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One of the things that makes fantastic salespeople different from average salespeople is effective follow-up. We've all seen the stats and we know the numbers, the average sale takes 6 contacts but the average salesperson stops at 2. What does that tell you? That tells me that we just need to stay in contact with our customers more and we will get more sales. What holds salespeople back though? If the average salesperson knows that contact is the key, then why do so many of them stop short of success. My thoughts are that it might be because it's so difficult to keep track of who and when you talked to and that is exactly what a contact management software is for.

CRM software is a program that makes it easier for salesman to effectively followup on their leads. There are many options available for contact management software. You can go with an open source crm, hosted crm, or one that you install on your own servers. Each one of these has it's advantages and disadvantages, but any start is a good start to having your salesman rank their leads and then put them into a follow-up sequence.

A very popular option in the last few years has been the web based crm solution. This is popular for many different reasons. As salespeople are on the road, it's so important to be able to access customer records from their laptop, PDA, or any other computer via a remote connection. Hosted CRM solutions let them do that. As working from home becomes more popular, more are opting to do as much work as possible from the comfort of their own home. The advantages are great for both the salesman and the sales manager. If they are out calling all day, the last thing they want to do is stay in the office to update their notes while their family is having dinner. For managers, it's nice because salespeople can still be productive if they are at home with a sick child or if they just want to work from home for one day.

Small business owners are also learning that an effective CRM software program could accelerate the growth of their company. As owners look to grow their business rapidly, they look to contact management solutions to aide in that growth and make it as efficient as possible to stay in touch with important prospects. In recent years, more software companies have come out with programs or solutions that can start with even 1 user which makes it affordable for even the smallest businesses. To be able to followup with key contacts is so important to the growth of many of these small businesses.

So if you are in the middle of deciding whether or not the cost of a business contact manager can be justified. Keep in mind, just one sale can pay for the program for years to come. CRM allows salespeople to have a spot where they can come in and check their records for the day and get more accomplished because they have a clear head. It's not only good for the sales professionals, but also for the management team. Being able to see the pipeline of the entire team puts them in a better position when it comes to cash flow projections and figuring where the company will be in a year. Besides the obvious benefits, sales contact management programs are great for even the little things, like remembering an important customers birthday. What better reminder that you care about your customers than by sending a card on their birthday? Those little things make a big difference and are just some of the reasons that a good contact manager can be valuable to your company.