Practifi is about managing your network so that you can engage with them in the best way possible, given who they are and the work your firm does for them. People don't stay the same over the time your firm knows them. Instead, they grow and change over time, as does your understanding of them. Practifi is designed to handle those changes gracefully, allowing teams to move records through the client lifecycle. This article breaks down the different types of Key Entities available within Practifi and how to use these records. If you have any questions about Households, Organizations and Individuals please reach out to your CSM.
- Key Entities
- Creating an Individual
- Using Topics
- Promote to Prospect
- Promote to Client
- Creating a Household
People in Practifi can be grouped in three ways:
- An Organization comprised of employees, with an optional primary contact
- A Household with a primary contact, with an optional partner and dependents
- An Individual who isn't grouped with other people at all
Collectively, these records are referred to as Key Entities and can change from record type if needed as your understanding of the entity changes. For example, initially, you may have an Individual record but then discover they are part of a larger company that wants to do business with your firm. This record would then need to transform from an Individual to Organization within your firm.
Creating an Individual
When you first meet someone, you rarely learn their entire life story. You might only know what's written on a business card about who they are and why they're interested in your firm. There might still be a lot left to learn about someone like this, but thankfully you'll always have enough to begin capturing them in Practifi. To capture this information, use the Create an Individual Global Action to capture whatever you know about them so far in a clean and simple form:
Once you save the record, you'll see a success notification and can go straight to it.
This record is not much to look at just yet but gives a space to capture all the basic contact information your firm may have. This Individual record exists only as an individual person and not yet as a Client or Prospect. This means that the record's side panel will have fewer navigation sections to choose from than would be available on a Prospect or Client record. There's still plenty to do on this record, though. You can add extra contact details or personal information, track activities and ad-hoc tasks, define relationships between themselves and other entities and make posts or comments on the record Feed.
Once you've learned a bit about this Individual, you'll capture this information on their record while still not promoting them to a Client or a Prospect. For example, I know more about Simon already, so I enter his address and some basic details like his marital and employment status on his Individual record.
To help make a record easier to find within the firm's organization, topics can be assigned. Topics within Practifi are used to categorize Households, Organizations and Individual records in an unstructured and ad-hoc way. These can be used to categorize someone you met at a recent function as a "Potential Lead" or flag an Individual that loves baseball by attaching "Baseball fan" to their record. Topics can be of any value but do not have any other effect on the records themselves. This means that they do not affect where you view the records within Practifi and how they display within your organization. The list of topics you've assigned appears as a column in the Directory, meaning you can use them to search and filter records in various ways. For more information about topics, please consult our Understanding and Using Topics & Definitions article.
Promote to Prospect
Let's quickly go over what's happened here as part of the wizard. Simon now has a Client Stage of "Prospect," which appears below his name in the side panel's record header. This is a definition that's been applied to the record, and it causes some other changes beyond appearing in the header:
- Simon will now appear as a prospect in record tables found on the Directory and Pipeline app pages.
- The Pipeline and Processes & Tasks navigation sections have become available; you can see the Pipeline section above.
- The Servicing Team accordion section in the side panel has become available; you can see the open section, where two team members have been assigned to Simon.
A definition is a more formal way of classifying the record that directly impacts where you find them in the system and what you see when you open their record page. Currently, the definitions available in Practifi are Prospect, Lost Prospect, Client and Lost Client, which are all based on Client Stage. Definitions such as Influencer also exist based on Influencer Segment. For more information about definitions, please consult our Understanding and Using Topics & Definitions article.
In addition to the definition applied, a Deal record has also been created for Simon, which you can see in his Pipeline section above. A Deal represents an opportunity to win business from a Prospect or Client and is always related to a type of service your firm offers. In this example, Simon's interested in having his $1.15m worth of investments managed by the firm, so the type of service selected is "Investment Management."
Promote to Client
Deals proceed through a sales cycle with stages to mark key points of the Deal's progress with your firm. Practifi ships with a set of predefined stages that can be customized. Deals are ultimately closed and marked as either won or lost. Once you've reached the closure point in the sales cycle, you'll update the Stage field on the Deal record. This can be done either by marking the stages as complete up to the Closed Won stage by pressing the Mark Stage as Complete button on the Deal or selecting the Promote to Client button from the Action Menu.
For example, I have had an initial consultation with Simon and he signs later this week. This means we can close his Investment Management deal with our firm and promote them to a Client.
Selecting either action will allow you to proceed; however in the case of "Promote to Client," you'll need to select the Deal you wish to close as part of the promotion process. Once completed, Simon's definition changes from Prospect to Client, which introduces a series of changes:
- Simon will now appear as a Client in the page views found on the Directory and Clients pages.
- The Financials navigation section is available in the record side panel.
- The Pipeline option in the entity side panel transforms to Services & Pipeline.
- The Overview option gains a Key Record tab, which consolidates important records across multiple sections into one location.
The Deal has changed too to now have a Stage of Closed Won and is linked to a Service record, which is used to track the ongoing service agreement you have with the Client.
Creating a Household
After discovering more about your Individual entity, you may discover that they have a spouse or dependent meaning they would need to be transformed to the entity type Household. A Household will allow the primary contact, spouse and any potential dependants to all exist in one location and make it easier to view the larger picture of their business for your firm.
For example, I've been talking to Simon and have learned that he has a wife, Roberta. To transform this record I select the Add to Household button from the Action Menu on their record side panel. This option will then allows me to make the "Taylor, Simon and Roberta" Household, make Simon the primary contact and add Roberta as his partner all in one step. If I want to reassign the Deals, Services, Tasks, Activities and Topics that have already been given to the "Simon Taylor" Individual record, I can do so by selecting the Yes, move them to the household option for the "Do you want to move this person's definitions - such as client, prospect and influencer - as well as related records to their new household?" question in the wizard.
Once I make my way through the wizard, I'll end up with a complete Client Household record with all the key records accessible from the Overview section.
If I discover that there are more people in Simon and Roberta's immediate family over the course of my relationship with them, I can always head back to the action menu as I did before by selecting the newly-available Add Household Member action from the Actions Menu on the record side panel.
There are important considerations around Households, Organizations and Individual records.
- Organizations behave similarly to households, except they have employees instead of dependents and don't have partners.
- Lost Prospect and Lost Client are also available as Client Stages and have dedicated Mark as Lost Prospect and Mark as Lost Client actions available when the stage is either Prospect or Client, respectively. Selecting the Mark as Lost Client action will also terminate active Services and close any open Deals or Tasks.
- The Change Stage action lets you switch entities between Prospect, Lost Prospect, Client, Lost Client or unqualified (left blank) for the Client Stage field. It's useful if you've defined an entity incorrectly. However, keep in mind that it won't perform the automation found in other actions like Promote to Prospect.