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Fast Tip Friday: Smart Task Nuances #SageACT

by on ‎05-20-2011 08:13 AM (2,902 Views)

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Smart Tasks help you get more out of every day by automating routine tasks. There are a couple nuances of Smart Tasks that you should be aware of so you know what to expect when you start using Smart Tasks to improve your productivity. I’ve included some of the major things that may help you better understand how they behave and avoid any confusion! So, in no particular order, here they are!

What Does Run Only Once For Any Record Mean?

When you create a Smart Task and set the trigger to run automatically, you can select the option to run the Smart Task only once for any record.




This Run Only Once option prevents a Smart Task from being run against a record multiple times. Each time the Smart Task runs automatically, it is started for all records that meet the criteria. If a record meets the criteria each time, then there will be multiple scheduled instances of the Smart Task, unless you select the option to Run only once for any record.


Please be aware, this option prevents a Smart Task from being Auto-run against the same record multiple times by the same user. In a shared database, other users can still run the Smart Task against the same record unless the Smart Task access is set to Private. Additionally, the “Run Only Once…” option is not enforced when the Smart Task is run manually against selected records.


Enabling a Task To Run Automatically, really…

For a Smart Task to run automatically, there must be a trigger that specifies when the Smart Task is run and criteria that specifies which records (contacts or opportunities) the Smart Task should be run against. In addition, the Auto-Run option must be enabled for the Smart Task.



Each user, if there are multiple users in the database, can enable a Smart Task to Auto-run. If a Smart Task is set to run at a scheduled time and Auto-Run is enabled, then at the time specified in the Smart Task template, the Smart Task is run for all records that meet the criteria.


When viewing the Manage Smart Tasks dialog box, an icon to the left of the template name indicates that the template is enabled to Auto-run.



Running Smart Tasks manually vs. running them automatically

When you run a Smart Task for contact or opportunity record(s) that you manually select, any criteria defined for the Smart Task is ignored. This is because you are manually selecting the record(s) and not letting the criteria of the Smart Task select the record(s) to run against.



If you select to run a Smart Task for all records, for example for all contacts, this means that if you have a database of 2,000 contacts, then 2,000 pending steps (tasks) will be scheduled! As a best practice, select the records first (by executing a Lookup), before you manually run a Smart Task.


Prerequisites for Smart Tasks

To use or run a Smart Task that has an E-mail step, you must have e-mail set up. Currently, only Microsoft Outlook e-mail is supported with Smart Tasks. You cannot use the ACT! E-mail Editor with Outlook. You must use Outlook as your e-mail editor.



Also, if a Smart Task has an E-marketing e-mail step or Add to Drip Marketing step, you must have a Sage E-marketing for ACT! account. To use Sage E-marketing for ACT!, you need Internet access and a Sage Connected Services account.


on ‎11-07-2011 02:06 PM

Good luck trying to cancel several Smart Tasks at once. I made a mistake in setting up a S.T. and when it ran, it scheduled a call for every contact in my system, 5000+. Now I have to go in and individually try and cancel each one. Also, the cancelled S.T.s are clogging up the dialogue box in the Manage Smart Tasks window.


Unless I'm missing something on how to clean this up, this appears to have been overlooked at the development stage.


I'm not happy at the moment at all, espcially since the S.T. is one of my primary reasons for upgrading to the 2011 version.