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Clients say it Best...

I purchased your program last month. I have to take the time to write and let you know what an amazing job you have done in putting this program together.

Every day I laugh thinking... this is beautiful...why didn't I do this sooner! It has inspired me to work harder, do a better job of managing my clients, and in finding new business. I look forward to opening this program each day.

So a BIG THANK YOU TO BIGCONTACTS for a job well done!!! Please pass this along to all that have put their hard work into developing this program.

Michael S.
 
Los Angeles, CA
Insurance, Financial Planning
The support at BigContacts is far superior to any other web service I have used, including SalesForce.com. Not only are they friendly and professional, their response time has been amazing.

Ray T.
Vancouver, BC
Business Consultant

  Overall, Big Contacts is the best solution I have found in many years. You can use it at a basic level or enhanced to meet your needs. Beginning users need not fear - it will be surprisingly easy to use. Advanced users can feel comfortable that it can meet your comprehensive requirements. The value in this product is excellent.

Lisa M.
Chandler, AZ
Accounting-Business Consultant

Big Contacts has made us better. I have been a user of Big Contacts coming up on two years (July 2008). And though it took real effort for me to break-away from a stand alone version of ACT, I'm glad I've made the move to a web-based CRM...

Daniel M.
Salt Lake City, UT
Mortgage Broker

We love Big Contacts. Easy to use, economical and provides everything we need to schedule follow-ups and communicate with customers. Auto-pilot campaigns allow us to stay in touch with clients behind the scenes, and email templates provide me with a way to ensure my sales people are sending effective and professional communication in an incredibly time-efficient fashion. Before finding Big Contacts, we looked at virtually every contact management system we could find and had just about given up because we didn't like any of them. Our IT dept was going to have to build one in-house. Big Contacts is what we'd have built if we'd done it ourselves, only much better

Brian G.
San Diego, CA
Sports Coaching Services
Read More... 

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Enhancements from BigContacts CRM will save you time

  
  
  
  
  
  

At BigContacts, we are focused each and every day on finding ways to improve our web based CRM platform and deliver even more value to our customers. We have a team of developers focused exclusively on developing tools to help you work smarter by using our CRM software … and to help you ultimately accomplish more in your day-to-day business.

There is rarely a week that goes by where we have not made some notable improvements to BigContacts and we want to make sure and keep you up-to-date on all the changes.  To do this, we thought it would be most helpful to you if we sent out a weekly update of what we have done to improve BigContacts for you.

Are you ready to see all the improvements we made to our CRM software for you over the last week? Sit down and grab the popcorn… here we go!

 

Calendar

Improved performance/ speed

If you use the calendar in BigContacts, you have likely noticed the speed at which each of screens load for you. Whether you are in the day, week or month view you will see that we have optimized each of these views as they now load much quicker than it did in the past.   


We figure that every second we can save you in the day is an important one and will continue optimizing the speed and performance of the system… allowing you to move as fast as needed to get things done during the day.

 

calendar views


Tasks

Better task management

 

One of the biggest improvements that we initially made when we released our latest web based CRM software platform “BigContacts 2.0” was to allow you to view and manage tasks directly from your calendar. You can see your tasks that are due for that day right below your meetings that you have for that day - creating a more consolidated and useful view from the calendar.

We have taken these initial improvements a few steps further. Now, instead of only being able to “edit”, “complete” or “delete” a task from only from the “day” view of the calendar…

 

calendar day view   task mgmt

you will now see all of the familiar icons to allow you to perform all of these functions from the “week” and “month” views as well!

 

calendar week   month view   task mgmt

 

What does this mean? It means that wherever you are in the calendar you have your full set of tools to manage your tasks. No more having to go back to the “day” view to edit, complete or delete a task. As they say, it’s the little things that can make a real difference. And it is improvements like you see above that all add up to more flexibility in using the system and will ultimately save you time on a day-to-day basis.

 

Better visibility on multi-step tasks 

Many of you use multi-step tasks or what we call “workflows”.  These workflows have multiple steps that must be completed in order to complete a project or a general workflow that your business must handle for your customers and prospects. It is important to see (at a glance) where you are in the process of completing one of these workflows.

In an effort to streamline and prevent you from having to actually open the workflow to see what step you are on in the process, we have enhanced the view on the calendar for you. In the past, the only place on the calendar to see what “step” that the “workflow” was on (without opening anything) was to go to the “day” view.

multi step task   day view

 

We have now expanded this to all calendar views. You can now be on the “week” or “month” calendar views as well and see exactly what step you and your team is on in completing a given workflow for a customer or prospect. All of this is right there on one display without having to click for open any additional windows.

 

multi step task   week view

 

Update & Complete a task with one click

 

Here’s another simply yet very effective way to save time in your day.  Howe many task do you complete on an average day?  5, 10, 20, 30??   And of those tasks, how many of them do you add notes and details prior to completing the task?

We had added an additional button within the task to eliminate a few steps in this process.  Now, when you are editing a task to add your notes you can either choose to simply “Update Task” or you can choose now to “Update & Complete Task”.  This saves you the hassle of having to save your changes and then go back to the task to complete. All of this can now can be done with one simple click.  Just another one of many times savers that will add up for you – freeing up more time in your already busy day.

save and complete task

 

Contacts

 

Adding a new Contact just got easier

 

Until last week, when entering a new contact in the system you have to make a decision as to whether you wanted to load a “business” contact OR an “individual” contact. We had a different form for each of the different contact types and this required additional and unnecessary steps to create a full contact record with both business and personal information.

This streamlined contact form is another great time saver as you can enter all of your business and individual information at one time and press save only once.

 

new contact form

Better Contact field organization and display

 

Do you find that the more data you entered into a contact record more cluttered the contact record can look? We had added dividers and reorganized the fields within the contact record to create a more logical and clean views so that you can manage a lot of data within a contact record but still easily find everything you need.

 

new contact record format

 

Sales Opportunities

Improve follow up with your Sales opportunities

 

Timely follow-up with prospects in your sales pipeline is critical to your success in closing more business.  We have now have an automated task assignment/follow-up feature right inside your sales pipeline.

