Salesforce: Customizing Contact Information

By Tom Wong, Liz Kao, Matt Kaufman

After you complete the standard fields in Salesforce, you never have trouble knowing where to reach your contacts. Whether they take your call is another question, though.

Think about all the personal or professional information that you commonly collect on your best contacts. For example, if Michael Jordan is your client, you might like to know that he loves golf and fine cigars and has five kids. And he’s always driven to be number one.

Ask yourself these questions while you customize your contact record:

  • What professional information is important in your business (for example, prior employers or associations)?

  • What personal information can help you build a better relationship?

  • How do you evaluate the strength of your relationship with the contact?

  • What probing questions do you commonly ask all contacts? (For example, what are their current initiatives and business pains?)

You should always keep it simple, but if any specific fields are missing, write them down and seek out your system administrator. Salesforce can help you remember important details about your contacts, and you can use that information to build better relationships.

Precision target marketing

A leading telecommunications provider wanted to improve the coordination between sales efforts and marketing programs. Over the course of a year, the provider’s marketing department planned numerous campaigns that included direct marketing, trade shows, customer case studies, client outings, and so on.

In the past, marketing managers wasted substantial time trying to extract contact information from the sales teams. By customizing the contact record to collect important personal and business information, and then training sales reps to update custom fields on contacts in Salesforce, the company has realized substantial savings in time and better productivity in targeted marketing programs.

Entering and Updating Your Contacts

Your contact database is only as good as the information it contains, so Salesforce has multiple ways for you to get your contacts into the system.

You can either start from scratch and manually create new contact records, or if you already have contacts on a spreadsheet or in another tool, you can use Salesforce’s simple wizard to import your contacts within minutes.