Activities are tasks or reminders for tasks that you need to carry out by a certain date and time. Planning your activities with B2B Sales is a good way of staying in touch with your contacts.
In B2B Sales activities are always linked to a contact. If you want to create a new activity you need to access the contact detail (either from the Contacts main menu or via a presently selected account) and click the Activities tab from there.
In this article:
- List of activities - overview
- Filtering the Display of Activities
- Locating an Activity
- Advanced Search Options for Activities
- Kinds of Activities – Description of Activity Types
- Creating Follow-Up Activities
- Creating several follow-up activities in one go:
List of activities - overview
When you first log into B2B Sales you automatically see all your activities that are due today and open, as well as your activities from previous days that are still open.
Your high-priority activities are highlighted in yellow.
To proceed from here, select one of the required options. You can:
- Filter your activities; for example, activities due Today + Open, activities due this week, and so on.
- Search for/locate a specific activity/specific activities; for example, if you want to edit a particular activity or if you need an overview of all open activities regarding future contract negotiations.
- Edit an existing activity; for example, if you have to re-schedule a visit.
- Close an activity by setting the Status field to Done.
As soon as you close an activity the system automatically suggests creating a follow-up activity. About Follow-Up Activities
- Copy and paste an activity to another contact. By doing this you can eliminate manual reentry of the same data; for example, if the same activity applies to several contacts.
- Delete an activity; for example, if a meeting or visit was cancelled.
You can carry out the above options (a) by clicking the respective icons in the icon toolbar, (b) by selecting the function via the Action main menu, or (c) by accessing the popup menu with a right mouse-click and proceeding from there.
Filtering the Display of Activities
When you first access the list of activities B2B Sales will display all activities that are due today and open as well as any previous activities that are still open. You can filter the display by status and time. Filtering temporarily hides activities that are of no interest to you right now.
- From the list of activities, click the Filter field in the top-right corner of the screen.
- Select the required selection filter from the drop-down. You have the following options:
- Today + Open – Activities that are due today and open; this display also shows activities from previous days that are still open.
- Today + All Open Activities - Activities that are from today PLUS all future activities. This can be helpful for managing your scheduled workload for the next few weeks.
- Today – Activities that are due today (irrespective of their status).
- This Week – Activities that are due this week (Sunday through Saturday).
- This Month – Activities that are due this month.
- Inactive Activities – Activities that have been set to Inactive.
- In Progress – Activities with the status In Progress.
- All Open Activities – Activities with the status Open.
- All Done Activities – Activities with the status Done.
- All Activities – All active and inactive activities irrespective of status and due date.
In addition to the filters mentioned above the drop-down may include custom-specific selection filters determined by headquarters.
B2B Sales will display all activities matching your selection.
Locating an Activity
You can locate an activity by the following means:
- Quick Search:
In the Quick Search field type the first letter or letters of the subject line and select Go.
For example, if the subject line of the activity starts with “potential”, enter “potential” into the Quick Search field.
B2B Sales displays all matching entries in the list of activities. In our example below, all entries starting with “new.”
Double-clicking a row opens the entry you want, so you can view and edit all the information it contains. Alternatively, you can click the Edit icon.
- Select the Search icon for the Advanced Search Option. For details, see Advanced search options for activities.
- Selection Filter, filter by activity status, see above.
Advanced Search Options for Activities
Using the advanced search, you can locate specific activity groups, for instance all open phone calls or all open visits.
- Click the Activities icon.
- Right-click in the list, and then click Search.
B2B Sales displays the Search dialog box.
- Next to Base Query select All Open Activities or All Activities to narrow or expand your search.
- Enter your search criteria and click Ok.
For example, if you enter “corporate” in the Subject field and Like next to the Subject field. B2B Sales displays all entries containing “corporate” in the Subject field.
Tip: Click Refresh to display hidden rows again.
Table: Advanced Search Option for Activities – Description of Fields
You can filter the list of activities by activity status. Per default, B2B Sales will display all active activities. Click the down arrow and select the required activity status.
You have the following options:
Today + Open
Today + All Open Activities
Click the down arrow and select the required activity type from the drop-down. You have the following options:
Click the down arrow and select the required activity status from the drop-down. You have the following options:
Tip: Combine the Status field with the Base Query field to filter by period and status; for example, display all activities from This Week that are In Progress.
Subject line for the activity.
In combination with the Like comparison operator you can use this field to locate activities whose subject line contains a keyword, such as hotel selection or contract, etc.
Contact person for the activity.
