Sales CRM software is used by businesses to manage customer data, keep track of the entire sales process, and showcase what the business is doing right or wrong in terms of generating leads, revenue, and repeat customers. Sales CRM also helps businesses find a middle-ground between generating profits and actually caring about their customers by giving businesses the tools they need, specifically contact data management, to approach customers from a more personalized and knowledgeable standpoint. Contact data management is essential because it should be seen as the foundation for your business’ customer experience efforts, which could ultimately improve sales and generate more customers. This data can be difficult to manage, but it’s a necessary step businesses need to take.
Why Contact Data Management MattersContact Data management is essential for businesses using sales CRM software. Businesses that make a point of organizing all that contact data in an efficient and accessible manner are more prepared to work on rebuilding and improving trust between themselves and their customers. Contact data needs to be easily accessible and easily updated to ensure sales teams can stay on the same page with each other, see who’s working with who, how customers engage with the website, and how they progress through the sales pipeline. Knowing how to reach your customers is also essential. If you’re an online company, and your customers prefer reaching out via email, it should be easy for your company to access everyone’s email addresses. Same goes for phone numbers, texts, and in-person meetings. Prioritizing the customer ultimately improves customer experience. So the bottom line is: get a handle on all of that data, so your business can leverage this information to improve the customer journey, and improve the business’ bottom line, whatever that might be.
Key Features to Look ForNow, you don’t necessarily need some crazy new software or integration to get a handle on your data. Every Sales CRM software comes with a handful of contact data management features for businesses to take advantage of. Not every feature will significantly change the way your business handles customer experience, and some may even be detrimental to your sales team, leaving them with so much data that they can’t do anything with it. But for the most part, these features are there to help your team stay organized. Here are some key features that can be found in most sales CRM software, and can improve contact data management regardless of the size and shape of your business:
1. Advanced AnalyticsAdvanced analytics go beyond simple record keeping, and give sales teams a much better understanding of how customers are interacting with the site, and progressing through the sales pipeline. This can also involve metrics like sales trends, customer profiles, and case reports. Without advanced analytics, your business will have a harder time figuring what contact data needs to be stored, and what information best fits your sales team’s needs. The sales team, after all, is the team that will act as representatives for your business. If your business wants to emphasize positive customer experience, it’s essential to provide sales teams with the information they need to personalize every experience, not just generic data with no clear analysis.
2. Customer SegmentationCustomer segmentation is used by businesses to categorize customers by specific demographics like age, location, gender, income, or occupation. People and their values cannot be generalized. Customer experience relies specifically on personalizing each interaction customers and businesses have with each other. If your business offers high-end products to a lower-income base, no one will buy your products and your business will come off as being out of touch. When customers are segmented by key demographics, it’s easier for sales teams to prepare for meetings, phone calls, live chats, emails, and any other significant communication touchpoints. The more prepared your sales team is for these interactions, the more likely they could convert quality leads into customers.
3. MobilitySales CRM software should come with mobility features that make contact data management available away from the office. Giving sales teams the ability to store and more importantly access contact data on-the-go makes the entire sales process more streamlined. Let’s say one of your agents is at a meeting with a potential customer and the meeting is going well. The agent can ask the customer for any and all contact info so it can be stored or updated on the app in real-time, instead of forcing the agent to write it down and enter it into their system at a later time, potentially leading to inaccuracies. This means that while the agent is still with the potential customer, someone back at the office could find their information quickly and begin drafting follow-up emails or schedule another meeting right away, in real time. Quicker response times lead to positive customer experiences, and proper contact data management on-the-go can improve both.
