Through the Eyes Of the Bold, Database Use

Yesterday I talked about the database and what is needed. Today I will address how I would use it.

Prior to importing the database, I would look at all the fields that are available in the database that we are buying and then I would create a template in the contact manager that has the same fields, plus I want to add some of my own so that I create a need on the sales staff to fill in those blanks whenever possible. I want to know everything that I can about that business within reason.

After importing into a good contact manager program, I would begin to assign each sales team member a certain number of prospects from the database. I would divide it up based on type of business so there would be some fairness in a good mix of potential clients. For this, I would print out a form with the database fields well visible for them to fill in.

These prospects will be contacted as part of our everyday prospecting program and the information will be filled in and returned to the commercial activities administrator to update the database. A new copy will then be issued back to the salesperson with the information filled in. This person will also enter all the data on a new prospect that may not have been in the database already. Purchased databases are not the most accurate things on the planet, so we will work on this constantly.

Next, we will use the database for target marketing segments. Let's say I have a few extra Contractor Bodies at this time, I would want to search the database for logical potential buyers and contact them in person, via a simple mailer, or email if we have the email address. One of our goals is to get every email address that we can and add it to the database for just these situations. Of course, I might want to target something for a different reason, but whatever the reason, with the database I have a much improved chance of success.

As we find new prospects from new businesses, referrals, or seeing trucks on the road, we will add them to the database. As time goes on, this tool becomes the most important tool in the shed. It will get used every business day for a wide variety of things. I do not have all my salespeople entering data into the database. It is gold and it will be cared for in that manner, so we have one person trained to enter data in the same way and everything else is done the old fashioned way: pen and paper. Besides, I don't want my salespeople sitting in front of a computer. I want them sitting in front of a customer or prospect.

Because we will have a very large database of surrounding counties, it will be important to send a mass mailing with address correction requested on it periodically. This will help us keep up with those we have not yet had a chance to get to or those who have closed, etc. I recommend that this be done once a quarter. If that isn't in the budget, then twice a year. Worst case scenario is once a year. It will be a great help. You will also make great use of that opportunity to send a sales message to all these potential clients and customers, so more often makes the most sense.

You can see just by this little that I have discussed that the database is my number one tool. Make it yours too.

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