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Upgrading to Sage ACT! 2011 Will Actually Save You Money - Guest Blog by Karen Fredricks #SageACT

by on ‎11-09-2010 02:17 PM (7,018 Views)

Upgrading to Sage ACT! 2011 Will Actually Save You Money

By Karen Fredricks

I had a prospective client call me recently.  He made it clear from the start that he had absolutely no desire to upgrade to the newest version of Sage ACT!.  Not a problem as we support any and all versions of Sage ACT!.  He then proceeded to send me his wish list for Sage ACT! which included finding updated information for his 4500 contacts, integrating with Outlook 2007 and bulk e-mailing. He was using ACT! 5/2000, circa 1998.

I no sooner got off the phone with that prospect when another client called; he was trying to install ACT! 2008 with Windows 7 and was running into all sorts of problems.


Unfortunately I couldn’t help either person add new functionality without upgrading to a newer version of Sage ACT!.  
It always surprises me when a business owner refuses to spend money on technology.  His home computer no doubt puts his office computer to shame and he probably doesn’t think twice about buying the latest HD television for himself or an iPhone for his kid.  


Technology upgrades should be considered a necessary, recurring cost of doing business.  You can’t run your business without a telephone and office supplies, and you shouldn’t be running a business with outdated technology. Ironically, technology is the single best way to lower the overhead of a business.  


In most cases the price of an upgrade is outweighed by the decrease in general operating expenses that proper use of technology will provide.  The cost of running a business is a fraction of what it was 10 years ago.  


Here are some of the ways that you should be leveraging modern technology with Sage ACT! to reduce your overhead:


     •    VOIP (voice over IP):  Most VOIP business solutions include an “auto attendant” which means you can save on support staff salaries and decrease your phone bills.

     •    Automating Processes:  I like to tell people I’m either very lazy or very smart.  In either case I hate to have to do the same work over and over again.  A case in point is reaching out to existing customers and prospects.  Traditional ACT! users set up “reminders” for each and every follow-up.  “Turbo-charged” ACT! users set up drip marketing campaigns or will use Sage ACT! 2011’s new Smart Tasks feature to speed up the process and insure that no contact is left untouched.
     •    E-Marketing:  E-blasts have replaced more traditional marketing campaigns.  They’re quicker, easier and cheaper. However, even snail mail blasts are much easier and consequently less expensive to run with Sage ACT!.
     •    Telecommuting: Sage ACT!’s remote access options can eliminate the need for office space and equipment for your sales staff and other key personnel.  And the opportunity reports and dashboards will allow you to maintain complete accountability on their productivity.

by Copper Super Contributor
on ‎11-10-2010 05:05 AM

Karen, you are absolutely correct that too many business owners don't look at technology as a productivity tool.  Instead they often look at it as an expense - and often one that should be deferred.  I think many businesses are gun shy after the economic challenges of the past two years.  That said, when we, as ACT! Consultants, have conversations with our prospects it is our responsibility to look at the business problems that we are being asked to solve.  We must work with the business owner and have them put a $$ value on those solutions.  We have to get serious in asking them what is the cost of not solving their problems.  Once we have those realistic costs on the table, we can look at the investment it would take for an ACT! solution to solve their problems. 

Bottom line, selling solutions today requires that we do an ROI analysis with our prospect.  When the "R" is substantially larger than the "I" the client will often see the logic of moving forward.

on ‎11-12-2010 01:52 PM

I haven't been able to count on my ACT 2011 to start for me regularly.  Half the time I get an error message and the other half it works just great.  However, in trying to build a business I can't have a database that only works half of the time.   I cannot afford to buy the service policy!  I am about ready to say "take this program back and refund my money".  I am so unhappy with ACT 2011 I could cry.