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Smarter contact management with new Private contacts

Managing your contacts with OnePageCRM keeps you and your team in the loop with all of your business’s sales activities. While we operate as a shared database, we understand that some users need to keep certain contacts hidden from the team’s shared activity stream. So thanks to continued feedback from you, we’ve just released the new feature: Private contacts.

What are Private contacts and how do I use them?

With private contacts users can create a separate group of non sales-related contacts that can be managed privately in the CRM. Now you can apply the Next Action method to all your daily interactions, non-sales contacts included!

Marking contacts as ‘private’ in your account does exactly that – these contacts are for your eyes only! Any contact who is assigned Private status by you will only appear in your Action Stream and new Private filter. These contacts cannot be accessed by anyone else, including the account owner or administrator.

Use Private contacts to separate non sales-related contacts such as legal or financial contacts, from the rest of your sales team.

Shared vs Private

It’s important to remember that the strength of a CRM lies in the shared knowledge that a company has on its contacts. While some sales professionals argue that marking contacts as private is good for ‘protecting’ them from other team members, this is not what Private contacts in OnePageCRM is designed for. Private contacts will not solve the issues of working in a competitive sales team, so we recommend that you only use it for non sales-related contacts. We will be introducing another level of separation for teams in the near future.

How to set up Private contacts

The account owner and administrator instantly have access to create their own Private contacts in the account. They must enable this privilege in the settings for the rest of the team.

Once enabled, a user can quickly set a contact as private when editing the contact’s details. Simply scroll down to the Administration panel and select Contact visible to Just me from the drop down and hit save.

Assign private contact screenshot

 

You can recognize a Private contact in your Action Stream by the lock symbol beside their name.

Private contacts - contact view

 

Private contacts keypoints

  • Private contacts only appear in your Action Stream and Private filter
  • You have to own the contacts that you wish to make private
  • Contacts with activity for other users cannot be made private. e.g. assigned actions, closed sales cycle
  • Private contacts cannot have deals (pending, won or lost)

Check out our help article for more information on setting up Private contacts. If you have any other questions or feedback, please comment below, or drop me an email to brianm@onepagecrm.com.

Not currently a OnePageCRM customer and interested in trialing this feature and more? Sign up for a free 21 day evaluation and see how our Next Action sales method can help you Get Sales Done!

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Brian McHale
Brian McHale
Brian is a fan of all things technology, website and startup-related. A strong supporter of keeping the human 'personal touch' alive in sales, Brian is also a believer that "anything which can be successfully automated, should be".

22 Comments

  1. This is a fantastic function for us to have . Absolutely agree that the strength of CRM lies in the shared knowledge. However when you get used to OnePage nothing else will really substitute in the occasional situation where you need to make a contact private! Thanks for taking user feedback on board.

    • Brian McHale says:

      Hi Pauline, great to hear that you’re finding Private contacts to be useful – keep sending your feedback on to us. Thanks, Brian :D

  2. Ben Tiffin says:

    This is great but it still hasn’t fixed the issue with mobile app users not being able to see company wide contacts (i.e. contacts that are owned by someone else). Can you comment with an idea when this will be resolved as it really is a pain.

    • Brian McHale says:

      Hi Ben, thanks for commenting. We’ve actually just updated our mobile apps adding Team Stream, Custom Filters and a Global search throughout the app. Check out our blog post on it here for more information.

      • Shaun Bowler says:

        While you are updating your mobile apps can you please do one for Windows Phone OS? The full site is clunky on a 5″ screen.

        • Brian McHale says:

          Hi Shaun, thanks for commenting. Unfortunately right now we don’t have plans for developing a Windows Phone app, our Android and iOS apps are taking priority with our developers. The only solution I have to offer right now is to use the full site on mobile browser which you are already doing. Apologies for the inconvenience here. Brian

  3. Thanks for the update. How do integrated apps handle private contacts? Will these contacts be synced with newsletter lists? It is quite important that private contacts stay hidden no matter what. There is no meaning to keep a contact private in one app and have it displayed in another. An option to choose on such integration would be nice to have.

    • Brian McHale says:

      Hi Paris, thanks for your comment. Private Contacts cannot be transferred across to other apps once they’re set to Private, as a result they’re also not visible in mobile to keep them this way. I’d be interested in hearing more about what you mean by ‘an option to choose on such an integration’ if you could email me what you’re thinking: brianm@onepagecrm.com. Thanks, Brian.

