Call Logging

We have now added Call Logging to your Lead Detail Screen.

Call logging allows user to quickly record that they have called a prospect, and record the notes regarding that call in the History section of the Lead Detail Screen:

To log a call, simply click the link next to the phone number section in the lead detail screen. A dialog box will open up to allow notes to be entered.

 

Once committed the call record is logged with a time and date stamp and user in the history, and can be later reviewed.

 

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Updated email editor

We’ve made some improvements to the email editor, making it faster and easier to create colorful and effective email messages.

The new editor has cleaner and easier-to-use navigation, and simpler formatting options, so that users can change font styles, colors, and placement with more flexibility. It is also easier to insert lists, tables, and images.

email editor

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New Lead Detail Screen and Date-Picker Calendar

New Lead Detail Screen

The latest update to Open Leads is the redesign of the Lead Detail Screen and a new date-picker calendar for scheduling Tasks.

Since the launch of the current version of Open Leads (v 3.2), the Lead Detail screen has been divided – the left hand side containing the Lead Data, and the right hand side containing the Lead Detail information. The Lead Detail section, by default displayed all of the information in the various segments of the column at all times.

The revised design allows for users to expand and collapse segments of the lead detail column in order to only view the data that is relevant to their use of Open Leads, and to conserve screen space on smaller displays.

With all of the lead detail boxes collapsed, the display is very compact and makes it easy for the user to focus on the lead contact information:

With certain boxes expanded, more information can be displayed, depending on your specific needs.

 Date Picker

The new Date-Picker Calendar updates the design, and makes scheduling times a bit easier. Of course our “Smart-Date” function works like always, so you can type in your date, or a phrase like “next Tuesday” in the date field as well, in order to schedule your upcoming tasks.

add_task_modal_calendar

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Are you using an “@yahoo.com” email address?

If you log into your Open Leads account with Yahoo.com email address, you may have noticed you are having trouble getting mail sent from Open Leads delivered to your contacts. Why? Last month Yahoo changed their authentication process which has effected every single Email Service Provider like Open Leads. When email is sent from your Open Leads account, we configure it so that it appears to the end user as though it came from the email address you log in with (by default) or from the “From” address you enter when composing the email message, although the message is actually sent from our email system.

With the changes Yahoo has implemented, this email process no longer validates when received by certain other ISPs, such as AOL, Hotmail, Gmail and Comcast, among others). Messages sent to addresses at these domains will most likely bounce immediately, even thought the email addresses are valid.

This new policy not only affected Open Leads, but other companies that provide email marketing services, such as Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc.

The solution for at this point is to not use your Yahoo address as the from address in any messages you send from your Open Leads account. The best solution is if you have an email address at your domain (i.e. “you@yourcompany.com”) – or, if you do not have access to that, you can use one that is not an actual address (such as “no_reply@yourdomain.com”) – however using this method means that any response from the recipient will not be received. If you do not have access to a company email account, then your best bet is to use another free email service, such as Gmail and avoid Yahoo altogether.

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Effectively manage your lead lists to be most productive

We get questions relatively often that begin with the following phrase: “I have 10,000 leads in my account, and…..” Or maybe it is 15,000, or 20,000. Almost without exception, the first thought that pops into a support agent’s mind is, “Really? You have that many ‘leads?'”

Even though some versions of Open Leads does not limit the number of leads that can be entered, any account should logically have self-imposed limits. The reality is, are only a certain number of legitimate sales “leads” you should have in your account – having tens of thousands of “leads” is not only not practical, it is untenable in real-world sales environs.

For example, if your initial followup process involves a phone call, and that phone call will take 5 minutes, start to finish, then working each of your 10,000 leads would take a person working a standard 8-hour day approximately 104 days to call each one – and that assumes that you can make a successful call every 5 minutes, all day, every day. This does not account for new leads, breaks, busy signals, voice mails, recalls, inbound calls, or other internal or external interruptions. Of course, you can see that this is unrealistic.

So what is the solution? Manage your leads with lists. Segment them into smaller groups, and use functions such as the Opportunities and Pipeline feature in Open Leads to label them, as Cold, Warm, or Hot, for example. Evaluate their real needs and how you can meet that need, and do not be afraid of archiving or deleting leads that are not productive for you. Or at the very minimum, Type or Label them in a way that you can create a view that excludes them, and use this list as a long term email followup list, to try to warm them back up at a later date.

