Contacts (which could be leads or customers) form the heart and soul of any business. The all-important goal of any business, regardless of size and industry, is to retain customers and keep cross-selling and up-selling while finding new ones. Finding new leads through lead generation helps you fill the top layer of the sales funnel and expand the business. Whether you like it or not, few customers eventually drift away from your business. Hence, it’s important to steadily acquire new leads and have a good chunk of old customer data in hand.
Relying on spreadsheets and emails to store your contact list could be the worst thing for a business to do. Why? Because it is an old school technique which is not a good fit for today’s dynamic business environment. Why spreadsheets are not an option for your business?
- Spreadsheets involve manual entry of data – Businesses today need more efficient systems to create, capture, share and consume data in the most effective way
- The data in spreadsheets is more siloed – Businesses need robust tools to manage data from various sources and put everything at one location, a centralized address book
- Spreadsheets cannot analyze data or deliver information – A smart solution should analyze the data and produce information
So how do you keep the company contact information safe?
The solution for all the above issues is to have the contact data in a contact management software that allows automation, integration, and tracking. It gives a complete view of customer information, customer activity, contact details, communication history, social media activity, on a single page. Let’s look in detail at the benefits of contact management software for businesses.
- Pull and sync contacts across platforms
You can have a well-organized contacts book if the data is low. But as your business grows, so will the number of customers and keeping a track of hundreds of contacts across different platforms is not an easy task. Contact management system imports the contacts from email, mobiles, social media and also allows you to export them to other platforms easily. The idea is to cobble together your entire contact list and build a single source of information. Few contact management tools even allow you to scan the business cards and pull the data.
- Run a quick search for information
Contact management software (CMS) compiles complete information of all the contacts and provides an efficient way to pull it at any moment. It keeps you ever ready for those surprise calls from a customer or prospect, so you can easily sort and search their data. A contact’s email address on the search button can give a full record of when the last call or email interaction happened, what the interaction is all about, and what should be your next step. This is one way of searching for data.
Sometimes you need to make a more advanced search to filter and pull a categorized list of contacts for the next email campaign – even this is made pretty easy with CMS. And did you know that you can save these search results? You can absolutely do that, just define the search criteria, give a name and save. You can define the search based on different criteria – like the type of lead score, buyer persona, campaigns, touchpoints, prospect conversion actions etc. For instance, make a search for all of those contacts which belong to a particular industry, designation, location, and find your ideal profile and run a campaign exclusive for those contacts.
- Track the user behavior with analytics
The most interesting part of any business is to learn about their customers, what they do with your emails, which pages do they refer to the website, what part of your website pulls their attention. Wouldn’t that be great information to sketch your next move? Contact management software when integrated with CRM gives you the actionable insights into customer and prospect activity on the website, mobile app or email.
Analyze the customer’s interests, web patterns and get a full report along with real-time alerts. Web behaviors help you check the buying pulse of prospects which could impact directly on conversions. If a prospect has spent an hour or more on the product’s page, he might be in the awareness stage, so you can email product catalogs or comparison sheets his way. Analytics tell you which page a customer is interested in, time spent on each page, on which page they left the website, customer’s location. This allows you to target the right content to the right set of audience.
- Dwindle your emailing efforts
The traditional form of email is a thing of the past since emailing has changed over the last 20 years. The new technology of email has changed the way businesses run. Now you don’t have to panic in sending 1000 or more emails in a day – CMS does this for you with ease. Sending bulk emails through CMS is easy and quick, just prepare a list of contacts with email content and click ‘send’. CMS reduces the efforts and time involved in emailing. You can also clean the contact list (remove the email addresses) based on the bounced list of email addresses.
- Listen to the social interactions
In today’s world, if there is no ‘social’ element added, you are missing on lots of potential data for the business. CMS pulls the social interactions of every contact from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus and puts the data in one place. These interactions guide you to what customers are saying about your products or services, gives you a chance to get involved in the conversations and respond to their questions. A deep insight into these conversations can also help you in enhancing the product features.
- Improve customer experience
When you have all the customers’ information, web analytics, purchase history, demography and more, you are well informed and prepared to respond to their queries. This helps in making better conversations now that you know your customers and their behavior. When you proactively address customer issues before them mentioning it, you win their trust.
The #1 complaint of every customer is that they are asked to repeat themselves each time they call. Not anymore. Every employee in the company can now carry a single voice because all the departments can access and update the information in the contact management software, which will apparently reduce repetition. As a matter of fact, you can foresee the issue and solve it proactively. Customers will surely be impressed with the efficiency and timely responses of your representatives, thus enhancing customer satisfaction.
- Prepare for sales meeting on-the-go
A mobile contact management system gives access to all the customer and prospect information so that you prepare for customer meetings on-the-go. You can now take sales calls more confidently as well as update the meeting information as soon as you complete it. As soon as you update the data, management can take the call on their next step, so you don’t miss the lead. This becomes crucial when you are out of town for the sales/ customer meetings which are in a different time zones than that of the management. This boosts the productivity and maximises sales.
- Increase the return on investment
When customers are satisfied with your service, when you see more conversions, when the leads move quickly down the sales funnel, when sales team close more deals, you know that you have made a better investment. Contact management system drives all these by building efficiency to every department of the organization. It’s good to have a system that eliminates the administrative tasks of the employees so they can invest time in more productive tasks.
Not just that, CMS improves upsell and cross-sell opportunities because you know the customers well. You can also gain new customers through the word-of-mouth of satisfied customers. Many companies have benefited from CMS to upsell and cross-sell their products to customers.
A customer relationship management solution has an integrated contact management software along with various other solutions for marketing, sales and customer support. You can check www.agilecrm.com for further information