We know BuddyCRM is great for keeping all the information you have on your customers, clients and prospects together in one place. From phone calls, scheduling appointments, emails (and attachments), tracking the latest sales, accounting information, and sending out targeted marketing announcements. The list goes on and it’s up to you what you put into your customer records.
We’re big fans of the human element at BuddyCRM and know that unless you vet and polish things within your CRM then it really will be a case of Garbage IN, Garbage OUT. If you don’t keep your system up to date with the latest, most relevant information about your customers, then it stops being a useful tool. Many other applications try and take the human element out of “the sale” but we feel that is counter-productive.
So how do you get started from the beginning and how can you keep your contacts up to date, especially the ones that have gone cold or haven’t repeat ordered from you?
A regular audit of the health and accuracy of your contact records could help and here are some tips for updating your contact records:
1. Call cycling – no doubt you regularly call the contacts in your database. Your favourite customers are easy to call, but we can all be guilty of avoiding customers that have lapsed or gone distant. Put in place a scheduled call to those trickier customers on a six-monthly basis. When the time to call comes, ensure that your records are as up-to-date as possible by working through the following steps.
2. Search – Google, Bing and Yahoo are your friends here. Before making that call, check out the contact’s website.
Is the published address the same as you have?
Is the phone number the same? Are the team members you have information for still on their website?
Has that company made any new announcements on their blog? eg. a contract win or new product range – is that a way you could talk to them?
3. LinkedIn – Search your contact’s name on the leading business social network and you’ll be able to find out their official title, Twitter handle, and a bit about their background.
There’s a surprising amount of information in people’s profiles – which team they’re in, the office they work out of, what projects they’re a part of. With a bit more digging, you can build up a picture of who you should be talking to, what they’re like (check out their recommendations) and what they’ve done before.
Additionally, you can find out who your contacts report to which may help with finding out who the key influencers are in that company if you are to make a sale.
Lastly, connect with your prospects with your own LinkedIn account and follow their company to keep up to date with their activity.
4. Use a data service like Endole, FullCircl or even better, use the free service offered by Companies House. If you’re contacting a company for the first time, it can be helpful to know its financial strength. Endole offers a quick snapshot of the financial health of a company using official information from Companies House. This could help prevent you from getting into bed with potential late payers.
5. Email marketing – the emails you send out through BuddyCRM or your other preferred suppliers can provide you with valuable feedback for your database. For every campaign, you receive a report on its success. From that, you’ll know whether your prospects opened the email and even if they clicked on the contents.
You can also find out whether that contact still exists at the company through the bounce report. ie. if the sent email ‘bounces’ back then it can be a pretty strong indicator that your contact is no longer at that company. In which case, you’ll know that you’ll have to check through records to make sure the company still exists, where your contact has moved to (a potential new business scenario), and begin the process of forming a new contact at the existing company.
We hope you’ll find the above useful when updating your contact records next and if you need any more help don’t hesitate to contact us through our social media channels or by phone.