Organising information about prospects

Maintaining good records is essential to good business. When it comes to finding customers, your prospecting records are a wealth of information that can help you quickly identify and meet the needs of your prospects - and make the most of every prospect interaction.

A prospecting information system allows you and your team to keep track of your prospects' contact details, known needs and buying preferences, issues and decisions. Your system can also help you to identify strategies for achieving sales.

Your system should store or reference all correspondence with each contact, lead and prospect, including:

  • the date and time of contact
  • the responsible salesperson
  • how the contact was made (e.g. via the website, phone, email)
  • the content of written correspondence, or a summary if it was a verbal interaction
  • the results of the contact.

You can use this information to schedule future contacts and help you target your follow-ups to secure sales.

Find out about your legal obligations for collecting and storing customer information.

Making the most of your prospect information

A well-maintained prospecting database will allow you to generate information that will help you make sales. For example, your salespeople could quickly generate a list of leads and prospects who:

  • have not been contacted in the past month
  • have a need for a specific type of product or service
  • live in a certain area
  • prefer to be contacted via email
  • are of a specific demographic (e.g. income level)
  • have received information about an upcoming sales promotion.

With accurate data, you can predict the future behaviour of your prospects and assess the effectiveness of past promotions and campaigns. Your prospecting database will also allow you to classify people as leads or prospects, assign priority rankings to prospects and leads, and avoid sending repeat information and correspondence to your prospects.

Considerations for choosing a database

If you want to buy a database to organise your prospect information, you may wish to look at:

  • office or business software packages that include databases
  • purpose-designed prospecting and sales databases
  • software that allows you or a database designer to build and customise a database for your business.

Also consider...