Using Upsales to keep track of who to call, when you last spoke etc. can make a big difference in your overall sales effectiveness. We summarized our five most important tips and tricks to help you get the most value possible out of the activity features in Upsales.
1. Keep the types as simple as possible
Administrators in Upsales can define the activity and appointment types available for the users, examples are Phone call, Follow up call etc. Many administrators tend to over-complicate things, hoping to create more granular reports. We recommend having as few options as possible since the more choices you add, the harder it gets to keep everybody on the team on the same page.
It can be practical to distinguish "Prospecting Call" from "Follow up call" since you typically will have a lot of prospecting calls and fewer follow up calls (when calling to follow up proposals, important clients, etc.) It's also nice to be able to track the number of prospecting calls the leads to a booked appointment.
At Upsales, we use the following three activity types to keep it simple:
- Prospecting call (calls to new clients to set appointments)
- Follow up call (all other sales related calls)
- Task (reminders to send proposals etc.)
At Upsales, we have three appointment types:
- First appointment (when we meet a new prospective client for the first time)
- Sales appointment (all other sales appointments)
- Misc appointments (all non-sales related appointments)
2. Keep your activity list clean
A common situation when visiting clients and talking to end-users is the 1000+-activities-syndrome; this is when activities never get closed and you end up with a gigantic list of prospecting calls, follow-ups, existing client calls etc. making you miss important calls and actions. The following two guidelines will do wonders for your effectiveness:
- Don't add 100+ activities at once; since it's so easy to bulk-add activities to your todo-list a lot of users fill their list with hundreds of prospects at a time. It's a lot better to create 20-30 at a time and add more prospects as your list starts to look empty.
- The list should be empty when your workday is over; When you've called a customer, do one of these two things
- Scenario A: The client you're calling is not interested, so close the activity. This way the activity will end up in the activity history section in the account view and you will see a closed activity in the reports/dashboards. You don't have to leave it open since you can easily segment these customers in the future using the search engine
- Scenario B: The client tells you to call back tomorrow, or nobody answered the call, so change the date to tomorrow, next week or whatever. Since the activity list only shows you what you need to do today you won't be distracted by a lot of irrelevant activities.
3. Plan your work in Upsales, don't just report it
If you have a planned hour or two to do prospecting calls, make sure to use the search engine to bulk-create activities in advance and use the activity list you make your calls. Some users tend to create activities only as a way of "logging" what they already have done. You will be a lot more effective if you actually sit in the activity list when calling and also make use of the "Focus" feature (see image below)
4. How to track first appointments
Why should I specifically track first appointments?
First appointments are used to distinguish the specific first appointments you have with non-customers. The number of new clients you meet every week could be the most important KPI in your entire business. Meeting new clients is usually the first thing people forget when they have a healthy pipeline and when the focus is on closing deals. This can easily turn into the "fat and happy" syndrome when you feel so successful because you have a great pipeline to beat your goal this quarter, but you forget to create new opportunities that will be the foundation for next quarter's results.
How does Upsales help me track first appointments?
When you create a new appointment type in Settings, you can mark it as a "first appointment". Appointments of this type that are planned in the future will appear in the first appointments column in the sales board. Since the sales board only shows your future appointments, you will have a healthy reminder to add new ones as the list starts to "shrink".
5. Book your appointments in Upsales, then Sync with Google or Exchange
Upsales support syncing with both Google Calendar and MS Exchange. We recommend that you always create the appointment in Upsales to make sure that it's connected to the correct company (account). If you create an appointment in Google/Exchange it will only appear in your Upsales calendar meaning that you need to manually connect it to the proper company.