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As the inspirational speaker Bob Hooey once said: if you don’t take care of your customer, your competitor will.
The challenge, however, is to understand what it means to take care of them.
And what better place to start than with contact management software?
In a nutshell, it will help you understand who your customers are, what they need from you, and what kind of interactions they have with your business.
You’ve guessed it: it’s all about aggregating knowledge, keeping it organized, and using it to grow your business. In fact, it’s very close to a CRM, or customer relationship management tool, as most of the features overlap.
And speaking of features, let’s look at some of the ones you should absolutely have:
While there are fewer moving parts in managing contacts than full customer relationships, make sure yours still performs well in the following areas:
If you’ve used a CRM or contact management tool in the past but need to join the big leagues, Salesforce is the name you’re going to hear a lot. Yes, it’s the most popular, with nearly 20% of the market share, but also one of the most
daunting and complex solutions, so make sure you give sign up for the free trial before you jump the gun.
Zoho, an American / Indian company that’s been in the CRM game since 1996, offers plenty of software options. You have the CRM, of course, but also Zoho One, which is more of a set of business applications, including contact management software.
The software itself is easy to use, and comes with a handy integration with Google products, making it ideal for a tech novice or a freelancer.
HubSpot is known for one fantastic offer: their “free forever” plan. With that, you get great reporting and pipeline dashboards. As expected, there’s a catch, though: going over your contact limit quickly becomes expensive.
Still, you can’t complain about a free product, which makes it a good solution for very small businesses and freelancers who just need a little extra help managing contacts’ information.
Microsoft needs no introduction, and in fact, their Dynamics CRM is nearly as famous as Salesforce. Of course, the immediate advantage of using the tech giant’s own solution is that you get seamless integration with other Microsoft products.
However, it should be noted that Microsoft Dynamics 365 is more geared at enterprise clients with vast IT and training budgets. You’ll need a good 5 - 10 days to implement it, not counting the technical training required to get the most from the
“We’ve been operating for 25 years, and Act! has been vital in helping us keep track of conversations with all of our customers. We have 35,000 contacts in our database and Act! helps make us more efficient.” – Carey Wilbur, Founder & Partner,
One of the pioneers of CRM, Act! has refined its software over the years to offer some of the best features for small businesses at an affordable price point. Out of the box, you get 30 custom fields (15 for sales and 15 for opportunities) on the entry
plan, a beautifully designed Kaban board for managing your pipeline, and robust email marketing automation, including pre-built campaigns to get you started quicker.
And as for contact management, everything is included. You can keep emails, sales deals, websites, and addresses, including a neat Google Map plugin, to visualize their location.
Best of all, Act! Growth Suite starts at a very competitive $25 per user per month, including free support and very generous email send limits.
Click here to get started with your free trial of Act! Growth Suite!
The good news is that there is no shortage of excellent contact management tools available these days. You’re sure to find the one that meets your business needs, whether you are:
And if you’ve got a bit of time to spare before committing to a solution, we’d recommend you try a few of them. Most providers offer a free trial, which will help you decide how best to simplify and streamline contact management for you and