It’s that time of year. . .

Don’t panic, it’s not quite time to start Holiday shopping. It is just about time for a new version of ACT! to hit the virtual shelves. Sage ACT! 2013 is slated for a September release, in standing with Sage’s annual release cycle for the ACT! product. This release is focused on the business needs of today, with new features based on mobility, e-marketing to social media.

Sage ACT! Premium Mobile
Possibly the most buzz worthy addition is Sage ACT! Premium Mobile. It was actually a feature added at the very end of Sage ACT! 2012, but it’s been beefed up, improved upon and now even includes Opportunities. Sage ACT! Premium Mobile is web-based access to your database via devices like iPhone, iPad and Droid. That means, anywhere you have internet access on HTML 5 compatible mobile device, you can get to your live database. This is big. It’s what our customers have been asking for since the first smart phone released.

Social Media
Another feature is enhanced Social Media integration. You clients and prospects are out there using social media. Sage ACT! 2013 will allow you to pull your customers recent posts together into one, centralized view on their ACT! contact record. It’s a way to be truly in tune with your customers needs and allows you to act, pun intended, on those.

New Improved E-marketing
Sage E-marketing for ACT! is a great way to send professional e-mails, via a real e-mail marketing engine, to your prospects and customers. Eye-catching campaigns can now spread beyond the simple inbox by pushing to social media like LinkedIn®, Facebook®, and Twitter® using Social Sharing.

Offline Smart Tasks
Smart Tasks just got a little smarter in Sage ACT! 2013. Now, your automated tasks will run even when ACT! is closed. You can also configure data and field triggers to automatically update fields based on defined criteria. For instance, schedule a to-do automatically based on the ID/Status of a Contact being changed from Prosect to Customer. You’ll be getting more done, because ACT! is automating your process. It’s like having a virtual assistant.

From accessing your database online from your mobile devices with Sage ACT! Premium Mobile, to automating your processes with improved Smart Tasks, Sage ACT! 2013 is a version packed with features worth upgrading for. Need help upgrading, give us a shout at 866-303-0276 or e-mail us at support@trilogycrm.com. We’d love to chat about what Sage ACT! 2013 has in store.

Sage ACT! Premium Mobile

You’ve asked us about it for years. We can finally say yes, you can access your ACT! database via your slick mobile devices! You are out and about selling, taking care of your customers and your iPad is much lighter than your laptop. Your smartphone is always in your pocket. You simply need access to your database from those gadgets while you aren’t in the office. Sage recently introduced Sage ACT! Premium Mobile, or APM, which allows you to travel light and stay connected by accessing your Sage ACT! Contacts and Calendar details from your iPhone®, iPad® or Android™ device.

The new HTML5 compatible browser enables you to connect direclty to your database. So, you are live in the main database. It does require that you have an internet connection, either via WiFi or cell connection. It takes away any need to sync. There are no third party applications to license. It’s just part of your Sage ACT! Premium 2012. And, it’s included in our TrilogyCRM hosting. So, while you are out of the office, you can stay productive. For instance, you get and e-mail on your smart phone. The customer really needs a call back quickly. And yes, we use this! You pull up your browser on your phone, go to your live ACT! database, lookup the Contact via ACT! Premium Mobile, dial right from the interface and then enter the History of the call. The interface is a familiar one, with nuances of what you’ve come to expect of ACT!’s navigation melded with what we are all familiar with on our smart phones and tablets.

Key Features:

  • Travel light and stay connected with real-time, mobile access to your Sage ACT! Premium contact and calendar details from your iPhone®, iPad® or Android™ device.
  • Boost your effectiveness in the field with the ability to view, add, and edit Sage ACT! contact details, notes, history, meetings, and activities.
  • Conduct a global search on any text field, even attachments, to find precisely what you need, when you need it—fast.
  • Improve productivity with a clean interface that features single-click efficiency and follows familiar Sage ACT! functionality like capturing conversation notes after a call, and immediately adding to history in the database.
  • Easily configure and personalize contact layout settings to match your work style.
  • Keep everyone in your collective virtual office up-to-date and on the same page since workgroups have secured, shared access to the most recent Sage ACT! details.
  • Get the most out of using Sage ACT! Premium, because Sage ACT! Premium Mobile is included with your purchase!

If you’ve been looking for a reason to upgrade, APM truly adds productivity and connectivity ACT! customers have been looking for. ACT! Premium Mobile provides ACT! functionality you’re accustomed to, with easy access and real-time updates. Give us a call at 866-221-0276 or e-mail support@trilogycrm.com to upgrade or talk more about upgrading to Sage ACT! 2012 and the new Sage ACT! Premium mobile.

