A (b2b) prospect database is an electronic file which maintains records of the companies your organisation would potentially like to do business with.
Similarly, a consumer prospect database would host individuals and other fields & events relating to those individuals (communication history, personal & lifestyle information etc).
In building a prospect database it is vital to identify and plan the prospect data fields that are relevant for storing. Typically these fields would come under five primary headings:
1. System Data
- Date record loaded to prospect database
- Database unique reference number. (for matching)
- Expiry date of prospect record (if licensed). i.e., when to remove.
- Date record was last updated. (vital for ensuing data protection compliance)
This information is all created at the point of building the database (or loading new data), and then updated by the prospect database controller as required.
2. Prospect Company & Contact Details
- Company name, address & postcode
- Telephone number
- Fax number
- Website address
- Contact name (s)
- Job title (s) (e.g. Managing Director)
- Job function (s) (e.g., responsible for HR, IT, Finance etc)
- Email address (es)
- Direct dial (s)
- Preferred method of contact*
These variables can almost all be sourced from a data list broker, and/or updated throughout the marketing process such as telemarketing updates to the database.
* This final variable is worthwhile gathering during the marketing processes to ensure that the individual is marketed to in the right way (by email, telephone, post etc)
Responsiva are there to help you identify great prospects for your database and ensure they meet the desired specification.
3. Profile Variables
- Industry Code (s) and Classification (s)
- Number of employees
- Premise type
- Profit before tax
- Date of incorporation
- Date of entering current premise
- Number of sites
These variables can all be sourced from a data list broker, and should be updated throughout the marketing process, such as telemarketing.
4. Bespoke Variables
These variables relate to sale potential and are gathered through the marketing process. Examples include:
- Existing contract renewal date
- Existing supplier
- Products/services purchased
- Volume / spend on products purchased (per year)
The gathering of these variables (or at least some of them) enables the data controller to identify the value of the prospect data. Asking these questions (such as “how much do you spend on ….?”) can be embarrassing or just generally challenging, so there are more subtle alternatives. Take for example a fork lift truck prospect database; you could ask the prospects how many fork lift trucks they have on site (and the types of trucks). This enables an analytical model to generate an estimated prospect value.
5. Communications History
The final and most important aspect of your prospect database is to establish a communications history table This is a record of how and when every prospect has been contacted within the database, the result and action of that contact and any future communication requirement. Examples of data fields include:
NB this is an “event” field, so the variables which follow need to appear for each and every communication in the history of that prospect. i.e., ten times if there has been ten communications;
- Date of communication
- Method of communication (e.g. letter, fax, email etc)
- Source code (links back to script, letter text etc to measure the best marketing messages)
- Response code (especially vital in telemarketing). E.g. “no interest”, “appointment”, “call back” etc.
- Next communication date (i.e., contact on X date)
An effective and experienced prospect database controller will build, implement and update all of these fields within your marketing database as standard.
But all of this loses value unless that database controller can also effectively analyse your prospect database to pinpoint who and when to target, and with what message. That is the power of hosting an effective prospect database.
Responsiva offer this full service (including full hosting, prospect supply and analytics) on a very low monthly retainer. This is a first class service, overseen by an individual with more than twenty years of prospect database experience.
Call now on 0800 188 5000 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get more details.