When creating or editing a sales stage in your sales pipeline, you can now set up a single task for a series of tasks to remind you to follow-up in certain intervals. You can assign as many tasks that you want and tell the system on what days/intervals you would like these tasks assigned to you remind you that this opportunity exists in the sales stage and follow-up the appropriate time. All of this is designed to ensure that opportunities do not fall cracks and that you can properly handle more opportunities and can close more business.

 

New sales stage with automated tasks

Haven't tried BigContacts yet?

If you have not given BigContacts a try at this point, I encourage you to start a free trial and let us show you how we can help you to work smarter and do more using our innovative web-based CRM software.

Start a Free Trial of BigContacts

 

While you are on your free trial you can also sign up for any one of a number of free live webinars where we can  give you a quick tour of the system and show you how to get off to a quick and successful start with BigContacts.

Already a BigContacts customer?

If you are already a subscriber on one of our legacy systems "BigContacts 1.0" or "BigContacts FP" you can now upgrade to the new system "BigContacts 2.0"!!

 

CLICK HERE for a Quick Tour of the new system and to read more about the key features available to you through our Web Based CRM software.

 

CLICK HERE to learn more about the process for upgrading your existing account. On this page you can get answers to all of your questions, watch a five minute quick tour video on the new system and even start a live chat with one of our advisers if you have any questions. Please let us know how we can assist you with your upgrade to the new system.

 


BigContacts improves CRM software to deliver more value

  
  
  
  
  
  

Yesterday I wrote an article that explained an entire methodology/ approach to adding value to a product of service (in our case our web based CRM software).  Value can be created in many ways and sometimes it’s the little things that can make a real difference in your overall experience with software.

 

If you have been using BigContacts for any period of time, you have seen that virtually every day we are improving the software that you rely on to help you manage your prospect and customer relationships.

 

Today, I thought I would share with some of the latest improvements we have added to BigContacts in order to deliver even greater value to you in your business.  What you will see in the list below are refinements that have been made based on customer feedback. Enhancements that we are being told are already helping people to work smarter and do more on a day to day basis.

 

Mobile Edition


If you have not had a chance to use our new Mobile Edition, I encourage you to give it a try.  This is a true asset for you when you are out of your office.  It not only allows you to instantly access important information about your prospects and customers, it also allows you to manage much of business right from the palm of your hand.     

 

We have recently redesigned to main dashboard on the Mobile Edition so that when you login you will see a view very similar to what you see when you login to the Full Edition from your PC.  When you login, you will instantly see the last contact you were working on.  You can easily search for any contact in your database from the search bar in the top center of the screen, and you can perform any action for that contact – including:  adding history/notes about a contact, scheduling a meeting, assigning a task, creating a sales opportunity or even editing information about that contact.  You can easily add a new contact from this screen as well.

 

All of this functionality can be performed from one screen. 

 

Mobile Edition   home screen

 

I have attached a link to our website that will offers a great overview of all you can do using the Mobile Edition. 

 

http://www.bigcontacts.com/mobile-edition/

 

And don't forget, you have all of this other functionality available to you by selecting the menu button!

 

BigContacts Mobile Edition Menu

 

Contacts tab


The Contact tab or what we call the “Contact Dashboard” is where our customers tend to spend most of their time.  The Contact Dashboard is unique in the CRM Software space as it allows you to neatly organize, manage and view NotesCallsMeetingsTasksSales opportunities, FilesPhotos and even capture ALL Email communication for a contact ...
all on one screen!

 

Because this dashboard houses so much information, it is important for us to be as efficient as possible with space.  Below are a few of the latest enhancements we have made to improve the efficiency and ultimately the performance of this important screen.

 

  • The contact history folders on the right hand side of the screen now remain closed if there is no data under that particular folder.  This helps to maintain a cleaner view and actually better highlights the data that does exist in the other folders.

    contact history folders

  • History folders now "anchor" to the contact record that is selected.  No matter how many individual contacts you have linked to a business record, you can now search for and select that contact's record and all of their history is right there in plain view...no scrolling required to see their history folders.

  • Speaking of large records that have a lot of individual records linked to a single business record....We have optimized this too so that even a very large record will load quickly for you.

 

Task List

 

Tasks and the task List are one of the most used features in BigContacts.  We all have tasks we must keep track of and work on each and every day.  The task list is the place to view, manage and complete tasks quickly.  The only issue is that in the past if you had a large task list the screen took a little longer that it should to load and when closing a task you had to wait for the screen to load yet again...often times slowing you down if you were trying to move quickly through a list of tasks for that day.

 

  • We have optimized the task list screen so that no matter how long your task list it will load within 1-2 seconds.  Even better than that is when you close a task the screen does not even refresh.  The task instantly disappears from the you list and you are instantly ready to move on to the next task.  The system is now waiting for your next move instead of you waiting for the screen to reload!





  • Another request we often get is to have the ability to close or even delete multiple tasks at one time.  Well, you ask and we delivered!  You can now delete or close multiple tasks at one time allowing you to quickly clean up a large task list as needed.



  • Finally, we have added the ability to quickly push tasks out to a future date.  Often times as you are working through your list of tasks you may decide that you need to push a task out to a future date and again you want to be able to do this as quickly as possible so that you can move on to the next task at hand.  You can now change the due date of a task with a few simple clicks!


 

 

Have an idea for BigContacts that will make a real difference for you in your business?  Or simply an idea that would make your life a little easier?  Let us know!  Its great feedback from you that helps us to continue improving our CRM software for you.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Contact Us

 

Have an idea you would like to send directly to me? 

Please feel free to email me at:  bob.walton@bigcontacts.com

 

BigContacts focuses on “Value Innovation” to deliver the best CRM

  
  
  
  
  
  

I recently re-read a great business strategy book titled “Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant”.  The book employs a visual idea of clear blue waters (Blue Ocean) that are free of clutter or debris and contrasts that to the red ocean of bloody competition.  This book was originally published in 2005 but it holds some timeless tools and methodologies for separating your business in highly competitive markets.

Some of the principles found in this book help guide us here are BigContacts in our ongoing quest to deliver the greatest value we can and to make a real difference in your day to day business.  We are constantly looking at what we can do to make it even easier to use CRM software to manage your prospects and customer relationships.  “Value innovation” is the cornerstone of the Blue Ocean strategy, and this “innovation” pertains to what buyers value.

