The tools available to the sales professional are endless. If you had the mind to, you could have four or more electronic devices strapped to your body enabling you to be totally connected and available to anyone in the world at all times. Now that's dedication to keeping the lines of communication open!
- You would have your beeper on your belt for those people you want to hear from but not acknowledge.
- You would have your cell phone in your coat pocket for those people you want to hear from and/or be able to contact regardless of where you are or what you're doing.
- You would have your PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), BlackBerry or other smartphone in your shirt pocket to look up (while driving your rental car) the address of your next appointment. Or you could check your calendar to see where the heck that appointment is supposed to be, surf the net to MapQuest to get directions, check your e-mail, make notes to yourself, check your to-do list when you're bored, etc.
- You would carry your laptop in your black leather executive backpack to use in airports to document the meetings you're at, the sales you made, surf the net, check your e-mail, play Free-Cell, update your contact management software, and complete your expense report. You would then sync that info with your PDA and you're ready for the next day!
- You may even be carrying your digital projector to display those dazzling PowerPoint™ presentations you've put together.
Now there are even Web-based applications for sales that you can access from anywhere using your Web-enabled cell phone, PDA, or good old-fashioned laptop. Isn't technology great!?
In case you've been living in a cave for the past few years, you probably don't know all about CRM and its relationship to Contact Management Software. Basically, contact management software was the foundation for what is now Customer Relationship Management, or CRM. There are many software packages available to choose from that are either simply the contact manager portion, or the full-blown CRM version. You can also find programs that are Web-based to enable you to access your information from anywhere at any time. Regardless of which level your company uses, having some form of contact management software is necessary.
Let's take a closer look at CRM.