Importing Leads

Open Leads makes it simple to import your existing lead list. Many users are moving their leads from another application, such as Outlook, while others may have been keeping their leads in a simple spreadsheet. The first step is to get your current leads into a Comma Separated Value (or CSV) file. Most applications allow you to export the data as a CSV file so thsi first step is pretty easy. Just make sure that the first line of your CSV file has the column or field names – this makes it easier to map your existing data to the fields in Open Leads.

To import leads, first click the Leads Tab on the top right corner of the screen. The “Import” link is located next to “Add Lead” in the gray bar above your lead list. Once you have selected this option, you will be able to choose a CSV file to be imported from your computer. Select the file and click “Next.” Select your CSV file from your hard drive, then click “Next” to continue. The following screen will allow you to name the import scheme. If you plan on importing a file from the same source again, saving the scheme will make the task easier

Choose File

Then you can map the fields from your import file to the fields in Open Leads by clicking on the field and choosing your Open Leads fields from a dropdown list. If you need a field which you have not already created, you may click the link to add a new field to your account and map it directly from the import screen. Once you have the fields mapped, you can then opt to add a user and/or a type for the imported records.

Choose File

Once you have the fields mapped, you can then opt to add a user and/or a type for the imported records.

When you have determined that you have all the fields mapped, and the User and Type assignments in place, click “Import” to complete the process.
For the import feature to work properly, it is important to make sure you have two things in place: First, you need to have a clean CSV file that does not contain unnecessary data or rows or columns before you try to import it; and second, you need to have a field in Open Leads that matches up with the columns in your import file.

The best way to clean up your file is in your spreadsheet application – most users use Excel. Delete unnecessary columns and rows, and make sure each column is labeled clearly so that you will be able to reference it when you map your import. Then, once you are satisfied with your file, export it as a CSV. Be aware that there is a bug in Excel that may cause some problems. This is outlined on the Microsoft website. If you use another application, such as OpenOffice or use a Mac, this is not an issue.

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Understanding Workflows

One of the most useful but frequently misunderstood features of Open Leads is the Workflow. A workflow is an automated process that can be automatically applied to a lead either upon form submission or by manual application to an existing lead within the system. Using workflows correctly will save you much time and energy in the sales process. What follows is a step by step process used to setup and apply a basic workflow to your account.

How do I add a workflow within my account?
From within your Open Leads account click on the settings tab located at the top of your screen. Within the settings screen choose the icon named “Workflows“. From there look for a link appropriately named “Add Workflow“.

Give your workflow an appropriate name
If you use an Open Leads form on your website to obtain leads, it might be helpful to create a workflow named Website Lead.

Specify a notification email address
Whenever your workflow is applied to a lead you have the option of receiving an email notification with details about the lead in question. In the email you will receive a link to view that particular lead. Viewing that lead will require to log into your account if you have not already done so. You may send this notification to multiple addresses by specifying each address followed by a comma.

Automatically add a type(s)
When setting up your workflow you have the ability to add appropriate created types from within your account. Using the example of the Website Lead workflow you could set the workflow to add the type “Website Lead” whenever the workflow is applied. Mouse over the box under “Types” and right click. This will display a list of created types within your account. Place a checkmark in the box beside the types you would like to be automatically attached when the workflow is applied and click save when done.

Attach users automatically
You have the ability to setup your workflow to automatically attach a user or group of users to a lead that a workflow is applied to. Mouse over the box under the heading Users and right click to see a display of the users within your account. Place a checkmark in the box beside each user to select them. You have two choices on how to attach users when the workflow is applied. The first method is simply setting the workflow to attach all checked users to the lead each time the workflow is applied. The second method is selecting a round robin method which rotates between attaching only one of your selected users each time the workflow is applied. You also have the option of allowing your selected users to receive a notification email with lead information each time the workflow is applied. If you desire this feature place a checkmark in the box located next to “Send email notice to selected users”.

