Resolution Independence in Heap CRM (for the new iPad and Retina display MacBook Pro)

July 6th, 2012

The new retina display on the iPad and MacBook Pro present a challenge for web application developers. It means designing special graphics for a relatively small number of devices. There is another approach: vector graphics (which look good at any resolution).

Firefox, Safari and Chrome have support SVG graphics (a vector format) for many versions. But due to a lack of support in Internet Explorer, using SVG on a wide scale wasn't particularly practical. That changed last year with the release of IE 9. Now all major browsers have support for SVG and there has been a sufficient amount of time for people to upgrade.

So, as you might have guessed by now, Heap CRM's graphics have been recreated in SVG. Not only do people with higher resolution displays benefit, but anyone can zoom the interface and the graphics still look great; and vector graphics will still look good regardless of what resolution a vendor might release next. Let's take a look at how this looks (screenshots taken from a Retina MacBook Pro):

Prospect on Dashboard:

Some Events:

Messages (with a loading graphic):

Finally, the Safari Extension have also been updated to display properly on high resolution displays:

As always with these sort of updates, if you aren't seeing something or something is behaving strange, empty your browser cache.

Torch Project Management: Now With *Less* Features (if you want)!

June 22nd, 2012

Does your company use only some parts of Torch Project Management? That's ok, a lot of people do (it's just different bits). Now, you can disable most major sections (with the exception of messages and events/tasks as they are key to everything) and it will clean-up your interface of unwanted items:

So, your company has its own invoicing system or expense tracking doesn't apply? Great! Just turn them off.

Access Torch Activity from Google Spreadsheets

June 19th, 2012

Accessing activity in Torch Project Management from Google Spreadsheets is easy! Once you install the script from the gallery (instruction in the knowledge base), you can get message or event information by using the menu:

Or using a formula, such as:

=CountEvents("Project Name","Category","yes","no")

More info here >

Torch Project Management’s New Google Drive / Docs Page and Other Interface Improvements

June 17th, 2012

The Google Drive / Docs section in Torch has received a facelift to make it both easier to use and faster to access the content on your Google Drive.

Adding Documents:

Just start to type the name of a document in the search box on the right. As you type, the search results will update in the drop-down. You might also notice that collections (also called folders in Google Drive) appear below the item colored in red.

Any document you add will automatically have its permission adjusted to match the project.

Uploading Documents:

If you want to upload a document to Google Drive, just drag the file(s) to the document list area. Any document you add will automatically have its permission adjusted to match the project. Additionally, they will automatically be organized (using the project name) within your Google Drive.

Please note: This feature requires a bleeding edge HTML5 API which is only currently supported by Chrome 12+ and Firefox 5+. Safari will add support soon in an upcoming update. IE will add support in version 10.

Users and User Access:

When a Torch account had a large number of external users, it sometimes become difficult to assign the right person to a project or find the right person under the users tab.

Now under the project access page, you simply search for the person or company:

Under the external users page, you can filter the list by typing in the person's name, company, phone, etc. into the "Filter List" box:

Additionally, it is now more convent than ever to create users. No longer do you have to specify a password, just leave it blank and a random password will be generated instead:

Finally, sometimes people want to create a user but not send the credentials to the new participant. This can happen when you want people's emails to automatically import into the project, but you really don't expect them to sign in to Torch. That's now possible:

Bids / Invoices:

One last thing, some users found it confusing to send bids and invoices through the comments system. While you can still send bids and invoices in this way, there is now a simple one click way to send the item over e-mail:

Heap CRM: Access Report Data From Google Spreadsheets

May 29th, 2012

Accessing the new reports in Heap CRM from Google Spreadsheets is easy! Once you install the script from the gallery (instruction in the knowledge base), you can get pipeline or activity information by using the menu:

Or using a formula, such as:

=Pipeline("value","lead", C9, "John Doe")

More info here >

Rethinking Reports and the Complete Report Redesign

May 26th, 2012

With Heap CRM we want you to improve your business and find out what works and what doesn't. Similarly, we test our designs as well and while search reports is a workhorse of our advanced users, basic reporting is not used much and people have trouble understanding it.

Rethinking the Design

The new reports center around a central idea: historical reporting is only important in as much as it tells me about my current activity. The whole point from reporting is to be able to adjust the business based on history. So, that's the center of the new design: what's going on now and how it compares to the past. Let's take a look.

Pipeline

The pipeline is based on how things look today. You have three pie charts: expected value, value and count. The expected value is the sum of the expected value (value times probability) in each transaction stage, while value is the sum of the value field (in each transaction stage) and count is a simple count of the number of items in each transaction stage. You can see the underlying data of any element by putting your mouse over it:

But what prospects are included in these calculations? That depends on the filter area. Right now, given that the category and user are set to all and no label is entered, it includes all current items. However, if the filter section looked like this:

The pipeline charts (as well historical activity chart) would only include items where "Ben Smith" is a managing user, in the category "Associates" and labeled (by me) as "local area".

Historical Activity

Historical activity is based on the filters (just like the pipeline) but it only looks at activity within a set range (week, month, year) where the selected date is end of that range. For instance, if the selected date is "2012-01-01" and the range is set to "Month", then that would include any transactions in the month leading up to January one.

