act connectI recently had a client call me to tell me that they were not going to upgrade their Act! to the latest version because they had outgrown Act!.

“Karen,” they explained, “Act! just isn’t giving us what we want.  We need a good pipeline report.  We can’t find any of the opportunities that we log into the system.  We need a better way to follow up on leads.  And, most importantly, we need to make sure that we are following up with our customers properly.  We feel we need to move to Salesforce.”

I offered to help export all of their data out of Act! because yes, I can export all information including notes, histories and activities.  And yes, I have done similar exports on the rare occasions when a client has outgrown the functionality that Act! provides.  But first I wanted to take a quick look at their database to make sure that they had really outgrown Act!.

“Guys,” I offered, “I’ll give you 15 minutes of my time. If I agree that you’ve outgrown Act! we’ll proceed with an Act! data export.  However, if I spot an area or two that you can improve upon you’re going to take the money that you would have used on Salesforce and hire me for a bit of Act! consulting.”

The client agreed and I hopped on their system to take a quick look at their database.  Within minutes I had found 3 glaring issues that, if corrected, would give them exactly the results they were looking for.

  • Opportunity Name:  I found that the client had used the default opportunity name, New Opportunity, for every opportunity that they had created.  I recommended that they start naming the opportunities with the Quote number that they issued which would make it easy to track their quotes in Act!.
  • Opportunity Tracking:  I showed the client how to customize the columns in the Opportunity list to show both the opportunity’s create and edit dates.  By doing this the client was able to see when an opportunity had originated, and more importantly, that the majority of their opportunities had never been touched after their initial creation.  I suggested that we create a proper set of sales stages to track each opportunity as it progresses through the pipeline.
  • Uncleared Activities:
  • Dynamic Groups

Needless to say, the client decided to remain in Act! and placed an order for Act! upgrades and several hours of Act! training.

Do you feel you are not taking full advantage of Act!?  Contact me to see what we can do to take you to the next level in Act!.