Networking is important for any business. Networking leads to better business relationships with business partners and competitors, better marketing and sales campaigns and more growth opportunities. The rolodex used to be the mainstay for keeping all contact information for networking partners, and all manner of organizational systems from color-coding to scribbled notes made the difference in customer relationships. Technology has progressed to help you improve your client management system; contact management software helps you track client information in a singular location. Plus, it gives powerful tools that will help you maintain customers and produce new sales leads.
As we reviewed contact management software, we evaluated how each program connects aspects of the customer interaction experience, how the share files can be used by different department and employees, how easy the software is to use and install, and how the customer service and support aspects are handled by the manufactures. The best contact management software we reviewed are Salesforce, NetSuite and OnContact. We also included articles on contact management software to aid businesses in learning more about these programs.
When evaluating what contact management software is right for your business, you should think about whether you want to host the program on your own server or a cloud based server. You should also think about the number of users that will need access to your client information. Here are other feature categories you should consider.
Contact management systems we reviewed let you create individual client accounts and track interactions. The best contact management software connects the information with multiple users within your company in real time, which aids you to better fulfill your clients' needs. You should also look for a software that helps you to quickly track contact interactions by logging calls and emails.
Determining the number of departments and employees that will need access to your contact management system is crucial, as that will greatly affect the pricing of the different programs. Some contact management software offers flat pricing for unlimited users, but most charge per user and per month. Other client management software programs cap the total number of users you can let have access to information.
Sales & Marketing Features
The best contact management software included tools that let you organize your sales and marketing strategies. Other programs include these applications; however, they charge an additional fee to unlock these features. These features include ways to forecast marketing campaigns, generate sales quotes, follow leads and track your competition. Using these tools, you have ways to maximize the value of your contact database.
Employee Tracking & Support
How your employees use the contact management system is important. Better contact management software includes tracking tools for monitoring your employee's interactions with clients. This is an excellent business resource, whether you want to use the client management system to track IT issues with your client or to see what employee is following up on keys sales leads. Some software also provides tools to help you perform HR tasks in house, like tracking and completing annual employee performance reviews.
Some contact management software can create social media networks within the program so your employees can interact and collaborate more easily about client-related matters. This can make client help and support easier for your company to manage.
Ease of Use
The information you have stored in a contact management software is only valuable if you're able to access it. How easily you can use the software will help you to maximize potential sales leads and run targeted marketing campaigns. You should also find one that employees can learn easily, unless you want to suffer through endless training meetings going over IT issues with your client management system.
Help & Support
If you are in a sales-driven business, then lead generation is incredibly important. If you have issues with your contact management system, you are being cut off from your most important asset, so having access to support is vital. Not all contact management software includes live chat or phone support. Email support is usually offered, but it is mostly email forms on the company's websites. Most companies will respond to email support within 24 hours.
If you want to turn networking potential into sales and marketing gold, it is important to consider what contact management system best fits your company's needs. Using our review criteria should help you select the software that will work best for you.