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Using RTM for Simple CRM

sunjana1 says:
As a field representative I have a large territory where I manage around 200 small businesses over 9 counties. The CRM system in place just doesn’t measure up to my needs in the field. So about 4 years ago I decided that since I was already utilizing Remember the Milk for my personal task management, why not carry that over and harness the power of the cloud for my day-to-day business activities as well!

As part of my role, I am required to do a type of audit either once or twice a year at the accounts I oversee. Keeping that schedule straight for 200 accounts is a breeze with RTM. I started by creating a List of my accounts with Due dates for the audit.

Each business was a separate Task I made Due to renew After 6 months or 1 year, depending on the account.

A few of my accounts do not get audits at all, so I Tagged these with declined and made their Due date Never, that way my List is still complete with all my accounts.

I use this List daily in conjunction with my Google Calendar where I manage my audit appointments 2 weeks in advance of the day I am scheduled to be in the area where the account is located. I’ll try to not get too detailed here on the Google Calendar part, but essentially the way the Tasks were set up, they first come Due exactly 2 weeks before the day I am scheduled to be at the account. This indicates to me that it’s time to schedule the appointment. I then change the Due date of the Task to 1 week prior. This is my reminder to make sure the appointment is confirmed. If it’s confirmed I change the Due date again to the date of my appointment. If it’s not confirmed I change the Due date once more to the day before the appointment.

Instead of having to take an entire day to sit down and plan 2 weeks worth of appointments, my schedule just takes a few minutes a day.

Sometimes, my days in an area change, so if the initial 2-weeks-in-advance Due date doesn’t match my Calendar, I simply change the Due date to match it up.

Another aspect of my job involves marketing other businesses to my accounts. My company works with about 40 business partners, so tracking which business to promote where can be a challenge. By using target lists provided by my company I am able to easily keep track of what I am promoting in each account. Each Task is the account name, and then I Tag it with the business I need to promote. When I arrive at the account I pull up the RTM mobile app, do a quick search for the account name, and have an instant reminder of what I should be promoting there. I can track my progress with certain businesses by doing a Tag search. I also have a dedicated List for general Tasks relating to my job that helps me better prioritize and manage my territory – nothing falls through the cracks!

I find RTM is also very useful as a quick notepad. Many times when I am consulting with accounts, they are making requests and therefore generating Tasks for me to follow up on later. Again using my mobile app, I can quickly type in a Task that I have set by default to go to my Inbox and be Due Today. I then follow up on these “quick Tasks” that day or move them into one of my Lists to be Due later.

There are so many features of RTM that I love! I find the search functionality and the ability to view completed tasks particularly valuable to managing my professional tasks. I like knowing that I have the option to get really advanced with CRM in RTM as well, but appreciate the ease it provides for creating a simple CRM system that meets my needs.

Thanks Bob! ;-)
Posted at 6:04pm on December 3, 2012
emily (Remember The Milk) says:
Hi sunjana1,

Thanks for sharing your post! :) You're this week's Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner, so we've added a free year of Remember The Milk Pro to your account.
Posted 10 years ago
schnizzzla says:
Hey Sunjana1,

thanks for sharing your technique :)

I'd be particularly interested how you set up Google Calendar part with the tasks beeing due earlier than in RTM.

What I am missing so far in RTM are different reminder settings for particular tasks and this might be a good workaround in my case.
Posted 10 years ago
sunjana1 says:

My clients were integrated into my Google contacts and Google calendar via a repeating "call cycle". I used the Google calendar invitation system to create the "appointment" and invite my client. I did that at the initial "due date" in RTM for 2 weeks out in my Google calendar.

For example - RTM tells me an audit is due for client ABC May 12, 2013. I search for client ABC in my calendar and my actual planned day to the area where client ABC is May 28, 2013. I changed the due date in RTM to the 14th - to match exactly 2 weeks ahead of time.

Then on the 14th, I would create the visit (event) and invite the contact. I would change the due date then to the 21st - 1 week prior. If I heard from them in the meantime, confirming the 28th, I would go ahead and change the due date to the 27th or 28th (depending if I wanted to give them a reminder call the day before).

If didn't hear from them by the 21st, they would pop up again as due, and I would send a reminder email, and change the due date to the 27th.

Hope that helps!
Posted 10 years ago
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