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Contact Management Software Explained

Customer relationship management (CRM) software can be complicated and expensive. For businesses that need the ability to capture contacts without an expensive, complex system, contact management software serves as the perfect option.Using contact management software, businesses can store phone numbers, email addresses, and mailing addresses for customers and notable contacts in a simple system with an easy-to-use interface. This information is usually hosted in the cloud, making it accessible from each user's mobile devices and PCs, allowing access from anywhere.

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What is Contact Management Software?

Contact management software offers a variety of features to business users, including:
  • Streamlined operations - Multiple employees have access to view and update information, allowing a customer to speak to multiple employees without having to provide the same information each time.
  • A more organized workforce Instead of scribbling customer information on Post-It notes, employees enter it into a system, where it's catalogued for easy access.
  • Improved sales opportunities - Because information is captured in the system, sales staff never have to worry about missing out on a lead. Contacts can be flagged for follow-up to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
  • Integration - With some of the more popular software options, customers can enjoy integration with the applications they use every day.
Effective contact management is essential for businesses to provide the level of customer service today's consumers expect. As contact management has become more advanced businesses have adopted systems that have the ability to import information from sites like LinkedIn. Many systems also integrate with email and social media.

Typical Features

While contact management solutions can differ from one brand to the next, there are some basic features available in many of these systems. The core functionality of all the available software is its ability to store contact information, including names, phone numbers, and email addresses. It's also essential that the interface include an easy-to-search database to make the system as usable as possible. In addition to these basic features, many contact management solutions have add-ons. These can include:
  • Calendars - When calendar functionality is included, employees can input important meetings and attach relevant contact information to those meetings. This ensures they have the data they need to get to the location and be successful once they arrive.
  • Notifications - Reminders are essential to keeping track of the many leads an employee has in the pipeline at a given time.
  • File sharing - Some contact management solutions include file-sharing capabilities. This makes it easy for one employee to transfer important information to other employees as they work with a customer.
  • Notes and to-do lists - Contact information is essential, but it's also important to be able to keep track of other information related to customers. Some contact management software includes the ability to make notes or attach to-do lists to an individual customer.
  • Tags and categorizing - Using tags and categorization, employees can make customers easier to find in the system. Employees can search by keywords, but they'll also be able to identify customers using specific tags and categories.

Software Providers

There are several leading software providers offering contact management solutions to businesses, including:
  • Salesforce - This leading name in contact and lead management offers a cloud-based module that lets businesses input contacts and track communication history. This option can work for businesses of all sizes. Pricing isn't made publicly available, but Salesforce's CRM plans start at £17 per month.
  • Zoho - In addition to capturing contact information, Zoho's contact manager provides sales tracking and lead management feature to improve your sales efforts. At £7.70 per month, Zoho is ideal for small and medium enterprises.
  • Act - Although it's been on the scene a while, Act has struggled to keep up with the many players that have invaded the space in recent years. Act integrates with Microsoft Office to make letter and email deployment easy. Prices start at £6.42 per user per month.
  • Insightly - Features include flexible calendaring, interaction with Evernote, and file sharing. Insightly is free for up to two users with basic plans starting at £7.70 per user per month.
  • Full Contact - Full Contact pulls information from existing resources, including social media, Outlook, and business cards. A comprehensive basic plan is free, including up to 5,000 contacts and two-way syncing with Google every 24 hours.

Price Range

Contact Management Software is relatively low in price, ranging from free up to £320 for ACT's premium edition. Businesses should price several services to find the best option to meet their needs. Free trials will allow you to try out each service before you make a final decision.Read more: CRM Price Comparison

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