The Prospecting Plug-in comprises 2 main user interface components. The first is an Access Database which is used by administrators to create, deliver and track Prospects Applications. The second is the Prospects Application itself, which is the front-end interface for sales staff. This application displays all pertinent customer information, lead details and interactive components for sales lead tracking. Both components will be explained in greater detail below, including several images to explain the functionality contained within the Prospecting Plug-in.
Microsoft Access Database (administrator interface)
The main Microsoft Access form is automatically displayed on database start up and contains most of the functionality for running the Prospecting Plug-in
The Prospects Process: Used for the creation and distribution of the Prospect Applications.
The Results Process: Used for the collection and measurement of Prospects Outcomes as well as Data/Lead Quality and Contact Rules.
The Administration TAB: Where all parameters can be updated easily.
Progress Indicators: Demonstrate which steps have been run and the outcome of each. This makes it easy for a user to keep track of work-flow and establish whether steps completed successfully. If a process is either cancelled or fails then the Status bar will display ‘Failed’ on a red background and give the user clues as to how to fix the issue.
Similarly, there are other progress bars that indicate how long you can expect a process to run. These are utilised for intensive operations like creating and locking reports or emailing the finished reports to end users.
Concise Dialogue Boxes: Says what needs to be done in the simplest terms.
Error Message Boxes: Give details of the error and/or suggests a way to fix the problem.
Form Tips: Hovering over a form object will give extra information to help understand what it does.
Sub-Forms: There are various sub-forms that perform a number of operations. All have been designed with the user in mind. The options are extensive, but still only use simple point-and-click functionality. The excerpt below shows how easy it is to send emails to end-users, but also how easy it is to determine whether delivery was successful or not.
The Prospects Application Interface (Sales Staff)
The Prospects Application displays a snapshot of pertinent customer data. The data has been massaged to provide the best decision-making information available to the end-user. In the example above it contains customer details, a sum of balances across all account-holdings, credit-related information as well as specific details of the customers account with the highest perceived value. This single-view of the customer enables the user to make informed decisions without having to refer to any information held on other systems. The Processing capability of the Prospecting Plug-in means that the Prospects Application can be delivered on the same day that the data is extracted.
Simple Record Navigation: Navigation buttons are consistent with those used in a database or on a webpage. There is also a record count in the form “Customer X of Y” so that the user knows where they are in terms of their workload.
Layout: Customer Data and Interactive Form elements are kept separate from one another, making it easier to understand the layout and functionality within the form. Similarly, interactive elements are controlled by predefined combo boxes but there is also a free-form text box which enables extra detail for every customer record. The interactive section means that users don’t have to use paper because they can keep track of exactly what has happened at each stage using just the form menus. This also means that customer data is more secure because there won’t be hard copies of this information in circulation.
Lead Filter: The Lead Filter allows the user to select a specific type of Lead. If they just want to focus on Loans then they can do so by Selecting ‘Loan’ from the Lead Filter drop-down menu. As the leads are used (archived) the Filter will automatically remove any leads that are no longer available. This leaves the user in no doubt as to how many leads are left and of what type. This is also helped by the live record count which adjusts as soon as any of the leads are actioned and archived.
Advanced Search Functionality: There are 2 types of search form. The first is referred to as the Customer Search form and it allows the user to search ALL data elements within the form including anything that they have already input into the free-form notes box. The second search form is the Account Balance Search Form it allows the user to find any customer that has accounts that fall within a given balance range. This search functionality effectively allows the user to considerably extend the power of the leads that they have been supplied. They can search for specific customers that will help them achieve their sales targets, over and above the lead type already supplied. If the search form finds records it will display them automatically in the main window. To return to the full set of records all the user needs to do is close the search form.
Submit Results: When the user has finished with their Prospects they click the submit button and this will automatically collate the results and send them in an email back to the Marketing Department. The report will then be locked so that it cannot be accidentally reused.