The need for Tracks came from our own experience as Highrise users. In late 2011, we became frustrated managing our sales pipeline (for a client) using a spreadsheet even though Highrise had some sales functionality.
The spreadsheet had all our deals listed in it with extra data like next steps, closing date and confidence levels. But it soon became a bit clunky. It also got confusing when different versions were emailed between team members. And of course, being a spreadsheet, it wasn’t so good “on the go”.
So we sketched a few wireframes, looked at what was possible with the Highrise API and got to work on a sales pipeline tool that would extend Highrise Deals.
Soon after realising that the tool helped us track our sales pipeline more efficiently, Tracks was born.
Since launching our first paid version of Tracks on 1 November 2012, lots of Highrise customers have (and still continue to) become more efficient like we did. This article shares a few tricks that we’ve learned along the way.
Doing vs. Managing
Highrise is a great contact manager. We love using it plus the team at Highrise are always rolling out improvements. There are thousands of CRMs you could choose, but we think Highrise is a great choice for a small business that cares about its customers. And the folks at Highrise are absolutely focused on helping you with that. As they put it:
We work on Highrise to create more meaningful interactions with those around us: with our customers, with our employees, even with our friends. We work on Highrise to get back that feeling that someone just walked through our door.
We think this is awesome.
Of course, the numbers in your business matter too. Peace of mind that you’re on track financially is of great comfort. Knowing the numbers can really help you grow your company, make decisions and reinvest.
We realise from our own experience that Highrise sales functionality is limited. So getting a good feel for your sales numbers can be hard – or in our case, it involved a fight with a spreadsheet.
That’s where Tracks comes in. It’s the numbers we want to help you feel good about.
For Tracks to be of the most value to your company, it’s best to look at Highrise as the place you manage your customer interactions and Tracks as the place that reveals the numbers behind the interactions.
In simple terms, those doing the sales should use Highrise and those managing the sales should use Tracks.
Highrise is the master
With Highrise implementing new features like Custom Fields for Deals, it is becoming much easier to set up a sales pipeline than it was before. You can now set any data you want in Highrise and Tracks will pull it in.
Data like sales stages, confidence levels, lead source and closing date can all be created in Highrise using Custom Fields. And then by connecting Tracks to your Custom Fields, you can see your pipeline across the fields using our Pipeline views. In fact, you can slice and dice your data pretty much any way you want to.
And if you’ve still not let go of spreadsheets (don’t worry we understand, it takes time) then you can export your sales to CSV.
Highrise is the system that you should add, edit and delete data from. It is the master. And Tracks syncs with it in the background.
Keeping up momentum
Tracks records the activity on your Highrise Deals.
Add a note, Tracks records it. Change the deal value, Tracks records it. Complete a task, Tracks records it. Move a deal to a different sales stage, Tracks records it. Add a new contact to a deal, Tracks records it.
If there is no activity on your deals then you’ll get an email reminder prompting you with a list of deals that need some love. Our goal is to help you keep up momentum.
Because momentum is key.
Selling in small steps
When you sell products or services, you sell in small steps. You don’t just go for “the close” at the start of the sales process.
Instead, you chip away, moving through each small step as you go. It could be to follow up, send a proposal, book a meeting, prepare a presentation or whatever else you do as part of your normal sales cycle. The emphasis is on selling in small steps. And that’s where Highrise Tasks come in.
Setting tasks for each deal in Highrise is a great practice to get into. Each task can represent a small step. And just like we send you prompts on deals that are going cold, Highrise sends you prompts on when tasks are due.
A marriage made in heaven!
Note: that tasks need to be marked as “Let everyone see my tasks” in Highrise for Tracks to record when they were completed. Otherwise, a task is marked as private (which we can’t record).
Following a routine
One of the most complimentary things to using Highrise and Tracks is having a weekly internal sales meeting for you to review your pipeline.
The one thing we suggest you focus on in these meetings are the “next steps” for each deal a.k.a. your tasks. This is easy to do with Tracks. Use your favourite sales pipeline view and go through the deals in the meeting. Any changes you make in Tracks (including adding tasks) will be pushed to Highrise.
Getting sales pipeline management right requires discipline and, in most cases, following a routine. Keep closing dates up to date, set next steps and constantly review. And when you look at your sales pipeline, you’ll have a better idea of what needs done and how strong your pipeline is.
In other words, you’ll feel good about the numbers.
We’ve been building Tracks for Highrise since 2012 and have no plans to stop. If you like what you see, why not come along for the ride?