Contact relationship managers (CRMs) are a super convenient way to digitize your Rolodex of contacts so that their contact information is always at the tips of your fingers and able to be changed and updated as soon as you receive any new information. CRMs allow you to collect and store so much more information about your contacts that a traditional Rolodex just wouldn’t be capable of and there’s no need to worry about deciphering messy handwriting!
Now you may be interested in digitizing your many contacts and managing them through a CRM, though you may also have some concerns about just how simple the CRM implementation process really is.
Short answer? Implementing your CRM may take a little work upfront, but once you have it up and running, you will never turn back!
To help the CRM implementation process as easy as possible, here are three tips to help you get started.
Take advantage of custom fields
Any contact relationship manager worth its salt should be flexible enough to allow you to store any kind of information on your contacts that you need – whether it’s standard contact information or not. One way that some CRMs allow you to do this is through the ability to create custom information fields in which to store this information.
Before you start implementing your CRM, you first need to figure out what information you are looking to store and manage.
Typically, the bulk of CRMs will have your basic fields where you can store your contacts’ information:
- Email address
- Phone number
- Mobile number
- Fax number
However, you may need to store additional information about your contacts that won’t fit into the default field options provided. This is where custom field creation comes in.
There are two parts to adding a new, custom information field. First, you will need to name the new field. Second, you will need to specify the type of information that will be stored in this field – whether it will be a number, text, latitude/longitude coordinates, etc. This will help ensure that the CRM is able to correctly process and store the information in the format you need.
Bulk import your contacts
Once you have added and configured all the information fields you need to properly and completely store your contacts, the next step in the CRM implementation process is to actually import your contacts!
Rather than adding new contacts to the CRM manually one at a time, filling in each piece of contact information individually, a decent CRM should allow you to bulk import many contact records at once. This can be done with the help of a spreadsheet file and field mapping.
First, create a new spreadsheet document and add headers for each of the information fields you are using across the top. Then, add a new row for each of the contacts you wish to add to the CRM with the appropriate information in the respective fields. When you have completed your spreadsheet of contacts, you should be able to select the bulk upload option from your CRM solution and select the file from your computer to upload.
During the upload process, the CRM will do its best to match the fields in your spreadsheet to the information fields contained within the CRM. There should be very little manual intervention (if any) before your contacts are successfully imported into the CRM.
Segment contacts into lists
Now that your contacts have been imported into the CRM, you can easily manage and update them as needed. One way to facilitate the management of your contacts is to segment them into different lists based on their respective purposes.
With list segmentation, your contacts are able to exist on more than one list at the same without creating duplicate records in the CRM. For example, perhaps one contact is a member of one group within your organization but is also affiliated with another group outside of your organization altogether. This contact has one contact record within the CRM but they can be added to multiple lists depending on the various associations with your business. And when you update a contact on one list, you can be sure that the contact’s information will be updated on any additional lists they may be on.
Bonus Tip: Combine CRM with automation tools
Now that your CRM implementation efforts have been successful, there are so many other things you can take advantage of when it comes to CRMs – first and foremost their ability to be easily connected with automated communication tools!
Automated communications could be as simple as sending a one-off bulk email or a mass text or could be as sophisticated as creating an entire automated campaign complete with several communication touchpoints via multiple different channels sent at various pre-scheduled times.
These tools would allow you to choose your pre-designated contact lists to send to, without you doing any additional uploading or configuring, making your communications easier than ever!
Try SimplyCast: CRM implementation made easy!
The SimplyCast CRM is already connected with more than 20 different communication channels within the same platform, allowing you to easily import, manage, and send messages to your contacts whenever you need to.
Click the button below to sign up for a free trial of the SimplyCast platform to see just how simple it is to digitize your metaphorical (or actual) Rolodex!