This is the second of a three part series discussing lead generation.  Lead generation is the key to growing your business—more leads generated mean more leads converted, which means more business.  The second step to generating more leads is to create an efficient contact management database.  

I’ve known way too many business owners who rely on leads to simply fall into their laps.  As we have been discussing, lead generation is far too important of a process to leave to chance.  The growth of your business literally depends on your ability to generate leads, so it is essential to create a system of lead generation that ensures consistent success.  One important element of this process involves creating a well-organized and effective contact management database.

To illustrate why such a database is necessary, ask yourself this question: have you EVER failed to follow up with a potential lead?  Whether it was someone you met at a party last month or a friend that casually mentioned that he’d like more information about your services?  If you are honest, I’m sure you will come up with a few instances in which you haven’t taken full advantage of a potential prospect.  A database takes the pressure off, and you don’t have to rely on your memory to make sure you are pursuing leads.

Your contact management database should serve two primary purposes.  First, it should contain the name, contact information, and background information of every business contact you have.  Even if it’s someone you spoke to for thirty seconds at a networking event, or someone who sent you an email inquiry four years ago but never responded to your follow-up attempts.  Secondly, it should contain a record of your interactions—i.e., you should know how recently you have marketed to each contact.  Creating such a database will allow you to know where each contact stands in relation to your marketing pipeline.  It will allow you to avoid spamming contacts by contacting them too frequently, and it will identify contacts that are “ripe” to be contacted again.

This database will become a critical part of your marketing efforts for the life of your business.  If you don’t yet have such a database, it’s time to create one. Take the time to think it through and organize it well—the time you invest will be more than worth it!

Do you have a contact management database? Or perhaps you have purchased a program or subscription to keep yo