The Types in the drop-down box in MRSware are alphabetized, so we can put an order right in there for everyone's benefit. The Types might look something like this:
1. Unqualified Lead
8. Lost Lead
9. Former Customer
There are certainly many variations you could have around this in numbering, naming, and steps to work through the sales process.
Note that all of the drop-down Type boxes in MRSware are alphabetized -- how would something like this same setup help with Task Types as an item gets worked on or even Journal Types as we record the sales process?
I think this is a great idea and would help with leads/prospects/deadbeats, etc. that fall through the cracks. Could you set up an example of the different types of variations?
Regarding setting this up for Task Types, again, I like the idea.
Seems that both of these tweeks could be as broad or as narrow as we decide, true or not?
In this particular business, people wear many hats and some of those identical hats have different names. If you cannot sort them out easily, you could lose a few along the way.
That is certainly true, you can customize the Types lists in each area as much or as little as you like. Some people will have lots of marketing/sales stages they move contacts through, hitting them with different information along the way based on what step they are on. Our's is a little more simple, which I will share with you here:
1b. lead (former)
2. Qualified Lead
3b. prospect (former)
4b. customer (former)
We frequently run into the same people in our business, so we have the sub-Types denoted with the "b", which let us know where they left off in the sales process.
Outside of the numbered Types that are part of the sales process, we still have a much larger list of other Types in the system. Those are used for non-potential-customers, people outside the sales process, such as:
Your list can have more stages, less stages, different names for stages, etc. The flexibility is there and the choice is yours.
Long before we had the sales process stages ordered like this for the Companies/Contacts, we had already used the same concept in our Tasks lists. In this case, for Tasks, we didn't sequence the Types, but instead sequenced the "Status" fields. Our Status list looks like this:
1. Not Started
2. Accepted (Not Started)
3. In Progress
We then also have some other Status to denote how it finished or why it didn't, such as "Waiting On Someone", "Canceled", and the normal "Completed". Once again here too you can customize these lists to better inform the group where things are in process.
As you create these various categories, you get them ordered in the way you want them ordered by numbering them, and then the automatic "alphabetizing" process keeps them in numerical order. Right?
Correct, all Type, Category, Status, and similar User-definable lists throughout the system are alphabetized. When clicking on the drop-down selector for any of those fields, the entries will appear in alphabetically order where punctuation is first, followed by numbers, then letters.
One of the longest-standing examples of how we take advantage of alphabetical lists is in the Categories tab. Over time all systems will get a vast number of categories built up. We can group related categories together alphabetically by using a prefix before the category name. For example, we call on customers in many different industries; our categories list include those industry for tracking and looks like this:
The idea is not necessarily to have those appear fist in the list, but just to group them together so that they are not scattered throughout a potentially long list of options to choose from. This kind of grouping also has the visual effect of making the list much more readable -- it is easier to scan through and find what you want when the first part of similar items have the same characters.