Appies
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Appies Prospect Manager

Appies Prospect Manager

The Appies Prospect Manager is a sales organization tool that can be used by any number of sales people residing in one or more locations.  It is web-based, so there is nothing for anyone to install.  It uses MySQL as the database to store the prospect and lead information which allows for almost unlimited growth and fast data access.

As a Sales Manager, you can closely monitor and assist your sales team using this tool. Sales people can share leads by transferring them to another sales person, send prospects e-mail directly from their record, and much more.  In addition, sales statistics are available to keep some healthy competition going among the sales team. 

 Marketing Idea...

There is no form of Marketing quite like direct sales.  The Appies Sales Manager together with a good sales team can improve your sales significantly!

Some basic concepts. Before we begin to setup our first Appies Prospect Manager (APM), there are a few concepts you should understand that will make the process easier.

  • Depending on your package, you can setup anywhere from 5 to an unlimited number of Prospect Mangers. Each one has it's own database (table) and can be used for different sales teams.
  • The web interface is outside of Appies and is password protected.  Each sales person must have access to the folder that the APM resides in.
  • You can completely customize the look of each APM by creating your own header files and footer files, along with other options specified in your Appies admin.
  • There are three user privileges in this program: 1) website owner who can setup the APM's within Appies 2) Sales Managers who are specified by the Website owner within Appies who can access all records and 3) Sales people who have access to the APM.
  • Before being used, MySQL must be setup on your server.

Getting started. As the Website owner, begin by visiting your Appies Web Site Manager and selecting "Applications" >> "Prospect Manager". Click the  icon or the "Create New Appies Prospect Manager" text directly below the icon. The defaults are filled in for you with the basic setup so you just need to enter a description at the minimum and hit the "process" button at the bottom of the page.  If you wish to customize your APM, modify any of the fields listed.  A description of each is below: 

  • description of prospect manager - a description in your own words that helps you identify what this APM will be used for.  Helpful when you have more than one APM.
  • sales manager e-mail address - if entered, this address will be CC'd with every message sent by a sales person.
  • absolute path to header file - this is an HTML file that you can create that is used before any code is called.  This is where you can show a logo and set the body attributes like background and link colors.
  • absolute path to footer file - this is an HTML file that can be created that is used after all code is called. This is ideal for closing tables opened in the header file or copyright info.
  • field name for "freespace1" - The APM comes with four "free" fields that can be used for anything you wish.  They are text fields with a maximum of 50 characters in length.  Here you give the fields names like "prospects favorite color". Ditto for freespace 2-4.
    table and font colors - you can enter any legal HTML color name or use the hexadecimal value beginning with "#".
  • images and icons - by default the Appies images are used.  You can upload custom images from your local hard drive in place of these.

 Helpful Hint...

Play around with different values... you won't brake it!  You can always come back and instantly change the settings. This is the best way to get your APM looking just the way you want it.

Sales person / manager access. Granting access is done by using the Appies password authentication tool.  There is a direct link to this in the Appies Prospect Manager tool that creates and takes you directly to the folder where the sales people need to be added. Click the "Password Protect Folders" to the right of the title "Grant Access".  From there, follow add each user as you would any other user. Once done, come back to this tool and select the edit icon for the APM you have just created and scroll down to where you left off.

Sales person custom variables. Each sales person you have granted access for in the previous step will now be listed.  You can do the following for each sales person:

  • Grant them Sales Manager rights. As a "Sales Manager", they can access all prospects in the database regardless of who owns the lead.  Otherwise, all sales people can only access their own prospects' records or those that are unassigned.
  • Enter their name. Full name - first and last.
  • Enter their e-mail address.
  • Define 3 custom variables for each sales person.  These custom variable can hold any data that can be included in their e-mails for prospects.  For example, you can use a reseller code, URL, telephone number, etc.
  • Upload their image.  Presently the image is just shown in the administration tool but this feature is reserved for future updates.

Common e-mail messages. A great feature of the APM is being able to provide your sales people with standardized information to send out to prospects.  This information is referred to as "common messages".

