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How to Choose Software to Manage Contacts [Buyer's Guide]

Learn how to select the perfect contact management software with our comprehensive buyer's guide, to keep your business organized and efficient.

Rose McMillan · April 25, 2024
How to Choose Software to Manage Contacts [Buyer's Guide]

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Are you part of the 48% of business owners dissatisfied with their CRM?

What if the key to transforming your business relationships could be found in a single, strategic choice?

This buyer's guide seeks to help you select the ideal contact management software. It's a guide that simplifies, clarifies, and leads you toward an informed decision. From pinpointing your unique needs to finding a scalable solution, we cover all the essentials.

Key features to look for

Picking the right contact management software matters more than you think. You need to find a system that fits your team like a glove.

Now, let's take a closer look at why each feature is fundamental to your strategy.

1. Contact database

A contact database should do more than just store names and numbers. It needs to be smart. Here's what it should include:

  • Rich profiles: Each contact should hold more than just basic info. Think emails, social media links, and notes on conversations. This gives you a full picture of a client relationship at a glance.
  • Easy search: You need to find contacts fast and good search tools save you time. Look for ones that let you browse by name, company, or even conversation topics.
  • Segmentation: Grouping contacts can be very helpful, as it lets you tailor your messages. This means better engagement and happier customers.
  • Up-to-date info: No matter what tool you choose, it should be easy to update. Old info is no help to anyone – plus, you avoid embarrassing mix-ups.

Bottom line: A contact database keeps you (and anyone in your team) organized and informed. It makes sure you always know who you're talking to and what they need, and that's exactly how you build lasting relationships.

2. Interaction tracking

Interaction tracking is like keeping a diary of all conversations with your customers. With the right tracking, you can remember every detail and use this to strengthen your relations with your clients. Here's what it should contain:

  • Timeline view: You should see all interactions with a contact in order.
  • Types of interactions: Calls, emails, meetings, and social media interactions – all of these should be tracked. The more details, the better you understand your customer's needs.
  • Reminders and follow-ups: The software needs to remind you when it’s time to reach out again. No missed opportunities or forgotten promises!
  • Notes and tags: Adding notes and tags to interactions helps you remember key points that might be needed in future conversations.

Tracking interactions will help you build stronger relationships since you can tailor your approach based on previous conversations. It shows customers you listen and care about their needs. That’s how you turn one-time buyers into loyal fans.

3. Data import and export

Data import and export lets you bring in what you need and share it when necessary. Here's what to look for when considering its capabilities:

  • Flexibility: It should accept data from various sources. Think of spreadsheets, emails, and other CRMs. You can switch to a new system or update your existing one easily this way.
  • Simplicity: Importing data shouldn't need a tech wizard. Avoid headaches and make sure it is straightforward, with clear steps.
  • Export options: Sometimes you need to share your data, maybe for reports or to sync with other tools. That’s why the system should let you export data easily, in formats like CSV.
  • Error handling: It should spot and warn you about errors during import, like duplicate contacts, to keep the database clean and reliable.

Smooth data import and export means less manual work for you, as it keeps your database up-to-date and ready for action. Switching systems? Making backups? Analyzing data? These contact management features keep you in control.

4. Filter/search function

A top-notch filter/search function acts like a super-powered magnifying glass for your contact list. It should include the following:

  • Speed: Your tool has to be fast. You type in a name, a company, or any other detail and results should appear instantly, with no waiting around.
  • Accuracy: It finds exactly what you're looking for, even if you've only got a partial match. Precision and flexibility save you from sifting through similar results.
  • Advanced filters: Sometimes, you need to dig deeper, so look for options that let you combine criteria. Say you want to find all contacts from a certain city who opened your recent e-mail. Practical filters make this easy.
  • Tags and custom fields: A system that lets you search by tags or custom fields you’ve created adds another layer of organization.

Time is money, especially in business. A solid filter/search function means less time hunting for contact details – and more time engaging with your customers or planning your next move. It helps you stay agile, as you have the right info is always at your fingertips.

