Action plans provide you with a systematic and fail-safe way of keeping in touch with your contacts. Top Producer comes pre-loaded with an extensive library of action plans – in both English and Spanish – that address virtually every prospecting and marketing scenario.
Once you assign a plan to a contact, it schedules a sequence of pre-written follow-up letters, emails and call reminders that occur over time. When these scheduled tasks come due, you’re automatically reminded to perform them on the Activities Summary page.
To view action plans, go to the Calendar main menu icon and click Plans Manager. The Plans Manager page opens with a list of available action plans.
Note: Default plans come pre-loaded in the system and cannot be changed. In order to make changes to an existing plan, you need to create a copy. These personal plans are indicated by the Personal Plan icon next to the plan name.
There are four parts of the Plans Manager screen:
- There are four types of default plans available in Top Producer 8i that can be accessed by making a selection from the Show drop-down list.
- Favorites: You can assign a plan as a favorite by clicking the star next to it. When the star is yellow it is a favorite. When you click the Favorites tab you will only see plans selected as a favorite.
- System: Displays all default plans. Unlike personal plans, default plan activities cannot be added, edited or deleted. However, you can create personal copies of the default plans.
- Personal: Displays all personal plans you have created. You can add, edit and delete personal plan activities.
- All Plans: Displays all system and personal plans.
- The Show drop-down list allows you to choose between the four types of plans available. See the Plan Types section below.
- List of all plans that match the selected plan type.
- Create a plan from scratch by clicking Create Plan or click Auto Apply Rules For Leads to setup rules to auto apply plans to new leads.
As you scroll down the list of action plans, you may notice there are a number of them that look similar, such as the “5-Year buyer prospecting plan.”
There are four types of plans:
- Action Plans: Plans you can apply to contacts, leads, and referrals. These plans are designed to keep you in touch with past clients and to keep prospective clients aware of the services you offer.
- Listing Plans: Plans (such as listing checklists) you can apply to listing records. These plans are designed to prompt you through the process of selling a property.
- Closing Plans: Plans (such as closing checklists) you can apply to closing records. These plans are designed to prompt you through the process of closing a sale.
- Service Report Plans: Service report plans allow you to automate the process of creating reports of listing and closing services.
There are two types of Action Plans:
- Fixed Action Plans: For this type of plan, activity completion dates are based on a pre-determined amount of time after the start date of the plan (shown in the Event Due field). The start date is chosen when you apply the plan to a contact record. Activities continue to be scheduled even if you haven’t completed the previous ones.
- Cascading Action Plans: For this type of plan, completion dates for activities are not based on a fixed date (plan start date), but on the date the previous activity for the plan was completed (shown in the Event Due field). This means that an activity can only be scheduled if you have completed the previous one. In a cascading plan, the first activity must still be scheduled relative to the start date, as there is no preceding activity.
Many action plan names are the same, with either “(email)” or “(letter)” at the end. The only difference between a “5-year buyer prospecting plan (email)” and a “5-year buyer prospecting plan (letter)” is how the correspondences will be delivered. This is to ensure your contacts receive the same marketing message, regardless of whether they get it in an email or letter.
Tip: If you make any changes to an “(email)” action plan always make sure you also make them to the corresponding “(letter)” plan.
Viewing Plan Details
To open an action plan and view its details, click on a plan name. There are 4 tabs available that each display useful information about your plan.
Plan info allows you to view the action plan name and type of plan. Use the Copy Plan link to create an editable copy of the action plan. The Print Plan link opens a report listing all the plan’s activities and activity details on a separate Internet browser tab. The Print Plan window also allows you to download the information as an Excel file (.xls) or a Comma Separated Value file (.csv).
Close the browser tab to return to the open action plan.
Plan Activities allows you to view the series of action plan activities that need to be completed at certain times. The list provides the activity description, the type of activity, when the activity is to be scheduled after it is applied to a contact, and to whom the activity is assigned by default (useful if an 8i account has multiple users).
Sort activities on the Plan Activities tab by using the Show drop-down list. “Chronologically” allows you to sort the activity steps in ascending or descending order based on the To Be Completed column. Choose “Apply grid sorting” and click on a column name to sort by any other column on the page.
You can view multiple plan activities by placing a check mark next to the desired activities and clicking the Mass Open link to open the Mass Open toolbar.
To open a plan activity and view its details, click anywhere on that activity.
Note that activities in an action plan have two additional fields. The Event Due field determines when or how the plan activity is scheduled. If the activity falls on the weekend, the Weekend Activities field determines if the activity is scheduled for the previous or next business day.
Action plan activities appear on the Activities Summary page on the day they’re set to be completed.
Every template used in the plan appears in the list. You can see template details, such as the template type and category, the description of the corresponding activity, and when the activity is scheduled to be completed.
You can open multiple templates for viewing and editing by selecting the check boxes beside the templates, and then clicking Mass Open. You can also Preview an individual template by clicking the Email preview or PDF preview icon.
If you are viewing a Personal Plan, you can select a different template for an activity by clicking the Select another template icon. You can either select an existing template from the Category and Template drop-down lists, or create a new template.
From the Applied Contacts tab you can view all the contacts that have a particular Action plan applied. Note that this tab is only available for Action plans.
You can view the plan’s progress for each contact, their unsubscribe status, and the plan’s start/end dates. You can also remove a plan from a contact record by clicking the Unapply Plan icon, as well as generate a downloadable and printable report by clicking Applied Contacts Report.