The Intrinsic Business Value Of Contact Management Software

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If you were a very large company in the nineteen seventies you might have invested in The computer system. In those days this usually meant either a minicomputer or mainframe. You might have built into that bespoke software system some facilities of the function of contact management software. It would be limited, cumbersome and very expensive.

With the arrival of the PC widely available contact management software for use with it was somewhere on the distant horizon. The PC and its very survival needed killer applications and this was not one of them. At the beginning the killer applications were Word processor software and spreadsheet software. Effectively this meant that anyone who bought a PC in those days wanted to use it primarily for those two purposes.

From today’s perspective it is difficult to conceive that business people, consumers and, most of all, software developers could not see any requirement for very many more such killer applications. Today most people have many applications on their computers without which they would feel their work and, possibly, their leisure seriously impeded. The most widely used software today probably is e-mail. Coming “hot on the heels” of e-mail software is web browser software. Most people especially involved in business rely on many software applications in their daily work. They would find their work seriously compromised if they suddenly had no access to them.

Could any library work efficiently nowadays without a sophisticated database system? Could any accounts department today function without accounting software? Could any marketing department do their job efficiently without the use of presentation software, other graphics software and perhaps page layout software?

About fifteen or twenty years ago, depending on which applications you refer to, the idea of writing specific applications to handle contact management came on the agenda . It’s not surprising because managing large number of contacts and their history and interaction is a fairly ideal job for a computer program. It’s not surprising also that contact management software became so popular, since a lot of sales and marketing departments use it. And since sales and marketing departments are by definition, the prime revenue generators of any business they often get particular attention.

Modern contact management software is ideal for this purpose. The first thing is that specific data is initially entered into the system for each new contact. Such contacts can be either sales contacts or supplier contacts. After the information of name, address, company, e-mail address, phone number etc is in the system, all further dealings are recorded in the database. This includes a record of conversations, emails sent and received, letters sent and received, and notes taken.

Because it is a database system the user is able to look over the history of all this interaction going back years. The user can, if necessary, extract any combination of this information using the friendly interface and compile a report which can be printed out if necessary.

Even for small companies the number of contacts can grow to a very large number. Without such a system this would be very difficult to manage efficiently. And one of the other great features of content management software is its reminder function. For any time into the future it can set reminders, for tasks, meetings and phone calls. Coming up to the date of such events it can produce an audible or on screen reminder on the user’s computer. As well as that it can be set up to issue an e-mail to all other people involved in the forthcoming event.

All these facilities are extremely useful and close to indispensable. However, many users maintain that the feature they could not really operate without is to do with mailing lists. The capability of contact management software to generate mailing lists is powerful and of great value particularly in the sales context. A user can tell the system to extract a list of all contacts in particularly categories. A category could be the contacts in a particular town. Another category might be all contacts in a particular industry. The contact management software can then be instructed to send a e-mail to all of these. Alternatively it can be set up to produce a letter for printing for posting. In such circumstances the software may also print the envelopes.

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