 

The book correctly points out that some of the most powerful Blue Ocean ideas provide tremendous value but in themselves offer no new technological discoveries.  In other words, you don’t have to create some bleeding edge technology or product that no one has ever thought of.  You can really separate your business by creating a leap in value for existing products that you competitors don’t offer and delivering this innovation at a great price.  This is one of my favorite quotes in the book as it crystallizes the concept of value innovation into one sentence.

"Unless technology makes buyers lives dramatically simpler, more convenient, more productive, less risky or more fun and fashionable it will not attract the masses, no matter how many awards it wins."

They go on to point out that in order to maximize the size of your Blue Ocean you need to focus on “non-consumers” of your product/ service and identify the commonalities that these non-consumers value. What common things do many of these non-consumers value that does not exist in your space today?

If you are looking to truly separate your business from the competition, I encourage you to read this great book.  There are so many great tools and methodologies outlined in the book that we can’t cover them in detail in the context of this article, but I have included a few of my favorites below.

Strategy Canvas

The strategy canvas is a great tool used to visually summarize how your company compares and contrasts to the primary competitors in your market.  The chart below is from the book and is an overview of the wine industry in the late 1990s.

This Strategy Canvas is a great way to take the 5 - 6 key factors that you compete on and then graph how each of the major players have positioned in each of these areas.  This is a great starting point to get the current “State of the Union” and will then help you being to identify where you may want to adjust your focus.  This canvas is a great precursor to the next tool you will see below called the “Four Actions Framework”.  It is this next tool that will give you clarity on where to focus your efforts.

strategy canvas

Four Actions Framework 

The Four Actions Framework forces you to ask four simple be very effective questions.  It’s the answers to these questions that will tell you what to focus on and where to head in order for find your Blue Ocean opportunity.

Below are the four questions to ask yourself and a visual that pulls it all together.

1) Which factors does the industry take for granted at should be eliminated?

2) Which factors should be reduced well below industry standard?
    (What product features have been over designed)

3) Which factors should be raised well above industry standards?
    (What compromises should be eliminated)

4) Which factors should be created that the industry has never offered?
    (Uncover new sources of value and create new demand)

 

4 actions framework

 

6 Paths to finding your Blue Ocean opportunity

They outline 6 paths that can be used to break out of a “Red Ocean” and into a “Blue Ocean” strategy to differentiate your business from the competition:

1) Look across alternative industries

Alternatives include products or services that have different functions or forms but serve the same purpose.  What other programs (if any) serve as alternatives to your product or service?

The book accurately points out that its often the space between these alternatives that offer an opportunity for value innovation.


2) Look across strategic groups within our industry.

Strategic groups are generally determined on 2 criteria. Price and performance. High price - high performance. Lower price - lower performance, etc.

Most companies focus on improving their competitive position within a strategic group. The key to breaking out into a blue ocean across strategic groups is to identify what causes customers to trade up or trade down across these groups.  


3) Look across a chain of buyers

  • users

  • purchasers

  • influencers

The key here is to ensure that you are targeting the right buyer groups to ensure that you are not overlooking an important set of buyers.


4) Look across complimentary products or services

The key here is to look at the TOTAL solution that buyers are seeking when they purchase your product tor service. A simple way to do this is to look at what customers/ prospects do before, during and after your product/service is used. From this you need to identify where the pain points are. You need to solve these pain points to help create a blue ocean opportunity.

5) Look across the functional or emotional appeal to buyers

Most companies compete is based on functionality ...how and what can you do to compete on emotion as well...by adding emotionally appealing elements?

6) Look across time

What trends exist and how will these trends affect value in the future?  In order for a trend to be clear (strong) enough to for a Blue Ocean strategy it must have an impact your business, it must be irreversible, and it must have a clear trajectory.

 

4 elements of evaluating the viability of a blue ocean idea

The final concept I will leave you with is in how to determine if your Blue Ocean idea is commercially viable.  The 4 elements below are essential and if you can answer YES to each of them, then it is highly likely that you have an idea that will help you to separate your company from the competition.

1) Buyer Utility - is there exceptional buyer utility in the idea?

2) Price - is the price easily accessible by the mass of buyers?

3) Cost - can we achieve the cost needed to meet the profit targets at that price?

4) Adoption - what are the adoption hurdles and have we addressed them upfront?

 

I encourage you to get this great book and employ some of the metholdogies they outline so that you too can create your own Blue Ocean opportunity!

 

Have an idea for BigContacts that will make a real difference for you in your business?  Or simply an idea that would make your life a little easier?  Let us know!  Its great feedback from you that helps us to continue improving our CRM software for you.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Contact Us

 

Have an idea you would like to send directly to me? 

Please feel free to email me at:  bob.walton@bigcontacts.com

 

Capture & track leads in your CRM Software with Web forms

  
  
  
  
  
  

BigContacts has always offered a web form feature to allow you to easily capture leads from your website and automatically have them loaded them into your BigContacts account.  We offer this web form module within our CRM software and it allows you to connect to any web form that you might be using on your website.

Our web form module is very capable and allows you to automate a number of functions in the process of loading and nurturing leads right inside our CRM software. Each of the items listed below are available and will help you in automating some of your sales process.

  1. Load your new lead into BigContacts CRM and capture standard as well as any number of custom fields that you may have in your web form on your website.

  2. When the lead is loaded into your BigContacts account you can have this new lead automatically assigned to a team member.

  3. You can choose to have the system automatically assign a task to one of your team members to follow up on this new lead.

  4. You can have the system automatically assign this lead to a certain stage in your sales pipeline...ensuring that this new lead is now part of your sales process and is "on the radar".

  5. Finally, you can have your BigContacts CRM software automatically queue up an email marketing campaign to start sending emails to this theory as you nurture them through the sales process.

At BigContacts, we use the very functionality that I describe above. If you have ever signed up for a free trial of BigContacts CRM and received a series of emails educating you on the system during the course of your free trial, this was our web form module in action!