4. Social Media and Email IntegrationsSocial Media is a great channel for improving customer outreach and customer support, but it can also be used as a channel for acquiring customer contact data. For example, Facebook allows users to list their birthday, where they’re from, their occupation, and so on. Sales CRM software should, and often do, provide businesses with the ability to acquire this essential data from social media integrations and organize it using segmentation based on specific demographics. Email integrations fall under the same concept. Customers and leads often leave their contact info in emails. Sales agents might add this information to their phones, but not input it directly into the CRM. If another agent needs that contact info, they might assume it doesn’t exist. These integrations will scrape any relevant information and input it right into your Sales CRM, saving agents time and keeping all relevant information stored in one central location.
Some Necessary AutomationsYes, automations can fit in with the features listed above, but the significance of automations is unparalleled to the rest. Automations are an absolute essential when it comes to contact data management because spending the day manually plugging in data is just a waste of time, and could lead to errors down the road. In fact, when we look at all of our previously listed features, what makes them f so powerful is the fact that they can all be automated. This allows sales agents to focus specifically on improving their relationships with their leads and customers. This means agents spend less time doing busy work, and more time interacting with customers, with the right information at their disposal. Here’s a list of the necessary automations sales CRM software should offer businesses who are interested in improving contact data management:
- Contact History: Contact history refers to the number of times a customer interacts with a business and the ways in which they contacted with a business. It’s important for sales CRM software to automate the organization of contact history because it takes away the guesswork from the sales team regarding how often a customer calls/has been called. The first phone call is usually very different from the fourth or fifth.
- Business Cards: The quickest way to give someone your information in person is by giving them your card. That card will have your name, numbers to reach you at, the name of your business, your email address, title, and business address. Sales CRM software can upload this information automatically and add it to a customer’s profile.
- Shared Address Books: Shared address books can be, as the name suggests, shared with the entire sales team. It can be updated in real-time by anyone with access to it, which can be helpful in certain situations, like if an agent is in a meeting with a customer and needs another agent to update their profile, the other agent can update it and quickly make it accessible.
- Calendars: Calendars should be automated so meetings with clients or regular departmental meetings are all updated in real-time. Agents can, and do, meet with more than one customer at a time, making it hard to organize their calendar. Sales CRM software will automatically add important meetings, phone calls, and conferences to the calendar that can also be accessed by the rest of the team.
Tips for Better Contact Data ManagementSales CRM software can make the whole sales process so much easier for agents, but it’s up to the team and management as a whole to consistently use the software for its intended purpose: improving customer experience. In order to effectively use sales CRM software and improve customer experience, your business should implement these five tips to help improve contact data management:
1. Prioritize Contact DataContact data is the foundation of sales CRM software. Without it, the reports and forecasts it can generate would not exist. Every agent should be aware that contact data is being prioritized, and using the sales CRM software helps the team as a whole.
- Emphasize the importance of contact data by clearly expressing to your sales team exactly what you want and why it’s important for the business.
2. Update Contact Lists FrequentlySales CRM software can automate the creation of contact lists and profiles, but if no one is going back to the profiles and removing outdated contact data, it could lead to conflicting, or just flat-out wrong, reports.
- Assign an agent to do a weekly, monthly sweep of the contact lists to ensure everything is up-to-date.
3. Only Take What You NeedThe amount of contact data, metrics, and reports sales CRM software can acquire often intimidates many sales teams. When there’s an overload of data, it becomes impossible to determine what’s important and what’s not.
- Only collect contact data that is relevant to your business and will help your business succeed to encourage agents to use sales CRM software.
4. Track How Contact Data is UsedSales teams often use contact data in ways that are easiest for them. It’s important to keep track of how your sales team uses contact data so you know what data is important for making their lives easier. This helps eliminate the chance of overloading your team with too much data.
- Frequently check reports and analytics to determine which metrics provide the best feedback -- or simply ask each agent what they feel works best.
5. Leverage Interactive DashboardsInteractive dashboards completely transform the way your business can manage and view data. These dashboards are often updated in real-time, which help agents view customer profiles quickly, analyze key metrics that express how customers are interacting with your business, and share information with anyone who’s granted access to that data.
- Ask agents to look over the dashboards to see who’s working with who and to see if contact data is correct.