Hot cross buns Get back to contact management basics with Highrise

Posted by tom klein October 16, 2007

Almost every company has been through the well known cycle when it comes to CRM. First, expend a great deal of effort to configure a system, maybe customize a process, and of course pay for many licenses, these days mostly for a software as a service (SaaS). Then, sit back and wait, while no one uses the system because it’s too slow, dull, tedious, klunky – take your pick. Forcing people into a process can generate a lot of antibodies.

If you’re facing this challenge, try getting back to the future with Highrise. With a groovy Web 2.0 look and feel, and developed by the makers of Basecamp (discussed in Before Everest), it carves out the heart of CRM – tracking and managing prospects, contacts, and of course, customers. When do you use it? Think about what you do if a customer calls and you want to take notes on the conversation. Where do you put these notes? Once you write them, how do you share them? And, even better, how do you make sure anyone on your sales team can search and find them? Highrise solves this problem, in addition to of course creating a company-wide set of constantly updated contacts.

Even better, it lets you simply forward an email (including attachments) and have it automatically append to a specific contact. When was the last time your sales team uploaded a document to your CRM system? This capability along with a nothing short of seductive ease-of-use can have your sales team working together, without even realizing it. There’s a free plan and all for-pay plans include a 30-day free trial period. Why not give it a try?

Most service companies have to work with two important currencies - people and projects. This system will let you manage people before they become attached to a project. Also, we can’t resist adding that the system has a delightfully easy to use tasking system, making it easy to assign or be assigned tasks by anyone.

You might say that your customers matter most. But, do they? This system can help your entire company bring together its knowledge about a customer, both the company and the many, many people that are part of it. Given the turnover of sales teams, it makes sense to work hard at capturing customer information.

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  1. In our company we adapted a web-based app called Wrike http://www.wrike.com/ about 6 months ago. We used it for managing the projects only, then it turned out to be great for CRM too. I've not used Highrise, and I'm afraid I never will. Wrike is too convenient to give up on it. The coolest feature is it's email integration, our clients just love it! Norah posted on

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