Maybe you have been using this robust, simple, intuitive version of ACT! for many years. Maybe you have been skeptical of some poor reviews of ACT! 2005.
After testing and internally implementing ACT!, we can gladly recommend upgrading from ACT! 6 to ACT! 2013.
Benefits from upgrading to Sage ACT 2013
A few key benefits we have experienced are:
Sending and receiving Outlook 2010 invitations with ACT! 2010. We have been clamoring for this feature for years, and we love what ACT! has come up with. Simple and intuitive.
Adding customized sub-tables to our contact screen. Now we professionally track (a) Software Serial Numbers for quick reference as well as (b) Support Tickets.
Complex Excel 2010 reports – directly from ACT!, using the new and vastly improved OLEDB feature.
ACT! Premium for Web and ACT! for Windows ACT!ually look the same now! And we use both internally.
ACT! E-Marketing really works the way we want it to. We target our customer base for specific messages and then send to html, colorful e-blasts. And we love being able to track the results so that we can follow up with those clients who have shown interest.
Fully customizable Sales Opportunities. Our frustration with having only 8 customizable fields has finally been fully addressed by ACT!.Now the Opportunities can be customized with as many fields as we need – as well as having their own notes and histories! This has been huge for us!
Although there are many more ACT! 2013 features that we use, these are the main ones that have helped us grow our business in the last few months. Find out more at http://bit.ly/ACT6Upgrade.
So, whether you need ACT training in Birmingham, Alabama or Boston, Massachusetts, we would love to assist you in finding and implementing the proper CRM package for your team.
For details on Sage ACT! 2013 SP1, read further below. We include all the details on what the first Service Pack to Sage ACT 2013 includes.
Research Themes of Sage ACT! 2013
Sage does a ton of research in terms of developing their products. They contact sources within Sage but also outside their firm. They watch the Consultant Forums as well as the Customer Forums. They get a lot of beta feedback from within the product. They also use their call center to help find out what consumers want.
This produces more requirements and wish lists than can be implemented immediately. So the greatest challenge is to prioritize properly.
Why customers will upgrade to ACT 2013!
Mobile. The HTML 5 client is going to be one of the best upgrade features. Thus the Sage ACT! Premium Mobile now even includes Sales Opportunities.
Social Media. Social Media Integration is also a big focus of this new version - including Facebook.
Smart Tasks. The last top notch feature improvement is in the area of Smart Task Improvements (e.g. offline triggering).
Reduced Support Calls. Lastly, Sage is focusing on reducing Support needs. Thus the customer experience will be greatly improved.
Sage ACT! Premium Mobile
Opportunities will now be available in the mobile platform. But these will not be available in the Sage ACT! Connect product.
There is now a filterable list. Thus, users will be able to search for Opportunities via this filter feature.
The views within the Mobile application are also configurable. Users will be able to customize their Opportunity view. In fact, users will be able to configure a different view for their iPhone than from their iPad.
Products and Services are now included too. They will now also be able to customize their Product view. Users can choose the number of decimals for fields.
Associations. These items are now associate-able with contacts, notes, histories and activities. Users can relate an Opportunity to a contact, note, history or activity.
Facts regarding Sage ACT Mobile
In order to have access to this new version, users will have to upgrade to ACT! 2013.
This is not an offline app, but rather online. Thus an internet connection is required. Thus, users are having live and immediate access to the live database. There is no synchronization involved.
There are several deployment options. First, it is installed and configured alongside Sage ACT Premium for Web. It can also be hosted by an ACT hosting partner such as Accent Gold Solutions.
ACT Social Media Integration
Users can now see the list of the contact’s last 25 posts from either Twitter, Linked In or Facebook.
Users can also now add Emarketing features for Social Media. This allows users to post their marketing item to Facebook or Linked In – or even Twitter.
Sage ACT Hosted
This new options allows customers to pay $50 per month to “rent” the software rather than buying and owning the license. This video offers a brief, but power-packed review of Sage ACT 2013:
ACT Offline Smart Tasks
A number of improvements have been made to Smart Tasks. Now users can run these offline. Thus unattended. As long as some computer on the network is running, the smart tasks will run without intervention from the user. This basically runs Smart Tasks as a service. This will automatically update field data based on a specific field trigger. This allows you to set up a data trigger, when an Opportunity or Contact matches that trigger, the Smart Task will be initiated. Not only will the Smart Task run, but it can also update the value of other fields within ACT.
On the Tools menu of ACT, there is a new option – to set up Offline Smart Task.
One nice option is to send out Emails as a Smart Task step. To do this you will need to set up your SMTP server settings for your Outgoing Email. For example, you might want to alert someone internally that an Opportunity has moved to another stage. These are text based emails.
