How to cover for CRM user on vacation
Temporary Assignment of CRM Leads and Contacts
When a salesperson is on leave, the Client Base (a term I use for Leads, Companies, Contacts, or even Deals) for which that employee is responsible in the CRM still needs attention. In many cases, this problem will arise only if someone is out for vacation or some other absence of at least several days. However, if it is critical to answer incoming leads quickly, then this issue can be critical for absences of just one day.
The main issues to address are the following:
- Covering activities which are planned to occur during the leave.
- Processing new, incoming leads assigned to the person on leave.
- Reacting to incoming emails from the person's client base. (Phone calls are handled separately and can be pretty easily routed elsewhere.)
There are several variations of the below methods, of course. We do not recommend performing any of these actions unless you are knowledgeable of the Bitrix24 CRM.
Recommended solution: Duplicate notifications from the CRM
In the onsite version (only), a customization to duplicate all CRM notifications that are sent to the original owner to a temporary substitute can be implemented. This customization could also provide a permanent means to ensure that a team of sales agents all receive notifications that pertain to the leads that belong to that Team. This customization is probably the most important one for creating true “team” support to clients. For temporary duplication of notifications, an interface where the absence period and substitute are entered is part of the customization. This option would not be available in the cloud.
The Blunt Instrument Approach:
One obvious option is mass reassignment of the Absent User's Client Base to a different team member. This is viable in many cases, but it must be done with care. NOTE: some activities might not be editable by a newly-named Responsible user, especially tasks. The basic steps are these:
- Make a custom CRM field (in each type: lead, contact, etc.) to indicate the “previous responsible” or the “real responsible” employee.
- This field will help you restore responsibility to the proper owner upon his or her return. The trick here is to edit the records without having opening each one.
- This field could be a check box (easier to edit in the list view) if you only have one person absent at a time, so you don’t need to mark who the original owner is.
- It could be a drop-down list of employees (also editable from the list view)
- Filter all of the Absent Users Clients (each type)
- No way to do the whole Client Base together – sorry
- Fill in the field created in Step 1 accordingly.
- If you have a checkbox or dropdown (In Step 1.1), then you can do this from the list
- See note on creating a special status below.
- Select the checkboxes of all the filtered records and re-assign using the mass function at the bottom of the list.
- You could engage a Business Process at the point and run a Condition that chooses for the new Responsible person and the value entered in Field one. Such a BP could do a variety of things, including restoring the Client Base to the original owner after a certain time. BPs are only in Standard and Pro for the cloud, and any on-site installation.
- After the Absent User is back, filter by the custom field, select via the checkboxes in the list, and use the Set Responsible function to return them en masse to the original owner.
Naturally, all 3 issues that are listed (new leads, current activities, and incoming messages) are covered pretty well by this method, but it might not be ideal in some cases. All notifications are routed to the right person in this scenario.
Note: For leads and deals, a special status could be created for such leads, and a Business Process could be run off that special status, such that this whole process is completed simply by filtering, setting the status, and telling the BP in a variable who the substitute is and how long to wait before returning to the original owner, but this has several potential risks and we would not recommend it without an experienced CRM administrator. This has the advantage of triggering the process in one step from the Lead or Deal list. If this method is used, I would recommend adding the status only temporarily, running all the BPs, and then removing the status from the list of statuses. Another field that restores the object to its original status would be needed, as well.
“Eye-balling” it (Substitute sales agent)
Any user who has access to see the Absent User's Client Base can filter the activity list for items for which the Absent User is responsible and either fulfill them or arrange that they be done by another team member. There is no getting around the manual filtering of such Activities from the list, but this is probably a tolerable inconvenience. “Read” access is adequate for this. This method basically consists of creating appropriate filters in the various lists and possibly a recurring task to remind the substitute to check the CRM periodically. In fact, temporary access could be given to the Absent User’s Client Base by providing editing permissions at the “Personal and Department” level. Note that this may provide that user with rights to the client base of other users. This does nothing for notifications that come in – they would still go to the original owner. An urgent email will simply sit until the Substitute notices it.
A sharper tool
Other options are very much dependent upon your 'flavor' of Bitrix24: whether cloud or self-hosted (on premise), and if in the cloud, whether you have the Free plan or not.
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