July 18, 2009

Quick Tip: How to Track Your Prospects, Accounts & Competitors

Keeping up to date with customers, prospects and competitors can be a challenge. Certainly, you can Google each company from time to time, but while that can be time consuming it does not mean you won't be taken by surprise when an expansion is announced, a new product launched or a new appointment is made.
Gathering this kind of information, in the traditional way, across the 50 or 100 companies on your radar could become a full time job. It is often delegated to marketing, but that does not always produce the results you want. Now there is an alternative. That is to automate the process using a free service from Google.

Looking for a simple, yet clever way to keep tabs on your key accounts and prospects?
The good people at Google have developed a free service called 'Google Alerts' to notify you directly the next time one of the companies you are following makes an announcement via their website, or is featured in an online news piece, blog, etc.
So, say for example you are selling to 'TESCO', or 'STANDARD LIFE' simply put the company name into Google Alerts and you will receive an email, or RSS feed whenever something new about that company appears on the web, whether that is a website, a blog, a news service, a video, or a group. That will give you an insight into what is happening within the company, identify needs and providing you with an extra reason to call.
If you have a Google account already use it to sign in at www.google.com/alerts, if you don't sign up for one (it is free) and get started. The screenshot below shows how simply it is to set up.

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