Ladies and gentlemen, members of the press, welcome to today’s program. My name is Warren Stokes, your host and presenter today. I’m Director of Sales at Avidian Technologies, the developer of Prophet CRM for Outlook. I’m sure many of you are existing clients of ours, but there are also some folks that are probably considering Prophet as their contact management system. So we have a really important topic today. Actually, it looks like it’s one of the more popular topics I’ve broadcast in quite a while: I would like to share with you some of the best practices for effective contact management.
So what I’m going to do today is I’m going to give you some of these concepts and explain what we’re going to go into detail on, and then most of our time will be spent actually showing you how it all works. We’re going to be demonstrating this in Prophet CRM, so we’re going to cover actually quite a few topics, so we’re going to try to get through this in about 45 minutes.
One of the big questions that I run into is, “what is a contact?” You’re going to see that it’s not quite as simple as it sounds. We’re going to show you how to structure and then interpret the contact data in your CRM. Simple things like how to create contacts, companies, and so forth in the system, working with views. These are basically lists that you can create that will give you the ability to organize your data. How to export data to an excel file using search functions. How to find things. Then I’ll show you some of the ways that Prophet helps you prevent duplicate data from getting into it and how to clean up data if it happens.
So, as I said, one of the questions that comes up is what is a contact? Well, the reason it’s not as simple as it sounds is several things. It’s the record of a person, so that’s a noun, you know, the person. It could be considered the record of a company and perhaps the people associated with it, but it can also be referred to as an action, you know, to make contact or do outreach in various ways. A phone call is a type of contact as a verb, and there are different types of phone calls. You can have calls coming in, make outbound calls, leave voicemails, but they’re all some form of contact. Another word for that is touch. A meeting is a type of action to make contact. They can be in person, you know, zoom meetings or team meetings, which are very common these days.
One of the things I want to emphasize is that contacts are one of your most valuable assets. Think about it, your sales contacts, your prospect contacts, even vendors and other contacts, having a centralized database that everyone can access and share is one of the key value propositions of having a good contact management system. Now we’re not going to get into a lot of the other parts of the CRM, such as opportunity and lead tracking and so forth, today we’re going to focus in on the contact aspect of the system.
But just to get you oriented on how the data structure works, companies are a type of contact but they actually have people associated with them. So you can have a company with child relationships, or subsidiaries, whatever you call them, and those subsidiaries could have other companies under them. Those are actually Outlook contact cards, and whether you sync them with your local contacts or not, we still use that format because pretty much every device on the planet syncs right out of the box with Outlook contacts.
But the whole point is, we’re not going to get into opportunities today, but the whole point is to be able to capture all your contact data, keep it in a central place, and then track all the activities and information associated with those contacts and companies. Today we’re going to be looking at contact data and company data, and we’re going to talk about and show you in real time how you actually get contacts into the system.
The Outlook contacts themselves are part of the system unless you mark them private, which is an Outlook function. Company records are created automatically. It’s pretty cool actually. You’ll see how that works. We have a patent on that. The drag and drop from inbound emails is also part of the system. A lot of things happen via email, so we have made it very easy to create contacts from inbound emails. You can create contacts from the Prophet mobile apps and there’s also an import function where you can import data from excel and that’s also, by the way, used for mass updating records. We have website form integration to create contacts and or leads. We can also integrate with accounting or other systems to, you know, integrate contacts from those systems. I’ll be posting my contact information and our customer service information at the end of the webinar, so if you’re interested in any of those other topics, please feel free to reach out to me.
Creating company records is pretty simple. You can create a company just by using the new company function. You can create companies just like you can contact people from the mobile app through the import utility, but here’s a very important thing about all of this stuff and that is what I call the data taxonomy. What it really means is that you want to be able to have enough data to classify, categorize, and organize your contacts in useful ways, so Prophet adds 20 customizable fields to that Outlook contact and that gives you the ability to sort and filter by different criteria.
Here’s a very important thing that I wanted to share with you. Think of your data as very important and actually the basic Outlook contact or the contact record drives so much in a CRM. I like to think of it this way. There are certain things that you just can’t do without. You really must have a full name. I hate it when you do see a contact and it just says “Bill”. That’s just not very useful. So full name, of course, is a must-have. Phone number, of course, is a must-have. And it’s nice to also get other information.
