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Contact Manager -- How To Get The 3 Powerful Capabilities Of A Grown-Up Contact Manager - Part 2

Aug 30, 2007
I want you to bear in mind that mobility and protection go hand in hand with scalability. You truly want all three power capabilities present in any Contact Management System you opt for. No top quality system is really complete without all three features present.

Mobility And Accessibility

The whole point of having a Contact Manager is to centralize the "storage and management" of information but not to lock it all into one computer or one central database. Look, even if the central database is on a server (central computer) accessible by everyone (authorized users) in your organization, from their own computers, that is still "not" enough.

You really want to make sure that anyone going on a sales visit or working away form their desk can access the information, even if they are "not connected" to the office network or the Internet for that matter. Is that possible? Sure it is. But most vendors will not tell you about it, because those vendors don't have this functionality.

Is it also possible to let those "disconnected users" modify the information and later automatically synchronize with the central system? Yes, that too is possible and you absolutely must look for such a Contact Manager.

This is the only way to have full information available to all those who need it, where and when they need it the most. Using such functionality, you will always have your contact information bang up to date without spending a penny on admin or secretarial support.

Multilevel Security

This is a really overlooked power feature when you look for a suitable Contact Manager. And it is a totally essential complement to the scalability and mobility functions.

You surely want to be able to monitor the usage of the Contact Database but also be able to measure the performance of your team, your organization and the system itself. So you must have total supervisory control over the Contact Manager. But do you want everyone in your organization to have the same level of control?! No, of course not.

What you really want and need is the ability to allow any individual, only to access the parts of the information database that are essential for his job function and no more than that. Sales people should only have access to the client records you assign to them.

A telemarketing person should only be able to see the contact records that you want to call in the next few days. You of course don't want a junior telemarketer to be able to see the entire database and risk that person walking away with or passing on your entire company's valuable client data.

Let me make it clear, most people are inherently honest and trust worthy. However, it would be naive and negligent of me or you for that matter to assume absolutely everyone we will ever work with is totally honest and dependable. The world just isn't that way, right? Right.

The other thing to note is that most things in life are relative. The temptation for anyone to do anything like pass on your information is relative to the value of that information to "the recipient" of that info.

As an example, a competitor may wish to employ your external junior telemarketer. Imagine this telemarketer has access to only a handful of telephone contacts at any one time. This isn't normally enough to tempt your competitor to make any underhanded offers.

However, the same employer will definitely be at least "tempted" to ask your telemarketer whether he or she could "bring" the database ("your" database) with them to the new company!

Multilevel security enables you to give everyone access to what they need. You can also choose the type of access. Some people will only be able to create records. For example their job may be data entry into your Online Contact Manager from paper records, business cards, responses to print advertising, etc.

To others, like your sales people, you could allow editing rights too. So they update customer and prospect records with the outcome of each of their sales calls.

Incidentally, that way you can immediately see how their sales calls are progressing too. You will therefore have your "finger on the pulse of your organization".

Very few systems have flexible and deep enough multilevel security. Of those that do, most make the handling of the security system so complex that you probably will not bother with it. Thus you miss out on this vital requirement. Do focus on this issue and find a solution that fits all the above criteria. You will be glad you did.

When you look through most literature on Contact Managers and Contact Management Software, you will notice the glaring omission of the above subjects. It is an unfortunate fact of life that most writing on this subject is too superficial to alert you to the above.

And when vendors provide information, they breeze past the features that they cannot deliver on. That is of course understandable. However, you owe it to your own business success to ensure these powerful capabilities are present in your future Contact Manager.
About the Author
So, do you already know your best options for low cost Contact Management Software with power features? Find out at Power Features - www.Contact-OnDemand.com - Click Here

Dr Sami C Fab is an expert in Contact Management. He has developed and implemented Contact Management Software Systems perfectly suited to small and medium companies.
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