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Customer Relationship Management brings with it many benefits for small business owners. But perhaps none is bigger than the task that gave this type of software its name. For the first post in our series on how  how small business owners benefit from CRM software, we’ll focus on the backbone of any solution: contact management.

Why You Need Contact Management

When you began your small business, you may not have thought of strategic, digital contact management as a necessary tool. After all, you can count your customers on one hand, and could just keep them in a physical book. But as your business grows, your efforts scale, and your communications with prospective or current customers become more complex, you will begin to realize: contact management is crucial.

For starters, it allows you to keep your contacts in one place, which allows you to get a sense of how large of an audience you’re trying to reach without having to spend time researching or manually counting your leads and customers.

But the advantages of contact management go beyond its rather obvious benefit of one, central location. A CRM allows you to collect information about your contacts in a single profile, which will be invaluable when your sales team begins to touch base to convert prospective into current customers. The single click of a button or search of a contact’s name will bring up contact information, past interactions with your website and marketing materials, and more.

Contact Management Strategies

A contact management system also allows you to be strategic in how you manage your individual contacts on their way from mere leads to becoming loyal customers.

Such a strategy begins with research. A CRM allows you to gain information about your customers, such as how they came to enter your database, where the majority of them come from, etc. This knowledge will be crucial in your efforts to convince your contacts to become customers.

Next, you can trace and determine the journey your contacts take on their way to becoming customers. What pages do they tend to visit on your website, which emails are they most responsive to, and what characteristics do customers share? Again, this helps prioritize your marketing efforts.

Finally, you can gain insight on whether your actual marketing efforts – especially email marketing – accomplish their goals in keeping your brand in the minds of your audience. Tracking open and click-through rates can accomplish just that, and ultimately improve your email marketing.

Segmenting Your Contacts

At last, we come to another functionality of your CRM that enables a crucial step in all of digital marketing: targeting and segmentation.

Put simply, not all of your contacts will come from the same backgrounds or geographical area. Depending on their individual properties, they will expect different marketing messages and emails to be convinced that your products or services are the right choice for them.

A good CRM allows you to take a broad database of contacts and narrow it down into specific segments, enabling you to target your marketing efforts with messages that are specifically relevant to individual subgroups within your target audience. As a result, you get contact management that is not your average database, but instead a cluster of smaller databases that help direct your marketing (and ultimately your sales) efforts.

In short, Customer Relationship Management can be helpful to small business owners in a variety of ways; but it becomes nowhere more evident than in the feature that gave this type of software its name, contact management. Contact us today to learn more about contact management and the vast range of benefits your business can reap from CRM software.

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