5. Integrations

Useful integrations are critical when it comes to finding solid CRM software

They make your contact management software work seamlessly with the other tools you rely on daily. Here’s what to look for:

  • Wide range: A good system integrates with a variety of apps and services. Email, calendars, social media, marketing platforms, and customer support tools are just the start. The more, the better.
  • Two-way sync: Information should flow both ways. Changes in one app automatically update your CRM, and vice versa. No matter where you look, your data is always up-to-date.
  • Customization: Some contact management systems let you tweak how integrations work. You decide what data syncs and how it's used.
  • Ease of use: Setting up integrations should be straightforward. You shouldn't need an IT degree to get things working. Look for simple, clear instructions and support if you get stuck.
  • Reliability: Integrations need to work smoothly, all the time. Downtime or glitches can disrupt your business. Great systems have a reputation for reliability and quick fixes if issues arise.

Integrations save time by automating tasks that would otherwise require manual input. In short, they allow you to do more, better, and faster.

6. Custom fields

The right contact management software should have custom fields. These allow you to tailor the information you track for each contact, beyond just the basics. For this feature, here are some things to double-check:

  • Versatility: The software must offer a range of custom field types — text, date, number, dropdown lists, and more – so that you can capture the exact type of data you need.
  • Easy setup and use: Adding and editing custom fields should be straightforward. You don't want to jump through hoops every time you need to adjust your data tracking.
  • Integration into searches and segmentation: Custom fields should be fully searchable and usable in segmentation. You should be able to quickly find contacts based on any custom data point or group them, according to specific criteria for targeted actions.
  • Reporting and analytics: The best contact management tools let you generate reports and analyze contact data based on your custom fields. This feature turns your tailored data points into actionable insights, helping you make informed decisions.

Adding custom fields to your contact management transforms it from a generic database into a powerful, sophisticated tool for all sales-related tasks.

What to consider when choosing a contact management solution

The easiest way to gather information about a particular software is by reading what the users have to say. Look into Reddit, and review websites like G2 and Capterra, as well as niche forums and sites like Quora. You can find out important facts about different platforms – hidden costs, potential bottlenecks, and customer support efficiency.

While helpful, this can’t replace you trying out a few things on your own.

Opinions on usability are mostly subjective so take these with a grain of salt. Scheduling a demo to see the tool in action, or testing it out during a trial period, is a far more reliable way of assessing how it performs.

Besides the features, other factors must also be considered:

Pricing

When it comes to choosing a contact management tool, most marketers start with the pricing page. You want something that fits snugly within your budget without forcing you to stretch it.

But it's not just about finding the cheapest option out there – you need to confirm you're getting real bang for your buck. The solution you pick should meet your needs today, and be able to scale with you as your business grows – all without surprising you with steep price hikes.

And while you're checking the price tag, don't forget to peek behind it for any hidden fees, like setup charges or support costs.

Business requirements and goals

It might be obvious, take a hard look at what your business needs. What's the challenge you are facing?

Maybe it's keeping track of a growing list of contacts or needing to know more about each one than just their name and email. Or perhaps your team follows a specific sales process that your new tool has to support?

You need to match the tool to your goals, whatever they are. So, before you choose, make sure the solution can handle your contact volume, offers the depth of information you need for each contact, and fits neatly into your existing workflows.

Ease of use and user adoption

Think about how intuitive it is. The ideal software has a user-friendly interface that your marketing or sales team can get the hang of fast.

You want something that feels natural, so you don't waste hours on training. If it's simple, everyone can jump right in and stay productive without missing a beat.

Customer data should be easily retrievable and searchable. The setup of filters should be simple. Adding new contacts should be a breeze.

The quicker your team gets comfortable with the software, the smoother your operations will run.

Integration capabilities

Check the solution's ability to integrate with existing tools like email platforms, social media, and marketing automation tools matters a lot.

A system that fits smoothly into your current tech setup simplifies workflows and cuts down on the need to jump between applications.

Customization and flexibility

Check how much you can customize the contact management tool to match your business processes. The true value lies in your ability to tweak and tailor everything from fields and forms to views and reports.