You can also add a Sage Emarketing step from these Triggers.
Questions regarding Smart Tasks:
New feature: New Territory Alignment. This allows you to set up ACT such that every new contact in a particular State (e.g. Arizona) will now be added to the Territory “SouthWest”. This feature is a dream come true for many long time ACT users. Great job!
Note: Some Emails can be set up to run offline (via drip-marketing) while others can be set up to wait for the user to hit “OK” when notified by ACT!
Users cannot schedule on behalf of other users.
Because these run on a server, it can run on the Web Client. But the Web user can not configure Smart Tasks from the web client. But he can still trigger a smart task.
Sage ACT! Support Enhancements in ACT 2013
Sage has analyzed where most support calls have been initiated. And they have identified several areas and have done an excellent job of improving these features.
Optimization of download and installation experience for the customer
Moving and Sharing a database. Sage has added a 2-part wizard which walks the user through the steps of moving a database.
Creating and Configuring a Remote/Sync database
Free On-Demand Webinar to Review Sage ACT! 2013
Sign up below to receive a link to our free On-Demand Webinar (45 min) – reviewing Sage ACT! 2013 and comparing it against Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SugarCRM. Tim Priestley and I held this webinar recently - by far our best attended webinar to date. We recorded it and have now made it available to our readers.
Supported Environments for Sage ACT! 2013
Sage ACT! 2013 functions within many enviroments! Check out the below chart to find your environment and understand the system requirements.
Sage ACT! 2013 SP1 (Service Pack 1)
On January 9, 2013, Sage ACT brought out Service Pack 1. This service pack fixed some known bugs, and it also brought several feature enhancements – particularly for Social CRM. Technical details are available in the Sage ACT! 2013 SP1 Release Notes. Service Pack 1 can be downloaded at the Sage ACT Download Center.
New technology updates are regularly required for all CRM users, so the Sage ACT! team has worked hard to certify Sage ACT! 2013 SP1 on the latest platforms. Sage ACT! 2013 now supports the following:
• Microsoft® Windows® 8
• Windows Server® 2012
• Windows® SBS 2011
• Internet Explorer® 10
• Apple iOS 6
Integrating social media within business software is a great way to develop leads, improve data quality, and stay on top of customer’s interests and activities. Therefore in Sage ACT! 2013 Service Pack 1, Sage improved Social Updates to better meet business objectives by allowing users to do the following:
• View and interact with customers’ LinkedIn® and Facebook® profiles from within their contact record, comment on posts, endorse skills, and send private messages.
• Monitor customers’ posts for specific product or service needs, so the right messages and offers can be delivered at the right time.
• Find mutual Facebook friends and LinkedIn Connections to request association.
• Share social connections within Sage ACT! workgroups to further expand networking.
• Cut and paste missing or noteworthy information from social media profiles such as updated titles, email addresses, and personal interests.
Review of Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Click here to download our Free Review of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Topics addressed include:
Salesforce.com vs Microsoft CRM
Pros and Cons of SaaS vs On-premise CRM
Crucial User Adoption Factors
Total Cost of Ownership of Microsoft CRM
Review of SugarCRM
Click here to access our Free Review of Sugar CRM.
With this PDF, you will be able to identify the key enhancements within Sugar CRM.
Having been around ACT since the days of ACT! 2000, I have seen the highs and lows of ACT. And I’ve got to say that the recent versions are excellent versions with great, new features. To find out details on the various features, check out our other blog posts.
Handing out Grades for Sage ACT!
Our whole team installed and heavily used Sage ACT! internally.
And we give it an overall ”A”.
Here’s how we graded thetop 20 new featuresin ACT!:
Hoover’s Lead Management: A
Smart Tasks (Workflow): B
Automated Birthday Alerts: A-
Outlook Sync to Contacts: A+
Outlook Sync Configuration: A
Import simplification: A+
Importing from Excel: B
ACT! Mobile Live: B-
Compatible with MS Office 2010: A
Filtering Histories by Type:A+
Clickable Dashboard Lists: B
Welcome simplification: B
Video Tutorials: C
Visual continuity with Web version: A
Robust Back button: B
Product Naming (Premium vs Pro): C-
Simplified User Deletion: B
Installing ACT without SQL: A-
SQL 2008 instead of 2005: B
Sage is on the right track to provide customers what they really want in ACT! They are listening to customers and consultants. And the results are obvious. Please don’t hesitate to call us for more information or a web CRM demo.
Sage ACT! | SalesLogix | California CRM software consultants helping businesses manage customer relationships & stay connected with clients.
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