Knowledge of contact management is essential for maintaining leads. The first phase in the sales pipeline is identification of a person who can be a potential customer. This can be in the form of a person right in front of the sales representative, an address, an email address, or a simple mobile phone number. Such contact details of a lead are very important as this is the first step in the sales process.
There might be nothing that the business might know about the lead apart from his address or phone number. So being the single trump card of the game, the company has to be very meticulous and particular in storing the contact details of the leads.
Contact Management is the process of storing and finding contact information of leads. Such suites or tools are generally shipped with a central repository which would be responsible for storing all the contact details and all the sales personnel would have access to the database. This ensures a fully integrated approach and multiple sets of sales personnel can work on common and different sets of data without any dependencies. Such a contact management suite has to be always linked with activities that are conducted with these contacts.
Customer relationship management tools like salesforce.com come equipped with contacts and activity management modules which are fully integrated with each other. Some of the tools also include a calendar integration feature in which one can record details such as recording of dates such as appointments, birthdates of contacts etc. A contact management system provides lot of advantages and some of them are listed below:
- Centralized database of contact information – With a single point of contact, a centralized database approach is very helpful given the geographical distances between the sales personnel. Business houses, these days are widespread across the planet and it often helps to have a centralized storage of information that can be accessed from anywhere within the organization.
- Searching and Indexing – Storing of information really won’t solve any real purpose, unless this information can be fetched quickly and easily. A search feature is something that all contact management tools offer these days. One can search contacts on the basis of a lot of search preferences like name, phone, address etc.
- Email & Calendar integration – Some of the tools today provide an out of the box integration with existing email clients like Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes. This sort of integration helps the sales personnel still use the tools that they are most familiar with and access the centralized database that the CRM suite provides.
- Documents upload and indexing – With internet and multimedia on the forefront of technology, many contact management suites also provide a way to tag documents to the contacts. Such documents can be visiting cards, photographs of the contacts and so on.
A contact manager is typically useful when single sales personnel has to interact with a lot of clients and is responsible for performing various roles and responsibilities in the enterprise.
Once you utilize proper contact management, you can begin working on implement an online CRM system. This will definitely help you increase sales and find new prospects.
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