This applies to:
Available with the following QorusDocs Editions:
Smart Fields are a key part of automation in QorusDocs. They are powerful, custom fields, that are used to collect information from users. That information can be in the form of simple text, a date, or a choice from a list of options.
QorusDocs can use the information collected in Smart Fields to automate Word and PowerPoint templates, recommend content in Pursuits, and for your own custom reporting.
Please note that before you can create and manage Smart Fields, you’ll need to belong to the QorusDocs Designer or Admin user role.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- What are Smart Fields and Rules?
- Where are Smart Fields and Rules used?
- The different types of Smart Fields you can create.
- QorusDocs' built-in Standard Fields.
1. What are Smart Fields and Rules?
You can think of Smart Fields as variables or custom fields.
They represent a unit of information and are completely configurable and under your control. Provided you belong to the Designer or Admin user role, you have the ability to create as many Smart Fields as your organization needs.
For example, if you would like to use the customer’s first name in an automated cover letter, then you can create a text Smart Field called ‘Customer first name’.
Wherever Smart Fields are used, QorusDocs will always generate a form. The form will either allow users to enter the information the Smart Fields expect, or to confirm that the information automatically entered by QorusDocs is indeed accurate.
For example, when a user wants to generate an automated cover letter which contains a text Smart Field called ‘Customer first name’, they will first be presented with a form where they can enter the first name of their customer (let’s call him ‘Bob’). After that, QorusDocs will generate the automated cover letter and replace ‘Dear Customer first name’ with ‘Dear Bob’.
You can learn how to create Smart Fields here.
Smart Rules are essentially ‘Show or Hide’ rules. They are inserted in templates to wrap around text or slides that the template designer selects.
For example, in a marketing pitch deck template, there could be several case study slides. Clients, however, are generally only interested in case studies from other clients who are similar to them.
If the case study slides have Smart Rules applied to them, QorusDocs can automatically and quickly include only those case studies that are relevant to the current client, and exclude all the other case study slides, in the generated pitch deck.
You can learn how to create Smart Rules here.
2. Where are Smart Fields and Rules used?
In Template automation
The cover letter example mentioned above illustrates the primary way Smart Fields automate templates: they act as placeholders or merge fields (‘Customer first name’) in templates that get replaced with real information (‘Bob’).
Often in templates, the same information is repeated in various places throughout the document. For example, the customer’s company name. With Smart Fields, the user enters the information once in a form, and QorusDocs inserts that information in all the right places, with the right formatting, within seconds – improving accuracy and saving users a lot of time.
In the screenshot below, ‘Proposal Title’ is a Smart Field. It is used on the cover page and in the document headers.
Another way that Smart Fields can be used to automate templates is when they are used within Smart Rules
Just like Smart Fields, Smart Rules are completely configurable and custom, and under your full control. You can create as many Smart Rules as you need.
Continuing with the case study slide example above, each case study slide could have a different Smart Rule applied. The Smart Rules could be something like this:
- For the IT case study slide: Only show if the client sector is equal to IT
- For the enterprise professional services case study slide: Only show if the client sector is equal to professional services and if the client segment is equal to enterprise
In order for QorusDocs to evaluate whether a Smart Rule is ‘true’ (include the content) or ‘false’ (exclude the content), it needs to collect the information first – which is were Smart Fields come in.
For example, QorusDocs would need to know the current client’s sector and segment if it is to include the right case study slide(s). Therefore, they’d need to be a Smart Field for the client sector and another Smart Field for the client segment.
Smart Rules offer a powerful way to automate the selection of which messaging to include for which audience in a generated document or presentation. The user doesn’t need to know about all the case study slides and when to use each one. They just need to provide the information the Smart Rules need and QorusDocs does the rest.
For Pursuit Content Recommendations
Smart Fields and Rules can also be associated with Pursuit Types, and used to recommend the content and templates users should use for each type of Pursuit they create.
How it works is that users who create a new Pursuit are presented with a form that is dynamically generated based on the Smart Fields associated with the type of Pursuit the user chose. After the user has filled in the form, QorusDocs can use that information as a basis for running Smart Rules and automatically provide the user with quick access to a range of recommended content.
You can learn more about configuring recommended content here.
In Custom reporting
QorusDocs provides a comprehensive Odata feed you can use for custom reporting and a Power BI template that contains over 20 customizable dashboards.
You can use your Smart Fields to filter custom reports. For example, you could generate a report on Pursuit outcomes based on client sector, provided you’re collecting information about the client sector for the Pursuits you’re analyzing.
3. The different types of Smart Fields you can create
With nine different types of Smart Fields, ranging from text to date to image Smart Fields and more, we have a dedicated article to take you through these types in detail right here.
4. QorusDocs built-in Standard Fields
QorusDocs also comes with a list of built-in fields known as Standard Fields that are used with Pursuits and that you can use in your templates and reports if you wish.
The Standard Fields available are listed in the screenshot below:
Side note: Practical use cases for Dynamic and Static Content Fields
For example, there might be a ‘Terms and Conditions’ section that must be included in every pricing quote and proposal. Instead of maintaining the ‘Terms and Conditions’ section in each and every template, you could store the ‘Terms and Conditions’ section in a separate document and maintain and keep up to date just the ‘Terms and Conditions’ document.
In all your proposal and pricing quote templates, you could then insert a Static Content Field that points to the ‘Terms and Conditions’ document. Every time a new proposal or pricing quote is generated, the latest ‘Terms and Conditions’ are automatically merged into the new document being created.
Static Content Fields can be wrapped inside Smart Rules, so QorusDocs automatically merges in the right content based on the information collected in Smart Fields, once it has been evaluated by Smart Rules. This fully automates the selection process.
For less predictable scenarios, Dynamic Content Fields offer users a degree of flexibility. Perhaps the user has had a conversation with the client and that has given them insight into what really matters most to the customer. With Dynamic Content Fields, they get to choose from a pre-defined list of content exactly what they’d like to include in the generated document.