Automatically send out pre-constructed email messages
Using messages that you have already created within your Open Leads account you have the ability to schedule the automatic delivery of messages to leads which your workflow is applied to. You can schedule a message to go the Lead’s email address (if its a valid email) immediately upon workflow application or at any time (i.e 7 days from application of the workflow). Many users use this feature to keep their sales prospects engaged with well crafted email newsletters. You can add as many messages as you wish and schedule them to get out at the time intrevals of your choice. To add a message to this section simply click “Add Message”. What will result is a pulldown menu of all the messages you have created within your account. Select the message of your choice and schedule when you want to go out. To schedule the message to go out at a later time choose the option “Later”. This will allow you to specify a specific time and date or schedule the message to go out in a certain number of days and/or hours (i.e 7 days 5 hours from workflow application). The latter scheduling option is generally more recommended since its likely you will want to use this workflow over a period of time.

Adding tasks automatically
It is highly likely that you will want to schedule tasks to make follow up calls or to send follow up emails. Instead of going through the hassle of attaching such tasks to each sales lead  manually you can set your workflow to attach these tasks automatically to each lead upon application of the workflow. Like your autoresponders, you have the ability to schedule each task to occur immediately upon workflow application or within a specified time frame following application. For example you can create a task called Follow Up Call and schedule it to be completed in 7 days after application of the workflow. You also have the ability to set a email reminder regarding this task at a chosen time before the task is due to be completed. To add a task to your workflow simply select “Add Task” and follow the instructions accordingly.

How to apply this workflow I just created?
There are two ways to apply a created workflow within your Open Leads account. The most effective option is to use your workflows in conjunction with your created forms. Once your workflow is set access your created forms within the system(located off the settings tab) Click on the appropriate form to access the form edit screen. On the right hand side of the screen look for the section marked “Apply Workflow“. Click that section to display the dropdown menu of available workflows. Choose the one that you wish to use along with that particular form. Once either you or the prospect fill out the form in question that workflow and everything you set will be automatically applied to the lead record that results. The second way to apply a workflow is to apply it manually from within an existing lead detail screen. Within any lead already in your system pull up their lead detail. On the bottom right section of the lead detail screen look for the link “Apply Workflow“. Clicking this link presents you with a drop down menu of your created workflows. Select the workflow you created from this list and double click to apply it. Your lead detail screen will now be populated with all of tasks, selected users, etc. that you specified within the creation process.

In closing, workflows can be tricky to understand and grasp when you are just starting out. While they involve some setup and planning, their use can be invaluable to your sales process and are critical to maximizing the benefit of Open Leads.

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Where did my Actions go?

In the latest release, “Actions” have been replaced with “Tasks.” Tasks are steps, activities, or other “to-do’s” that need to be completed to move the lead through the sales process.

Scheduled Tasks for each day appear on your dashboard as you log into Open Leads, and your entire list of tasks can be viewed from your Lead List. Each account now has two new Views included, one called “Active Tasks” and one called “Completed Tasks.” Clicking between these will show you your upcoming Tasks, whether scheduled or open-ended, and your completed tasks. You may modify these as you wish, or use them as guide to create other views for Active Tasks for a particular user, or period of time, etc., simply by recreating the filters used in these views, and then adding additional filters to display the data you want to see.

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Creating Management “Reports” using Views

Sales Managers using Open Leads can create Management “Reports” using the filtering and view tools. Because users can filter their lead list by any field in the system, including Users and elements in the Sales Pipeline, plus date range and save these as views, creating views to show all closed sales, pending sales, sales by salesperson, etc. are quick and easy.

For example, to create a View to show closed sales this month – go to your Lead List, and selct “Add Filters.” For the first filter, select “Status/Pipeline” and then select “Closed Won.” This will show you all of your closed sales. By simply adding a field for “Date Sold,” you can then add a filter so that the results will show all closed leads for a period of time, such as the current week or month.

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Manage your list with Types

The Types system in Open Leads gives users a great deal of flexibility in managing and sorting your leads. While the Pipeline System allows you to flag a lead as a Hot, Warm, Cold or Closed lead, Types allows you to build upon this by creating segments of your lead list – such as Current Customers, Website Leads, Walk-ins, Phone Leads, etc.

Lead segmenting using Types means that you can break up your marketing and handle these segments in different manners if you wish.

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Using the Sales Pipeline Feature

The Sales Pipeline and Status feature, which is located on the right side of the Lead Detail Screen,allows you to assign a Status (Cold, Warm, Hot, Closed Won and Closed Lost) to a lead; and classify which Sales Opportunity that it is in. Additionally, users may list a percentage of completion (or likelihood to close), and a one-time or recurring value to the Opportunity. Sales personnel and managers can then create Views that filter this information and display data such as potential sales, won sales, lost sales, or sales personnel performance over a given period of time.

