There is a misconception amongst many small business owners that a contact management software is only suitable for large businesses. They think that small businesses do not require a contact management software, because they have a small database which can easily be stored and managed on spreadsheets. However, in order to build and scale a business, you do need some sort of a contact management system.

Before we define a contact management software and what benefits it can bring to the businesses, it is best to share with you our findings. After speaking to a lot of small businesses, we have discovered their understanding of a contact management software is not clear. They believe a contact management software and CRM (customer relationship management) software are the same.

They are under the misconception that they don’t need to use one at this stage and will buy it, when they scale up at later stage. This can not be further from the truth. To build any business successfully, you need a contact management system. A small business is in most need to invest in a contact management system. You would be aware as a small business owner of the statistics of failing businesses.

Over 95% of small businesses fail in the first 12 months and 50% won’t survive past the first 5 years. By having a contact management software, it can help you with growing your business and remaining profitable.

Contact Management Software vs CRM

Before we delve any further into how a contact management software can help any small business grow, it is important to define a contact management software and what the difference is between a contact management software and a CRM.

Contact Management Software

Contact Management Software

A contact management system allows you to store key information about your clients. This is usually their contact details (name, address, telephone number and email address), communication, payments and interactions with customers. All this is kept in one place. It can also keep a record of each activity; such as booked/ reschedules appointments, sales, invoices and any notes made by staff member.

A contact management system streamlines the entire business process. It makes it easier for you to interact with customers, understanding their buying behaviour and update records when required. Some features of a contact management software are:

  • Centralised information in one place
  • Scheduling
  • Leads/Sales
  • Notes/Follow up templates
  • Document Management
  • Invoices/Payments
  • Conversation history
  • Email marketing

What is a CRM?

A CRM (customer relationship management) is a more sophisticated detailed system, which is designed to handle more complex and long sales cycles. In particularly, for medium and enterprise customers. It performs all tasks of a contact management software, but also has advanced sales and marketing functions. Having a CRM makes it easier to nurture leads, track interaction with clients and foster a rapport with customers. These CRM softwares are all about managing sales funnels, sales cycles and relationships. They are not just about storing basic information and client communications.

It manages the entire processes of sales cycle, such as changing status of the leads, keeping record of scheduled meetings, arranged demo, follow up messages and feedback given by the customer. A CRM plays an important part in running the sales and lead generation smoothly.

Benefits Of A Contact Management System

Now that you know the importance of a contact management system and if you are serious about growing your business, you must invest in a contact management software to meet your goals.

You can use Grow in Cloud which has been specifically designed for small service-based businesses. There are many benefits for using a contact management system, some are given below:

1) Better understanding of your customers

As all information about customers is stored centrally in one location. It makes It easier to stay connected with customer. It also gives you better understanding of the customers and their interaction with your business. You can keep track of customer interaction with you such as meetings, contact request, messages and all the touch points before they decide to buy a product. You can also see their preferred method of contact/communication.

For instance, if a customer is always communicating via email. You can communicate with him by email method rather than making a phone call and not getting hold of them.

2) Improved customer satisfaction

We all know it takes hard work to gain a customer and you can lose him in a second. It is much better for business to keep existing customers happy. Nearly 33% of American customers say they will switch companies after a single bad customer service experience. Customer’s expect to get better customer service and feel valued.

Contact management software enables businesses to provide enhanced customer service. Because all information about customer is stored in one place, a staff member can have a look at the communication with the client before contacting him. It will help you increase customer satisfaction as you will have access to customers full communication log with the business.

For example, a customer calls to make an enquiry regarding an order he has placed, you can log into the contact management software to pull up his details. You will have access to his full records such as:

  • When the order was placed
  • Who took the payments
  • How many times customer has called prior to this

It will relieve the need to ask customer endless question to understand the nature of the call. This will enhance the customer service experience as the customer interaction with business will be pleasant and increase customer satisfaction.

