Contact Management Software To Grow Your Business
Remember the Rolodex? Contact management software is the electronic version of it. This software enables businesses to store basic contact information, such as names, phone numbers and email addresses. Also, it includes a history of activities, such as quotes and orders.
A contact management system organizes all the information you need to connect with prospects and customers in one easily searchable and accessible place. In this way, it enables sales and business leaders to grow their businesses more easily than ever before.
Contact Management vs. CRM
It’s not surprising that people sometimes confuse contact management systems with customer relationship management (CRM) systems. That’s because contact management software is a necessary component of all CRM applications. But CRM systems go further. As the name implies, they are designed to manage the full customer relationship — moving customers through the sales cycle, sending nurturing emails, and scheduling events and meetings.
Contact management software does not have all the bells and whistles of CRM systems. Used correctly, however, it’s a powerful tool for small and medium-sized growing businesses. That’s because it can increase organization and efficiency.
So, how can you get the most out of it? Follow these tips:
#1 Get Personal
Your contact information should not just be black and white details, such as name, phone number and email address.
Include the prospect’s business goals, which provide guidance in how you can help. Also, capture the human side of your contacts. If you learn anything about your contact’s favorite sports teams, interests, family or a planned vacation, add the information. It could be fodder for future conversations and relationship building.
#2 Flesh Out Fields
Don’t accept the default contact fields. You need to customize them for your business.
Think about the questions you might typically be asking…even if they’re personal. For example, if you sell golf clubs, you might want a field called ‘Favorite Golf Course.’ If, instead, you put this information in the general notes, you won’t be able to use it in a systematic way. Plus, if the field exists, it’s easier and more likely that your reps will capture the information.
#3 Segment Contacts
With your data organized into fields, you can segment your contacts by demographics or interests. Segmentation provides data for marketing analysis, enabling you to determine which segments are most profitable, which are growing and more. Also, with this intelligence you can better target your marketing campaigns.
Also, according to a study by Experian Marketing Services, personalized emails deliver six times the revenue of non-personalized emails. Since you’ve segmented your contacts and have their first and last names, you’re ready to send email blasts and other communications tailored to each prospect and customer. For example, you might want to send different email messages to the serious and weekend golfers.
Also, data shows that people are more likely to open emails with personalized subject lines. Do a test with and without personalization to see which works best for you.
#5 Take Ownership
Make one person in your organization responsible for ensuring contact information is up-to-date. Or, if you have too many contacts for one person to handle, assign owners to one or more segments each. (Yet another way to use your segments!) With someone in charge of keeping data in shipshape order, you’ll be able to find up-to-date, complete contact information quickly and easily.
When a potential client interacts with you, or even when a customer buys from you, they want to know that you are there to support them. Alleviate their concerns and build the relationship by scheduling well timed follow ups via phone, email and in-person.
Also, research reveals that up to 50% of leads captured are likely not ready to buy initially but may purchase in the future. You need to schedule follow-ups to nurture these leads, staying in touch with them until they are ready to buy. Doing so makes it more likely that you’ll close the sale.
#7 Keep Records of Communications
You don’t want to over- or under-communicate. So, maintain records of all your communications — phone calls and emails — with every contact. Take note: the best systems will automatically keep these records for you.
#8 Use Timesaving Templates
Your representatives are dealing with similar situations again and again. Make it easy for them to follow up with professional emails. Simply, write email templates in your brand voice to initiate conversation and follow up. You can train your reps to customize the templates as necessary to ensure personalization, but at least they don’t have to start from scratch every time. This process takes the guess work out of communications and increases consistency and efficiency.
#9 Go Mobile
Field reps need to have immediate access to an online contact management system so they can get data and update contact information anytime, anywhere. Otherwise, they’re not armed with the information they need, and the data they gather is likely to get lost.
So, choose a contact management system that works on multiple devices — tablets, smartphones and desktop computers — online and off.
#10 Import Your Data
Do you have Excel spreadsheets filled with contact information? The best contact management software allows you to import data quickly from them. Select one with this feature. After all, you don’t want to waste time entering data. Plus, manual entry opens the door for errors.
#11 Sync It Up
Many systems enable you to sync contact management data with online calendars, such as Outlook. They take a step beyond contact management. By uniting contact data with calendar information, they integrate your sales and service processes. Look for this capability when you buy.
#12 Dump the Dead Files
If you want your files to be fresh and active, you need to remove old information or update it. If you keep it, you’ll waste time, for example, trying to call and send emails to employees who have left companies. Also, these attempts will make you look unprofessional and out of touch.
Keep these twelve tips in mind and you’ll get the most out of your contact management system.