Whether you’re a small business or a multi-billion dollar enterprise, it’s critical that you keep track of all of your contacts. Most of us need a system to store, sort, and reference contact data about past and current clients, networking contacts, new prospects, etc. That is where having a solid CRM tool comes into the equation.
CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management” and there are several CRM software options that do much more beyond simply storing and organizing your contacts. When used correctly, good contact management can improve your sales, consistency, and efficiency. Less time is wasted scrolling through a long Excel document when using automated CRM systems. Many systems can also provide reports, forecasting, and opportunity management.
Now that you understand what CRM is, and the importance of good contact management, here are 4 tips to manage your contacts with CRM tools from productivity expert, Elizabeth Bowman, of Innovatively Organized based in Seattle, WA:
1. Use a business card scanner to transition from paper to electronic
In order to transition from a physical rolodex or pile of business cards to a CRM tool it can be efficient to use a scanner designed for business cards that is capable of automatically detecting and storing the contact details from the card into fields.
2. Pick a CRM tool that syncs with mobile devices
Because so many of us are mobile workers it is important to choose a CRM tool that goes with you and syncs with the operating systems of your iPhone, iPad, Droid, Windows Mobile, Surface or other device.
3. Define weekly and monthly reports of contact information
Once you have your company’s contact data loaded into the CRM tool, then you’ll want to create a way to analyze the progress of each contact or lead through the sales pipeline. Go ahead and determine the information you’ll want to review each week or month ahead of time!
4. Share your CRM data with your team
Ok, this one seems obvious, but we see it too often – two managers have different sets of similar contact information. A benefit of using a CRM tool is the collaboration and merging of contact data into a central location.
To read more CRM and contact management tips from productivity expert, Elizabeth Bowman, check out her blog where new tips and articles are posted often.
You can also download a recording of her popular webinar series on topics such as Email Organizing, Cloud Computing 101, or Managing Your To-Do List Online.