Posts Tagged ‘Contact Management’

Last week I taught a class on contact management for Professional Organizers in Canada (POC).  Who knew there were so many systems out there?  And, we only touched on a few of them.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems, as they are often referred to, can be anything from a simple spreadsheet to an extremely robust system such as ACT!  Personally I’m a fan of the Outlook contact management system that comes with the software I already have.  It seems to do everything I could possibly need it to do.  I can enter as much information on a customer as I wish and the system will keep track of every email, appointment and task I have related to that customer without me having to do a darn thing – I like that!

What you need your system to do is obviously the key when choosing a CRM system.  If I needed to track conversations and be able to analyze my customer base and print detailed reports then I could see the need for software such as ACT!, Goldmine, Maximizer, etc. 

Any organization with a sales force needs to have one of these systems in order to allow multiple users to access customer records and keep detailed information on prospects and opportunities.  And, from what I understand, these systems are essential when you need to generate regular reminders that it’s time to contact a customer.  Somehow, when I was in sales, I managed to keep track of all this information manually – looking back I have no idea how we did it!

I have a few thoughts on how to choose the right system:

  1. Keep in mind the complexity of the system and how much time it takes to maintain accurate records.
  2. Base your decision on what you need the system to do for you.
  3. Be certain that the system you choose integrates seamlessly with your email management program, calendar and tasks.
  4. Talk to an expert before making your final choice (check out The Red Group).

All that to say I have now discovered that I am so far from an expert on this subject it’s not even funny.  Perhaps something to add to my professional development list for 2011?


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