Best Practice - How to be a Better AE
Exciting News! Updates have been made to the UI since this document was created. Although the functionality in this article hasn’t changed, the look and feel has, and some elements may have moved
Click here to have a look at an intro video with the new UI.
Please review this article to learn how you can use your fp. system to be a better Account Executive and manage your pipeline.
Your base system will include several required (yellow) fields to fill in, as well as plenty of optional (white) fields. For your clients and prospects, add as much detail as you can. You can also customize, via List Maintenance, the content of non-staff and non-rate related drop down menus. Use the Classification field to track the level of interest of this client or prospect.
Use Company Type to note if this is a client, prospect, or supplier.
Use the Qualification field to track where this company is within your sales cycle.
Use Source to note how this client or prospect became aware of your agency.
Use Industry Type to specify what kind of business this is.
When you have filled in all your fields, click Submit to save this company record.
Create Custom Fields for Companies
To create a new Custom Field, choose (1) Add New, (2) type in a Custom Field Name, and (3) choose the Custom Field Type. You will then get the option to enter Defaults, but we recommend you just (4) click the Submit button (bottom left), then (5) Assign Fields to Sections.
Back on your Company Details pages, these Custom Fields are now available for use.
You can add a contact to your system by hovering over CONTACTS in the main navigation bar, and choosing Add Contact. What is faster though, is to just click Add Contact from the appropriate Company Details page. This will create a Contact under this Company record.
The base system has several required (yellow) fields and plenty of optional (white) fields to fill in. Click Submit to save the information you add here. As with Companies, you can add as many Custom Fields as you like. You will be able to capture information in these Custom Fields, and search by it.
Go again to ADMIN > System Set Up > Custom Fields.
1) Choose Add New for the Custom Field Name.
2) Enter the Field Name you want.
3) Choose what kind of field it should be - Text. Multiline Text or Date.
4) Click Submit.
5) Click Assign Fields to Sections.
Back on your Contact Details pages, these Custom Fields are now available for use.
Keeping Notes & Tracking Communications
As you communicate with clients and prospects, it is important to store records of that information into your fp. system. From Company Details pages, Contact Details pages, and Job Details pages, you will see an Add Note option. Notes you add in will store to the associated Company, Contact and/ or Job, and all notes can be searched for in your system.
1) With Notes, you can also make sure the right people in your organization get looped in, by pinning the note to their Dashboard. Click Pin to Dashboard, and then the box beside any Role or Staff member.
2) As needed, you can also upload or drag/ drop files (up to 50 Mb in size each) to this note.
Click Submit to save this note.
Email communications regarding Companies, Contacts are Jobs are even easier to store as Notes. Again from any Company Details, Contact Details or Job Details page, you will see a Connect to Email button.
Clicking Connect to Email - for example above from the Contact Details page - will bring up a window. From here, either copy and paste the unique address for this contact into your email composition, or click the hyperlink to auto-populate that email into the To line of your default email client.
Once the email has been sent, it will be stored to the associated Company, Contact and/ or Job in your fp. system. Learn more in this article: Connecting Emails to Notes
Tasks act like calls to action in your fp. system. They can be assigned out, or assigned to yourself. When managing your sales pipeline, you may often need to task yourself with follow up calls, contracts to send out and the like. In fp. there is a useful Task Type of "Prospecting Task." Using this as they task type when creating a task, allows you to mark this task as related to your pipeline/ prospecting work, and easily find these tasks each day.
To build yourself a Prospecting Task, hover over TASKS in the main navigation bar, and choose Add Task.
On the Task Add/ Edit page, fill in the required (yellow) field, and your choice of white (optional) fields. We'd recommend that you definitely fill in:
1) The Type as "Prospecting." Note you can create as many Task Types as you like back in List Maintenance.
2) The Due Date
3) Who this should be assigned to.
4) A Status of Assigned, so that it will appear on the Tasks/ To Dos Dashboard tile of the assignee.
Click Submit when ready.
Tasks that are due that day, or overdue, will be in eye-catching red text on your Dashboard.
Note that if these tasks need to have time tracked to them, they will need to be associated to a live Job in your fp. system. For prospecting work, we'd recommend you have an In-House job open for something such as "Business Development." When staff fill in their timesheet, they should note the name of the prospect in the timesheet description. Should you then land that prospect as a client, it is easy to search for these timesheets, and calculate the amount of hours it took to win the business. To learn about creating In-House work, please review this article: Adding an In House Job
When completing the Estimate Add/ Edit page, fill in the required (yellow) fields, and optional (white) fields of your choosing. We do recommend that you complete:
1) The Close Probability field. Enter a number value to represent the probability percentage - ie. 25, 50, 75, 95, 100.
2) The Delivery Date.
3) The Month Close.
Click Submit when ready.
The Approval Status will be in "In Review" while you build the estimate out. Once it is sent to the prospect for their input, move to a status of Submitted. Move to Approved or Declined once you get their feedback.
Inputting Estimates in this manner, will allow you to perform specific "Find Routines", and to generate lists of only those estimates you really want to see - ie. Estimates for a certain AE, with a certain close probability, in a certain time frame, in a certain status.
Subsequent Find Pages, such as Find Company above, will have a variety of fields you can narrow the search down by. If you have made Custom Fields. you can search by any of them.
To just see a list of all Companies in your system, leave all the fields blank, and just click Find Companies.
Resulting lists of information can be sorted, printed, and exported as .csv files (best opened using Excel). And click Manage Columns to change the information displayed on the page, and in what order.
If you have access to the REPORTS module in fp. you will also be able to generate several CRM & Sales specific Reports. From the REPORTS module in the main navigation bar, choose
Both New Business reports give you the opportunity to generate very specific information about your organization, and both generate in Excel.