So the next level down is kind of what you should have if you really want to get it right. You should include a company name if it’s applicable, you should include job titles, and you should include your mobile number, which is very important these days, so you should include it. You don’t have to have it, but it’s nice to have. You can include some of the customizable fields in Prophet, such as linkedin profile, hobbies, interests, etc. Data taxonomy is much the same way. The things you must have are pretty obvious. It should include things like the physical address, same sort of deal. A website would be nice. What type of company might they be? Are they a distributor? Are they an OEM? Are they a partner? All those are customizable things that are nice to have. What size are they in terms of the number of employees? How many locations do they have? What revenue streams do they have?
So I want to switch very quickly over to the actual demonstration here, but I wanted to focus in on a really key thing. Remember when we talked about how a contact can become, um, can be looked at as an action? So Prophet has built right into it the ability to have a customized list of contact types, so activity types, as we call them, typically a phone call, a voicemail, an on-site visit, and again, customizable so that you can make it a you know, click function to make it easy to enter.
So let’s just switch gears and let’s go into Prophet and we’re going to start by just going into Outlook, so you probably already know that Prophet lives in Outlook. You’ll have a set of folders over here on the left that are your Prophet folders. You can just click on the folder and it’ll bring up your last view of contacts that you were last in. It remembers your last view and in this case, I’m in a list of contacts in Hollywood, California. You can also have them open in Prophet. You can also open in separate windows. You can also have them open in separate windows like you can have them open in separate windows. You can have them open in separate windows so you can have your inbox, your contact manager, and various screens open at the same time.
So let’s get into that a little bit. I wanted to show you how these views are created and how to structure your data in a way that makes sense. The first thing you’re going to have two views is my contacts and all contacts. Many of you have already made or created your own personal custom views. I have one that’s a prospecting view, and so this one is organized by geography. Let me show you about this view here and this will go to creating any view and organizing your views. Over here on the far right of these tabs where I have general notes, opportunity and so forth, you have your own custom fields. You might want to know what type of contact they are. Are they a prospect, you know, a student, a current client, or what have you. Again, all customizable. You might want to know whether they’re a qualified lead, maybe have their linkedin profile, where did this contact come from, or you can have things that are very useful in sales or you know, relationship management.You can have These fields can be drop-down lists, date fields, um text fields, or what we call a memo field, which is just an expanded text field like a bio field.
So the point here is that you can use these additional fields here like lead source. Let’s say I’ve created a list that’s all filtered by first of all the geography, so you notice all these contacts are in Hollywood, California zip code 90210. I’ll show you how those work in a little more detail here in a moment, but then you can use these columns to filter by those criteria, like let’s just say that I wanted to see all of the contacts in Hollywood, California that originated from cold calls. Well, there you go. It’s a very simple list that you can create by adding a filter and notice that this is just like an excel filter. If you look at it, you just have the little check boxes. To clear the circular filter, you just click “clear filter” just like in excel.
So how do these columns get in here? There’s two ways to do it. You can right click if you’re in an existing one and select “Choose columns”. In the column chooser on the left will be the columns that are available and, remember, there’s a lot of them that you might not have in any particular view. Let’s just say country. If you want to move it into your view, you just select the right arrow and it’ll move it to the bottom of the list, which is the far right. Now if you want to move it to the left, you just move it up a ways here and you can see that what I’ve just done is I’ve added a column and I’ve moved it about halfway through my view here and that column that I’ve just created is a column called “country.” So now you can see that that’s all loaded up and you can filter or sort or filter by country, you can filter or sort or filter by country, you can filter or sort or filter by country, you can filter or sort or filter by country, so you can filter or sort or filter by country, so you can filter or sort or filter by country, so you can filter or sort, right click, select save changes to view.
So let’s talk a little bit about a very fundamental but yet very important thing today, which is the creation of your list. Some people call these lists views, same thing. So let’s just click this little button. It’s a little bit of a red pencil and a piece of paper, sort of an icon, and it says edit this view. So I can edit a view that way. For example, how are you going to select your contacts by folder or by user assignment or what kind of context you want? So this is just your view setup and again, how I got there is that I usually choose the and filter. So the criteria are that all contacts that match all three of these filters are going to be displayed in that list. Pretty cool. If you make it an or filter, that would mean anyone that’s either in California, or Hollywood, or 90210 zip code would be displayed. But that’s not quite as useful as a filter, so we usually choose the and filter. One of them is to create a new view and manage other views.
