This article covers the following topics:
In another major enhancement to Pipeliner, we’ve added a brand new Project Management Module.
Account Plans are a special Project type/template allowing you to plan your Revenue Goal or target for a particular customer (Account) over a period of time. All Opportunities linked to that Account from within the planned period are visible on the Opportunities tab of the Account Plan project and those that are won within the time period are included in the “Revenue Achieved” total ⤵
Users can track the completion status and timeline for each Account Plan, add Objectives (goals/milestones) to help them achieve their Revenue Goal and create and group Activities within those Objectives and then view them in the "Objective View" or in a "Gantt Chart View" ⤵
Account Plans must be linked to an Account and will be visible from the new Projects tab that will be available from Account records when Projects are enabled. You can also link each Account Plan to multiple Stakeholders (Contacts) ⤵
Access to Projects is granted/denied by updating the User Roles for your Pipeliner space.
NOTE: There are 2 types of out-of-the-box Project templates — Default Project and Account Plan. These templates can be accessed in the Admin Module by your Pipeliner Admins. Additional custom Project Forms can be created and all project forms can be updated and configured by your Admins.
Although the two templates are used in similar ways in the App, this article will focus on using the Account Plan template. For more information on using the Default Project or a custom project template, click here. If you read through one article in detail, you’ll be able to skim through the other!
NOTE: This add-on, chargeable module will first need to be activated before users will be able to use Projects. Projects may be enabled for new Enterprise customers by default depending on their agreed contract, existing customers on our Starter or Business Tiers, or older Enterprise customers, will need to contact your Account Manager directly to discuss.
Using Account Plans
Account Plans are a key element of Account Management and are a perfect tool to keep track of Revenue Goals and the series of Activities linked to specific phases, goals or milestones that will allow your team to keep the customer engaged and generate the planned account growth ⤵
Creating an Account Plan
Account Plans can be created from the Projects menu, or by clicking on the Projects tab of an Open Account, and then selecting “Create New” or by clicking on the main New menu and choosing “New Project”.
Choose Account Plan from the list of available templates ⤵
NOTE: There can only be a single Account Plan template.
All Account Plans require a "Name" a "Start date" and "End date" (these dates will default to the current date as the "Start Date" and "End Date" will be a month from now) and a linked Account.
The "Owner" and "Sales Unit" will fill in automatically in the usual way for any new record in Pipeliner. If you won’t be the Account Plan’s Owner, you can change the Owner and add colleagues into the "Sales Team" section as "Editors" or "Watchers" ⤵
NOTE: Additionally, your Admins can configure your Account Plan template to include any additional fields that you need to fill in.
Viewing Account Plans
You can see all Projects, including Account Plans, that you have access to from the main Projects menu or from the Projects tab of an Account record. Click and then “Open” from the right-hand Preview Panel or double click on the Account Plan’s name ⤵
Make sure to add the "Revenue Goal" and "Revenue achieved" fields to your "List View" if you’ll be an Account Plan user ⤵
Users can also search for Account Plans by name using the Global Search and open directly from the search results ⤵
From within an open Account Plan, you’ll see the "Detail" tab with the right-hand panel giving you an overview of the completion percentage as well as the "Owner" and "Sales Team".
The toolbar allows you to “Create New Activity”, mark the entire Project as “Complete”, “Copy” the whole Project or review all updates using “View Changes” ⤵
When you “Complete” an Account Plan, you will also be prompted to choose whether you also want to complete all associated Tasks, delete future appointments and change the "End Date" to the current date.
If you don’t manually “Complete” an Account Plan, it will automatically be set to "Completed" as it reaches the selected "End Date" ⤵
If you copy an Account Plan, you’ll also be able to copy all associated "Objectives" and "Tasks" if you choose to. Note that "Due Dates" will be blanked and "Status" set to "Not Started".
This is a massive timesaver if you generally use a similar set of Objectives and Activities for each of the customers you are responsible for managing! ⤵
Working with Stakeholders
If you’ve added your Stakeholders to your Account Plan, you can easily see the "Account’s Org Chart" from the "More Options" ⤵
Contacts from the Org Chart who have already been added as Stakeholders will show as greyed out whereas those who have not will show in white. "CTRL-click" on Contact card(s) and then click on "Add" to add them to your Stakeholders ⤵
Click on a Contact card to review additional information from the "Org Chart" ⤵
Clicking on “Show All” will open up a "List View" of Stakeholders. Select one or more to use any of the bulk actions that will then become available including "Create Email" ⤵
Account Plan Opportunities
From the "Opportunities" tab, you’ll see all Opportunities linked to the Account that have "Closing Dates" within the Account plan period ⤵
Creating and Tracking Account Plan Objectives and Activities
The “Activities Tab” is the main engine for driving your Account Plan forward. Activities (both Tasks and Appointments) can be grouped within Objectives (main goals or milestones). You can choose from several different Views to help you manage Objectives and Activities.