How do you do this? Easy, Open Leads provides tools to allow you to segment your leads (using filters for Pipeline Status or Types, or even using filters to create a view to show all of the leads in a certain city or state, for exmple), which is a very useful tool when managing larger lists.

Essentially what this amounts to is removing clutter from your active lists. Clutter (inactive, or otherwise unneeded lead data) gets in the way of your important data – and can lead to very poor sales habits. For example – users with excessive leads tend to scan over the list of leads to seek out the “good” ones, unconsciously training themselves to rush through their list and miss opportunities. Even worse, is the huge lists that result in a sales process that just involves “blasting” out emails – which is a really good way of alienating your prospects.

Maintaining a clean and manageable lead list is easily the best thing you can do to increase your productivity, and ultimately your sales success. Look over your leads, qualify them, categorize them, and don’t be afraid to either archive or delete those that are not going to be used.

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Analyzing your data: Views and PDF Reports

How many new leads did you receive last month?

How many sales were closed?

Does one of your sales staff have way too many “No Sales?”

The answer to these types of questions are easily found using Views. Views are a combination of filters, and displayed data that users are able to save and load upon demand. In order to effectively create these Views to use as “Reports” for your account, a basic understanding of the filters that are available in your account is essential

Because Open Leads is based on an extremely powerful database, your account can contain a substantial amount of data that you can be extracted using filters. From your Lead List, filters are available to sort by the data contained in any of your fields, along with Type, User, Lead Source, Lead Grouping, Read/Unread, Date Added, Date Modified, Opted out (of email), Bounced (email), Active and Completed tasks. Take some time to add and remove some filters to get an idea of how you can best sort data. By combining filters, you can retrieve specific lists of leads. For example, adding the simple filter for “Date Added” then choosing “is in this month” you will display all new Leads entered into your account for the current month. Adding an additional filter for a Type, such as “Widget Prospect” will show just those new leads that were interested in Widgets.

Customizing the columns displayed on your lead list adds to the functionality of your Views. Name will always be the first column, as it is used by Open Leads a key search and sort field. The next two columns can be customized by clicking on the blue asterisk icon in the header row. Once clicked, you can choose the data you wish to display, e.g. email address. Any column can be sorted alphabetically, or chronologically by clicking on the column header label. Clicking once for an ascending sort, and twice for descending. You can toggle between the date added and date modified fields, and you can elect to display or not display the assigned user, and can choose to display only the first Type assigned to your leads or all of the Types assigned to the leads on your list.

Once you have the data displayed, you can save this view, give it a label, and it will appear in your Current View dropdown. You can change back and forth between views at any time by selecting from this menu.

Saved views can be printed using the PDF Reports option in the Apply to menu. This dropdown menu appears just above the Types column on the right side of your Leads List – this is the same menu where your mass email and other mass apply options appear. Choose “PDF Report” then choose your display options, and you will be able to print a nicely formatted “report” from your view. From this menu you may also choose to export this data to a CSV file for use in an external application, such as a spreadsheet.

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Open Leads Mobile – Sales Force Automation and Lead Management “on the go!”

As we look to use our Lead Management, SFA and CRM apps more and more in our daily operations, Smartphones and Tablets become more prevalent than our laptop and desktop computers.

With our release of our new Open Leads Mobile you can now access your  account “on the go” with a mobile-optimized user experience. The best part? No apps to download or configure – simply navigate to your Open Leads account in your browser on your mobile device, and you are automatically in Open Leads Mobile.

The mobile version of Open Leads is designed to get work done, and to make this as easy as possible, we have streamlined the user experience. The Dashboard is gone, along with the settings tab, so you can quickly see your Leads and your Tasks – the two most important elements when “working your leads.”

The Lead List and Lead Detail:

mobile_homemobile_task_list

 

Editing your leads is easy and simple on the Mobile Version as well:

mobile_lead_edit

The Task List and Calendar:

mobile_task_calendar mobile_complete_task

Completing a task is as easy as in the desktop version, just touch the green checkmark icon, enter your comment and touch the “Complete” button.

If you need to access more complex and advanced features in Open Leads, just scroll down and touch the “View Full Site icon, and you will be able to access the full version of Open Leads. This way, if you need to add a user, update your data fields, or create a sales message, you can still do it without being tied to your desktop. Once you have made your admin changes, click the “View Mobile Site” link at the bottom of the screen to return to Open Leads Mobile.

