One of the greatest advances in sales prospecting techniques is the ability to use Google alerts to track prospects, customers and sales trigger events. If you set up a few of these alerts the amount of data gathered can begin to get overwhelming but don't fret there are easy ways to manage all of this data for you. The first way to minimize this is to be specific on the terms you use to set up Google alerts and the second way is to set up a system of managing the data sent to you. You can choose to have data emailed to you daily or weekly and you can also set the alerts up in an RSS feed. RSS Feeds: RSS feeds stand for Real Simple Syndication and if you don't know about then you may soon come to rely on them! They are a way of aggregating lots of data from different sources into a format that can be read easily. You can view rises pages in an internet browser but the power comes when you view them in Outlook or an RSS reader like Google reader. What you do is set up your Google alert to be a 'feed' rather than an email. Google will give you a long code or web address which can be viewed in a web browser. Here you will be able to see all of the news stories, articles and blogs found by Google. To speed up the administration work use Google reader Once you have set up your account go to the add subscription button and add the RSS feed that was given to you by Google alerts. Now you will have an easy to work with list of all of your related content. You now have the option to start getting really clever about how to manage this data in your organization. You may get an admin person or a sales support person (or even an external virtual employee) to scan the information first and decide which ones are really relevant for your business. When any content is found that is relevant the next stage is to find a way to share that with the right person in your company. Luckily Google reader lets us do that! Find the little icon called 'share' on the bottom. If this is clicked this piece of content will be moved to a new section called shared items. There is also the option to add a note and tags. Tags are great because you can add anything you like. This could be the name of the sales person who should deal with this bit of intelligence or the type of contract e.t.c. By going to the 'shared' items on the left hand side column you can now access all of the content that has been shared. This too has its own RSS feed which can be shared. If you click on sharing settings (usually top right corner) you are shown all the different parameters you can define, including the web address for the shared items. This can then be given to the marketing department, the sales team, the customer service team and the management team who can scan the list and see which ones are relevant for them and what it is about. All they need to do is put this new feed into Google reader or outlook.

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