But let’s just show you how to create a new view. It’s super easy. You just click create new, it brings up some default columns, but you give it a name and I’ll call this my webinar example view. How about we just create a new view for you here? All right, so this one I don’t think I need a description, but you could put one in. By the way, this is just whether you want a simple list or a table grid.
Now, let’s take a step forward and talk about the significance of data taxonomy. Here’s an example.So let’s say you’re doing some prospecting and you want to create a big list. So this is where we can get into importing. You can actually import lists into the Prophet. You know, that’s sort of a lost art these days, but how that works is you create a spreadsheet and I’ll show you an example of one, and you have certain fields that you want because it’s going to help you sort and filter these contacts that you’ve created.
So what would we do to get a contact list like this? We would first get our data in an excel format and I’ll just show you some examples of that. So here’s one that has both contact and company data in it. Notice down at the bottom of the file that one of the worksheets is labeled contact. One of the worksheets is labeled company. So here’s one that has both contact and company data in it.
Your users are your Prophet users, so you can pre-assign them and it’s very useful to do in an import. You should usually have someone assigned to them, otherwise they’re kind of orphaned contacts upon import and then only an admin can find them. You can put notes in here. One little one little tip on that, um, I’m not sure the reason for this, but it’s a useful tip is that if you start putting notes in a contact.
So let’s go ahead and show you how to import companies into Prophet. The main thing about company import is that you can’t have any exact duplicates. This is one of the important things about company import. You can’t have exact duplicates of company names, which might probably make sense. But you can have contacts and companies. So let’s go ahead and import contacts and companies into Prophet. The first thing you have to do is create an excel file, save it, and then run this import tool The import tool is found right up here under tools and it’s just a four-step wizard where you import the data, select the file that you want, map the fields, and automatically it all starts happening, so that’s how that would work.
Let’s get back into the various ways that you can create contacts in the Prophet, and I’m keeping an eye out for any chat questions or q&a that’s going on here. So first of all, anytime you create an Outlook contact, unless you mark it private, it will be created in Prophet. Another way to create contacts is by dragging and dropping from an inbound email, which I can show you. You can also import and create contacts from the Prophet mobile apps, and for that matter, if you’re syncing your phone with Outlook and you have Prophet, you can actually create just a native contact on your phone.
There’s another function of creating contacts which has to do with importing contacts from a website, so let me give you an example of that. So if you have a contact form on your website like this right here, “contact us” or “business email phone number”, we can set that up or you can use our open api for this.” So you can create contacts from a form on your website. That’s a pretty cool function. And finally, we can do integration with your accounting system.
So let’s just go back to a really simple function of creating a contact from an inbound email. Let’s say I just got an email from Anthony and I want to create a contact from it. Now what Prophet does is it looks to see if this contact already exists. If it does, it will show you that. So let’s just continue and say “Create New Contact.”
You can also create contacts through various different screens. Whenever you see the function that says “new” in here, I just had some kind of an error, so let me get it. Now whenever you see this new function, you can say “create a new contact.” This also has duplicate checking, so I wouldn’t create a new one because it already exists, unless maybe there are two people in your world named Anthony Hopkins.” So I wouldn’t create a new one because it already exists.
But another aspect, and this is actually a very useful thing, is that rather than creating a contact first based on the name, you can start typing in the spelling of the company and that will start bringing up companies that have that first initial, um, you know the letters you’re typing in. So here’s a little shortcut for you: you may or may not know this, but if you want to create a contact from the same company, you just open the Outlook contact and
Now what you’re going to see is when you’re in that company record, which you can access several different ways. I’ll show you a little shortcut in the contact. You can actually open the company associated with that contact and see the new one, Billy Smith, and I see Anthony there as well. You can also see here that we’re in the company record, so we segued into that company’s customizable fields, like you might want to keep track of how much revenue the size of the company is or company type You can have up to 72 of these fields. You notice how you can have them be dropped down fields. They can be date fields. They can be memo or text fields. That helps us with the taxonomy of sorting and filtering.
So what we’ve just covered in contact is actually all applicable to the company record. So when you click on the folder or have the folder open called company manager, you’re going to see a list just like we had before. Notice that you can sort or filter by any of these. Let’s say I wanted to look at only manufacturers, so again, like an excel filter, I’ll look at manufacturers. This list is already filtered by geography, so this is all the manufacturers in Hollywood.