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The Importance of Autoresponders

Autoresponders in Open Leads are a very powerful tool to confirm your prospects submission, but even more so to begin to establish rapport with that prospect. In today’s economy it is very easy for consumers to gravitate to the least expensive product (I won’t use the term “cheapest” here – simply because I don’t care for the connotation of the word). And many companies feel that cutting the price of their goods or services is the key to success. However, often times the difference between a sale and a no-sale is not the price, but less quantifiable variables, like trust, and image and, yes, customer service and support.

Upon submission of your website contact form, a prospect should immediately receive an autoresponder email message (and be directed to a “Thank you” landing page, but we will cover that at another time). This autoresponder is a crucial part of your communication for two key reasons: 1) It confirms to them again that you have received their request, and are taking action, and 2) it serves to be your opportunity to make a good first impression – to begin to establish that rapport (relation, connection, relationship) with them, which will lay the groundwork for closing the sale.

With Open Leads you can personalize the message using our Tokens, so that the salutation is “Dear Mary,” or “Dear Bob” and not “To our very valued customer,” – it is pretty obvious which is more engaging to the person receiving it. Calling them by name envokes a level of familiarity, and personal attention that a generic greeting does not. How valuable is someone whom you don’t greet by name? You can further customize the message with the assigned user’s name and information using Tokens as well, or even embedding more information from the lead, such as the city the lead is in or the particular good or service they are interested in.

So, as you configure your Open Leads account and set up your Autoresponder, will its message be “Hey there random person – thanks for contacting us,” or will it be something more warm and personal that sets you apart from your competition, and puts you one step closer to the close?

 

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Functionality added to “Opportunities” – Status/Pipeline

To give your sales process more power and to add additional metrics for you to measure your success, we’ve revamped the “Opportunities” feature by adding the ability to better manage the core of the Pipeline: Opportunities, Stages and Status.  Our goal was to add power and at the same time, simplify it for the user. With this new update, it is now possible to rearrange their order, rename the stages and their labels and view only those Opportunities and Stages that are applicable to your sales process. This cascades into “Lead Detail”, “Views” and “Workflow” to better customize your sales automation.

Under Settings you will see that the icon  called “Opportunities” has been replaced with “Pipeline” – we made this change to the nomenclature to better clarify the functions of this feature. Here is where you define your product sales status and opportunities that comprise your sales pipeline.

settings

In addition to changing the naming convention, we have also updated the feature functionality by allowing you rearrange Opportunities, rename, relabel and opt to hide and show stages within those opportunities to reduce clutter in your account and to streamline presentation of data. Opportunity labels still  allow you the chance to define up to 10 different product lines/services that you offer to your clients.

pipe3pipe3a

When initially configuring this element of your Open Leads account, you must give each Opportunity a name. If you were an insurance salesperson and selling renters insurance policies you might like to name the opportunity “Renters Policies”. After you have established the name of the opportunity and pressed save you have the ability to define the progress level in the sales process of that particular opportunity. By default, these steps are laid out as a series of percentage labels (i.e Label for 0%). But you can custom configure these as needed . For example you might define several of the labels in the following way:

Label for 25% = Prospect Inquiry
Label for 50% = Phone Call with Prospect
Label for 75% = In person visit with Prospect
Label for 100% = Prospect signed up for policy

With the latest update you could also configure this as:

Step 1= Prospect Inquiry
Step 2 = Phone Call with Prospect
Step 3 = In person visit with Prospect
Step 4 = Prospect signed up for policy

This example uses the same placement as the previous example that used percentages, and hide the ones you are not using, so that they do not appear on your dropdown options when editing a lead.

You can also reorder the Opportunities. Just click on the links as indicated, and mouse over, click and drag to reorder in the same manner as you can with Messages and Workflows:

pipe2a

The other new feature is the ability to rename the Status categories to allow them to better align with your . Click on the “Manage Pipeline: Status” tab, then click the Status that you wish to rename:

stat2a

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New Signature Options

We’ve made some updates to the Signature options available to Open Leads users – now there are three different signatures that can be inserted into any email message using the [Signature] token – a basic signature, a signature with a photo (using your profile photo), and a signature with a logo.

To edit your signatures, got to Settings, then click on Personal Profile. You will see the signature section has expanded to include these different options, along with a line to select your “Default” signature.

new_signature

Also, when composing a new email message, you can simply click on the “Insert Signature” button to add your default signature.

insert_signature

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