  4. It would also be useful to mark entire companies (and automatically all of their contacts) as private.

    • Brian McHale says:

      This is an interesting suggestion – I’ve it noted here. Right now Private contacts is still in Beta and is a step before a full Team Configuration feature which might be more appropriate for this. We developed Private contacts to be just for the few contacts you have which are not to be shared with your team members rather than a full way of keeping entire companies hidden. It would be good to hear your thoughts on how you would use Private contacts for companies if you want to email: brianm@onepagecrm.com. Thanks, Brian

  5. David Cruz says:

    Pointless for a company with a Sales Manager, Director of Sales and Sales Reps. We would have loved this if it was that amazing update we are still waiting on. We actually didn’t need “Private” we just needed that drop-down to include Self Only; Manger; Owner or All. This would be great since the managers can see what the reps are working on and the pipeline but other reps can’t.

    I know that’s not what this “Private” option was for – but we would never allow any sales reps to create private contacts in a company CRM paid program. That’s what Outlook, Google email and personal contact programs are for. Business is for business CRM. Still greatly anticipating the one we can actually use. Please let us know when that one is up and running. Thank you…

    • Brian McHale says:

      Hi David, thanks for your feedback. Private contacts is actually the first step towards a full Team Configuration option which should answer your requirements as you stated above. This is currently under development and should be released in the near future, I’ve added you to our notifications list for this.

      I understand that Private contacts may not be of much use to you as a sales manager but it is a feature which many of our customers have requested as entrepreneurs and smaller sales teams who do actually want to follow up with their non sales-related contacts using OnePageCRM. Thanks for your continued feedback, Brian.

  6. Joaquin says:

    Hi Brian,

    Congratulations for the feature. I find it very useful. However, I’m having two issue with this feature:

    1) Android: The private feature is not available in the Android app. I’ve reported it to your coleagues.

    2) Piesyng: Following your CEO suggestion, I’m testing piesync in order to have my OnePage contacts also available in Google contacts. However, I’m afraid private contacts do not sync. Is it correct or am I missing somethings.

    Thanks in advance for your comments.

    • Brian McHale says:

      Hi Joaquin,

      Thanks for your feedback!

      1) I see that you were speaking with Kevin from our customer success team about the Private contacts in Android. Since it is currently a Beta feature it is still limited in terms of functionality and is not intended to appear in our mobile app at this time. I have taken note and can contact you if we proceed to include it here in future.

      2) Unfortunately, as well as the limited nature of the Beta feature, if Private contacts were allowed to sync with other applications, we would not be able to be sure that they are kept private outside of OnePageCRM. As a result, we have no plans right now to make this a part of this feature.

      If you have any more questions or feedback please let me know: brianm@onepagecrm.com

      All the best, Brian.

  7. Nick says:

    I’ve seen the other Q’s and A’s regarding exporting private contacts to other apps, but just wondering what happens to a users private contacts when they leave the company? Do they remain invisible to the administrator when the contacts are being reassigned and then get deleted along with the account? What happens if, instead of deleting the account it’s transferred to another user. Will the new user see the private contacts then?Can they be exported by a user before leaving the company? (even if the export contacts functionality has been disabled by the administrator?) Also if users don’t have permission to delete contacts, does that mean they can or cannot delete their own private contacts? Many thanks.

    • Brian McHale says:

      Hi Nick, thanks for reaching out!

      When a user leaves the company and is removed from OnePageCRM, the account owner or admin will have to check a checkbox agreeing to delete their Private contacts see here. This is to keep these contacts private for this user. It is still possible to transfer all other contacts to other members of your team but just not Private contacts. If a user does not have permission to delete contacts, then this extends to their private contacts also. Let me know if you have any more questions or feedback!

      Thanks,
      Brian

  8. Emily says:

    Private Contacts are definitely a step in the right direction! But what our company would really benefit from is if a user setting existed that would just hide all financial information from that user. We want everyone to be able to comment on our customer’s profiles, so that all client communications are documented in the same place. But we’d like to keep the actual “deal” numbers from some of our production staff’s eyes, just to make sure that the number on the project doesn’t influence their attitude or work towards the client.

    • Brian McHale says:

      Hi Emily, thanks for your feedback!

      Right now we don’t have plans for this feature.

      We encourage our users to work together towards bringing their contacts closer to a sale using the Next Action methodology; working on each in the order of their action’s priority rather than the value of the client.
      We do have an option to limit sub users access to the pipeline page but the deal information for a contact will still be visible when they open contact view.

      If you have any more questions or feedback, please let me know at brianm@onepagecrm.com

      Thanks, Brian.

  9. sampi says:

    informative amazing article

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