One thing you can do is just log in your activity and remember that we talked about this earlier with one of the concepts of contact is to contact someone by phone, leave a voicemail, etc. These are your customizable activity actions. I did a continued outreach and whatever you guys want, your administrator can set this up. Basically, it’s just so that you don’t have to type in repetitive things. I sent a quote, I left a voicemail, and so on and notice that the time and the date and the username are stamped in there automatically.
Now this is very unique and it’s not a blind copy, it’s not like a mass email, it’s actually going to create an individual personalized email for everyone on this list. I could just type the email just like I was composing an email to one person, or you may know that there’s both quick parts which are a type of template and in 365 you can actually just insert content from templates. So I’m just going to insert a couple blocks of content here, I’ll put in my signature and all.
Now I send that once a day when I’m ready to compose. The first one in the list alphabetically gets sent and you’ll actually be able to see it in your scent items. You can go inspect it if you want. I don’t usually do it, but I do inspect my emails before I send them. There’s no exact limit on what you can send in Prophet. 50, 100, 200 at a time or whatever targeted list. But Prophet also has integration built into it with mailchimp and we have a new constant contact integration coming out.
So what that means is you can keep your data in the Prophet and keep it centralized and organized, and you can subscribe those contacts into various lists. You can do that through the company folder or the contact folder. Let me take a couple of questions. One of them is, “Can I get more detailed info on making contacts from forums on our website?” Yes, Rosemary. Thank you for that question. I will definitely take care of that. I will get right back to you.
So we are in a list of companies and one of the things I wanted to show you is how the parent-child relationship works. I have a few companies in our database here that have a parent-child relationship. What that means is that a company can have related companies that we call child companies, sort of below it in the hierarchy of the data. So the parent is, in this case, the Carle Foundation Carle Clinic, Carl Engineering, and Carle Foundation Hospital. Now if I’m in a child company, you’ll actually be able to easily access the parent company just by clicking that link and vice versa. You can go back and forth. The main thing is that it gives you visibility of all the companies that are related to one another. And a very important thing is that if you are in a parent company’s view and a list, you can actually see opportunities for either just that company or all the companies that are under that parent company. The ability to track emails is pretty awesome just to kind of keep track of your very large customers so that you can have visibility of all of the roll up if you will. A couple of other functions here that I wanted to go through which apply to contacts and companies is the ability to track emails.
So let’s just go back in and let’s just look at some accounts here. So here in the activities section, this tab down below gives you the ability to track emails, appointments, and tasks for anyone related to that particular company. So if I click on the email and click search here, it just organizes all the emails that are sent to or from anyone at that company and puts them right into the con the company view here. So these are the emails that have been sent or received to or from anyone at that company. So that’s just go back in the company. So let’s them.
So how does that work? Let’s just go into my inbox and I’ll show you an example of that. Let’s say I get an inbox from, oh let’s just do Anthony again just for the sake of it, and let’s say that I wanted this contact, this contact, to be linked to a contact or a company. You’ll see up here in the Prophet ribbon a little link symbol. I use it all the time. So in this case, I can say I want to link it to automatically link it to any company, but in this case, I’d probably link it to his company. Click link, we’ll link that email once, making it shareable amongst the team. Click auto link in any email to or from that person will be linked to the company record and thus be shareable when you’re looking at a view of the activity under a company. Same thing applies to appointments and tasks.
So let’s let’s talk a little bit about getting company records in here. You can do it from the import, which I briefly showed you the concept of, or you can also just go in here and say “new company.” That just creates a new company from scratch, and it will, basically, then you add contacts to it or what have you. You can create companies from the mobile app. You can also create them through the import, as I said.
So one of the simple things you can do is any time you’re in a view, any time you’re in a view filtered or what have you sorted and filtered a certain way, like I could sort this view or filter it down by certain types of companies, and let’s just say I only wanted you to know several different categories of companies, so I’m in that list. I need to point out that this is a permission-based function. If you go to do this and it says it’s
I wanted to talk a little bit about searching. So let’s say you’re in a list and I’ll just go back into my main list here, one of my main lists, and I’m going to show you several ways to search. One of the ways is you can search any column. It’s just like excel, you click the little filter button and it says search and I could actually look for the woods. Okay, so this just lets me search for a particular record, so you can do that with any column again. Maybe I just want to look at the word “OEM” if it’s a long list, and there you go. So you can, in other words, search by clicking this little filter icon on any column.
