The companion blog to Remember The Milk, the best way to manage your tasks.




Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Simple CRM with Remember The Milk

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 by Andrew Conkling

Customer relationship management, or CRM, can be a complex affair, covering a lot of different aspects of a business. This week's tip, shared by sunjana1, describes a simple — yet thorough! — setup for CRM that requires little maintenance to keep up with, allowing more time to get back to getting everything done!

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 for sharing this tip, sunjana1! You're our Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner this week.

Do you have a suggestion for our weekly Tips & Tricks post? Got an interesting set-up or idea? Head over to the Tips & Tricks forum, add a new topic, and let us know how you use Remember The Milk. Each week we'll give away a 1 year Pro account to the user whose idea inspires the Tips & Tricks Tuesday blog post for that week.

Posted in: Tips & Tricks