn to see what John has been up to, because now ACT! puts it in one place for you.
Social media integration also may help you understand when would be a good time to make an important call. For instance, you may pull up a client’s Social Updates tab to find out they are on vacation, on a business trip, or perhaps they are not working due to personal matters. Social media integration can give you a heads up about what is currently happening in your client’s world, so you can more aptly frame the conversation and its timing so it is most convenient for them.
With this new release of ACT!, managing your contacts is smoother and more social than ever. If you would like to see more, feel free to contact our office at 847-520-0860.
Are you looking for another way to drum up some sales in these occasionally quiet summer months? You can always use ACT! to figure out which of your clients have been particularly quiet in the last few months. Sometimes clients have work for you to do, but they just have not gotten around to calling you yet. Reminding them that you are available and happy to help may result in the rewarding reply,“I’m so glad you’ve called, I could really use your help.”
And the good news is, there is a very simple way to pull up a list of the people you haven’t spoken to in any given number of days. All you need to do is use the advanced query function. To get to the advanced query window, you just select Lookup from the file menu, then select the Advanced dropdown, and then select Advanced Query. Once that window is open, you can run a search like this:
You can make changes to this query as needed to suit your business needs. Do you want to pull up contacts who you haven’t talked to in 60 days who are also located in a similar geographic region? Add city, state, or zip code parameters to your query. Are you thinking of sending out a mass email to reach out to your clients? Try adding a filter to your search that assures that the email field contains data—that way all contacts pulled up are the ones you have email addresses for. And while you’re at it, you can do the opposite search—contact clients you haven’t spoken to in 60 days who do not have an email on file, and then you can ask if they would like to receive your email communications when you give them a call.
There is really a very large scope of creative ways to filter your clients to contact them. While you have a minute to breath, why don’t you do yourself a favor and start reaching out to your quiet clients today—with any luck, they may just reach back with a project for you.
Are you interested in learning more ways that ACT! can aid in your business development strategies? Please give us a call at 847- 520-0860.
Are you meticulous about your sales pipeline? Are you using ACT! to help manage your prospects and projects? Because if you already have ACT!, you could be using the opportunities feature to manage and track sales opportunities as they go through the sales process, and even better—you can then analyze your past opportunities to gain insight into your strengths and weaknesses as a salesperson.
To successfully leverage your opportunities in ACT!, you can start by adding prospects you meet to your database and then creating opportunities for the potential services or products that interest them. Then as you move through the sales process, you can update the opportunity to reflect where you are at. If the default list of stages in a process does not mirror your own, the stages are editable. This means that ACT! can be customized to match your business needs, giving you the ability to be nimble. ACT! will keep up with you.
Once you’ve started creating opportunities for prospects and potential projects, you can then fully manage your pipeline through ACT!. You can easily pull up your opportunities by opening the opportunities tab on the left navigation panel, and then filter which opportunities you would like to see. You can then get a feel for what business may be coming in in the next few weeks, months, or years (for those longer sales cycles). And because each stage in a process has a probability for closing, you can calculate the probability of what your business can expect to bring in.
You can also pull up opportunities from the past—in particular those marked lost. What part of the sales cycle were you in when the opportunity was lost? Do you see any patterns? By examining your lost opportunities, you can better understand what you may want to work on to get better results in the future. If you pull up your won opportunities, you can similarly review what made deals go well to assure you continue with those practices.
With these features geared toward selling, ACT! helps set you up for success. By providing you with tools that support an effective sales process, ACT! can help you fast-track your business. Would you like training on using ACT! for sales success? Contact us at 847-520-0860, or email us at email@example.com
In our blog post
from earlier this month, we discussed how to set up your database to track client anniversaries with the purpose of sending anniversary cards to your clients. We figured since we helped you with the start of this project, we may be able to help you with another step in the process—printing out mail merged mailing labels.
Why would you want to use this feature of ACT!? If you are sending out quite a few cards, it saves you time and energy to set up mail merging through ACT!. Hand-writing several envelopes can be a real chore and manually imputing contacts into your word processing software is also less efficient. Learning to use this simple, fast feature now will save you time whenever you need to send out mailings in the future.
To start with, you’ll want to verify you have labels that are designed to work with your printer. In order for the ACT! template to print correctly to your labels, it is best to get labels that explicitly state they work with a laser or inkjet printer (for best results, by the type that correspond to your printer). Note that the labels you buy will have a label number—you will need this later.