Click the down arrow and select the required contact person from the drop-down. Use this option to display all activities recorded for a specific contact.
Date From – To
In Date From – To, enter the date range for which you want to display activities.
Example of a search:
Enter “new” in the Subject field and select Like.
B2B Sales will display all activities containing the string “new” anywhere in the subject line.
Example of a search:
a) Select “Visit” from the Type drop-down list and select =.
b) Enter “Brochure” in the Subject field and select Like.
B2B Sales will display all visits for which you may want to bring along some brochures.
Kinds of Activities – Description of Activity Types
The display and options you receive when editing or planning an activity depend on the activity type you have selected.
Table: List of Activities – Description of Activity Types
Displays the letter task screen.
From there, you can view and edit the subject line and additional remarks pertaining to the letter.
In addition, you can view and edit the letter by clicking the Open button.
Displays the fax task screen.
From there, you can view and edit the fax number, subject line, and additional remarks pertaining to the fax.
In addition, you can view and edit the contents of the fax by clicking the Open button and send (or resend) the fax by clicking the Send button.
Displays the email task screen.
From here, you can view and edit the subject line, additional remarks pertaining to the email, and custom-specific fields recorded for the email on the Options tab.
In addition, you can view and edit the email you send to the customer by clicking the Open button.
Internal Email - Displays the internal email task screen, which looks identical to the email task screen.
From this task screen you can view and edit the subject type (= activity type), the subject, the date by which the activity should be completed, the time and duration of the activity, the status (open, pending, done), the done date, the result, and any additional remarks.
In addition, you can attach, view, and/or delete documents (click the Attachments tab) and record custom-specific details regarding the activity (click the Options tab).
Displays the phone task screen.
From this task screen, you can view and edit the subject type (= activity type), the subject, the date by which the activity should be completed, the time and duration of the activity, the status (open, pending, done), the done date, the result, and any additional remarks.
In addition, you can attach, view and/or delete documents (click the Attachments tab) and record custom-specific details regarding the activity (click the Options tab). For a detailed description of this task screen, please see below.
Displays the visit/other activity screen.
Creating Follow-Up Activities
One important aspect of sales communication is continuous follow-up with your accounts and contacts. An activity for one contact will usually be followed by another activity for the same contact which picks up where you originally began your communication or repeats something that you have already discussed or carried out.
B2B Sales provides the option to create one or more follow-up activities in one go.
Note: The Follow-Up option is available for all activity types i.e., for phone calls, for emails, letters, faxes and for activities from the Potential screen.
Whenever you change the Status of an activity to Done, pick any activity Result from the drop-down and click OK, the system automatically fills in the Done date and offers to create a follow-up activity.
Note: For letter, fax, email and internal activities, B2B Sales automatically sets the Activity status to DONE as soon as you have saved the activity and returned from the letter or sent the activity. Subsequently, B2B Sales will automatically display the follow-up activity dialog,once you have selected the respective email or fax template and clicked the Send option.
With Yes the follow-up dialog is displayed.
Note how the system automatically adds "Follow-up:" to the end of the Subject line (which facilitates locating the activity later) and defaults today's date for the follow-up date.
- First, change the Subject line if required.
- Select the Date and Time for the follow-up activity.
- You only need to change the Sales Rep field if you are assigning the activity to another sales person. Otherwise, leave the default.
- Only click the Add Activity button when you have selected the follow-up Date and Time.
The system creates the follow-up activity and displays an appropriate confirmation message. The new follow-up activity may appear in the background in the list of activities,depending on the activity view you are currently displaying.
The follow-up dialog remains open since you might want to add more than one follow-up activity for the same base activity (see below).
- If you are finished click the Close button in order to return to the activities list.
Creating several follow-up activities in one go
Let's say, in your phone call with a client on future booking prospects, you have agreed to implement bi-monthly calls for the coming year to reevaluate the allotment situation as it develops.
- In this case, use the Remarks field of the original "Phone Call" activity to explain what you have agreed upon with the client and note the date of the phone call before setting the activity to DONE and selecting the follow up (Result) and clicking Ok.
- Click Yes to confirm.
- Enter the Date and Time for the first follow-up and click Add Activity.
- Next, enter the Date and Time for the next follow-up call and click Add Activity yet again.
- Repeat this step as often as required.
- When you are finished, click the Close button, in order to return to the list of activities.
About Activities linked to Potentials: The system offers the creation of follow-up activities for activities that are linked to potentials as well. The trigger for offering the follow-up is always changing the status of the respective activity to Done.