I'm not sure if you're familiar with the concept of six degrees of separation? The ideas is that all living people are six steps or less from one another, making the entire world population reasonably close. Bearing this in mind, you may well have hundreds of friends, families, business or other associates floating around your network. LinkedIn has even turned this into a feature, showing you people within your environment as being 1st degree, 2nd degree and 3rd degree of connectedness to you.
As you can imagine, it is very easy to get carried away with building up networks. In fact you see it all the time on social media accounts overflowing with friends, connections and likes. Eventually you are going to reach saturation point however and that’s when you can have too much of a good thing. First of all the important connections will get lost in the “noise” around you, and secondly if you’re not careful you end up with masses of connections that remain unqualified and serve no purpose other than to clog up your networks.
Having said that, there isn’t an inherent problem with amassing data and connections, the solution lies in knowing what to do with it.
If we take a look at OpenCRM, you have some very specific modules – leads, companies and contacts – that allow you to start to break your connections down into groupings. We even offer custom contact modules should you wish to further segment the types of people you interact with. Even here though you can potentially have hundreds of thousands of records stored. Now’s when you need to think clever.
Categories such as industry or fields of interest allow you to divide those people based on market. Address information allows you to build a map of where your clients and prospects live and work – a vital detail for anyone involved in event management for example. System date stamp fields can also play a highly important role: created date fields tell you when the data was introduced onto your system; last modified date tells you how long ago you spoke to your clients, and the next activity date fields lets you know who you have (and perhaps just as importantly) or haven’t scheduled follow-up actions with.
Whether your contacts are linked to you by the first, second or sixth degree, carrying out a bit of segmentation as you set your system up will help you reap the long-term benefits of the data you store at your fingertips.