 

BigContacts web form

The Problem

While our web form module offers a lot of great features to help you automate some of your sales process, it requires that you either know HTML yourself or have someone that knows HTML that can insert a bit of code into your existing form in order to connect this to your BigContacts account.  if you have experience with HTML or have access to HTML programmer for your website we encourage you to use our full-featured web form functionality. CLICK HERE to see an article and video on how to set up our more advanced web form.

This is not an issue for some companies but for others it may present a challenge.  Over time, we have had a number of requests for an easier way to create and insert a form on a website that would connect to BigContacts.  Some of our customers were looking for a form builder that did not require any knowledge of HTML, that would allow them to add it to their website and easily an connect it to their BigContacts account.

 

The Solution

In September 2013, BigContacts partnered with ActiveCampaign with the goal of creating the industry's BEST integration between CRM & Email Marketing / Marketing Automation Software.  We continue to enhance the integration between our two platforms so that we can continue to offer even greater value when it comes to helping our customers to grow their business through email marketing and marketing automation.

 

This month we just released additional enhancements to this integration between our platforms.   We now synchronize more contact fields between BigContacts and ActiveCampaign ...giving customers access to even more functionality in the ActiveCampaign application.

 

Here is a list of all the fields that we currently synchronize between BigContacts and ActiveCampaign.

  • full name

  • full address

  • mobile phone

  • contact type

  • assigned to 

  • tags 

  • custom fields 


These additional fields will give you access to a number of additional features. For example, the mobile phone field allows you to create an automated marketing campaign that combines both emails as well as SMS text messages... offering a very unique combination of tools when marketing to your customers and prospects.

 

Another example would be the addition of tags and custom fields. Any tag or custom field that you create in BigContacts will now synchronize to ActiveCampaign... allowing you much greater flexibility in how you can segment your various marketing lists.

 

Finally, with the addition of the fields mentioned above as well as synchronizing the full address, you can now use ActiveCampaign's web form creator. 

 

The webform module that ActvieCampaign offers through our integration with them is truly a "point and click" form builder. 

 

You don't have to know one thing about HTML code to create your own professional looking web form.  After you have created your form you can either use the custom link that the system will create for you to send to your customers and prospects so that they can complete a web form or you can copy the HTML code that has already been created for you and paste this directly into your website.

 

creating a webform

 

In a matter of minutes, you can have a web form that is live and ready to go on your website!

 

As soon as a prospect completes this form it will not only load the contact into your BigContacts CRM software, it can also automatically start an email marketing campaign that you have created. This functionality also includes a "autoresponder" so you can even send an email the instant that someone completes your new web form.

 

CLICK HERE for more information on how to use web form functionality in your ActiveCampaign account.

 

Feel free to  CONTACT US to learn more about this great integration between BigContacts and ActiveCampaign

 

Haven't tried BigContacts yet?

If you have not given BigContacts a try at this point, I encourage you to start a free trial and let us show you how we can help you to work smarter and do more using our innovative web-based CRM software.

Start a Free Trial of BigContacts

 

While you are on your free trial you can also sign up for any one of a number of free live webinars where we can  give you a quick tour of the system and show you how to get off to a quick and successful start with BigContacts.

Already a BigContacts customer?

If you are already a subscriber on one of our legacy systems "BigContacts 1.0" or "BigContacts FP" you can now upgrade to the new system "BigContacts 2.0"!!

 

CLICK HERE for a Quick Tour of the new system and to read more about the key features available to you through our Web Based CRM software.

 

CLICK HERE to learn more about the process for upgrading your existing account. On this page you can get answers to all of your questions, watch a five minute quick tour video on the new system and even start a live chat with one of our advisers if you have any questions. Please let us know how we can assist you with your upgrade to the new system.

 


At any time before, during or after your upgrade to BigContacts 2.0 we want you to know that our staff of experienced advisers are ready to assist you on any step along the way.  They are here to make this transition as smooth as possible for you.

 

To further help in this transition, we offer multiple live webinars every week that you can access directly from your new BigContacts CRM system – BigContacts 2.0. In here, you can schedule a date and time to attend any one of the number of live webinars where we will show you how to get off to a fast and successful start with this great new tool.

Save time entering/updating Contacts in your CRM software

  
  
  
  
  
  

 

BigContacts has always offered a unique way of linking multiple individual contacts to a given business record.   It is this linking allows you to easily see a chronology of all activity across the entire organization or to quickly drill down to a specific individual  in order to only see activity associated with that individual within the organization.   All of this can be managed from a single  screen… giving you tremendous flexibility terms of how you can view a given relationship.

If you are not familiar with how BigContacts allows you to link multiple individuals to a given business record, I've included screenshots below to give you a better idea of how this looks  when these contact records are linked together.

In the screenshot below you will see a business record that is selected and showing the details of that record and multiple individual contact thats are linked to this business record.

 

CRM Software - linking multiple contacts together


In this screenshot below you can see where an individual contact that is linked to this business record has been selected and you can now see the details of this individual contact record.

As you change the view by selecting each contact record you will also see the history on the screen change to reflect all activity that has occurred just for that contact.  This linking of contacts and the instant filtering of contact history make it very easy to manage multiple points of contact at a single business.

CRM Software - linking multiple contact records together

 

So what has been improved?

You can now easily insert the business address from the business record into any individual contact record that is linked to the business record.  This makes it quick and easy to enter or update the business address for each of the individual contact records linked to that business record.

There are three scenarios where this new time saving feature will apply:

1)  Adding a new individual contact to a business record

When adding an individual contact to a business record you now have the option to automatically insert the address from the business record.  With one click you can tell the system to do this for you...saving you the time to manually enter this information.

Adding a contact in your CRM program

 

2) Linking an existing individual contact record to a business record

There may be occasions where you have an existing individual contact record that you would like to link to an existing business record to help you to better track all of the activity and communication that occurs across an entire organization.

You can choose to have the business address information automatically added to the individual contact record that you are linking to that particular business record.  One click will tell the system to do this for you when linking these two records together.


CRM software - linking an individual record to a business record 

 

3) Updating the address for a business record

Finally, you may need to update the address for a business record that has multiple inidividual contact records linked to it.

In the past there as no way to automatically update this business address for the inidividual records that were linked to it.

