Simple CRM – Contacts

What would CRM be without some way of tracking your clients? But getting your contacts INTO your CRM is the hassle, right?  Not anymore.  Highrise, the CRM product of 37Signals, has an incredibly flexible contact management solution.

Getting your contact into Highrise:

There are a few ways to get your contacts into Highrise.  There’s the old faithful data entry method.  As far as data entry goes, I find it to be pretty easy & hassle free in general.  There are nor real “required” fields, so you fill out what is pertinent and go from there.  You can also import your contacts from another source.  The available sources are:

  • Upload a vCard file
  • Upload a CSV file
  • Upload an Excel file
  • Import from Basecamp (another 37Signals product)
  • Import from Outlook
  • Import from ACT!

As a side note, if you’re a Gmail/Google apps person, you can export your contacts as a CSV or vCard to get them into Highrise.

The final method of getting contacts into Highrise is my preferred method… email.  By using the system supplied “Dropbox email accounts” (not to be confused with the online file storage Dropbox Service) you can simply email or forward email to Highrise and it will parse the address fields in the email and attempt to add the contact to Highrise.  To best describe what dropbox email account is, here’s the copy from 37Signals themselves:

How does the dropbox work?

FORWARD an email to your dropbox and Highrise will find the contact who wrote the email and attach the email to that contact’s page. BCC your dropbox when you send an email and the email will be attached to the person receiving the email.

What it doesn’t mention there is that if the user doesn’t exist in Highrise, it will create an entry for you.  This is an incredible time saver and a great way to start tracking your communications with your contacts.  You never have to wait to get back to your office again… you don’t even need someone to give you their business card.  All you need is their email address and you can get them added to Highrise via your laptop or smart phone.

Contacts are in… now what? Getting your data out…

Now that we have some contact information to work with, there are a few more things that we can utilize within the app.  First, you have a default view that you can select.  Your options here are:

  • All People
  • All Companies
  • Recently Viewed Contacts
  • Recently Added Contacts
  • Recently Imported Contacts
  • Filter by People without notes in the last 30 days
  • Filter by people without tags

Ever go into Outlook and try to find someone you just viewed or just added.. good luck, especially if you have a large contacts list.  But these simple views allow you to find things quickly and easily with little effort.  The last option, in particular, I find to be pretty useful.  By looking for people without tags I can them tag them appropriately.  Tagging is just another level of grouping or filtering your data and each contact can have multiple tags.  Tags are user created, so you can also sort your data in ways I’ve probably never imagined – but you have.

Once you select a view, you can still further filter the data presented to you.  Just under your view selection are a series of filter selections:

  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • City
  • State
  • Country
  • Zip
  • Street
  • Phone
  • Background

There are all partial match filters.  For instance, phone, you don’t need to know the entire phone number.  Just say you know it’s a 303 area code.  So just enter 303 and your contact list will contain those contacts with 303 in the phone number field (eg: 303-555-5555 or 555-303-5555 or 555-555-3033 would all match)

So that’s the basics of getting your data in & out of Highrise.  There still more to this app and there will be more posts coming up that will go over Tasks, Cases and Deals.

Check out other posts here on the Main Street blog:

Simple CRM

Simple CRM – Latest Activity

Comments & questions are welcomed.  Hope to hear from you soon.

Related articles

Enhanced by Zemanta

Let us know what you think!