I'm in a medium sized distribution organization that has 20-30 employees with around 40 dealers and 100 locations in North America. Our current problem is the time-consuming nature of managing external dealer contacts for our employees. I would like to know if anyone has any recommendations or thoughts on the best way to manage contacts.
We are currently invested in Exchange Online / SharePoint Online and use Public Folders and Distribution Lists to manage contacts for each territory. We also have a separate dealer portal that we create users for dealers based on the external contacts that get entered into the public folders.
Our typical usage scenarios are emails going to out to specific dealers or all dealers about certain product updates. Email also gets sent out to types of users whether it's to all sales managers or all service managers of a dealership.
Our sales team will copy public folders contacts into their Outlook folder contacts so it will sync contacts to his phone. If he wants to update the contacts he has delete the contacts and re-download from the public folder to his Outlook contacts folder.
All in all its a lot of re-entry of data and can be difficult for sales team to manage their own contacts, especially ones that aren't tech-savvy and require the time of other employees to do it for them.
We have looked at options like SalesForce and other CRMs, but it seems like a very expensive way to go for what we want. I am wondering if there are any services or better ways to manage these contacts in a organization. Examples would be greatly appreciated!