You can now click a single button to tell the system to push this update to all individual contact records that MATCH THE CURRENT business address.  If the current address (prior to any update) already matches between the business and a given individual record the system knows to keep the business addresses essentially "in sync" if this option is selected.

On the other hand you may have an individual contact that has a unique business address (that does not currently match the business address of the business record) as this person may work at  remote/ satellite location and they have their own unique business address.  In this case an update to the business record (even if the option to sync addresses has been selected) will still preserve that unique business address for the individual contact record even though it is linked to that business record.

CRM Software - updating a business address 

Haven't tried BigContacts yet?

If you have not given BigContacts a try at this point, I encourage you to start a free trial and let us show you how we can help you to work smarter and do more using our innovative web-based CRM software.

Start a Free Trial of BigContacts

 

While you are on your free trial you can also sign up for any one of a number of free live webinars where we can  give you a quick tour of the system and show you how to get off to a quick and successful start with BigContacts.

Already a BigContacts customer?

If you are already a subscriber on one of our legacy systems "BigContacts 1.0" or "BigContacts FP" you can now upgrade to the new system "BigContacts 2.0"!!

 

CLICK HERE for a Quick Tour of the new system and to read more about the key features available to you through our Web Based CRM software.

 

CLICK HERE to learn more about the process for upgrading your existing account. On this page you can get answers to all of your questions, watch a five minute quick tour video on the new system and even start a live chat with one of our advisers if you have any questions. Please let us know how we can assist you with your upgrade to the new system.

 


At any time before, during or after your upgrade to BigContacts 2.0 we want you to know that our staff of experienced advisers are ready to assist you on any step along the way.  They are here to make this transition as smooth as possible for you.

 

To further help in this transition, we offer multiple live webinars every week that you can access directly from your new BigContacts CRM system – BigContacts 2.0. In here, you can schedule a date and time to attend any one of the number of live webinars where we will show you how to get off to a fast and successful start with this great new tool.

Supercharge your Contact List with BigContacts CRM

  
  
  
  
  
  

We recently conducted a survey of our customers to make certain that we understood your top priorities for using BigContacts.  Here are the top three benefits that we found that customers want to realize from using the contacts.

  1. Save me more time

  2. Help me get more organized

  3. Give me a system that is very easy to use

While this is just one element of the survey I wanted to point this out here and let you know that it is feedback like this that helps us to shape the direction and priorities of what we are working on in BigContacts to constantly improve what we can offer you.

Today, I wanted to highlight one of the many enhancements that you will see throughout the year that followed the three themes that you see above.  we have just released a great enhancement to our contact list. Based on feedback from our customers it appears that a number of you really like having the ability to go to a list of your contacts and then to easily be able to jump in and enter notes/history, send an email, make a phone call, schedule a meeting, assign a task or even upload a file directly from this contact list.

Well, we had just made our CRM software even more productive to save you time and to help you to be more organized as you manage your customer relationships. Everything mentioned above is now possible with our enhanced contact list.



Enhanced Contact List for CRM software

 

Specifically, we have made 4 enhancements to the Contact List.

 

Enhanced Contact List for CRM



  1. Both the Business and Individual contact lists have alphabetical tabs to allow you to work quickly access certain sections of your list. 

    This can be especially useful if you have a large number of contacts in your database. Lists can be very cumbersome unless you have the ability to drill down quickly using your alphabetical tabs.


    Enhanced Contact List improves CRM

  2. Next to each contact record you now have an "Action Items" button to allow you to easily manage your contacts right from your contact list.

    The "Action Items" menu is exactly the same as you'll find in the Contact Dashboard. So, depending on how you like to work… (Whether it be from the Contact Dashboard or the Contact List) you can now manage an entire contact relationship in either view.


    contact list   action items

  3. You can now click directly on an email address and send an email directly from your contact list. 

    This works exactly the same as if you were in the Contact Dashboard. Any email that you sent directly from the Contact List will automatically be stored directly in the contact record. There are no limitations to this functionality from the contact list. You can utilize one of your email templates, you can attach a file, and you can also email multiple contacts at one time… all directly from from your contact list.


    contact list   send email


  4. You can also click directly on any phone number in your contact list and call any contact using Skype.

    If you haven't tried this before, I encourage you to give it a try. This is another great productivity enhancement. whether you are in your office on your PC or working remotely from your laptop, you can click the number and call the contact directly from that machine using Skype.


    contact list   call using Skype


If you have used BigContacts for some time you know that all of this functionality has historically been only available under the "Contacts" tab. BigContacts offers a very unique "Contact Dashboard" where you can manage your entire customer relationship.

Our Contact Dashboard is unique in the CRM Software space.  You can neatly organize, manage and view Notes, Calls, Meetings, Tasks, Sales opportunities, Files, Photos and even capture ALL Email communication for a contact ... all on one screen!

We think you'll find our "enhanced" Contact List to be another very unique addition to the CRM Software space.  The next time you log into your BigContacts account, please give this a try. We look forward to your feedback as it is this invaluable insight that helps us to continue to improve the BigContacts platform.


Haven't tried BigContacts yet?

If you have not given BigContacts a try at this point, I encourage you to start a free trial and let us show you how we can help you to work smarter and do more using our innovative web-based CRM software.

Start a Free Trial of BigContacts

 

While you are on your free trial you can also sign up for any one of a number of free live webinars where we can  give you a quick tour of the system and show you how to get off to a quick and successful start with BigContacts.

Already a BigContacts customer?

If you are already a subscriber on one of our legacy systems "BigContacts 1.0" or "BigContacts FP" you can now upgrade to the new system "BigContacts 2.0"!!

 

CLICK HERE for a Quick Tour of the new system and to read more about the key features available to you through our Web Based CRM software.

 

CLICK HERE to learn more about the process for upgrading your existing account. On this page you can get answers to all of your questions, watch a five minute quick tour video on the new system and even start a live chat with one of our advisers if you have any questions. Please let us know how we can assist you with your upgrade to the new system.

 


At any time before, during or after your upgrade to BigContacts 2.0 we want you to know that our staff of experienced advisers are ready to assist you on any step along the way.  They are here to make this transition as smooth as possible for you.

