For companies that are selling or renting assets to customers, it's important to be able to organize, schedule, and track those units within the CRM.
Below are the steps you can take to use custom objects, custom fields, opportunities, and events to manage sales, link them to asset units, and track the unit's availability over time.
1. Organize and review the asset details
For this use case, we are configuring the CRM to manage a list of rental trucks of various sizes, dimensions, locations, and prices.
The columns on the spreadsheet are going to translate to the custom fields we are going to build in the CRM. Your data might look different, so understanding what data points you need to be able to report, forecast, search and filter by will be important.
2. Create the Custom Object for your asset/resources
You can create a custom object for managing your entire inventory under one roof, or you can create separate objects for each resource (trucks, cars, forklifts, bulldozers, electronics, etc).
We created a custom object for managing all our ‘Rentals’.
Keep in mind when choosing between Record Name Field options, you can select a text field ("Rental Name", "Brand Make/Model") or an auto number. We used auto number so the CRM would create an inventory code for us.
3. Add custom fields to the resource object
Copying what is currently being tracked on the spreadsheet, we created corresponding fields on the Rentals object.
- Vehicle is a image field type
- Availability is a dropdown field type
- Price is a numeric field
- Everything else a text field
4. Update the custom fields on Opportunities
During the sales process, we need to record the rental start and end date, so we added them as custom fields on opportunities.
We also need to link the Opportunity to the Rental, so we have created a Lookup Relationship field on Opportunities to capture that information during the sales process.
5. Get organized with custom list views
Now that we've customized Opportunities to track the sale and created a Rentals object to track the inventory details, we can start adding records manually or using an import.
Once the data is in the system, we can create custom lists to be able to sort and segment our inventory and rentals.
Any spreadsheet can be recreated in the CRM by creating a custom List View and choosing the desired columns. Here we've created a list view in Rentals to view only the available units.
In Opportunities, we can get a clear visual of our Rented trucks by creating a custom List View and filtering by the rental start and end date fields.
6. Customizing Events to see your truck rentals on the Insightly Calendar (optional)
If you want to go one step further and see your scheduled rentals appear the Insightly Calendar, create an Event off an Opportunity and utilize the Start Date, End Date, and Location fields.
You can also add a Lookup Relationship to Events if you want to link back to the specific unit.
Your scheduled rentals will then appear on the calendar like so →
Workflow Automation Ideas
- Notification to asset manager that a unit has been rented
- Notification to sales team when the status of an asset has been changed
- Notification to asset manager when a unit is past due to return
Supporting Dashboard Ideas
- Trend line analysis to forecast the busy and/or slow months
- Total booking by month (year over year) to anticipate the assets you should have available each month