I’m not bragging when I say that WORKetc has a lot of features. It’s just stating a fact. After all, would you expect any less from an all-in-one business management software that seamlessly merges CRM, projects, sales, billing, help desk, and more in one app?
Another thing I’ve always harped on about is the level of customization and flexibility that WORKetc gives its users. In fact, it’s so adaptable to a large number of very different business that there are times when we learn new and useful approaches, tips, and tricks from our own customers.
Now, I’ve made it a point to continue sharing those little tips we learn both in the course of us actually using WORKetc the app to run WORKetc the company and from real users, and this time is no different.
In this blog post, I’m highlighting some actionable tips and tricks that we’ve collected over the past few months from real WORKetc users. Read on!
Spend time setting up the foundations (project templates, sales management process, timesheet activities, smart lists). We didn’t invest enough time doing this initially, and since revisiting this we’ve seen a huge improvement in our processes.
And don’t forget to document your processes so that your team can follow but also contribute to improvements. We use Google Sites for this.
– Peter Freeman, Woof Media
The best way to start with WORKetc is by getting a free trial, making sure it fits your business, and then signing up for QuickStart, which involves one-on-one training with our top-notch product specialists as well as critical data imports and setup sessions to get you started ASAP.
And when you’re documenting company processes, you can do it from right inside WORKetc business management software using the built-in knowledge base. You can create rich HTML articles and then control their visibility using granular permissions.
The knowledge base can be used for internal purposes, such as for the aforementioned processes or for company branding guidelines, for example, or as customer-facing help guides. You can even control which customers see which KB articles on your customer portal by using tags.
Take some time to look at Smart Lists, these are so useful for reporting and require no SQL to use. You can really drill down into the data and get what you are looking for.
– Rachel McHattie, Aurora Energy Research
Smartlists let you create complex searches using multiple variables and then save the results for easy access.
You can, for example, create a remarketing smartlist that shows you all the decision makers (CEOs, top execs, etc.), in client companies located in three different service areas, who ordered a specific blue widget from you, in the past three months, but not those you’ve tagged as preferred clients.
You can also use smartlists to keep track of all the tasks you delegate for quick follow-ups. Simply create one that filters for all tasks that you created, assigned to the people that you delegate to the most often, and have not yet been completed.
Every time I go to an event and get a list of names, I import that list into WorkETC, with a new tag associated with the event.
I then create an email list from that tag, and send them all an introduction email using an email campaign to that list. In the email, I ask them to reply with available times to book a consultation, or to fill out a form requesting a quote. That form is a WORKetc form that goes right into the Lead tracker. Boom. Networking automated.
– Ryan Berkness, PR Caffeine
Tags are powerful. You can use them to further segment your contacts, leads, and projects; create mailing lists with a couple of clicks; and control visibility of webforms and articles on your WORKetc knowledge base.
They work best when used with smartlists. Once you have a good number of tags set up and applied to different contacts, leads, projects, and other objects, you can just filter for those when creating a smartlist for even finer control over the search results.
That smartlist example in the previous tip above, for example — tags can be used to specify which contacts are actual decision makers in their companies (the “Admin / Exec” tag in the smartlist screenshot) and which companies are preferred clients (the “Platinum” tag).
Get a Gmail account and use the Gmail widget intensively, it will save a ton of time.
– Iain Herbert, PetCure
The WORKetc Gmail gadget lets you turn any email into a contact, sales lead, project update, task, and more. With it, you can manage your entire business without leaving your Gmail inbox.
Leverage the Projects functionality if you do any fixed price or T&M work. If used properly you can use it to track the time of your resources against anticipated or explicit budget. And, you can easily turnaround and bill your time for the timesheets entered on the project!
– Vic Dragon, Bond-Pro
When tracking time, you have three choices. There’s the built in timesheet creation tool that you can find in almost any WORKetc page (just click the “Create New” dropdown to create and attach a new timesheet).
We also have a redesigned desktop timer app that lets you run multiple timer instances, record in blocks of time, and comes with a reminder popup so you don’t forget to record any billable hours.
Finally, you can also use the timesheet features in our native Android and iOS mobile CRM apps. The timers in both apps integrate with your phone’s notifications feature for easy time tracking and to keep the timer top of mind.
Make sure that your templated projects cater for anything new that comes in. We’ve now got most of the various project milestones sorted in such a way that they highlight as the milestones which they depend on are completed.
– Stan Zaslavsky, Eagle Vision Property
A lot of businesses regularly repeat similar project layouts for different clients. By using a project template for these regular projects, you can get make them invariably less time-consuming and cumbersome.
The kind and number of templates you create really depend on your product or service. Some of our users, for example, offer numerous different services like graphic design and SEO analysis. In these instances, they can create separate project templates for each possible project that may come their way.
Others, meanwhile, have one central service such as HVAC purchase and installation. For projects like this, they can just create one big master template that you can then customize according to what your client needs.
It all basically boils down to what would work best for you and your company. Fortunately, WORKetc business management software is flexible enough to handle almost any kind of project thrown at it.
Use discussions to instantly reach another team member. They get the discussion popup box if they are already in WORKetc and they also get an email re: the discussion if they are not.
– David Towers, eco Communications
Discussions are forum-style conversation threads that can be attached to any WORKetc object. They help keep every member of your team in the loop, especially if some or all of them are working remotely.
For example, a client sends a support ticket asking about an item in their most recent invoice. The support agent who handles the ticket can start a discussion and loop in people from the projects and billing teams so he or she gets a clearer view of how to help that customer.
You can also use discussions to request a response from anybody in your team. This is particularly useful for those times when you need time-sensitive feedback from a specific team member.
And just so you or your team members don’t accidentally drown in a sea of notifications from a particularly active discussion thread, you can control when email alerts are sent to you in Settings > Discussions.
You can also set alerts to display only on your WORKetc business management software dashboard so you’re immediately informed of any new requests or responses without the alerts cluttering up your inbox.
Great post Dan! I need to make time to study each tip in greater detail. Our organization definitely needs to go back and re-build our “foundations” now that we are more familiar with how WORKetc works and what it can do in conjunction with the Google for Work Suite. I have a couple of questions:
1. I love the idea of tagging attendees from events but wonder how you avoid “tag tsunami”. Over time we have developed so many tags, they are becoming difficult to find & apply. Even though we delete and hide old tags, the mountain is still growing.
2. There are so many ways to do things in WORKetc, how does an organization select and implement the “best” way when creating processes?
3. How can I get more people in my organization interested in exploring and using all of the useful features of WORKetc? Some seem intimidated by the rich feature set. I could probably answer my own question by saying we need nail down and share our processes and do more training.
The richness in features is the reason we chose WorkEtc: this way our software can follow our process instead of the other way round.
I second the recommendation to look at Smart Lists. Because it’s so feature rich, the interface is scary at first, but once we got the hang of it, Smart Lists became core to our workflow.