 

To further help in this transition, we offer multiple live webinars every week that you can access directly from your new BigContacts CRM system – BigContacts 2.0. In here, you can schedule a date and time to attend any one of the number of live webinars where we will show you how to get off to a fast and successful start with this great new tool.

BigContacts now synchronizes with Outlook

  
  
  
  
  
  

According to 321 million opens tracked by Litmus Email Analytics in December 2013, Outlook was the most widely used desktop email client on the market as of December 2013 and second for the entire market with 14% of the entire email client market. This level of market usage and ultimate demand is confirmed by the amount of support questions that we receive each month asking if we offer synchronization with Outlook.

 

top email clients   2013

 

We have a number of great integrations that will be released this year for our CRM software and to kick things into high gear to start the year, we have just released a new plugin that will enable you to synchronize your Contacts, Calendar, Tasks and Emails between Outlook and your BigContacts account. 

 

The BigContacts Outlook synchronization plugin is currently available for Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013.

The Outlook synchronization Plugin is in a BETA release so we look forward to your feedback during this initial release.

The plugin is only available on our new platform - BigContacts 2.0 and is included as part of your service.

 

How does BigContacts synchronize with Outlook?

The Outlook synchronization module gives the administrator of your account a great deal of flexibility in choosing the level of synchronization that they want for each individual user in your company/team. The administrator can determine what Contacts, Meetings, and Tasks will synchronize from BigContacts into that user's Outlook client.

 

Enter your synchronization preferences


The main decision point here is to determine whether you want ALL Contacts, Meetings or Tasks to synchronize to that user's Outlook account or just those items that are assigned to that user.

 

Below is a screenshot from the user profile within your BigContacts account.

 

Outlook synchronization setup


 

Download the Outlook synchronization plugin


After these settings have been reviewed by your administrator you are now ready to download your Outlook synchronization plugin.  One of the great options in the plugin is that you can choose how often you would like to have all of your Contacts, Meetings and Tasks synchronize.

 

The BigContacts Outlook synchronization plugin will allow you to synchronize as often as every minute!

 

Outlook synchronization settings

 

At BigContacts, its our mission to offer tools that are easier-to-use and more capable than what you will typically find in the CRM market today.  We think this new Outlook synchronization plugin does just that and look forward to hearing the feedback from our customers.  Below is a brief outline/ overview of what you can do to synchronize each of these key components of your database.


Synchronizing your contacts

Whether you are adding a contact in BigContacts or adding a contact in Outlook, it is easy to synchronize between these two applications.

 

  1. Adding a contact in BigContacts

    The administrator of your account will determine what contacts will synchronize between BigContacts and your individual Outlook client on your PC. Any contacts that are added to your BigContacts account either individually or through a contact in will be synchronized according to the  rules set by your administrator.

  2. Adding a contact in Outlook

    If you are adding a new contact into Outlook you will click on the same " New" button that you would normally use.

    add contact in Outlook

    There is only one additional step required from Outlook in order to mark this contact for synchronization to your BigContacts account. You will need to click on new button labeled "Sync  Categories" that you will find in your toolbar. This is a new button that will appear as a result of the plug-in.

    Outlook sync categories

    After you press this button a popup will open and you confirm that you wish to synchronize this contact between Outlook and BigContacts. This is a one time setting and you will now be able to keep this contact synchronized between the two applications.

    One thing that you will find throughout the synchronization process is that it is always easier to manage things directly from BigContacts and automatically and works in the background. There are no additional buttons to select to confirm synchronization.


Synchronizing your Calendar

  1. Scheduling a meeting in BigContacts

    Any meeting that you schedule in BigContacts will automatically synchronize with your Outlook calendar. There is nothing special or no additional steps needed – simply add the meeting and it will synchronize for you.

  2. Scheduling a meeting in Outlook

    Here again you will select the same "New" button as you have always done to create a new meeting in Outlook.  There is one big limitation that Outlook has that we have compensated for.  Outlook does not associate a meeting directly with a contact in your Outlook database. After entering the meeting details you will again Categories" button that is visible in your Outlook toolbar. 

    Enter a meeting in Outlook

    Sync Outlook meeting to BigContacts


    After the pop-up opens you will be able to choose the type of contact and select the actual contact name. This will directly associate the meeting with a contact record so that when it synchronizes with your BigContacts account it will properly link the meeting to the contact record for you.


    Link a meeting to a contact record

 

Synchronizing your Tasks

  1. Assigning a task in BigContacts

    Any task that you schedule in BigContacts will automatically synchronize with your Outlook calendar. There is nothing special or no additional steps needed – simply add the task and it will synchronize for you.

  2. Assigning task in Outlook

    Outlook has the same limitations here as with meetings.  Tasks are not able to be assigned directly to a contact in the Outlook database. We offer the same workaround for this Outlook limitation as we do for meetings. You will follow the same steps as noted above and your task will be associated with the proper contact record in your BigContacts.


Synchronizing your Email

BigContacts has always offered the ability to automatically capture and store all your communication in each of your contact records. We offer a unique feature that we call our "email dropbox" that  will work with any email provider. There is simply a one-time setup on your part and we do the rest going forward.

If for some reason, you have chosen not to use this automated email capture you can still selectively choose emails from your Outlook inbox and send them into the appropriate contact record as needed.  This is a great way to insert important emails into the history of  a given contact record -  making them easily as opposed to any team member that would access this contact record in BigContacts.

From your Outlook email inbox you will simply right click on the email that you want to add to a context history.  When you do this you will see the option to "Upload Email".  After selecting this you will see the familiar pop up where you can then select the contact record that you wish to send and store these emails in.   You can even select multiple emails at one time sending them to a given contact record. It's that simple!

Getting started with Outlook synchronization

Is easy to get started and to set this up. For step-by-step instructions on how to set this up CLICK HERE to get started.

 

Haven't tried BigContacts yet?

If you have not given BigContacts a try at this point, I encourage you to start a free trial and let us show you how we can help you to work smarter and do more using our innovative web-based CRM software.

Start a Free Trial of BigContacts

 

While you are on your free trial you can also sign up for any one of a number of free live webinars where we can  give you a quick tour of the system and show you how to get off to a quick and successful start with BigContacts.

Already a BigContacts customer?