Sales Pipeline data can be incrementally updated manually, or automatically upon the completion of a task using Workflows. See the entry on updated Workflows for more information on this feature.

To implement the new Sales Pipeline feature in your existing account, first create your Opportunities in the Settings Tab. Then, using Views on the Lead List screen, you can sort your list to identify your hot prospects, for example, and apply elements of the Sales Pipeline in mass. These options have been added to the dropdown menu to the right side of the Lead List.

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AJAX Updates

We have just added some additional AJAX updates to Open Leads, which have streamlined additional edits for the application.

Among these are the “Add Field” and “Add Type” functions. Now, instead of being taken to an additional page to create a new Field or Type, it is done on the same screen. Not only does this make the process of adding a Field or Type easier, it reduces the number of clicks and time that it takes.

Additional updates to the user interface are coming soon. Stay tuned!

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Adding a new lead using a form

Using forms has always been the easiest and most productive way to manually add a new lead to your Open Leads account. By entering a lead using a form, you are able to use only the pertinent fields for new lead entry, and are also able to trigger a Workflow upon entry. Workflows adds one or more Types to the leads, can assign a User and Actions, as well as trigger an Autoresponder Email.

But until now this required creating a form and then opening it in a new window in your browser or using the preview function. While effective, it was not the most efficient way of doing this. The latest update to Open Leads adds the function to add a lead from a form directly in the application. To use this function, first click on “Add Lead” from your lead list. When the dialogue opens, you have the option of adding manually (the same as before) or adding from a form. Choose the latter and then select the form you wish to use from the dropdown. At that point all of the fields from the form you chose will be displayed and you can add data and tab through the fields as needed. Once done and you click “Save,” your lead is entered, and any Workflows associated with it are triggered.

The key to this working well, of course, is to create a form (or series of forms) for your specific new lead needs, and any workflows you wish to be applied. Make sure that you reference them in the Apply Workflow section when you edit your form.

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Email-in Leads

One of the most attractive features of Open Leads is its flexibility. Open Leads has always been an application that could be used for a variety of different lead types, simply by creating different forms for your different types of leads. The only limitation was that the forms had to be posted or linked to in order to get the Lead data.

With this latest update, though, the flexibility has increased dramatically. Many of our users receive leads from lead generation websites that email the lead information to them. Now, instead of having to manually enter the data into Open Leads, that lead can be written directly into your account.

Account administrators can set up the process first by establishing an email code if you have not done so already. This is done from the “Settings” tab, by clicking on the “Email-in” icon. Here you will see your current email in address ( which you can change if you need to at any time. Keep in mind that changing the email address will invalidate the old address and require updating any lead sources that use the existing address.

You may then supply that email code to any third party lead source that supports the email formats supported by Open Leads. Any lead that is emailed to you at that point will then be written directly to your account. Currently Open Leads supports leads from the following:

  • More are being added as needed. If there is a particular source you need to work with Email-in in Open Leads, please contact us

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    What are “Tokens,” anyway?

    “Tokens” are placeholders that can be used in your mass emails, autoresponders or email templates stored in your Message Library in Open Leads.

    There are Tokens automatically created for each field you have in your account, along with ones for signatures and for the unsubscribe link for your CAN-Spam compliance.

    To use a Token, simply type it into the message body, or copy and paste it from the list that you see on the right hand side of your email composition screen in Open Leads. It is simply the name of the field inside square brackets – like [First], for example. Inserting this into your messge body will result in Open Leads replacing the Token with the data from recipient’s record in your account. “Dear [First]” becomes “Dear Bob” in the email that is actually sent.

    Using the [Signature] Token places your signature from your Personal Profile in the message, so you no longer have to type that in in all the messages.

    A new Token, called “[Lead Signature]” is related but a little different – this places the signature of the User assigned to the lead into the message. This is very useful in creating Autoresponders that are sent from a Workflow that also assigns a user by rotation. In this scenario, the email message is personalized not only to the recipient, but also from the user that was assigned that lead.

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