Centralising Your Prospect List: Introduction
All your data has to start somewhere. If you’ve started up a small business, it’s almost certain that your prospect list, or prospect lists, started off life in a spreadsheet. Or two spreadsheets. And then as your business lifted off the ground, it spread to another spreadsheet. And then another. And then another…
If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Lots of small businesses store their contacts in various different places, depending on what those contacts mean to the business, and where the business was at the time. But as time passes, as you get settled into the business, all this history between you and your data piles up.
Where do you keep your prospect list? If it’s split up between various sheets, you’ll undoubtedly be feeling its impact. Here’s why having one prospect list will benefit your small business, and keep you working to the best of your ability.
One Prospect List VS Multiple Spreadsheets
The Impact of Multiple Spreadsheets
Having multiple contact lists spread over different spreadsheets means that searching for one particular person just isn’t that easy. You have to:
– Remember the contact
– Remember the sheet they’re in
– Search within the sheet to find them
– Check if the information is up to date
This last point is especially important; you might have kept a few sheets up to date but not others. That means your information is out of date and doesn’t help you or your contact.
And what if you can’t find your prospect? Do you make a new entry for them? You’re at risk of duplicating entries, giving yourself more work to do in the future. It’s not an efficient way to run your business.
It’s not just about giving yourself extra tasks—it’s also what it does to your schedule. If you haven’t got your contact list in one place, you can waste time retrieving information. This, of course, is time that you could be spending doing many other things that always need to be done in a small business. Even better, this is time that you can spend on your prospect in a way that actually helps you further down the line, such as analysing their activity or catching up on follow ups.
This is especially true if you’re trying to collate information for reports, or gathering prospects to put together a campaign. The problem with having multiple spreadsheets is that it prevents you from seeing the bigger picture across all your prospects’ activities, so the overview you need to conduct a coordinated campaign cannot be there. Prospects that could’ve benefited from a certain campaign might not be chosen, which is a wasted opportunity for you both!
On an individual level, the risk of being left behind increases with every spreadsheet you have your prospect list in. If you easily lose a contact in a prospect list, you’re not likely to be caught up on where they are in their customer buying cycle. Not having a prepared approach means you are constantly on the back foot. Whenever you next get in contact with your prospect, this will be apparent—and potentially could turn them off the idea of buying from you.
One Prospect List: The Benefits
Organising your database so your prospect list is in one place requires you to do exactly that: organise. This will be a thorough checkup, where you can spot duplicates, missing data and forgotten contacts. Anything out of place can get corrected!
As a result, your database will work a lot better, saving you time when finding prospects. Not only will you be able to find your prospects quicker, you’ll find it easier to update, and you’ll know you have all the information right in front of you.
Having a cleaner database will make the entire affair a lot less stressful. Because you’ll have all that information in front of you, you’ll be working what you need—everything you need. The risk of forgetting anything useful when it comes to contacting your prospect will be much reduced, avoiding the problem of being a step behind your prospect. With everything in place, your marketing will become more efficient, more productive, and will ultimately generate more sales.
The benefits of having one prospect list are long-term, and team-wide. You can collaborate across different aspects of your business with the confidence that the information you have is up to date, positively affecting your work, motivation and productivity. Whoever else in your business who needs access to this information is also reassured of its reliability.
Going forward, it becomes much easier to see the bigger picture for your prospects, especially when segmenting for your marketing. Your marketing thus has reliable information, and your prospects are much more likely to respond positively to your campaigns.
Having your prospect list in one place will allow you to approach your database with confidence and carry that through to your marketing. Finding it easier to keep track of your contacts in your prospect list means you can deliver your best to prospects that you know will respond well to what you do.
Click here to find out how popcorn’s CRM centralises all your data, so you can make the best decisions in your marketing with the right information in front of you.