In an advisory business, numerous processes are happening at the same time. With multiple people, tasks, steps, and other items all ongoing at once, it is important for everyone to be on the same page. This is especially important in offices experiencing growth, employee departure, or offices where employees may "wear many hats". Building a style guide will get everyone on the same page when it comes to segmenting contacts within the CRM. Redtail recommends starting outside the CRM to find labels and pieces of information that are important to your office so the data can be input with a purpose. Creating a contact and effectively labeling them will allow for later reporting and searching.
1. Gather everyone in the office together. The first thing you are going to do is decide how to label the entities that come in contact with your business. First, there are the Individuals. Unless your usual client is a 401k plan or business contact, the majority of your CRM will hold individual records for people that come in contact with the company. The most important people are Clients of course! Use the Status field to create labels for the different relationships your company has with people and businesses that will be in the system.
2. Next are the Contact Categories. These build on the Status and give more information about where the contact falls within that Status. For example, if a contact has a status of "Client", are they and "A" client? "B" client? "C" client?
Certain statuses will line up with certain categories:
Think of the Status and Category together as the Client Lifecycle- or how an individual would move along in your prospecting/client on-boarding process.
Calendar Style Guide
Contacts are not the only items in the database that can be organized and entered consistently across an organization. There are also labels that apply to notes, activities, workflows, documents, mail merges, emails and more!
1. The calendar tends to house the majority of tasks in an office. So the first place you can organize a field for reporting purposes is the Activity Type.
Sample Activity types below:
2. Activities, Notes, Documents and many other items rely on Categories for sorting purposes. This main Category list is recommended for the "subjects" of tasks or processes within your database. For example, a client may call in and ask for a withdrawal. The activity type is a Phone Call, but the Category can be anything from "Incoming Phone Call" to something as specific as "Withdrawal".
The Activity Types and Categories go hand-in-hand when it comes to Calendar organization.