Common messages can be added to custom e-mails or send out as individual e-mails within the APM. They are entered by the Website owner within Appies.  These common messages can be sent as both plain text or HTML e-mail.  You can have an unlimited number of common messages per APM.

Place holders are variables that are inserted into the message at the time of sending. These place holders are for both the prospect information and the sales person information.  These are used to customize each message.  Enter place holders exactly as they appear in the place holder list (can be viewed by clicking the icon next to "Prospect Manager Place holders"). For example, you might enter a message that reads:

,

My name is and I am your contact person for all your widget needs.  Call me anytime at .

Thank you.

In this example, the sales person's variable4 would be defined as their phone number.

Once complete with entering the custom information, click the "process" button at the bottom of the page to save the changes.

 Remember...

You can make updates, changes, add sales people, add common messages and more at anytime simply by clicking the edit icon to the right of the APM in the "Existing Appies Prospect Managers" list.

The User Interface. Now that the APM has been created, you can visit the user interface and start entering data.  This is assuming of course you have given yourself access as a sales person or sales manager.  The URL is linked in the "Existing Appies Prospect Managers" table under "User Interface".  Click the "visit" link.  Each APM will have the same beginning part of the URL

http://www.hostingfreaks1.com/appiesnet/appiespm/

and depending on the how many APM's you have created, the next folder in the URL will be "pmX" where X is the number of the APM.  The script file itself is named "index.cgi".

Adding a new prospect. In the user interface, click on the  icon at the top of the page. Scroll down the page and fill in the blanks when possible.  There is no mandatory information to enter. Each record is keyed with a sequential number referred to as the "prospect ID". Once you have entered the information, click the submit button at the bottom of the page to save the data.

 Helpful Hint...

Save yourself time by clicking on the current date/time under the lead information.  This will set your follow-up date for the current date as well as change your status to "Follow Up" if your status is set to "New Prospect".  Then just add a few days or weeks to the follow-up date.

Searching the prospect database. On each screen you can search the database using powerful MySQL searches. These are read like English sentences to makes searching easy.  For example, if you wanted to search for all records in the database where "last name" matches "Smith" and put the results in order by follow up date, then:

1) select "last name" from the first pull down menu
2) in the second pull down menu, keep the default "matches" selected
3) in the blank field to the right, enter "Smith"
4) under "order by" select "follow-up date"
5) click the "search" button or icon 

This will display all the results in list format where you can select the record you wish to view/edit by clicking the edit icon to the right of the information in the list.  If there is only one record that matches, it will be pulled up in edit mode and bypass the list view.

 Awesome Feature...

MySQL queries are powerful used properly can get you the exact information you are looking for. Each search you do will list the MySQL statement used.  This will help you learn how MySQL works and help you to better understand the searching methods.

The "Search Within Results" checkbox allows to to refine your searches and use only the data that came up in the previous search.  This is how you "narrow down" your choices.

Sending messages to prospects. In edit mode or when creating a new record, you can compose a message to send to the prospect using the "Common E-mail Messages" section at the bottom of the page.  Here you can either compose a new message from scratch or click an  icon under the "common messages" field.  Once clicked, a smaller window will pop up with the message.  You then click "insert message" to insert the message in the main window's "message" area.  If you have text already in there, the inserted message will be appended to your existing message.  This is how you can "build" messages. The "send prospect message" checkbox MUST be checked in order for any message to be sent, otherwise the record will just be updated.

 Technical Note...

To help keep track of messages sent out, each message is also carbon copied to the sales person sending the message.  This way, a local folder can be setup on the sales person's e-mail client where sent messages can be stored.

Statistics. Clicking the  icon at the top of the page will give you some general statistics. This is useful information that helps Sales Manager's to see an overall snapshot of the quality of leads and the performance of the sales team.  This also helps each sales team member to see how they are doing compared to their peers.

 Remember...

Our technical support staff can walk you through this application and assist with setup and customizing the look. In addition, they can provide an telephone training session for all your sales people on how to make the most out of the Appies Prospect Manager. Submit a support ticket for a quote.

 

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