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Conquer Contact Overload

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on February 15, 2011

Feeling snowed under by the sheer number of contacts you need to wade through every day? Not sure which contact to call on next, or which task should take precedence? You may be suffering from contact overload.

It is very easy to get to the point that you are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of contacts in your CRM (contact relationship manager). The good news is, with a few tweaks, it is also pretty easy to organize the contact information in your CRM so you can actually find and use it.

1. Minimize contacts. The first rule of thumb for controlling contact overload is to avoid having too many people and companies in your system. Be realistic about what your business can accomplish. Thousands of cold leads from a list you bought may just get in the way of meaningful interactions with qualified prospects and active customers.

There is nothing wrong with a list of cold prospects that could turn into customers one day. It’s just that you need to be strategic and organized in how you handle a large number of contacts. It is far better to segment that list out from the group of active contacts that you have ongoing interactions with.

2. Maximize details. Use the tools available in your CRM system to build useful lists you can work from to book more business and track your success. Again, you shouldn’t get carried away here. Focus like a laser on the information that helps you book sales. Think through carefully what makes an ideal customer and note and track the details that will help you identify your future ideal customers.

The details you follow can go from simple (region, type of customer, size of potential sale) to complex (color preference, number of children, astrological sign). If you keep track of the right details, you will be able to segment your contacts quickly into useful lists, track success of marketing and sales efforts, and find ways to build better relationships with whole groups of current and future customers.

3. Create current working lists. Don’t be afraid to segment out subsets of your contacts for targeted follow-up. With a good current list, you can develop a more focused approach to sales and marketing. Instead of working through your entire contact database to drum up business, you can take a few weeks and spend time with the customers whom you need to set up a repeat sale with.

Once you’ve conquered your contact list, you can begin knocking off your business growth goals.

Bradford Shimp
Customer Experience
BatchBlue Software

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