Can a contact management software system be of benefit to you? You bet. You probably recognize the advantages of using the computer more proactively in your small business. The sticking point is often the time and resources involved in learning and maintaining a new tool as much as the purchase or subscription price.
Today’s business climate is competitive, and small players are working leaner and hungrier than ever before. A coordinated sales force and accessible information will help you manage your business better by making it easier to perform the kind of results analysis that will move your business forward. That’s not a luxury, it’s vital to the health of your company. Here’s why a contact management program is a tool worth using, especially when times are tough.
The Advantages of Using Contact Management Software
Get important information safely locked down. The brain trust of your small business is probably either in your head or distributed among a very few key people. If one of your essential employees leaves the company, will he be taking precious information with him? When client information is maintained in a contact management software system, you have access you may not be able to get any other way. If you are the brain trust of your organization and can’t perform for some reason, what happens then? Your staff will have a better chance of picking up the slack if you’ve created a database of client information, goals, and strategies.
Get ahead of the game. Instead of staying stuck in reaction mode when handling complaints and miscommunications, a contact management software tool will help you start becoming proactive. You accumulate information a day at a time. Once it’s in the database, you won’t have to make a big project out of backtracking to find out what you need to know. The intelligence necessary to make a strategic decision will be a keystroke away. You put the information in one way and mine it later based on whatever criteria you need. It will help you pursue cross-selling opportunities and analyze trends in your business. It can also help you recognize indicators that are impacting your customer attrition rates.
Track performance. Critical sales functions like lead management, time management, and forecasting are easier to evaluate when you have a powerful tool helping you. Want to compile dynamic reports on the fly? If you’re in the seminal stages of a promotion, what better way to finally create an effective sales program than by using real world information? How many cold-calls does it take for your sales staff to get a face-to-face meeting? Can you reapportion your sales territories more efficiently? Answer five important sales strategy questions, and you’ll increase business. You may even cut costs while you’re putting resources where they’ll do the most good.
Spread the word. The right contact management system can be the most important sales weapon in your armory. If your sales ideas are languishing on a chair in the conference room, it will help you organize direct mail campaigns, guide the efforts of your sales staff and allow you to review your efforts more easily to determine what’s working and what isn’t. When your sales campaigns just aren’t getting results, precise analytical tools can improve your selling strategies.
Many contact management software programs are part scheduler, address book, merchandise database and note repository. You can even adapt blank fields at different detail levels to information that’s unique and specific to your business. That means no more one-size-fits-all contact software. On board reporting tools are usually so comprehensive and intuitive that you can easily look at information hundreds of different ways. Using the administrative controls, you can also export information to your accounting, reporting, database management, word processing or other small business software programs via a generic CSV file and slice, dice or present them any way you think will be useful.
For about the price of a word processing program, you can add dynamic contact management to your business and start taking the guesswork out of your business planning. When you need to respond faster than the big guys, you need the best tools available. A contact management program will help you leverage today’s details into tomorrow’s opportunities for your small business.