For each type of transaction, you see three bar graphs:

1. Historical value
2. Current value of historical items
3. Current value

The historical value is the value assigned to the item at the time. So in our example, this would be the sum of expected values (or possibly value or count depending on the activity graph type selected) in the month leading up to January one, at the time.

Current value of historical items uses exactly the same set of items as the historical value, but it uses their current value instead of their historical value. If (in aggregate) your predictions about probability and value of prospects are correct, these two measurements should be identical. If they don't match, that could indicate that there is some level of error in the entered probabilities and values.

Current value is the value of current activity (based on the range) that matches the criteria in the filter section. This allows you to look at given week, month or year and ask if you are doing better or worse now.

Webhook and HeapCL

Both the webhook and HeapCL have been updated to support calls for the pipeline and activity.

Save Search to Label with Heap CRM

May 20th, 2012

You can now label every item in a search result!

Here's how it works. When you search leads, opportunities, customers and archives (prospects) just type into the "Add Label" box and press enter.

If you are searching messages or events, when you type in the label, the label will be applied on all of the prospects associated with your search results.

Save Search to Category >
Save Search to User >
Heap CRM >

Labels: Heap CRM’s Answer to Transaction Specific Organization

May 14th, 2012

Categories are a great way to organize the people and transactions in your Heap CRM account. Using categories you can track properties of a person (such as industry), source of the referral or a thousand other things. The beauty of categories is that they are at the person level, so while you can change them on any transaction, they are always consistent across the person (no need for duplicate entry in the transactions).

However, categories have their drawbacks:

  • You can't set them on a specific transaction without applying them to the person
  • There is no notion of who set the category
  • They aren't designed for scenarios where you have an extremely large number of disparate category names (thousands) - after all, they are listed down the right hand side of the screen

All three of these issues are resolved using a new feature in Heap: labels. Labels are Heap's answer to transaction specific organization. Their implemented as part of the new action menu introduced in December. Let's take a look:

Labels under Action Menu

Labels in Action Menu

Notice, there is an area indicating whether a label is yours or another user. If someone else has used a label that you'd like to mark as your own, that's ok labels can have multiple owners.

Adding a label is super easy, just start typing in the add label box. On modern browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari) you'll be provided suggestions based past labels (based on the first few characters). Then just hit enter and the label will be added.

Each label is clickable allowing you to automatically search for other prospects with the same label. If you click on a label under "mine" it will only search for prospects where you have used that label. But, if you click on a label under "other" it will search of that label regardless of who used it.

Labels in Search

Search has been updated with two new search operators:

  • label
  • my-label

So, "label" searches for any prospect that is labeled a particular way regardless of who labeled it. "My-label" searches for any prospect labeled by you. An example of the former would be:

label: pre-sale

An example of the latter would be:

my-label: design

But, these are just search operators right? That means they can be used in combination with each other, with "or" conditions, in search reports, from email, etc.

For more information about Heap CRM's search system, you might check out:

Find: Anything >
Search Concepts >

Labels in E-Mail Commands

Three new email commands have been added to accommodate labels:

  • add label (for messages and events)
  • remove label (for messages and events)
  • label (for prospects)

So, in the body of any email sent to Heap (that will be associated to a prospect) you can label the prospect just by typing:

[add label: Name of Label]

Or remove a label by typing:

[remove label: Name of Label]

If you are creating a prospect by email, you can add a label by typing:

[label: Name of Label]

But these are email commands, and as long time users of Heap know email commands aren't just for email. They can also be used in:

For more information about Heap CRM's email commands, you might check out:

E-Mail Commands >
Become an Automation Ninja >

Get Messages from the Heap CRM WebHook (and HeapCL)

January 6th, 2012

You can now retrieve messages using the Heap CRM webhook. If I set the variable (JSON, POST or GET) “list” to “messages John Doe” I will get a JSON payload containing messages associated to the prospect John Doe.

Sense HeapCL is just a client to the WebHook, you can now retrieve this information directly from the terminal. If I type:

./heapCL --list "messages John Doe" --save "messages.csv"

I'll get a CSV containing messages associated to John Doe. If I type:

./heapCL --list "messages John Doe" --save "messages.txt"

I'll get a plain text file containing each message.

HeapCL has been updated, so all users should download the latest version.

HeapCL >

Get Messages from the Torch Project Management WebHook (and TorchCL)

January 6th, 2012

You can now retrieve messages using the Torch Project Management webhook. If I set the variable (JSON, POST or GET) “list” to “messages John Doe” I will get a JSON payload containing messages associated to the prospect John Doe.

Sense TorchCL is just a client to the WebHook, you can now retrieve this information directly from the terminal. If I type:

./torchCL --list "messages WebSite Design" --save "messages.csv"

I'll get a CSV containing messages in the project WebSite Design. If I type:

./torchCL --list "messages WebSite Design" --save "messages.txt"

I'll get a plain text file containing each message.

TorchCL has been updated, so all users should download the latest version.

TorchCL >