The “Five W’s” and Your Database

One of the basic lessons for a journalists learns is the “five W’s” of journalism (who, what, where, when and why).  Marketers could take a lesson from this adage as it relates to their CRM database.  Can your database answer the “five W’s” about your business?  Let’s consider this.

A database is worthless without the information it is designed to store.  And that information is more valuable if everyone does their job, from your webmaster to your sales force to your administrative staff in collecting details that need to go into your CRM database.   If all goes well you’ll be able to dig into your database to answer important questions such as:

Who are your new prospects this month?  What is the source of the leads that have been entered into your database?  Where are they located?   Why are they interested in your product or service?  The more valuable or useful the knowledge is, the more you’ll want to be able to rely on your database for the answers!   Don’t stop with the “W’s” — for example, how many prospecting calls or sales visits has each member of our sales force completed this month?  How much is in our sales pipeline?  Has anyone followed up on new leads from last month?   When was the last time anyone spoke to a particular prospect?  Which competitors’ products or services are our prospects using today?

Of course your ability to get the answers to intelligent questions depends on several factors including: 

  • The effectiveness of your reporting skills and resources
  • The efforts by your database administrator and webmaster to capture data from sources such as list services, website forms, tradeshow traffic, etc.
  • The diligence of your sales team in entering information after their research and sales activities

GoldMine Software offers the features you’ll need to capture the information necessary to answer questions about the marketplace, your business activities, and more.  You’ll be able to use:

  • Fields and tables to capture information
  • Web import capability to capture completed web forms from visitors to your site
  • Scripts that your telemarketers and sales people can use to capture information and automatically update fields
  • Tools to track interactions (calls, appointments, actions, emails, etc.)  
  • Forecasting functions let you manage your sales pipeline
  • Various reporting tools (Native report writer, Crystal Reports, SQL Reporting Services, add-ons) will enable you to push our the answers you need to evaluate results and make decisions

Like a journalist who has a story to tell, a CRM databases has a lot of insights to offer up!  Ultimately, this is the end result of a well designed database that is used properly and diligently!