When choosing Contact Management (CRM) software for your small business, it is important the difference between a Contact Centric and and Account (Business) Centric system. The is one of the biggest mistakes companies make when choosing a Contact Management (CRM) system. At Big Contacts, we are about to give you that choice.
Stay tuned for an announcement of the release of our very unique Business Contact Record. We think you're going to like it!
In Contact Centric systems, the primary organization is around individual contacts. In the Account (Business) Centric systems, there are two levels to the basic organization: a Business (or Account) layer to which multiple individual contacts can be related.
In a contact centric system, the database is organized around individual contacts. So, if you have dealings with 3 different people all from the same company, you would have 3 different contact records and in each record would be the company name.
A Contact centric organization makes sense if you are dealing with individuals and you do not need to do such things as look at an organization's combined history. It is very difficult and clumsy to track company related information separately from contact information. For example, if you want to track information about a company (e.g. sic code, # employees, annual budget, etc.) separately from contact related information (e.g. favorite hobby, home phone number, spouse's name, etc.). There isn't an easy way to do that:
- Under which contact do you store the company information?
- Which contact becomes the primary record?
- Do you store the information under both contacts...which makes updating difficult?
- Do you create a "contact" record to serve as the company record and somehow relate the contacts to it?
ACCOUNT (BUSINESS) CENTRIC
Account (Business) Centric systems have a layer above contact, the business or account that can link multiple contacts together. This has the advantage of being able to track company-related information entirely separately from contact-related information. This approach is usually easier to:
- See all opportunities for an account/company.
- See combined history.
- Do address updates.
- See the organization and all its contacts in one view.
- Report on company vs. individuals easier.
If you're working in an industry where you only need one contact record per account, you may want the simplicity of Contact Centric option. However, if you are going to want to track multiple contacts per account (business) then the Account (Business) Centric becomes the best option.