Best Practices: Find, Categorize and Report

Friday, May 16th, 2008

One of Heap's powerhouse features is search. With a few keywords, boolean operators and bucket selectors and you can get any search results you could possibly want.

But with the addition of "save search to category" you can use these advanced search terms to create extremely detailed reports. Put another way:

  • You can do extremely complex searches
  • Searches can be saved to a category
  • You can run reports on categories

Introduction to Advanced Search - Bucket Selectors

A bucket selector simply limits the scope of search. So when you do a search in the messages section for:

Search Term

You are looking for any message that contains the words "Search" and "Term". In essence the scope of the search is every message.

But if I search for:

Search Term category:My Category

The search term is the same, but the scope differs. In this case, the search system first limits the area it's searching to just messages in the category "My Category". Then it searches for the words "Search" and "Term".

Bucket selectors can be used in combination as well. So you might search for something like this:

Search Term category:My Category category:Other Category

So, what's happening here. First it limits the scope of the search to the category "Other Category". Then within this category, it limits the scope to "My Category". Finally, on this limited selection it looks for the words "Search" and "Term".

You could also use the "pipe"(|) to create a bucket that consists of two groups. For instance you might type this:

Search Term category:My Category | Other Category

So this would limit the search scope to any message that is in either "My Category" or "Other Category".

We've been focusing on the "category:" bucket selector, there is of course many more located at:

Saving a Search

Once you have search performed a search you can save the results to a category. What does that mean? Well, if you are searching against the people or lead, opportunity, customer and archive sections, this is a pretty simple concept. When you click that "Add" button it puts each of the people in the search results in that category (note: that does not remove them from any other category).

Where this is a bit confusing is when you are searching against messages or events. So each message or event can be associated to a lead, opportunity, customer or archive (this is in fact the basic idea the makes Heap work). Ok, so when I hit that "add" button in the messages or events search, I'm not putting the messages or events themselves into a category. Rather I'm putting the prospects that are associated to the search results in a category.

Ok, that sounded confusing. Let's get into a practical examples. Let's say you sent out a holiday e-mail last year. You want to put each of the people who received it into a category. You could simply search against the messages section for the title of the holiday card then add the result to a category (or create a category). Alternatively, you could find anyone that asked about a particular topic, or anyone who you did a followup call or anyone you met with for lunch (you get the idea).

Running a Report

Once you have the leads, opportunities, customers and archives saved to a particular category you can run a report. Really it's as simple as that. You can limit the reports to any category by simply selecting it on the right.

Remember it is completely legitimate to create a category to be used temporarily. Adding someone to a category doesn't effect what other categories they may be in. And deleting a category once you're done doesn't delete the contents of the category.

Questions? Contact