September 2011 - Posts
One of the main reasons a business chooses to use a CRM product is because they want to make sure they don’t lose touch with any of their leads or customers. After all, customers are the lifeblood of any company. If you find yourself still putting reminders in Outlook or using sticky notes, alarm bells should be going off because your CRM isn’t doing its job.As a business manager, some of the common questions I ask myself are:
- Does every Opportunity in our pipeline currently have a follow-up? If the Opportunity isn’t closed, it should always have a future activity date.
- Has every Lead been qualified by us contacting them? I want to quickly see which leads have never been contacted and make sure that I always have a follow-up scheduled for myself or for a member of my team. If they are a dead lead, we should make them unqualified or inactive. Focus on leads that are most likely to become customers.
- Do our current customers have follow-ups scheduled? We want to see how they are doing to keep customer retention high. However we can also identify if there is any opportunity to upsell so there should always be a future activity scheduled.
- Does every open customer service Case have a scheduled follow-up? I want my team checking with the customer to see if their issue has been resolved and eliminate the chance for something to fall through the cracks. If the case is still open, it should always have a future activity scheduled.
Last Activity and Next Activity
I’m pretty stoked about this new feature we’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks. It solves for all of the questions I mentioned above and applies to 4 key screens in Method CRM.
- Leads and Contacts List
- Customers and Contacts List
- Opportunities List
- Cases List
Each of these screens now benefits from 2 new columns called “Last Activity” and “Next Activity”. If a lead or customer was never contacted, the Last Activity date will appear blank. When an activity is completed, the current date will get filled in automatically for the Last Activity date and if a follow-up is scheduled, that would automatically fill in the Next Activity date. If no follow-up was scheduled and no other activities are pending in the future, the Next Activity date will appear blank.
By filling in these dates automatically, we are able to quickly filter grids on these screens using some newly added filter views and see:
You can also click on the Last Activity and Next Activity dates directly from the grid to quickly launch that specific activity. Having this information available at your fingertips can really empower a business owner to quickly take action in areas that need it. I can’t wait for my team to use this internally.Have any feedback or suggestions on this feature? Let me know.Danny
- Leads that have no activities, no last activity or no next activity date scheduled.
- Customers that have no activities, no last activity or no next activity date scheduled.
- Opportunities in the pipeline that have no activities, no last activity or no next activity date scheduled.
- Cases that are open that have no activities, no last activity or no next activity date scheduled.
We're excited to announce the release of Method Scheduling & Invoicing for QuickBooks Online.
While there are several apps available for Method users who use QuickBooks Desktop, this is the first app available for Method users of QuickBooks Online. Considering the large percentage of our QuickBooks Online users who are service companies, we know this is going to be welcomed news.
What does it do?
Method Scheduling & Invoicing adds onto Method:CRM Pro - and provides the ability to schedule work orders on a calendar, and then convert the work orders into invoices.
Main features include:
- Scheduling- schedule jobs on a calendar or a work order list. Jobs can be one-time, projects or recurring. Recurring intervals can be:
- Daily (including multiple days per week)
- Weekly (including biweekly)
- Monthly (including quarterly)
- Variable intervals (for example, every 7 days from January to April, every 14 days from May to October, and every 7 days from November to December).
- Mapping / Routing - generate driving directions to and from your office using Google Maps.
- Assign work orders - assign work to your crews (teams, techs, etc.). You can either email the work orders, print the work orders, or provide your crew leaders with a login so that they can access their work online. Route lists are also an option if you want many jobs to appear on each printed page.
- Mobile - instead of printing work orders, why not give crews a mobile device so that they can use Method Mobile to access their work in the field?
- Complete the work - enter start and stop times, materials used, as well as any additional services sold while at the job. If the crews are using Method Mobile, they can simply click on their work orders, click Start Timer when they arrive, and Stop Timer when they are finished! Method Mobile saves the double-entry of having your office staff enter this back in the office at the end of the day.
- Invoicing - convert all completed work orders into QuickBooks Online invoices with a single click. You can create one invoice per work order at the end of each day, or you can invoice monthly for all the work orders completed this month. The invoices will go right into QuickBooks Online instantly.
- Job Costing - View Job Cost reports that give Estimated vs. Actual hours, so you know which jobs are winners and which ones are losers.
- CRM - Of course, it integrates nicely with Method:CRM!
Who is it for?
Anyone who schedules jobs to be performed by staff, where the scheduled work turns into a QuickBooks invoice when it is complete. Typically, this is ideal for companies in the field service industry, but there are many other industries that apply.
How do I get it?
- The cost is free for QuickBooks Online users who are subscribed to Method:CRM Pro for QuickBooks Online. It is not standalone. If you are a QuickBooks Online user, you need to sign up for Method:CRM Pro
- Once you are a Method:CRM Pro user, sign in, and go to Customize > My Account, where you'll see the ability to install Method:CRM Scheduling & Invoicing for QuickBooks Online.
Think of the time you'll save!
Scheduled work automatically appears on a calendar at the interval you specified when you first set the jobs up. Instead of you or your office staff doing data entry, it's your field staff who are the ones tracking whether work was completed and how long it took. All you have to do is click one button to have all their completed work orders flow into QuickBooks as invoices!
And best of all, since this app is made using Method, it is built using the same tools you have access to. So you can customize it to be specifically tailored for your service company.
Method Founder & CEO
Method HQ will be away from the office on Monday, September 5th for Labor Day. Labor Day is one of the rare holidays that both Americans and Canadians celebrate on the same day. So what happens if you run into issues, have questions or just want to bounce ideas off us? Feel free to post your questions on our user forum. We’ll be sure to get back to you on Tuesday when we are all refreshed from the extended weekend. If run into an emergency situation that cannot wait until Tuesday, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.
To post a question on our forum, click here.
Enjoy the last few days of summer!