Understand the basic features and differences between client relationship management software (CRM) and Address books. Learn the features available to assist you in choosing the right system for your needs, including: images, privacy, multiple devices, notes, tags and keywords, dates, social media and integrations.
- [Voiceover] One of the most beneficial decisions you'll make while organizing your contacts is choosing a system. Select a system that will fit how you need to manage and use your data. Choosing the right virtual system is the cornerstone of your contact management. There are two broad categories of contact management systems, address books and client relationship management software, or CRMs. Address books store and organize data, such as names, email addresses, phone numbers, web addresses and more.
Some systems also keep information, such as keywords and tags, notes, images, and social media links. Some popular address books include: Outlook, Google Contacts, Contacts for Mac and FullContact. A CRM stores everything an address book does, but it also has additional features, which could include reporting and analytics, sales cycle and pipeline tracking, marketing integration, and so much more. A few well known CRMs include: Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, SugarCRM, and Zoho.
Throughout this course we'll focus primarily on how to manage an address book. Many of the concepts will also benefit those working with a CRM, though some of the specific software and techniques may be a little different. Research how your CRM integrates with any third party software and always create a backup before making any changes. There are hundreds of options on the market for virtual address books, and each person's needs from their address book are different. While I can't tell you specifically in this course exactly which program will work best for you and your situation, I can tell you what to look for in a system.
Here are some common features available to help you make a list of what you need before you choose a program. Image storage, images can help you remember what your contact looks like, as well as capture other information, such as written notes or business card images for your client. Search by tag or keyword. The ability to add keywords or tags to your contacts will help you find what you need quickly and easily, even if you've forgotten their name. Some programs have a field to add tags, and other programs can search all of your contact data for a specific keyword in any field.
Notes. A notes field is useful in so many ways. You can record personal information about your contact, such as their wife's name, hobbies, or conversations you've had, and you can personalize your communications based on that. You can also keep notes regarding work you've done in the past for them, key words you would like to use in a search, or when and where you met them. Do be careful not to include any information that's too personal, such as home alarm codes, bank PINs and passwords. Keep this information in software with higher-grade security, such as a password manager like LastPass.
Dates, in addition to birthdays dates such as when you met the contact or client anniversaries may be useful. Social media integration. If you use social media to connect with your clients, the ability to easily connect and follow new contacts on popular social media platforms, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, can be a huge time saver. Integrations, many address books integrate with popular email services, bookkeeping software, email marketing programs, and more.
Find out which integrations would be most useful to you and look for software that's easily compatible. Backup and sync, probably one of the most important features. Automatic backups or syncing saves time, and in the case of lost data, saves a lot of stress. Look for a program that either automatically backs up or that syncs to a Cloud service. Multiple devices. If you're like me, you're probably on the go a lot and need your contacts to come with you. An address book that syncs across multiple devices, including your desktop computer, tablet and smartphone, saves precious time and energy.
Keep the system as simple as you can while filling your needs, and it will be much easier to keep up.