Online prospect database grows up

In March’s issue of Windows Active magazine, Insight Data’s I.T Manager Matthew Stone was interviewed to discover how the new version of Salestracker helps companies find and win new customers. Below is the interview in its entirety.

Back in 2008 Insight Data launched Salestracker, the first ever online fabricator and installer prospect database. Roll on two years and while other database suppliers play catch-up, Insight has been busy developing not only a brand new version of its online database, but a new way of doing business.

Windows Active – Matthew, for those of us who don’t already know, what is Salestracker in a nutshell?

Matthew Stone – Salestracker is an on online portal that combines a range of databases with an easy-to-use prospect management system. For example, users can log-on to our fabricator and installer database and access the latest information live in real-time on over 14,000 companies, then create a list of target prospects and instantly generate direct mail, email, telesales or field-sales lists. Users can then track prospects, leads and sales activity easily from any location.

W/A – How do you collect the information?
M.S
– We have an in-house call centre equipped with a VoIP telephone system with capacity for over 500,000 calls per annum, linked to a sophisticated software system. Our telephone research team constantly updates and verifies records, which are then updated on Salestracker for clients to access in real-time. Behind the scenes we also link to a network of systems, such as Companies House and credit reference agencies, so we identify new companies that have set up.

W/A – Once you’ve collected the data, how do you protect it from misuse?
M.S
– We have a sophisticated system that “seeds” the database with fictitious contacts on a rotational basis. We then monitor who is contacting these “seeds” and if they are not a current customer, we know they have used our data illegally. This breaches copyright law and potentially data protection, and with the new rules announced recently by the Information Commissioners Office could result in fines of up to £500,000. We have prosecuted three companies for using our data illegally, but fortunately the vast majority of companies take a responsible approach to copyright and data protection rules.

W/A – What prompted you to develop a new version of Salestracker?
M.S
– The first version of Salestracker was written in 2008 as a simple web interface to our database, but we recognised the potential of the system was enormous. Insight has grown considerably in the last two years and established a software division with three software engineers and a technical support team. This has enabled us to develop new Salestracker as a state-of-the-art system that can be as simple or sophisticated as clients need. The new system is packed with features from sales pipeline and campaign management to a range of Apps. It can also integrate with other systems, for example if a client currently uses Sage CRM or Salesforce CRM. Although, because our system is much easier to use and is completely free (clients only pay for the data), we’ve found most clients migrate to Salestracker. We’ve also just launched our iPhone version so sales people can access prospects “on the move”.

W/A – What level of support do you provide customers?
M.S
– The truth is companies don’t really want data or a prospect management system, what they really want is new customers and better contact with existing customers. So our business philosophy is based around helping businesses do just that. We configure Salestracker around the clients own needs, regularly visit and attend marketing/sales meetings to provide training on the system and recommend ways to maximise results. We currently have nearly 250 Salestracker users, and some companies have 20 or more people logging on. This requires major support as computer networks vary, people use different browsers or platforms, and computer/IT skills vary from person-to-person. Over the last two years we have established a comprehensive and “user friendly” customer support team that extends to technical/IT support, Salestracker training and “best practice” support for direct mail, email marketing and telesales.

W/A – What other projects are you working on?
M.S
– We have several very exciting developments. We’re shortly launching our “Apps Store” where clients can access a range of options, including a credit reference app, quotation and follow-up, integrated email software and map marketing technology.
We are also expanding our range of databases. We’ve recently launched our Architects database which has been very successful and plan to launch six new databases in the coming months. But perhaps the most exciting development is the launch of Cyclone, which is a new fully integrated database marketing service, which we will be unveiling next month.

It would be easy to get carried away, but everything we do is focused on one primary objective: How do we help companies find and win new customers.

Thanks Matthew. We look forward to hearing from you again in the future.

For more information contact Insight data on 01934 808293 or visit www.insightdata.co.uk