Another type of search is the view search that’s up here and so this might be okay. I just put that term in there and out of all of those those company records, I found the one that had well, it could be more, but this one is the only one that has the term lebowski in it. My lebowski manufacturing, John Goodman, and all those wonderful people. Okay, one of my favorite films by the way. So you can clear that search.
Now another thing you can do is you can search for con records and include a search of the notes. This is pretty interesting. I’m going to just type in a term. It’s quite a uni. So if you type in something like “meeting” or “convention”, it will display those notes, but it doesn’t actually display them. Let me find a note that actually works there. What I’m looking for is just some sort of unique note that I can, oh yeah, here we go, um, I’ll put in the term Madagascar. Okay, type in your search term with notes and it will display any records in that list that have that term in the notes area of the company. In this case, the company records. So that could be fairly handy in case you want to look for like a project name. So here in Lebowski Manufacturing, you can see down here in the notes that it will have that term “Madagascar” in it.
Okay, let’s say I want to look up Carle Clinic and I want to bypass the list I’m in just to save a little time here. Well, I can find that record just through an advanced search without notes in that case. So we’ve got column search, we’ve got a search view, we’ve got search without notes and we’ve got search with notes, all working great. Another one is the ability to do a global search. So if I click on this search icon, which you’ll see in the Prophet ribbon or various places, and then you put your search term in here, like “mel gibson,” which is actually a friend of mine, sort of, you can see that here’s the contact, there’s the company, and there’s all the opportunities related to Me.
So here’s another unique thing about global search is you can actually search for images, um, or other things in documents and it’ll, in other words, outside of the Prophet database. I did an image search and I found Mel Gibson’s image on my computer. Pretty cool. So that’s the searching function. Another unique thing about global search is you can actually search for images, um, or other things in documents and it’ll, in other words, outside of the Prophet database.
Anyway, one of the things you can do is generate documents. It’s called file gen or generating files. You can have this right from the list view. You can say “I want to generate a proposal for this person.” So this will generate a proposal document that’s based on a template and it’s going to autofill information from the company record and, in this case, the contact prepared for this person for Carl Clinic. There’s the address that Yep, and see how it’s auto filled wherever that field name is in the template, it just auto fills it into the with this file gen function. Very useful. If you create a file like that, you’ll see that it’s going to be linked to the company automatically.
Let me just show you what those templates look like. I think that would be a useful thing to do here, so let’s just go in and look at my file gen templates. So a template looks like this. It’s either a word or an excel document. We’re doing word today and it just simply has the field flags like contact name, company name, in these square brackets in the word document and then you just save it to the location of your choice. In fact, you can see if I click on tools here, you can see template file location, so you can decide where those templates are. In my case, it’s just on my local drive, but it could be a shared drive or you can default to saving where you want those files saved to. It could be a call report, or it could be some sort of invoicing system, or it could be anything you want.
I know we’re reaching the top of the hour but okay, I got a question. That search button on the left is Prophet and your computer. Yes, go back to that. Just to quickly clarify, if I click that search button, you can see how it will search your computer as well for anything related to your search term. That’s why we call it a global search. It is Prophet, and it is Outlook contacts.’s emails. It’s all this cool stuff. So let’s talk a little bit about more reporting and then we’ll wrap up here. So there’s three types of reports: the export to excel, which I showed you; there’s also various types of reports built into this tool called the report manager, and there are about 30 or so that come with Prophet, but one of the useful ones is just to create a kind of an activity log of, um, you know, your contacts for your companies and you can customize this to your liking.
So if I wanted to go in here and change that image there, I can do that. I’ll just show you that little rope briefly here and let’s say that I want that to be one of our logos. Let’s just say that this would be like your own company logo. I’ll just do 15 days and you can generate that report in excel or what we call basic, which allows you to save it in different file types.
So you can create a new report using this wizard and all that is you give the report a name and you choose the columns you want and then you can format it further once you’ve got that report built and then finally there are dashboards that you may or may not have access to depending on your plan that you have with us. Um, I won’t get deep into those, but it’s nice to say that you can have all of your activities for contacts and companies in a graphical format so that you can see just overall call activities or various whatever you’ve got a new report.
I do want to thank everyone for joining today’s session. I want to post this contact information for just a few minutes. If I haven’t answered your questions or your outreach during the webinar, please feel free to reach me or your account manager. I want to wish you a very safe rest of the day and we’ll talk to you again on the next program. Thank you.