GoldMine has a feature that is available when scheduling and completing activities which is unlike other Contact Management solutions. GoldMine offers users the ability to “Code” Activities (Calls, Appointment, Actions, Sales, Emails, etc.), as well as the “Results” of those Activities. The value of “Coding” Activities and Results can come into play in several ways including:
- Save Time Entering Your Activities – Activity & Result Codes are faster to type than descriptions. Redundant/common actions make appropriate choices for the drop down “pick” list of Activity Codes. Same is said of “Results.”
- Organize your Scheduling Activities including Sorting and Filtering as a means to manage your time, by prioritizing or focusing your efforts. Even viewing your activities on your GoldMine Calendar, and especially your Activity List, can help you to be more effective.
- Target Contacts (building GoldMine Filters/Groups) based on Tagged Activities with Certain Codes – can be useful if you want to create a marketing or sales efforts based on records in GoldMine with which a certain activity has been done.
- Report and Analyze Completed Activities – Metrics can be derived from Activity & Result Codes which can help you manage people, processes, marketing, etc.
Since the concept of “Activity & Result Codes” is a rather unique concept within GoldMine, many GoldMine administrators don’t quite have a good idea where to begin. The result of this article is intended to help you with framing your thoughts for how to organize and use your firm’s “Activity & Result Codes.”
But before I begin, you should know that in most organizations with multiple users of GoldMine the decision to use and configure “Activity & Result Codes” belongs to management and the GoldMine administrator. In fact, in nearly all cases, I recommend that the right to add/edit/delete to the lookup list for codes is reserved for users with “Master Rights.”
Definitions to Start With:
Activities – Activities are time-specific or event-based actions linked to contacts, such as calls, appointments, letters, etc., or other types of activities, such as To Do tasks or events that are assigned to users. For the most part, GoldMine is designed to link contacts with scheduled activities. This linking allows you to schedule the activity on your calendar and on the contact’s Pending tab. Then, when you complete the activity, it is moved to the contact’s History tab, thereby creating a record of that activity.
Activity Type – GoldMine tracks different “types” of activities (e.g. Calls, Appointments, Next Actions, Other Actions, Sales, etc.). GoldMine automatically tracks the “user” who enters and completes the activity, along with the respective dates and times. With respect to each of these Activity Types, GoldMine offers the option to indicate an Activity “Code,” “Reference,” and “Result.”
Code – generally used to define the purpose or nature of the activity
Reference – generally used to describe what the activity is regarding
Result – generally used to denote the essential outcome of the activity
It is important that Activity Codes and Results, in particular, have “Lookup Lists” for the user to select from. Furthermore, GoldMine Users should NOT be permitted to add, edit, or delete from these lists. In other words, the choices for Activity Codes and Results should be predetermined, If they need to be edited, this should be done by the GoldMine Administrator or a user with “Master Rights.” It is fairly common for GoldMine installations to permit users to manually enter the “Reference” for an Activity while they are scheduling it, although it is beneficial to offer a Lookup list for this entry as well.
The Lookup List for Codes, References, and Results are discrete for each Activity Type. In other words, the Lookup List for Calls is separate from the Lookup List for Appointments and from Next Actions.
In the database, GoldMine only stores up to three (3) characters for an Activity Code and Result Code. The Reference is a 40-character field. Since Activity Codes and Results are limited to three characters, you must develop a list of abbreviations or acronyms to represent the description of your entry. The Lookup List will display the “Code” along side of the Activity “Description” to help users make their entries. However, only the first three characters are captured in the database when a selection is made. The most familiar/user friendly way to decide on your codes is generally to use acronyms for multi-word descriptions and abbreviations for single word descriptions. (See below.) Do NOT use the same code for multiple meanings!
Used in conjunction with one another, the Activity Type, Code, Reference, and Result provide a rather complete and specific level of detail for reporting and analysis. Coupled with these details is an opportunity to enter “Notes” pertaining to the Activity. The “Notes” from a Scheduled (Pending) Activity are carried into the GoldMine Record History when it is completed. One can add and/or edit those Notes when they “Complete” the Pending Activity.
This list is not intended to be your list! It is simply some examples to get you thinking/planning. Ultimately, the list you come up with should represent a “day-in-the-life” for an individual in your organization. Think in terms of common/redundant activities to get ideas. Also, try to account for those activities which are important for calculating metrics (measurements). During the Configuration Planning process that First Direct Corp. does with you, First Direct can help you to get started and to validate your ideas.
||Sales Follow-up (SF), Technical Support (TS), Prospecting Call (PC), Collections (COL), Schedule Appointment (SA), Customer Service (CS), Sales Inquiry (SI)
||Left Message (LM), Completed (COM), Not Interested (NI), Resolved (RES), Future Follow-up (FF), Request Proposal (RFP), Request Information, (RFI)
||Sales Visit (SV), Training (TRA), Demonstration (DEM), Installation (INT), Vacation (VAC), Personal (PER), Trade Show (TS), Consulting (CNS)
||Completed (COM), Future Follow-up (FF), Request Proposal (RFP), Request Information, (RFI), Cancelled (CAN), Stood Up (SU), Rescheduled (RES)
||Send Proposal (SP), Send Material (SM), Project Work (PW), Meeting Preparation (MP), Account Related (AR), Follow Up (FUP)
||Completed (COM), Shipped Regular (SR), Shipped Priority (SP), Mailed (ML), Progress Made (PM)
Please Note: I have not provided examples for all the Activity Types. The logic for determining and applying them is very similar. You are welcome to discuss how Lookup Lists for Activity Codes, References, and Results can be applied to the other Activity Types.