If you are already a subscriber on one of our legacy systems "BigContacts 1.0" or "BigContacts FP" you can now upgrade to the new system "BigContacts 2.0"!!

 

CLICK HERE for a Quick Tour of the new system and to read more about the key features available to you through our Web Based CRM software.

 

CLICK HERE to learn more about the process for upgrading your existing account. On this page you can get answers to all of your questions, watch a five minute quick tour video on the new system and even start a live chat with one of our advisers if you have any questions. Please let us know how we can assist you with your upgrade to the new system.

 


At any time before, during or after your upgrade to BigContacts 2.0 we want you to know that our staff of experienced advisers are ready to assist you on any step along the way.  They are here to make this transition as smooth as possible for you.

 

To further help in this transition, we offer multiple live webinars every week that you can access directly from your new BigContacts CRM system – BigContacts 2.0. In here, you can schedule a date and time to attend any one of the number of live webinars where we will show you how to get off to a fast and successful start with this great new tool.

Tags: 

Email Marketing gets even better with BigContacts

  
  
  
  
  
  

At BigContacts, our mission is to offer small business owners affordable and easy-to-use tools that will help them to more effectively organize and grow their business.  In September 2013 we announced that BigContacts partnered with ActiveCampaign.  In that article we mentioned that through this partnership it was our goal to create the industry's BEST integration between CRM & Email Marketing / Marketing Automation Software.

 

Based on the overwhelming feedback so far it appears that we have accomplished our goal, but it is not our nature to rest. We are constantly striving to make some aspect of our system better each and every day.  We have a number of additional enhancements planned this year for our integration with ActiveCampaign.  

 

Every business today should frequently review its marketing strategies and constantly work to improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.  One of the biggest shifts in marketing in the past decade has been the rapid growth of mobile advertising.  Smart companies are working hard to take advantage of this growing mobile advertising market.  

 

Today, we wanted to share another great tool that has been added to ActiveCampaign email marketing platform that will help you to stay current with with these shifts in the marketing landscape and help you to further improve your marketing efforts.

Announcing SMS/ Text Message Marketing!

You can now send highly targeted (and personalized) text messages to your contacts.  There are so many possibilities with that come with this new mode of marketing - mobile marketing.  Below are just a few of the highlights of how you can take advantage of this great new capability.

 

Automatic follow ups with SMS messages

Add automated SMS sending to your automation sequences. Send follow ups to your contacts, notify sales agents, and more.

 

SMS text message followup

 

ActiveCampaign will send the SMS messages within an acceptable delivery time schedule that you can specify.

 

Email Marketing - SMS messaging

 

They will even make sure it is sent in the recipient’s time zone to ensure they only receive SMS messages during acceptable hours of the day.

 

Reliable (and cost effective) delivery

Pricing for SMS sending is as affordable as it is easy. Small business (paid) accounts get 25 free messages per month and enterprise accounts get 1,000 free messages per month. SMS sending is only available for the United States & Canada at this time. (more countries coming soon)

 

Additional credits can be purchased as follows: 100 SMS credits for $8, 250 SMS credits for $17, 500 SMS credits for $33, 1,000 SMS credits for $63, 2,500 SMS credits for $150, 5,000 SMS credits for $280, and additional bulk pricing available upon request.

 

Automatic opt-out and unsubscribe management

If anyone wishes to not receive any further SMS messages (replying with STOP, UNSUBSCRIBE, etc..) ActiveCampaign will automatically exclude them from all future SMS messages.

 

Getting Started

To get started you will first want to Import your existing mobile phone numbers into your ActiveCampaign account.  


PLEASE NOTE: we will soon have automated synchronization between BigContacts and ActiveCampaign for "Mobile phone" number field (in addition to all the other fields we already synchronize).

If you’re ready to get started with this please email us at support@BigContacts.com for more complete instructions on how to initially import your mobile phone numbers.

 

Where to find this new feature in BigContacts

to access this feature will want to select the "marketing" tab as you would normally do to access all the marketing functionality within your BigContacts. The screenshot below. They then select the "campaigns" tab and then finally the "automated series" subtab.  Is easier that you will create your automated series (autoresponder/marketing automation campaign) and you will see that the SMS/text messaging is now another tool in your marketing tool chest.

 

Marketing tab   AC

 

You're now ready to create your automated marketing campaign and utilize the new SMS/text messaging feature!  As you'll see in the screen below you can utilize both email and SMS text messaging within the same campaign, giving you a tremendous amount of flexibility in how and where you market to your prospects and customers.

 

AS   SMS Text Messages

Haven't tried BigContacts yet?

If you have not given BigContacts a try at this point, I encourage you to start a free trial and let us show you how we can help you to work smarter and do more using our innovative web-based CRM software.

Start a Free Trial of BigContacts

 

While you are on your free trial you can also sign up for any one of a number of free live webinars where we can  give you a quick tour of the system and show you how to get off to a quick and successful start with BigContacts.

Already a BigContacts customer?

If you are already a subscriber on one of our legacy systems "BigContacts 1.0" or "BigContacts FP" you can now upgrade to the new system "BigContacts 2.0"!!

 

CLICK HERE for a Quick Tour of the new system and to read more about the key features available to you through our Web Based CRM software.

 

CLICK HERE to learn more about the process for upgrading your existing account. On this page you can get answers to all of your questions, watch a five minute quick tour video on the new system and even start a live chat with one of our advisers if you have any questions. Please let us know how we can assist you with your upgrade to the new system.

 


At any time before, during or after your upgrade to BigContacts 2.0 we want you to know that our staff of experienced advisers are ready to assist you on any step along the way.  They are here to make this transition as smooth as possible for you.

 

To further help in this transition, we offer multiple live webinars every week that you can access directly from your new BigContacts CRM system – BigContacts 2.0. In here, you can schedule a date and time to attend any one of the number of live webinars where we will show you how to get off to a fast and successful start with this great new tool.

BigContacts Enhances CRM Reseller Program

  
  
  
  
  
  

BigContacts CRM Reseller Program

 

BigContacts has enhanced our CRM reseller program! At BigContacts, it’s our mission to offer small business owners affordable and easy-to-use tools that will help them to more effectively organize and grow their business.

