Minimise bad debt risk

Jade Greenhow, operations director of Insight Data, discusses why financial data is an essential part of its Salestracker software.

According to the latest Creditsafe Watchdog Report, the number of company failures across the construction industry increased by 80% in the last quarter of 2018, with 942 companies collapsing, leaving £63 million in bad debts.

It makes for sober reading. Yet across the window industry, many companies are still not monitoring their customers’ financial position, while sales and marketing departments are busy spending time and money chasing new customers only to discover poor credit ratings.

With so much economic uncertainty at the moment, combined with further consolidation and an increase in mergers and acquisitions across the window industry, it is more important than ever that companies use financial data to make informed decisions.

Insight Data is best known for supplying marketing data, providing users of its Salestracker software with detailed information for over 50,000 companies across the construction industry, including 15,000 window, door and conservatory fabricators and installers.

But Salestracker is much more than just a data list; the system incorporates a CRM system, a built-in email marketing platform, document management and also hosts a financial data feed directly from a credit reference agency, providing users of the system with a financial snapshot.

Salestracker provides our users with key business and financial data such as company registration and incorporation date, turnover and net worth, any County Court Judgements, and credit rating.

It is a powerful tool for managers and finance departments, but it is extremely useful for sales and marketing teams too. A simple but powerful traffic light system shows green, yellow or red so that non-financial people can make informed decisions.

Salestracker even gives users the ability to build marketing lists using credit ratings, so that companies can create direct mail, telesales or email campaigns targeting new customers by financial stability as well as size, product volumes, location and other information.

Insight Data recently added a new monitoring feature to Salestracker. It allows users to flag certain company types – such as customers or prospects – and get an email alert if the credit rating changes.

Given that company credit ratings change on average seven to eight times a year, this is an essential tool for all businesses.

While the platform is designed to help companies target new customers across trade and commercial markets, in reality it is a complete sales and marketing solution that can manage sales pipeline, manage customer relations, send email campaigns and constantly keep an eye on financials – both for customers and prospects.

A web-app version of Salestracker is available for mobile phones and tablets, enabling sales people to use the system out on the road. It provides product and supplier data, all the key business and contact information that they need, and an instant financial snapshot so they can make informed decisions before a sales meeting or prospect call.

Salestracker isn’t just restricted to marketing departments. Many companies use the system throughout their business – finance, customer service departments, order processing/quotes.

It can also be configured for different users with individual user/access rights and even different sites/locations, making it the perfect tool for trade-counters to help drive local sales. As an online service, there is no software to install or manage, and data is not stored on a local PC – it is all in the cloud.”

Salestracker currently has over 700 users across the fenestration and building products industry. At its core is a database of businesses with detailed information that is updated live in real-time using seven different verification processes, including a team of telephone researchers making over 20,000 calls a month.

Companies that learn how to use data effectively can build their businesses more successfully while protecting themselves from potential risks and bad debt. Salestracker provides the window industry with the tool to do both.