Utilizing contact management software
How are you currently cataloging your customers? Do you have a Rolodex or some type of file to put them into so you can access them easily? Unfortunately many businesses do not have a good system for contact management. This can cause you to lose your important customers and it will sour quality relationships in a hurry.
Some companies have electronic methods to store the various contacts so you can access them easily. Depending upon the methods you use to store the contacts, you may want to look into extra options like being able to transfer them to your Palm Pilot and other hand-held devices.
The good news for businesses is that there are a number of contact management software solutions out there. You won't be limited based on your financial needs, employee sophistication, and technology. Even the very basic contact management software programs are able to run on older systems using Microsoft Access or Microsoft Excel.
Where can you look when you are seeking contact management software? Start with Download.com as this website offers a number of solutions. Many of the contact management software solutions on this site are free to download and they are very easy to use, making it simple for you to train others. The downside is that most of the free programs are pretty limited in what they can do. You can't set up email mailers to go out at specific times and rarely do they sync with your Palm Pilot or Blackberry device.
Other contact management software programs do more than just store contacts. A quality program that you pay for will be able to do sales forecasting, prospect tracking, call-back reminders, sending out email newsletters, direct-mail campaigns, and many other things.
So what are some of the best contact management software programs on the market? Here are a few that you need to consider:
Each of the above programs runs right around the $100 range so they are definitely affordable. They all come with training instructions as well which can help you understand how to use the software and you can easily implement them into your organization.
If you really cannot afford to purchase contact management software, look for free solutions. You can create one on your own using Microsoft Excel. When searching for a contact, you can use the Cntrl + F keys in order to search by name, phone number, etc. This is a simple way to manage your contacts. The downside is that you aren't going to get updates and reminders when it is the anniversary of the customer or when it's time to mail out renewal reminder notices and other things.
Head to download.com for additional solutions for contact management software as you can try some of the larger programs for 30-60 days for free. There are some that are free to use as well but they are limited in their abilities to keep you informed and up-to-date for your customer's sake.
If you have a hard time learning new software programs, always research the customer service and tech support of the software company before you buy it. Contact management software helps you organize your customers so you can provide them with better customer service. The last thing you want is to lose records or have problems setting up alerts. Always research the software to ensure you are paying for the right one for your companies needs!
As your company starts to grow and you hire additional sales team members, look into a sales-force-automation program. This will help you with forecasting and can do sales automation, which helps your marketing team.