A happy new 2013 to all!

Collabspot Team

In behalf of the Collabspot team, we wish you all a happy new year!

2012 has been a remarkable year for us here in Collabspot and we would like to thank everyone who made it all possible. As we hope for better things to come this 2013, let us not forget those who are in need of a helping hand. We believe that the true nature of the holidays is all about sharing and supporting each other.

Regarding plans for our extension, we have new features and integrations to be rolled out this 2013! We’re definitely looking forward to boost your sales productivity further this new year.

To all our customers, readers, supporters, and those who are simply passing by: Cheers to a great year ahead!

How to easily capture contacts for Highrise

Note: This is the third of a series of blog posts on how to use Highrise to better manage customer data and efficiently serve prospects. The first two posts are here and here. The current post is about how to easily capture contacts for Highrise.

With all the contact info that needs to be filled out, it can be quite tiresome to manually import new contacts from your email into Highrise. We need a way to create new contacts faster and less tediously. This is one of the reasons why we built Collabspot, an extension that makes contact creation much easier by capturing already existing contact info in Gmail into Highrise fields.

Upon creating a contact in Highrise using Collabspot, the extension will automatically fill the first name, last name, company name, and email address fields. Now if there are also additional contact details in the an email’s signature, such as the sender’s physical address and phone number, then the extension can also fill these out automatically when you create a new contact.

To view this feature in action, check out this short video.

Now that you know how to capture contacts into Highrise without difficulty, let us know through the comments below on how you’re able to handle new contacts in Gmail and create them as Highrise contacts.

How to use custom fields in Highrise

Note: This is the second of a series of blog posts on how to use Highrise to better manage customer data and efficiently serve prospects.

In Highrise, custom fields allow you to customize your Highrise data beyond the standard fields that are given by default. Use custom fields to create filters for subcategories, e.g. category is software, subcategory is iOS developer. Custom fields can be used for both contacts and companies in Highrise. For those not yet familiar with custom fields, 37signals has a useful article to get you started.

For fields having a wide range of subcategories

In a previous blog post, I talked about how to use Highrise tags. Some categorizations of contacts in Highrise may have a range of subcategories that requires more specification than what’s possible with tags. This is one of the ways custom fields become useful.

Some categories that custom fields can be used are industry, subscription type, and preferred products. Industries can be further subdivided into specializations. For instance, if the mobile app development tag is used for companies or contacts under that industry, then we can make the filter more specific by using an industry custom field and filling it out with values such as iOS game development, Android task management apps, or iOS finance apps.

For Highrise API integration

If you have a team of web developers in your company, they can import and sync data from your pre-existing service to Highrise’s database via its API. These data can be represented as custom fields in Highrise. There are certain types of customer data that can aide your sales team towards better sales. I actually believe that you can only truly optimize your sales by making use of your customer data. By having access to such data, your salespeople are encouraged to make data-driven decisions for your company and to improve the quality of their interactions with your customers. Customer data such as date of sign-up, number of cupcakes bought, last transaction, total amount paid, can be automatically updated and shown in Highrise as custom fields.

How does your company use Highrise custom fields? Let us know through comments below!

How to use Highrise tags

Note: This is the first of a series of blog posts on how to use Highrise to better manage customer data and to better serve prospects.

In Collabspot, we use Highrise tags to create instant or one-click filters of your contacts by categories. Here are five (5) relevant categories that tags can be grouped into.

Tags by title/profession

Whether the contact is an engineer, a blogger, or a designer, it’s a good idea to assign tags based on profession. This helps us easily determine who among our users can be appropriately contacted for specific needs. For example, if we plan to write a guest blog post for our marketing efforts, then we’ll filter our contacts for bloggers. Another example is when we need a new logo, we can filter our Highrise contacts for designers and then check who among them are capable of designing logos.

Tags by industry

Industry categories are important so you can keep track of which markets your business is performing in. Filtering contacts or companies by industry can give you a quick overview of customers that are coming from a certain industry. They can come from food, software, clothing, or medical industries. Now if you want to filter by subcategories per industry, then you will have to use custom fields. I’ll discuss custom fields in the next blog post of this series.

Tags by location

Some businesses, such as shipping companies, operate by relying on the location of their customers. In this case, it’s a good idea to use Highrise tags to quickly filter contacts based on geographical location. Such tags can be used to group contacts by city, state, or country. Highrise orders its tags in alphabetical order. To avoid having a messy list of tags, use a convention like “{location-type}-{location-name}”, e.g. city-newyork, country-japan, state-california. This means that all your city and country tags will be under the letter “C”.

Tags by sales pipeline status

Among other things, Highrise is a CRM system that’s popularly used to organize sales prospect data and to increase sales productivity. This leads us towards assigning tags based on where your prospects are in the sales pipeline: waiting for reply, pending order, under negotiation, won, lost. Some salespeople are specialized in handling contacts who belong to certain stages of the sales pipeline. Use sales pipeline tags to have them quickly find their target prospects. This creates a more seamless workflow for your sales team. Again, to avoid difficulty in browsing tags in this category, use a syntax such as sales-prospect, sales-pending, or sales-won so they’re all located under the letter “S”.

Tags by customer preference

Let’s say you’re selling cupcakes and some customers have solely bought chocolate cupcakes from you during their whole transaction history. If your business can send these customers with emails promoting new chocolate cupcake products or chocolate cupcake discounts for the holidays, then you can optimize your sales with respect to their preference. Use customer preference tags to instantly find customers by the preferred products or services that your business provides. By doing so, you can easily find targets for your future promotional campaigns or special offers.

Got other ideas on how to use Highrise tags? Share them with us through the comments below! Also, check out our extension that integrates both Highrise and Gmail to increase your sales productivity.