A decade ago the term contact management was used to define a software program that allows access to contact information like name, email address, physical address and phone numbers. Today, Contact Management software, in addition to tracking contacts, can track appointments, emails, encounter notes, etc. Wikipedia defines the Customer Management System (CRM) as software capable of providing integrated customer data and services and solves their issues. Usually, CRM is used by the sales department to manage accounts, sales projections and opportunities. Its core function is to create a better relationship with customers. Contact Management is a broad term that can encompass tracking of customers, vendors and service providers. They are usually less advanced than Customer Relationship Management software.
Act and Goldmine were among the first DOS-based Contact Managers in the 1980s.
Contact Management software can organize contact information and put it in a database. In most Contact Management systems, this information is also linked with other information related to marketing, sales and support tracking. One of the functions that it facilitates is the conversion of prospects to customers and then to clients. Many systems also provide features to send newsletters to the prospects to keep them interested in the products that the company is selling.
OfficeClip Contact Management software touches most aspects of managing information related to contacts. It provides a workflow that starts with capturing the leads and continues with conversion to customers, converting opportunities, tracking time spent on projects and provides a self-service help desk to keep customers satisfied. Some of the important functions of Contact Manager are:
Separately, best-of-class configurable software in each of the above areas may cost many thousand dollars and includes man hours to implement and configure. Today’s small business organization wants a simple system that can satisfy 70 to 80 percent of their needs without a high price sticker and maintenance overhead.
CRM Buyer article on the difference between Contact Management and CRM