Since its inception, there have been many changes made to Act! that has only increased its value and benefit to organizations across the globe. For me personally, there are a few features that I have grown to love and encourage my clients to use them as much as possible. I’d like to share those features with you and how you can use them to help make Act! work for you.
The Universal Search feature was first made available in Sage ACT! 2012 which was an enhancement to the Keyword Search.
Sometimes we add information to our database and aren’t able to quickly find it when we need it. Universal Search gives us the ability to find exactly what we are looking for, quickly and easily. You can enter a word or phrase and the results will include any record in the database where that the phrase is found in including contacts, notes, histories and opportunities.
Here’s how it works.
- Click the Search button in the navigation bar on the left
- Enter the word or phrase that you are looking for (i.e. golf) and click Go
Filter the list by checking/un-checking the options on the right under “Show Only” and “Last Edited”
When you find the record you are looking for, click the link to be redirected to that recordUse the back button to return to the search results. In v16, you will be able to create a lookup from the search results rather than viewing one record at a time.
Groups are a great way for us to organize our contacts in Act!. It helps us to quickly see the contacts in our database by demographics, product interest, deals, etc. Groups are also a great way to create target audiences for marketing. While groups are great, the problem is remembering to add the contacts to the appropriate groups. The great news is that Act! has solved that problem by creating Dynamic Groups!
Dynamic Groups use the information from the data on the contact record to automatically add the record to a group. For example, if you are a sales person and you just completed a call with a person who is interested in a property you are leasing. When you add the person’s information to the database and select the property they are interested in, the new record will be automatically added to the property group without any extra effort.
Here’s how to set this up.
- Create a group in Act! as you normally would
- Click the Add/Remove Contacts button on the Contacts tab within the group you create
- In the Add/Remove Contacts window, click the Edit Criteria button on the right. This will open another window where you will begin to build the criteria for this group.
- In the Group Criteria window, click the Field Name drop down and select the field that will be used to add the contact to the group (i.e. Property Name)
- From the Operator drop down, you may select Equal To or Starts With
- Enter the name of the property in the Value space
- Click Add to List
- Click OK to complete
NOTE: If there are additional criteria that need to be met for this group, you may add them first before click OK.
Create as many dynamic groups as you need. I love this feature because it removes one extra step and since time is so precious, this is really valuable. It makes Act! do the work for you and you can rest assured knowing that whenever you need to use the group, it will contain all the contacts that should be there. Pretty cool, isn’t it?!
One very important part of our business is sales. Whether we are selling a product or a service, we need to make sure that we keep track of all our potential sales. We need to know what our potential revenue will be for the upcoming months. We need to know how our sales teams are doing and where they are in the sales process. Opportunities helps us to monitor this information and much more.
You can create an opportunity for prospective organizations you are working with, add the products/services they are interested in, add the estimated close date and track where you are in your sales process.
Opportunities are customizable to our needs so if there are other factors that need to be tracked, we have the ability to add those as well. Opportunities can be associated with contacts, companies and groups so that your data is tied together and you have clear visibility into the status of the deal.
Opportunities are created much like contacts.
- Navigate to the Opportunities section
- Click the New button. This will give you a blank slate to begin adding the details of the opportunity.
- Enter the details of the opportunity and click save
- Associate the contacts using the Add/Remove Contacts button on the Contacts tab
- Go to the Products/Services tab and click Add to enter what the customer is purchasing
Now that your deals have been added to the database, you can run reports to see a compiled view of all the data.
In addition to these and many more of Act!’s built in features, there are also many applications that when integrated with Act!, make it an even more powerful tool for your organization! I’ll be blogging about my favorite add-ons next so be sure to check back.
Shanelle Gibbons is passionate about working with organizations to develop processes to streamline their workflow and make their lives a bit easier. As an Act! guru, she can take her passion along with your needs and create processes with your Act! database that will help you achieve the goals that you have set for your business. Shanelle can be contacted at 888-983-2322 ext. 101.