Lead management: turn Google’s Gmail into CRM

Today’s internet it is clear that Google plays an important role in the development of some of the best software programs. Google continues to distinguish itself as a software innovator. If you’re looking to accomplish a personal productivity task, Google likely has or is working on a solution. The growth of email over the years has brought out the good and bad of the features we like to see when we use our email. Google’s GMail is an excellent example of leading the way and being one of the top choices for many users today. Google ‘GMail has taken a very mature technology in our email and made us see how we process, manage and retrieve our electronic communications.

Taking a closer look at a key feature that GMail has potentially touched on is its versatility in creating custom management strategies or processing questions. This flexibility is what makes GMail an ideal platform to use as a personal contact management system or as a simple CRM.

GMail as contact management?

Contact management is primarily a system that helps a salesperson quickly identify new prospects, make contact, and manage follow-up.

Inherently you get the communication tool, email. Leveraging the power of Google’s search, tagging, and filters, you gain management of those communications. You are most likely using a CRM, like ACT! or Goldmine, you are using a lot of email-like features, but you still have to leave that app to use email as well.

Time is money, so you don’t want to waste time bouncing between multiple apps. So why not stay in your email app?

Import and manage contacts

One of the critical roles of your CRM is capturing and managing your contacts. Your sales system needs to easily get your prospects and customers into the system, refer back to them quickly, and manage updates efficiently.

GMail does each of these tasks exceptionally well. Whether you’re exporting contacts from Outlook, Apple Mail, or uploading a contact spreadsheet, GMail makes it easy for you. If you already have your contacts in an email or on a social networking system like Yahoo! Mail or LinkedIn is even easier just log in and click.

Creation of a sales prospecting system

Now that you have all your contacts on GMail, Google search becomes a powerful prospecting tool. Are you looking for a person in a particular company? Do you need all the Senior Vice President or Senior Marketing Executives? Do you need everyone in the healthcare industry? All of these types of prospecting questions are easily answered and your database is segmented using GMail.

Most importantly, using GMail as a contact management system puts all of these prospects at your fingertips and ready to contact.

Real-time internet lead generation management

GMail also has great features for managing internet lead generation in real time. Combining the power of filters, tags, and actions, you can immediately prioritize and queue leads as you see fit.

Filters allow you to create complex rule sets for specific types of emails. This can allow you to:

* Highlight (i.e. stand out) emails that come from potential customer sources

* Tag different sources of leads

* Filter them into specific groups for tracking

You can take this contact prioritization and management system one step further by using GMail’s latest multiple inboxes to create sales channels and queues.

Prioritize with GMail’s New Task List

Of course, no sales management system would be complete without a to-do list. GMail has a simple but elegant to-do list. Not only can you create your to-do schedule, but you can also turn emails and correspondence into to-do and follow-up reminders.

Also, don’t forget to use the Google calendar to schedule and keep track of your appointments.

Integration of social media tools

Finally, sales have to do with commitment to people. Few technology concepts have helped sales engage customers as directly as social media.

With Google’s robust GoogleTalk built into GMail, you can embed all of your social media feeds as well as your email conversations. Again, turning all of this communication into a searchable prospecting database.

There is no doubt that GMail’s functions to use as users are much more than just an email application. GMail can be your personal Google contact management or CRM software.