Google Alerts is a fantastic, and free, resource to help you keep extra eyes on your prospects, clients, competitors...and even on how your own firm is being written about on the web. I was initially hesitant to start using this tool because I am overloaded with far too many blogs and email newsletters. However, I gave this a ten-day test period and came away a big fan.
Even if you are already overloaded by emails, here are a few reasons why you might want to use Google Alerts (though as with most things, use this in moderation!):
Problem: Having a hard time finding a valid business reason that is compelling enough for a prospect to take your call or respond to your email? Having an even tougher time finding information on business drivers because your prospect is not a public company?
Google Alerts Solution: Set up an alert for the company and use a keyword that you think would help, for example “XYZ Inc.” “sales." You might also set up an alert with the VP Sales’ name.
Problem: Wondering how your marketing and sales messaging translates into the ‘real world’ and what your prospects might see when they search for solutions like yours?
Google Alerts Solution: Set up alerts referencing the Positive Business Outcomes your solutions deliver, or even the Value Drivers that are the most important to your buying audience. For example, “articulate value and differentiation” and “management operating rhythm” are on my list.
Problem 1: Wish you knew what your competitors were up to even though you don’t have a formal competitive intelligence initiative? Wondering if any of your alliance partners are starting to cozy up to one of your competitors?
Google Alerts Solution 1: Set up an alert for the company names.
Problem 2: Wondering if anyone in the industry is being bought or sold?
Google Alerts Solution 2: Set up an alert for “your industry name” “acquisition”...be the first kid on the block to hear the news
Using the tool is simple. Just go to Google Alerts and enter each Alert you want, along with a few pieces of information – what type of Alert do you want (I use “Everything”), how often do you want it (I get some “Once a day” and most “Once a week”), and how many results do you want “Only the best” or “All results.”
That’s it! Try them out for ten days and play around with a few keywords. Delete the Alerts that aren’t worth the ten seconds of reading time. Let me know if you find other good uses for the Alerts.
Tom Martin is a 20+ year veteran of the sales methodology and training industry. He has a diverse set of global experience with sales (direct, indirect and inside), channel management, marketing, SFA/CRM, consulting, finance, legal, training, systems and operations.