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Contact Management vs. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Take a look at this post to read about some of the differences

There seems to be a lot of people who confuse contact management and customer relationship management, and I'm attempting to help make this a little bit more clear...

Let me just say I really don't like the term: Customer Relationship Management. For one thing you manage a lot more than just customers, in your CRM system!

Some of the things that I manage using my CRM include:

  • Follow-up Tasks
  • Appointments
  • Quote Requests
  • Support Requests
  • Notes
  • Call logs
  • And much more

Many people get confused when they think about CRM, and liken it to just Contact Management.

Here's the difference:

  • Contact Management - Is nothing more than your personal Rolodex, and evolving collection of contact information that gets updated periodically. This list typically contains your family, friends, co-workers, customers, prospective customers, etc.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - Is the software / process that you use to assign deliverable tasks to specific contacts. It's not just storage of contact information! Aside from your telephone, and email client (Outlook, etc.), it's typically the next most used tool in the professional salespersons arsenal. Not only does this software include contact information, it includes specific actions.
    • WARNING: If you are new to sales.  This tool is typically used by sales managers to review your daily activities, and track what you are doing. SO, make sure you update it frequently, and make sure you know what your manager is looking for.

For the record I'm a big fan of Google contacts for my personal contact management, particularly because I can VERY easily push the data within Google Contacts to whatever smart phone I am using for the day :) . Additionally Google has unique push mail capability similar to Microsoft exchange that's free and I am also a huge fan of it's called Google sync.

As for CRM systems, I'm not a huge fan of any of them. I will go into the specific pro's and con's in another post but here is a list of some of the more popular ones I've used over the past 8 years.

I hope that this help's alleviate any confusion for you as you are evaluating CRM software within your business, as always feel free to contact me with any specific questions.

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More Stories By Nick Kugelman

Nick Hession-Kugelman is a marketing and mobile technology professional focused on helping organizations to find the right solutions to help fill the gaps in their business. Follow Nick on twitter at @NickKugelman or on his Blog Do It Yourself Marketing

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