Smart Tasks (introduced in Sage ACT! 2011) enable you to automate routine tasks such as scheduling a follow-up phone call, e-mailing a prospect, or even updating a field in the database after you complete a task step. If you consider a typical day in your work life, what tasks are routine? Do you have a sales/service process that you typically follow when you acquire a new customer or close a deal? In the coming weeks, I am going to put Smart Tasks in the spotlight, and show you what’s new for Sage ACT! 2013, as well as review how you might put them to use in your day-to-day life!
What’s New for Smart Tasks in Sage ACT! 2013?
This week, I’ll start with what’s new for Smart Tasks in Sage ACT! 2013. Before I get into new features, let’s use a business case as an example for learning about how you would apply these features to your business. Consider the following example:
When a prospect in your Sage ACT! database purchases a product/service, you do the following:
Update the Contact ID/Status field from “Prospect” to “Customer”
Create an Opportunity with associated Products/Services
1 day later, you E-mail the customer a thank-you/welcome kit
Schedule a follow-up call for one week following the creation of the Opportunity
Several of these steps can be automated via Smart Tasks. Keep this business case in mind as you review the following highlights:
New Method for Triggering a Smart Task
In previous versions, you could either trigger a Smart Task based on a schedule, or manually trigger it. In Sage ACT! 2013, you can also trigger a task based on field criteria. Consider the previous example:
You could create a Smart Task template that is triggered to run immediately when the Contact ID/Status field is changed from “Prospect” to “Customer”. The template could include steps such as waiting 1 day, and then sending an email to your customer, waiting another 7 days, and then include a final step that created the phone call activity on your calendar.
New Smart Task Step That Can Update Field Data
After you have created a Smart Task template, you add steps to it that are the individual actions to execute, such as creating an activity, sending an email, and in Sage ACT! 2013, updating a field. Consider the previous example:
Within the steps of your Smart Task template, you could include a step that updates the “Last Results” field to include “Welcome kit sent”.
New Capability to Run Smart Tasks Even if Sage ACT! is Closed
This feature is referred to as Running Smart Tasks Offline. In prior versions, Smart Tasks would only execute if Sage ACT! was open and you were logged into the database. In Sage ACT! 2013, you may configure tasks to run even if you are not logged in to the database, and Sage ACT! is closed. You must configure tasks to run Offline to enable this feature.
Well, that’s a round-up of the latest enhancements to Smart Tasks. In the coming weeks, I’ll show you how to create a Smart Task template similar to the example outlined here, and also leverage the various steps that may be included in your tasks. Finally, I’ll show you how to run your Smart Tasks: manually, automatically, and while you are offline. Stay tuned!