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The History of CRMs: How Contact Management Became Essential in Business

group of workers managing their contacts collaboratively, also know as contact management
Have you ever wondered exactly what CRMs are and why they’re so important? CRM is the well-known shorthand for customer relationship management. It’s a technology that specializes in managing a company’s relationships with customers and potential customers. While this sounds fancy and new, it’s not! CRMs actually have a pretty interesting history, spanning back thousands of years!

Contact Management Software’s Humble Beginnings

The concept of trading is as old as time itself. In fact, the first recorded trade was on a clay block in Cuneiform in 1750 BCE Babylon. However, we’d be willing to bet humans had been trading for a long time before that. While many things have changed between then and now, the basic principles of a trade have withstood the sands of time. Key elements in trading today include knowing your customers and potential customers locations, their desired trades, and where to locate your goods (by trade, pillaging, or otherwise).

Leaps and Bounds with Contact Management

Of course, a lot has changed since 1750 Babylon. We need to understand how basic principals of a trade have shifted into the modern format. Companies are larger than ever and so are their consumer bases. This means that companies need larger means of organization to keep track of it all. Traditionally, companies managed records and clientele via paperwork. A relationship manager would work steadily with a team to maintain everyone’s valuable records. The team would typically maintain records as far back as 7 years. Can you imagine the storage space this took? Imagine the ending of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It got pretty intense. This might seem a bit crazy, but at the time, they needed an accurate paper trail in case anything went wrong. That is, until the landscape of contact manager/CRM customer relations were forever changed with the invention of the internet.

Digital Dividends

The internet had a massive impact on the world, but it didn’t immediately take the shape it has today. The first computers took up the space of entire rooms, were run on vacuum tubes, and were purely used for complex calculations. Eventually, with the birth of the early desktop computers came the ability to maintain files digitally. This rapid growth allowed the transfer of digital files from one computer to another. This didn’t altogether replace the need for paper filing. It simply got the ball rolling from making a full change of face.

Contact Management Software

Now try to imagine a day without a smartphone. Try a week without bluetooth or a month without wifi. To put things into perspective, try years without any means of networking without keeping a physical contact book. The modern age has brought relationship manager technology and CRM customers to the forefront of the business world. Memos and notes from all of those important meetings can be stored on your phone via text entry or even just recording audio. You can customize your own business card on the fly. Even easier, you can gather and organize all new contacts made by using digital business card scanners and other business management related tech. When we look back on where we started, it’s easy to appreciate everything that we all take for granted today. With apps like StayTouch, users can handle everything business-related at the touch of a button. Scan business cards, record memos, maintain customer records, and more with this one application alone. Ancient business techniques have never been so streamlined.