Sage ACT! 2011 Sync Error

This one goes out to our Sage ACT! 2011 hosting customers. Sage recently released Sage ACT! 2011 SP1 Hot Fix 6. This release does contain schema changes, and if your remote database is not on the same version as your main database, you will not be able to synchronize. Simply put, since our Sage ACT! 2011 servers are now running HF 6, all remote users must install HF 6 to successfully synchronize.

To check your version, from within ACT!, click Help, then About ACT!.

The version should read 13.1.11.0, Hot Fix 6. Here is a Knowledge Base article to help you update to the correct version – http://bit.ly/zshwen. To simply download and then apply the Hot Fix use this link – http://bit.ly/xXlNBk.

Even if you are in a self-hosted environment, the mis-matched versions may apply and could be the root of a sync error. It’s also worth investigating the Hot Fix. There are several key bug fixes worth installing. Just remember, all databases, host and remotes, have to be on the same version for everyone to sync successfully in this case.

Should you upgrade ACT!?

A customer asked us recently, “How often should I upgrade?” A purely numbers driven sales person might say, “Every version, silly!” We answer a bit more realistically, with more consideration for our customer.

So many software companies have adopted the new version every year philosophy. Why do they do this to us? A struggle for software developers is achieving recurring income. When you put out a good solid software product, people buy it, they love it, but they may not upgrade for several versions. So as the software company, you search for a way to bolster a continuous stream of revenue. One way is the annual release. Read more

ACT! & Personal Activities

We recently developed a summer training series for a customer, yes we do that too, and during that session a user asked, “what if I just want to schedule a dentist appointment? I don’t wanna enter my dentist, but I need the appointment on my calendar.” This is one of those things as a 12 year ACT! CC and user of ACT! since 1993 that I take for granted. It’s a great little tip, really.

One of the great things about ACT! is the relationship to the Contact. If you are new to ACT!, it’s something we long timers take for granted. Unlike PIMs (personal information managers, like Outlook or your Blackberry), in ACT! it’s about the Contact. If you schedule a Call, you schedule it with the person you are calling. This perpetuates the lifecycle of sales. Histories prompt follow up. Clearing Activities creates Histories. Documents get merged and attached to Contacts, and all the while these ACT! items are related to the Contact. That’s the ACT! experience. Everything in one place, related to your Customers and Prospects. Read more

Will the “Cloud” Take Over?

I had an interesting conversation with a customer recently.  This customer was considering leaving ACT! and moving to SalesForce.  While discussing the benefits of ACT! and comparing against SalesForce, the customer asked, “Don’t you see the day that everything is cloud-based?”  We hear this, or some version of this, nearly every day.  Customers frantically trying to figure out ways to move their businesses into the “Cloud”, nervous they’ll be left behind some technology barrier otherwise.  Spoiler alert:  they stayed with ACT! and are quickly adding new ACT! users.  Read more

Company Field Alignment Fix

Have you ever bought something new and you just love it?  Then you notice this one flaw that catches your eye?  From that moment on that flaw is this annoyance you just can’t disregard.  Well, we were right there with you when Sage ACT! 2011 was released.  Packed with so many great new features that were obviously based on things we the users asked for.  Love it.  Still love it, but that Company field! 

Yeah, it drove us crazy too.  You are working with your Contacts, glance down at the Company field and, what?  I can only see the last few letters of the Company’s name.  Annoying right?  Read more

What will that upgrade impact?

Sure, we really like to have that shiny, latest and greatest whoziwhatzit as much as the next guy.  But, sometimes upgrading to the latest and greatest is not the best idea.  A recent, real example is the release of Internet Explorer 9. 

We’ve been getting calls and e-mails daily regarding ACT! “issues”.  After a few diagnosing questions, we find that the user upgraded their Internet Explorer.  Well, why not?  Microsoft flashed that little notice that it’s out, may as well, right?  Maybe not.  Read more

I want a button for that!

We’ve shown you how to add a couple cool buttons to your Sage ACT! Toolbar in previous posts – the Sync Now & Refresh buttons.  What if you have a document you are constantly creating – a proposal maybe.  For me, it’s our ACT! Hosting Agreement.  Clicking Write, then Other Documents, finding the custom Template, well with all those clicks, you’re just asking for a mouse finger sprain!  You can create a custom toolbar button and generate that Template with one click!  Read more

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ACT! and Quickbooks

From time to time, we receive requests to add fields into ACT! that really should be tracked in an accounting system.  We always explain that ACT! is for your sales and contact management, and Quickbooks, Peachtree, or any other accounting package should be used to track receivables or COGS.  Generally speaking, each program serves a very specific purpose – one for tracking Contacts, the other for tracking numbers.  That distinction is a consulting issue we like to make clear, but there is value to sales seeing some accounting data.  Wouldn’t it be helpful if a sales rep could see that a customer has an outstanding invoice before they sell the next deal? Read more