Once you’ve selected your labels, you can get to the mail merging. First you will want to create a look-up
of the contacts you will be sending cards to. Once you have your look-up of contacts, you just follow these instructions*: 1.
Click the File
menu, then click Print
2. In the Printout type
list box, click Labels
3. Select the label that you want to use (should correspond to the label number on your package of labels), then click OK
. The Run Label
dialog box appears.
4. Under the Create report for
section, enable the desired option. In most cases this will be Current lookup
5. In the Send output to
section, select Printer
allows you to view the labels as they will be printed.) You can also print from the preview if you are satisfied with the appearance of your labels.
6. Click OK
to print your labels
And it’s that simple. Anytime you want to send out a mailing, you don’t need to spend your time writing out addresses or fighting with spreadsheets. Simply tell ACT! to print your labels and save yourself the trouble.
Could you use a personalized training to learn more ways ACT! can save you time on administrative duties? Contact our office for details at 847-520-0860 *instructions are modified version of this Sage ACT! Knowledgebase article
Summer is finally, maybe, just about here—depending where you live, of course. And summertime, while lovely for all things outdoors and vacation related, can also be a slower time for business. Due to this slow down, some businesses find themselves looking for projects that are aimed at helping improve how they run their business.
Well if you use ACT!, we have a small project for you: organizing your database to find customer anniversaries. Why do this? Sending anniversary cards is just a nice way to say, “I recognize how long you have been using our services and I appreciate your business.”
In fact that’s almost exactly what you can say in your anniversary cards. So how do you use your database to send out these cards?
Easy. Create a custom field
on your contact view and name it “contract start,” “client start date,” or “anniversary” and make it a habit of filling it out once you gain a new client. When you create the field, you can set it as an annual event
to make running your query even easier. If you set it as an annual event, you can easily go to Lookup, Annual Event, and then you can simply select your custom field from the dropdown, select current month, and then click Find Now.
The list that pops up is all of the contacts with anniversaries in the current month. From the search window you can print the list, schedule a to-do, or even pull up the contacts as a lookup for further refinement.
What you want your cards to say is up to you and can reflect your company’s values. We recommend scheduling a recurring activity for someone on your team so they can remember to send out the cards every month. This method makes it easy to say thank you to your clients without having to spend a lot of time trying to track whose anniversary is when. Plus it will give you something to do this summer that will make your clients happier. Would you like some help setting up custom fields or sorting the contacts you already have? Please call our office at 847-520-0560 for help.
When a company makes an IT related purchase, the most economical outcome is that that new software, hardware, or service will meet as many team members’ needs as possible within the company, despite the fact that each position in the company has different technology demands.
When you go with ACT!, you are choosing a product that is so customizable that the same shared contact database the office manager uses is the same shared contact database the salespeople, managers, and other crucial team members can use. One of the best ways ACT! makes this possible, is through its contact access controls. An administrator can essentially set it up so each user is seeing only the contacts they need to see and can only edit contacts they should be able to edit. And these settings are not only available for contacts, you can limit access to companies
It is easy for the administrator of the database to define what contacts are visible to which users
. Each contact can be set as either: Public
—Visible to everyone in the database Private
—Visible to the record manager of a contact, or Limited access*
—Visible only to the users who are designated on the access list for that record.
ACT!’s default settings make it so all contacts are public contacts, but an administrator can make adjustments to contact records and the default settings in order to make sure the contacts in the database are being categorized properly.
What benefits does this simple setting provide? Users can share a single database in the same office, but have access to very different lists of people. At the same time, sales people who are out and about will have access to only their prospects or clients, and can access them on remote databases via their laptops when they’re on the go.
Or, if you have team members who need to be able to access ACT! on their mobile devices, we now have three options available to make that possible. If you are interested in learning more we will be offering a webinar in which we will go over the different ACT! mobile options: Date:
Friday, June 1, 2012 Time:
3:00pm - 3:45pm Central Cost:
$25 per person
(free for Comprehensive and Classic support plan members)
Kristi will discuss and compare three ACT! mobile solutions - Sage ACT! Premium Mobile, Sage ACT! Connect and Handheld Contact - helping you to decide which mobile program is right for you. Sign up now! Do you have questions about editing contact access settings or setting up ACT! on your mobile device? Call us at 847-520-0860, or send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org*Limited access available in Sage ACT! Premium versions only