Rethinking Reports and the Complete Report Redesign

Saturday, 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

Sunday, 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

Monday, 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 >