The "Calendar View", "Task Board View" and "List View" work just as they do in other menus in Pipeliner so this article will focus only on the new Project-specific Views: "Objective View" and "Gantt Chart View" ⤵
Using the Objective View
Create a new Objective by clicking on the “Create Objective” button and then type in the objective name and click on the "tick icon" to "Save" ⤵
Re-organise your Objectives by holding the up/down arrows and dragging to the desired order and click on the "›" to "Open/Close" each Objective to see the Activities within it ⤵
When working within an Objective, you can see its "Status" and "Completion Percentage", add a new Task by clicking on the "+" symbol and choose "More Options" allowing you to "Complete" or "Select all" Tasks within the Objective. You can also "Rename", "Copy" or "Delete" the Objective ⤵
If you Copy an Objective, you can choose to "Copy" with or without the Tasks within it ⤵
If you choose "Delete", you’ll be prompted to Delete all Activities or Delete the Objective and move its associated Activities to another Objective that you select ⤵
Re-order Activities within an Objective by grabbing the "arrows icon" and dragging and dropping.
Click on “Create New” to add a new Task or Appointment.
If you add a Task - and depending on the type of Task that you select - you may see a new field “Task start date” as well as the standard “Due Date”. If you enter a Tasks Start Date, the new “Duration” field will automatically update to display the duration of the "Task in (Working) Days".
If you’re adding a new Appointment, you may see the new field “Duration” and this is calculated in Hours and Minutes based on the Start Date/Time and End Date/Time of the meeting ⤵
You will not see the new fields when adding Activities unless your Admin has added the "Task Start Date" and "Duration" fields to Task forms and the "Duration" field to Appointment forms in the "Admin Module".
As part of the set-up, your Admin will also confirm your organisation’s Working Days which are used when calculating Activity duration to ensure that the "Duration" is the number of Working days.
You can see the "Duration" in the "Objective View" and can “inline” edit the values (along with most other values in this view) ⤵
When you create a new Task or Appointment using the “Create New” button and then "Save" it, it will be created in a default “Activities without Objectives” section. Simply drag&drop it into the correct Objective as needed ⤵
Click on the “Filter” button to filter Activities based on Status or other attributes or search for an Activity by name by typing in the "Search" box ⤵
Select any Activity to open up the right hand "Preview Panel". You can manage all details of the Activity using the options and can also add Comments to each Activity “on the fly” ⤵
Activities with Comments will be highlighted with the “Comments” icon, clicking on the icon will open the Activity with the Comments section open ⤵
Using the Gantt Chart View
Use the "Gantt Chart View" for a time-based perspective on your "Account Plan’s Objectives" and "Activities" ⤵
The menu buttons, search and "Filter" options work in the same way as the "Objective View".
Click on “Today” to jump back to the current date which will be highlighted as a blue column or line or “Jump to the first planned activity” ⤵
Choose to see Activities displayed "Weekly", "Monthly" or "Quarterly" ⤵
Select any Activity to open up the right-hand Preview panel to work with the Activity or add "Comments" and move it in the timeline by hovering over it and then dragging and dropping ⤵
You can dynamically manage "Duration" by selecting an Activity and using the "arrows icon" to shorten or lengthen the "Duration" ⤵
The current status of each Activity is colour-coded in both the Objective View and the Gantt Chart View: "Overdue" Activities are in red, "Completed" Activities green, "Not Started" Activities are grey and "In Progress" and "Waiting" Activities display as blue.
Remember to keep each Activity’s Status up to date as you work on it!!!
Just as everywhere else in Pipeliner, the "Feeds" tab gives an overview of “everything going on” with the latest interaction at the top. Select the items you want to see by using the "Filter" selections ⤵
Attach all project documentation to the "Documents" tab for ease of access and also, most usefully, email selected files to the main Account or to your primary Stakeholder directly ⤵
Capture general background and generic project information as "Notes" ⤵