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Each member of your team is brought to meet new people on a daily basis, whether it's at a trade show, an event, a networking, on social media or simply by queuing at the post office. We will see in this article how to centralize, qualify and process your contacts for good team contact management. You'll save time and productivity with the right tools for you. 

Between business cards, LinkedIn profile or simple phone number, it is increasingly difficult to organize efficiently without wasting time.

Finding your organization becomes paramount! 

It's quite simple when you're alone although it requires an iron discipline on a daily basis. Without it, it is easy to get lost in the multitude of meetings and information. Managing contacts as a team quickly becomes a headache. Between duplicate contacts, unprocessed contacts and forgotten contacts, we quickly spend a lot of time searching for information and end up missing out on many opportunities.

And you don't have time to waste so let's get back to the heart of the matter and talk about organization.

The first objective of this organization will be to centralize contacts and their information. They will then have to be qualified and contextualized to get back in touch in the best way that it is quickly and easily. Every contact is important, but so is its qualification to save time and productivity. To do this, you have to equip yourself with the right tools!

1- Business card scanning tools for contact management

Everyone has a smartphone. Use it! Install a business card scan napp to scan your cards instantly at the time of the meeting. You'll save valuable time. Since I'm not going to repeat all the good of what I think of this type of application (see here "Marry to stack your business cards?"), I'll just say that we must be aware of its limitations:

Scan business card
  • The result of the scan is directly related to the quality of the photo taken. The accuracy rate is on average 90% on all digitized business cards. You will always need a little manual control.
  • A scanning app is only interesting if you can qualify the contacts and save them to the destination of your choice. It doesn't interest in how you work if your team records contacts in Outlook. The manipulations that are then necessary to share them are far from trivial.
  • French digitization applications give much better results on French maps. Avoid applications developed abroad.

2- Tools to centralize and facilitate team contact management

Centralize contacts into one tool for all members of your team. This is essential for good team contact management. Business card scanning applications are more suitable for individual use than collaborative. If you use such a tool, make sure it provides you with the means to qualify your contacts and automatically transfer them to your collaborative business tracking tool. This is essential to save time and productivity.

What are the right tools?

That's the big question.

In short, there are three schools: the Excel file, the CRM (in French: customer contact management) and the NRM (in French: managing its relational network). The purpose of this article is not to defend one in relation to the other, I give you here some thoughts. For the diehards of the spreadsheet, if you want to collaborate, this file must be shared, so accessible online. I'm pretty mixed about the interest of an Excel file. It will be difficult to send your contact data directly into your spreadsheet from an outside application except through automation forms.

Contact management tool

If you're looking for a CRM instead:

To choose your tool, you need to consider several elements:

  • The size of the team involved in this contact management
  • The complexity of your commercial pipe
    • Well define the route between the "entry tap" of contacts to send your data automatically to your CRM to the following lead management processes (qualification, sending emails, contacts by phone, act of purchase, etc…)
  • A good interconnection with other services. 
    • They can be directly integrated or available through other intermediate services such as Zapier. 
  • Also make sure that integration with an email service is functional.
  • If there is a mobile version with a mobile app 
    • Can you easily make a contact by taking a photo of the business card? Can you add notes, put an alert and have a follow-up even on the go?
  • The budget you want to allocate
    • CRM is very expensive very quickly. The price varies depending on the number of members on the team, the number of contacts managed, but also the features you choose. Define your needs well so you don't get caught.
  • Of course also – it's still very important: the ease of handling.
    • The simplicity of the interface is an important criterion of choice. This will encourage its adoption by the least enthusiastic members for the digital thing.
Your NRM

You can also adopt a new alternative by choosing an NRM 

Overall, we will find the same criteria in choosing an NRM (Network Relationship Manager) as that of a CRM. NRms are more suited to small structures and work teams. The simplicity of handling is therefore facilitated and contact management that is broader (not just business management access) to adapt to diverse needs. The price is more affordable and less fluctuating than the CRM. In general, the price is based on the number of team members for NRM.

NRms are excellent managers of individual contacts and for work teams. Each member of the team manages his own personal contact base and only pools interesting contacts with the team. 

The main downside of NRM is its limitation of use regarding the functionality of the rest of the business process. (Advanced contact in the sales pipe, automation of marketing actions, etc…)

However, NRms (usually) pair well with CRM and other automation tools, allowing only qualified leads to be transferred for the automation part of marketing and sales actions.  Useful if you prefer to process the mass of your semi-skilled contacts outside of your commercial pipe. 

I invite you to read the article What is an NRM? to understand all the pros and cons of such a tool.

In conclusion,

You have a large amount of tools and solutions at your disposal. It's up to you to choose what works best for you based on your needs for your team contact management.

No more excuses for allowing unprocessed contacts to accumulate.

You won't waste any more time manually entering contact lists, and don't leave unqualified contacts in your database. Your company will have its hands on the contact database, just like every team member to save time and productivity.

It's yours now!

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