3) Offer personalised customer service

Because all the information is centrally stored, it makes it easier for your staff member to prepare himself before making a sales call. For instance, you can have a look at customer profile and records to examine previous communication with him.

You can look for what is the best time to call him, what sort of questions does he ask and how much is he willing to spend at a time. This will enable him to provide tailored customer service and be better prepared to take control of the call and be ready to handle any objections the customer raises. The customer will feel valued as you would come across knowing what customers concerns are and how the solution you are selling will help him overcome the problem. He will be warmer towards you and the likelihood of closing sales would increase.

4) Increased productivity

Another benefit of using contact management software is increased productivity. It streamlines and automates many processes such as scheduling appointments, auto filling forms and sending customised follow up messages.

This gives you free time which is normally spend on performing these less productive tedious tasks. Your team doesn’t need to worry about calling clients to remind about meetings and send follow up messages. The time can be spent with prospects and customers which brings more value to the business.

5) Upselling/Cross selling

It is easier to sell to existing customer than to a new one. This is because they have developed trust with you and are more likely to buy to something you offer due to their previous pleasant experience with your business. Contact management system can make it easier for you to upsell/cross sell to existing customers.

For example, your customer’s purchase order shows he takes book keeping services from your business. You can contact him to upsell VAT submission service as an upsell. The chances are he will buy the service, it will make more sense to have one person managing his financial affairs.

6) Reduced expenditure

With so many processes and procedures automated, you don’t need many employees. The money that you would normally spend on assistant or support staff can be eliminated and free up your time which would be spent in managing employees.

You also don’t need to invest in multiple software for running the business. All major information can be stored centrally and tasks can be performed from one system saving you money. It also reduced the expenditure securing and closing leads by making it easier for you to communicate with the leads/customers and close them in shorter period of time.

7) Better team collaboration and customer support

Contact management software makes it easier for you to share information across teams and better collaboration. Team members from every department can view entire customer history and updated information.

They can easily collaborate internally with staff members. For instance, if a sales team member has closed the sales and needs finance to chase for payment, he can add a note to chase payment and assign the task to finance individual.

Customer support also becomes efficient and raised queries can be resolved in rapidly in an efficient manner. The customer support staff can see client’s entire history such as appointments, orders and purchases etc and makes it easier to resolve customer query based on the information available to them.

8) Better targeting

Contact management system can also help you with marketing your business. You can perform different search queries based on demographics such as industry, gender, location, business type and business size and produce a list for designated marketing campaign.

You can also do a email marketing campaign from the software or if you use a specialist marketing automation software such as mail chimp, you can export the contact list in form of a CSV file. Devising a targeting list for marketing has never been easier, you can perform a highly targeted list in a few minutes.

9) Better insights and analytics

Grow in cloud contact management software is more than just storing customers details in a software. It also enables you to produce different reports to analyse the data available to make better informed business decision which will help in growing business and revenue.

For instance, you can produce sales reports for any giving period to analyse the sale of products/services. This feature can help you tremendously with marketing campaigns.

It can be used to analyse which months has the highest sales, which demographic of customers is making more purchases and if there is any seasonal fluctuation. Reports feature can be used to collate information which can be used in devising business strategy.

10) More profits

By simply cutting time consuming manual tasks such as data entry, it will free up more time for business. Your sales team can spend this time to close sales and not worry about where the customer’s and leads data will be held.

A contact management software automatically organises data in a clear field and your team does not need to worry about administrative task. As your business grows, having automated processes in place will help in retaining more customers. This will help in providing excellent customer service and making up-sells and cross-sells by understanding the client’s need better. The business will increase profits by freeing up more time for staff to bring in new customers and serve existing customers better.

A contact management system will benefit any size of business. It helps business to keep better relationship with their existing clients and is a pre-requisite for any business looking to scale up with using limited resource effectively.

Grow in Cloud can be good fit for any small business. It can streamline and automate most work processes and give more time to the business which they can spend in business development and providing better service. It also enables business to run targeted campaigns which can provide better ROI (Return on Investment) in a short span on time.

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