The best thing about business automation systems is that they automate your workflow, right? Right!
But if every customer is different, every service call is unique and every lead is unlike any other, then how can a business automation solution actually automate the management of your business and business related activities?
One of the app’s foolproof tools to automate your workflow is its Activity Templates.
This special and easy to use feature enables you to save time by standardizing your work. Instead of manually adding all tasks and appointments required to manage an Account, a Sales Opportunity, Ticket, Asset or Contract, you can simply apply a previously created Activity Template to a selected Account, Sales Opportunity, Ticket, etc. to save yourself multiple steps in managing your workflow and tasks. Meanwhile, the Activity Templates also help you optimize your resources.
Let’s look at the following case as an example:
You get new business leads often, other from a referral, an inquiring perspective customer or some sleuthing on your part. You apply the same basic formula for managing the new lead:
- Create a new Sales Opportunity with the lead’s information
- Call the lead to discuss various business opportunities (i.e. recurring services, managed services, warranty services, network/server install)
- Go on-site to compile a list of all Assets (hardware and software) that can be covered by our services.
- Prepare a Quote outlining the discussed services and related costs.
- Follow up with the perspective customer three business days after you emailed them the Quote.
- If needed, follow up with the perspective customer another week later. Either get the Quote approved by the customer or close the Opportunity as a “Loss.”
Instead of manually entering these tasks into your calender and spending time to make sure that you adhere to the time constraints on each task, you can create an Activity Template for “New Lead Management” and apply it to every new Sales Opportunity to which you would want to apply this list of tasks.
By going to Settings > Activity Templates, you can create a new Activity Template to use on a recurring bases. Here, we have created an Activity Template based on the list of tasks and appointments listed above for New Lead Management.
Notice that on the top half of the Activity Template screen you can see the entire list of Templates, and can sort by Names, Statuses or Type (Opportunities, Accounts, Assets, Contracts and Tickets). In the lower half of the screen, you can see all of the entries (tasks and appointments) related to the Activity Template. In this case, our “New Lead Management” Template includes all of the previously listed tasks and appointments.
Not only does the Template now include a description of all of the tasks and appointments related to managing a new lead, but all of the due dates have also been incorporated into the template, so that applying this Activity Template will ensure that the schedule of tasks and appointments required for the management of a new lead will be spaced out accurately.
In addition to being able to select the days and times in which each activity should be carried out, you also get to select the technician to carry out each task.
In this example, we have selected Anna as the employee who should prepare the Quote for the perspective customer because Anna is responsible for all Quote and Contract related activities. Likewise, we can customize other tasks and appointments in this Template to be assigned to a specific employee, a manager or shared between all employees (based on availability).
Once you have created your Template. You can easily apply it to a new Sales Opportunity and automate the new lead management. From within the Opportunities module, select a specific Account, the “Pending” tab and the “New” icon at the bottom left corner of your screen. Then, select “Apply Activity Template.”
The Activity Template Wizard will immediately appear, giving you the ability to select the appropriate Template. After clicking on the “New Lead Management” Template, this PSA software will automatically apply all of the Template’s settings, scheduling all included tasks and appointments based on the specified intervals.
Notice that the PSA has not only applied the tasks and appointments to the predetermined dates and employees, but it has also made the necessary changes to the schedule based on our selection. The software has automatically rescheduled the day of the February 6th task so that it falls on a work day (and not on the weekend).
The Activity Templates you can create for Accounts, Assets and Contracts Activity not only offer you the ability to create templated tasks and appointments, but also offer an added feature that enables you to add Ticket items into the Template. For an Asset Template to cover all New Server Installs, for example, you can add in a variety of tasks, including ordering the needed parts, an appointment for installing the server on-site, AND a service Ticket for 15 day’s later to go back on-site to check on the status of the server and address any issues your customer is having with the new install.
Other examples of Activity Templates include creating standard procedures for new Account set-ups, automating the tasks needed to be performed after each Contract is renewed, and creating Templates that standardize the steps required to resolves specific Tickets.
Even though every customer, device, problem, contract and service Ticket is unique, Activity Templates give you the tools you need to automate your operations in order to save you time and streamline all of your operations.
The question that still remains is what are you going to do with all of your newly found free time?!
Until next time,