Custom views can turn a cluttered database into an organized dashboard that speaks your team's language. This flexibility means the contact management platform works for you, not the other way around. Your choice should fully adapt to your business.

Scalability

Pick a solution that's ready to grow as you do. It needs to keep up with more contacts and bigger challenges without breaking a sweat.

Switching systems down the line is a pain. It saves you a headache and some serious cash. Plus, you can keep rolling smoothly, no matter how much your business takes off. Going for something scalable means you're all set for whatever comes next. Keep it simple, keep it smart.

Support and training

When picking a contact management tool, check out customer service options. You want to know someone's got your back if you run into trouble. Verify if they have easy-to-follow materials and contact channels for the tricky bits.

Training's a big deal, too. It helps everyone get a handle on things right away. Good support means less headache and more time doing what you do best. You get to keep things running and receive a little help leveling up.

What makes Capsule CRM the right choice to manage your contacts

Capsule CRM stands out because it combines ease of use with powerful features.

It is a top choice for businesses looking to take their contact management to the next level. Based on user reviews, here are some things that might make it your choice:

User-friendliness

Capsule CRM wins big on user-friendliness. People love how easy it is to navigate. Even if you're not tech-savvy, getting around Capsule CRM is straightforward. This simplicity means you and your team can start managing contacts right away, without a steep learning curve.

There's also extensive documentation and guides available here if you need assistance.

Customization

Capsule CRM's customization nails it for your business needs. Create custom lists to sort contacts just how you like – think of projects or locations. This way, your contacts stay organized.

Need to attach contracts or proposals to profiles? Capsule lets you do that. Now, every important document sticks with the right contact.

Sharing contacts with your sales teams keeps everyone in the loop. Updated info flows smoothly, avoiding mix-ups and doubling up on work.

Data tags come in handy, too. They bundle related custom fields under one tag, cleaning up your view of each contact.

The mail drop box is a real-time-saver. Forward emails to a Capsule-specific address, and they automatically link to the right contact. No more manual email sorting.

In short, Capsule CRM molds your business, making contact management simple and keeping your team efficient.

Seamless integrations

Capsule integrates with software like Xero, Zapier, Transpond, Gmail, and 50+ other solutions. This is gold for contact management as you can sync the data across all of them. No more manual data entry.

And users love the integrations!

You can link Capsule with other apps through Zapier or directly.

Customer support

Capsule's customer support is considered a standout. Personalized responses make all the difference. Users mention how the support team listens and acts on feedback.

Got a suggestion? They're all ears and quick to make updates. This kind of attention is a big win for users. Completing customer tickets is not the only objective here. Capsule is a true partner in managing your contacts.

Simplicity

Capsule CRM is child’s play to set up and even easier to use daily. This CRM doesn't overwhelm you – it offers just what your business needs.

Users praise how Capsule fits seamlessly into their work routines. From PR firms to micro businesses, the feedback is clear: managing contacts, tasks, and sales pipelines became effortless with Capsule CRM.

Key takeaways

  1. Finding the right contact management tool can make your business relationships better.
  2. Your contact database needs to be smart – rich profiles, easy to search, and always up-to-date.
  3. Keeping track of every chat, email, or meeting with your contacts keeps your sales process up and running.
  4. Moving data in and out should be a breeze, saving you time.
  5. A quick and precise search feature gets you the info you need, fast.
  6. Integrating with other apps you use makes everything smoother.
  7. Tailoring fields to your needs helps you keep track of what's important.
  8. Choose a tool that can grow with your business to avoid headaches later.
  9. Ease of use means everyone on your team will use it.
  10. Capsule CRM stands out for its ease and the way it works well with other apps, making managing contacts simpler.

Conclusion

Choosing the right contact management software, like Capsule CRM, can transform how you handle business relationships, making the process smoother and more efficient.

Keep these key points in mind to find a system that not only meets your current needs but also supports your growth in the long run. Find a system that grows with you and discover ways to boost your business. Try Capsule free for 14-days and discover for yourself.

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