In order to make these great tools available to even more small business owners, we continue to expand our distribution channels by actively recruiting value-added resellers, distributors and system integrators.

What’s New with the BigContacts CRM Reseller Program?

We have recently enhanced the white-label branding services that we offer.  We now offer you a turn-key platform from front to back.

 

The software

We setup your own virtual server in one of our data centers. You provide us with your own custom domain and SSL certificate and we embed your logo and you are ready to resell under your own brand.  Your customers access their CRM software using your custom domain.  www.(your domain).com

Customer Support

We provide turn-key (Level I - Level III) Customer Support under your brand.  There is no additional cost to your customers as this included in the cost of their monthly subscription!

Billing

We offer two options for billing under our white - label reseller program:

  1. We bill your customers directly under YOUR brand name.  Each month they will see your company name when they view their credit card statement.

  2. We bill you directly (under a single credit card) and you bill your customers.  Under this option you provide a single credit that we keep on file.  We bill your credit card at a "wholesale rate" each month and you then bill your end customer whatever you would like to charge them.

 

_____________________________________________________


If you have not seen an overview of our reseller program, we have included it below for your review.

BigContacts CRM Reseller Program - Overview

Great Revenue Opportunity

  • Highest margins in the industry. Get paid 33% of the total recurring subscription revenue for the life of the account!

  • Recurring Revenue - Smooth out peaks and troughs in your revenue with BigContacts recurring commission payments.

Flexible Branding Options

  • Choose our brand or use your OWN (white-label)

  • Gain a Competitive Edge - Differentiate your company with a very affordable and intuitive web based CRM solution.

  • Increase Customer Loyalty - Help your customers to get organized, work smarter and DO MORE!

Great Customer & Reseller Support

  • Turn-key Customer support is provided by BigContacts via, email support and live chat.  Here again, you can choose the BigContacts brand or use your own brand/logo...its up to you.  Either way, we will deliver the same great customer support to your customers.

  • The industry's BEST Reseller Support. We will train you on our product and show you how to get off to a quick start reselling our CRM software.  We will work with you as a true partner and can even assist you in closing deals on a case-by-base basis. 

 

About BigContacts

BigContacts is a rapidly growing web based CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software company that is designed for small businesses that have outgrown basic solutions like Outlook, Excel or ACT but don't want the cost and complexity of CRM solutions like Salesforce.

Historically, all of our new business has come directly through a single distribution channel – our website. Last year, with the release of our new web based CRM software – BigContacts 2.0 we have begun to enable other distribution channels – including the addition of our CRM Reseller Program.

This has already proven to be a “win-win” for BigContacts and our resellers. We are able to expand our reach, and it gives our resellers the opportunity to offer their customers a great business tool and generate an attractive recurring revenue stream in the process.

To learn more about the BigContacts CRM software reseller program visit http://www.bigcontacts.com/crm-resellers-overview/

 

Haven't tried BigContacts yet?

If you have not given BigContacts a try at this point, I encourage you to start a free trial and let us show you how we can help you to work smarter and do more using our innovative web-based CRM software.

Start a Free Trial of BigContacts

 

While you are on your free trial you can also sign up for any one of a number of free live webinars where we can  give you a quick tour of the system and show you how to get off to a quick and successful start with BigContacts.

Tags: 

Connect BigContacts CRM to other software applications

  
  
  
  
  
  

At BigContacts, we are constantly looking for ways to make it easier for you to access your important contact information and have just made it possible to connect our web-based CRM software to your other favorite software applications.  In November, we released the latest version of our API (that works with our new CRM platform - BigContacts 2.0) to help our customers to further realize this goal of easy connectivity to other applications.

BigContacts API

The data your store in your BigContacts CRM account belongs to you.  Our new API has opened up even more possibilities for how you can work with this data however you wish. If you have access to a developer you can now easily integrate BigContacts and share your contact information with all sorts of other applications you might use such as accounting, invoicing, proposals, helpdesk software, or other email marketing software, etc.  The only requirement is that the other software program also has an API to allow you to "connect" the two applications.


What is an API?

API stands for Application Programming Interface. It's like a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for programmers. Users interact with a program using the GUI, programs “interact” with other programs using the API.


Why an API?

APIs make it easy to efficiently share data and processes between software applications. We launched our API to give our customers and other partners the ability to easily access and share their BigContacts data with other software applications.

What can you do with the BigContacts API?

Below is an outline of the functions that you can perform when using our API to connect BigContacts CRM software to any other type of software application.


1.    Manage Users

  • List all team members (users)

2.    Manage Contacts

  • List all contacts

  • Get one specific contact

  • Add a contact

  • Update a contact

  • Delete a contact

3.    Manage Contact Activity

  • List all contact activity

  • Get one specific contact activity record

  • Add contact activity

  • Update contact activity

  • Delete contact activity

CLICK HERE for more information and full documentation on the BigContacts CRM API.

Haven't tried BigContacts yet?

If you have not given BigContacts a try at this point, I encourage you to start a free trial and let us show you how we can help you to work smarter and do more using our innovative web-based CRM software.

Start a Free Trial of BigContacts

 

While you are on your free trial you can also sign up for any one of a number of free live webinars where we can  give you a quick tour of the system and show you how to get off to a quick and successful start with BigContacts.

Already a BigContacts customer?

If you are already a subscriber on one of our legacy systems "BigContacts 1.0" or "BigContacts FP" you can now upgrade to the new system "BigContacts 2.0"!!

 

CLICK HERE for a Quick Tour of the new system and to read more about the key features available to you through our Web Based CRM software.

 

CLICK HERE to learn more about the process for upgrading your existing account. On this page you can get answers to all of your questions, watch a five minute quick tour video on the new system and even start a live chat with one of our advisers if you have any questions. Please let us know how we can assist you with your upgrade to the new system.

 


At any time before, during or after your upgrade to BigContacts 2.0 we want you to know that our staff of experienced advisers are ready to assist you on any step along the way.  They are here to make this transition as smooth as possible for you.

 

To further help in this transition, we offer multiple live webinars every week that you can access directly from your new BigContacts CRM system – BigContacts 2.0. In here, you can schedule a date and time to attend any one of the number of live webinars where we will show you how to get off to a fast and successful start with this great new tool.

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