3 reasons why Highrise is still a good option for your CRM and contact manager

This is the first post we’ve written about Highrise and the announcement that it was for sale. Partly because we’ve been taking stock and partly because… well… we don’t see that much changing.

Whilst many have been quick to jump on the RIP Highrise bandwagon we’ve taken a business as usual approach. And when we read Barbara Taylor’s article on why she is still a Highrise customer, we thought it would be good to add to the sentiment that Highrise should still be a consideration for your small business.

Here are our 3 reasons why:

It’s not going anywhere

At Tracks, we still use Basecamp Classic. The main reason is because we like it better than the new Basecamp.

Basecamp Classic is a stable and secure product. Highrise is the same, and when Basecamp say that they will continue to maintain Highrise I believe them – they have continued to do that for Basecamp Classic.

If we can’t find the right partner or buyer, we are committed to continuing to run the products for our existing customers forever – Basecamp

If you can live without the coolest features of the day and just need a contact manager / CRM that works then Highrise is more than sufficient – just like Basecamp Classic is for project management.

It’s got less stuff

After working in the CRM world for a few years, we know many of the systems. Highrise is still one of the easiest and cleanest contact managers. There are definitely features missing (sales pipeline, mobile app, etc.), but for plain old contact management it’s a good option.

The tagging feature in Highrise is very useful and you can do lots with it. Likewise is the search functionality. And on top of that, it’s maintained by a company that will be around for years to come.

Contact management is still tricky

Despite some new entrants into the market like Contactzilla, Contactme and FullContact and some of the bigger CRMs like Nimble, Contactually and RelateIQ that use social networks and APIs to enhance the contact relationship experience and reduce admin time, contact management is still tricky.

Take for example john@bigcorporate.com that you’ve been targeting for a while. It’s likely that Big Corporate don’t even allow John to use social networks, so the chances of John using his Big Corporate email address to register with Twitter et al is very small. You’re then faced with the good old fashion way of actually staying in contact with John (shock! horror!) to keep the contact records up to date. Having to do this is more common than you might think – and likely more valuable, as it keeps the relationship warmer.

Even if the contact management experience can be enhanced and admin time reduced, your sales are still at the merci of one thing – good relationships with prospects and customers. Don’t get me wrong, some of the new tools look promising, but don’t be too quick to assume that they can significantly increase your sales.

So in conclusion, Highrise is still a good option for your CRM and contact manager because it’s going to be around for a long time, it’s still one the cleanest systems and the competitors are not that much better, if at all.

Oh… and a seamless plug… if you’re looking for a standalone sales pipeline tool or a sales pipeline tool that integrates with Highrise then sign up to Tracks for a 14 day free trial (no credit card needed).

Thanks for reading (and thanks for Barbara for the inspiration to write this post)

— — — UPDATE — — —

I just read this Ask Me Anything with Jason Fried the founder of Basecamp. On being asked about the future of Highrise his response was:

“I can’t share specifics yet, but the gears are turning. We will be spinning it off into its own company, and we’ve found someone incredible to run it. It’ll finally get the love and attention it deserves.”

Exciting times!

Winning & retaining clients – Insider Tips #1

Luke Taylor of Pixeldot

As part of our Insider Tips series, we are interviewing agency founders about challenges they have faced growing their agency. From how to win clients to how to recruit good people, we’re covering a lot of ground.

This week we were lucky enough to interview Luke Taylor, the founder of Pixeldot Creative, on winning and retaining clients. Read More…

Upcoming improvements

It’s the end of June. Halfway through the year, and it has been very busy for us. We’ve being laying the foundations for improving everything we do over the next six months.

We’ve a bunch of new developments planned inside the app and outside the app. These developments are fundamentally aimed at helping our existing and new users. We’re so excited, we just couldn’t keep it in, so here’s a snippet of some of that things you can expect:

Read More…

Your agency’s systems rely on people

New tools, new systems, new processes are a pain right? Agencies just want to get on and do client work. But someone has come up with why your agency needs to invest in this shiny new app that’s going to improve productivity by 400% and you’ve gone for it.

Now you’re left with staff that don’t know how to use it, processes that no one follows and extra costs that have hurt your efficiencies. And it’s not made you any more money.

This happens. A lot

Given the amount of new applications and tools that are appearing on the market (and the increasing difficulty in trying to keep up), I thought I’d list a few things you should do to make a new product (or system) work for your agency. I’m not guaranteeing 400% increase in productivity, but for a small agency, managing time and being productive is very important. Read More…