Keeping track of all your contacts is difficult enough for your personal life, but with business contacts, knowing who's who can make or break your professional life. That's why you need a CRM—a contact relationship manager that will help you make the connections between your professional contacts and keep all of your info about them in one place.
Most CRM tools are expensive and complicated to get started using, but one of the simplest for individuals and small businesses to get started using is Zoho's ContactManager. Part of the Zoho set of tools that include online office apps, email tools, and more, Zoho ContactManager can store your contacts, deals, and tasks and keep them synced across your team so everyone knows who everyone important to your company is.
Getting started with any CRM app can be confusing, so in this tutorial, I will be showing you how to start using the service to manage your business contacts and deals, giving you a one-stop-shop for team’s client organization. All you'll have to do is create a free account and follow along, and you'll have your contacts organized in no time.
Adding Contacts to Zoho ContactManager
To start, launch your favorite web browser and head over to the ContactManager website and log in using the Sign In button located towards the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Once logged in, look towards the right-hand side of the window at the side-bar. Make sure you’re clicked into the Home tab and look towards the center of the window.
Importing Contacts From A CSV/XLS File
You should see three different import options: CSV/XLS File, Zoho Contacts, and Gmail. If your contacts are saved locally to an CSV or XLS document, select the CSV/XLS File option and look towards the center of the screen where you’ll find a “Choose File” button. You’ll now be prompted to upload said file. Once uploaded, click the Next button located towards the bottom of the window.
You’ll now be taken to a window where you can assign each columns in your CSV file to a Contact Manager Field in order for ContactManager to be able to read and sort said contacts. To do this, look towards the center of the screen and assign each of the drop-down menus on the right-hand side of the window to its title on the left-hand side of the window. For example, if you have a column in your XLS document named First Name, assign it to the First Name option via the drop-down menu. When you’re done doing this, click the Next button and your contacts will be imported.
Importing Contacts From Gmail
If you select the Gmail option from the contact import area, you’ll be prompted to authorize your Google account with ContactManager. After authenticating, look towards the center of the import window: you’ll see all of your Gmail contacts in a scrolling list. You can select each contact individually to import by clicking on them, or, if you’d like to import all contacts at once, click the all button located above the list of contacts. When you’re done selecting contacts, click the Done Selecting Contacts button located towards the bottom of the page.
Now, you’ll be prompted to assign contact keywords to different contact manager fields, like we did with columns when importing contacts from an XLS or CSV file. Once you’re done assigning fields, press the Submit button located towards the bottom of the window.
Manually Adding Contacts to ContactManager
To add contacts to ContactManager, look towards the left-hand side of the ContactManager window towards the sidebar. From here, click on the Contacts button and look towards the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Click on the button labeled Add Contact.
Adding Contacts Using Facebook
Now, look towards the center of the screen where you’ll find two options for adding contacts to ContactManager: Facebook and Do it Myself. If you select Facebook, you’ll be prompted to authenticate your Facebook account with ContactManager.
Once authenticated, you can use textbox located towards the center of the window to search for names and email addresses of Facebook users. To add a user to your ContactManager contact book, click on the account of said person from the drop-down menu when searching. You’ll then be brought to that contact’s page in your ContactManager address book. ContactManager will pull in as much information about the selected contact as possible from Facebook, though you may have to edit this information by clicking into the text boxes under your contact’s name and typing in additional information. When you’re done adding information, click the Save button located towards the bottom of the page.
Adding Contacts Manually
If you’d prefer to add contacts to ContactManager manually, select the Do it Myself option and look towards the center of the menu. From here, you can input contact information for your new contact. Additionally, you can also add tags for easier organization within ContactManager. For instance, if you hire multiple freelancers, it may be worth tagging them as “freelance” for easier searching. When you’re done adding contact info and tagging, press the Save button that is located towards the bottom of the window.
Viewing Contacts in ContactManager
Now that you’ve added some contacts to your ContactManager account, you can view them in one of two ways: by search or in a list view. Using the search option is pretty straightforward: look towards the upper right-hand corner of the screen at the Search box. Click into this box and type in the name of the contact you’d like to view and click on their name from the drop-down menu to view their info. It’s as easy as that. You can also search by tag, email, or by anything else that has been added to your contact.
If you’d like to view your contacts in a list view, look towards the right-hand side of the ContactManager window and click on the Contacts button from the sidebar. Look towards the center of the Contacts window where you'll find all of your added contacts in a list.
If you have a large number of contacts, viewing them all on a list can be a bit overbearing. This is where tags come in handy. You can view all of your ContactManager tags from the lower right-hand corner of the Contacts page. To view all contacts within a tag, click on said tag.
You can also view your contacts sorted by employer as well. To do this, click into the Companies tab that is located towards the left-hand sidebar. From here, you’ll see a list of all the companies that are found in your contacts. To view all of your contacts from a certain company, click on that company’s name to view a list of them.
When inside of a company's page you can also view all deals and tasks that said company is linked to. To do this, click on the deal or task button located towards the center of the company's page. Additionally, you can add comments to a company page by clicking into the comments tab.
Keeping Track of Business Deals With ContactManager
Not only can you use ContactManager to keep track of your contacts, but you can use it to keep track of business deals as well. To access this functionality, click into the Deals tab from the sidebar. Towards the center of the page, you’ll see an empty deal field. If you’d like to add a deal to your ContactManager account, fill out this information.
When filling out your deal, you can associate said deal with contacts in your ContactManager account by way of the Associate with field. In this field, type in your contact’s name and select their contact from the drop-down menu.
Finally, you can tag the deal via the tag textbox located towards the bottom of the page. When you’re done filling out your deal’s information, save it by clicking the Save button located under the tag textbox.
Creating and Viewing Tasks in ContactManager
ContactManager is also a great way to keep your team up-to-date with different tasks that may be going around in the office. To create a task, click on the Task button on the sidebar and look towards the center of the window. Like with deals, you fill out information about your task and assign it to a contact or company.
Using The Home Screen to Keep Up-To-Date
If you look towards the top of the ContactManager sidebar, you’ll see an option labeled Home. This option allows ContactManager users to view a continuous stream of all activity that goes on in their ContactManager account. For example, if a new contact is added, it will show up in this feed, even if said contact was created by another employee.
Additionally, you can quickly and easily send messages, create deals or create tasks within the Home menu as well. To do this, look towards the top of the page where you’ll find three buttons: Status, Add Deal, and Add Task. Click on one of these buttons to perform their respective task directly from the Home menu.
If you’re creating a new status from ContactManager, you can attach files to your update by dragging-and-dropping them onto the status, and you can crosspost said status to Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button located towards the bottom of the status update textbox. When you’re ready to publish your status update, click on the Share button located towards the bottom right-hand corner of the status update box.
Your Team is Now Ready to Use ContactManager
Your team is now ready to use ContactManager to collaborate and stay up-to-date on the latest deals, contacts, and tasks. It'll be easier than ever to know who's who, and you'll save time from searching through old emails and notes every time you have to call a client.
If you have another favorite CRM tool, or need help getting started with ContactManager, be sure to let us know in the comments below. And be sure to check out the rest of Zoho's tools; they're great web apps that are little-known but can cover most of the needs your company may have.