Life must have been so much easier with Rolodexes. Back when phones had cords, if you had an inquiry you would write down the name and phone number and know that as long as you had your Rolodex, you were in control.
Unfortunately life has become a little more complicated. These days it’s difficult for business to answer the question – who are the most important people to your business?
Obviously at the top of the list are your customers, but closely following would be a much longer list of prospective customers. In the post-Rolodex world, that second list can come from a range of sources, most of them digital.
LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. Email newsletter signups, webinars. Lead generation, bought databases, EDMs.
Each name that comes through a business is a potential sale. But even when businesses are scrambling to find customers, many of the names that cross the digital counter are falling through their fingers because it’s just too hard to know which names are important and which aren’t.
The starting point for contact management in most businesses is the humble email address book. The long-reigning Outlook has swollen with more features designed to help manage contacts into an order useful to the business.
There are good reasons for why email address books have become a de facto database for managing all the contacts in a business. The most convincing is that everyone knows how to use them because they’re all fairly basic.
But basic systems designed for a single channel – email – often fall short in our multi-channel world. Email is great for communicating with existing customers but these days it’s not the first point of contact.
Social networking has been sold as an effective way to gather leads. If your customers are from younger generations they may turn their nose up at email – some only communicate through social media.
And the growing trend towards content marketing will amass prospects’ details directly into a database through forms on your website or blog.
A business that can manage, maintain and grow its list of contacts will have a higher conversion rate of prospects to sales.
Every Wednesday during the Future of Work series we will look at the best applications, tactics and theories behind good contact management. Please tune in for the latest ideas on how to keep on top of managing all the people important to your business.