Many people regard RFA as a source of business intelligence to help with credit control but a number of licence holders have turned that approach upside down and instead are growing their sales by monitoring customers and prospects to identify where there sales team can get quick wins.
For most users, The Red Flag Alert system helps them avoid bad debt and is very much part of the credit control operation of a business. There are several users of the system who have realised the benefit of the up to date nature of the intelligence the system provides to deliver far more than just credit control. Other benefits of the system include:
- Company Monitoring- keeping track of customers, prospects and competitors
- Prospect targeting- identifying ideal new customer targets
- Data validation- updating databases to include the latest information
- Business investigation- using the intelligence system to gather more information about people and businesses
Company monitoring is an automated facility that enables the system user set up that certain companies are monitored so that any change in their status is instantly alerted by email or text. Examples might include tracking customers to see not only those that might be in trouble but also those that are performing well. We often worry about failures but few people use this type of intelligence to ensure that their business builds along with that of their successful customers.
Similarly, many will just approach a list of prospects and treat them all with similar priority whereas the smart business will grade them and target the best ones. The really switched on businesses use the monitoring system to track their competitors so that they can respond quickly to changing situations, often a failing business will lose its customers long before the business itself fails and the opportunity exists to easily capture disgruntled customers.
Prospect Targeting is a function unused by many of the current licence holders as they have often signed up for completely different reasons. In the hands of the sales and marketing team, the Red Flag Alert's system becomes a valuable prospecting tool worth many more times than the licence fee as it is possible to download up to 5,000 contacts records on a daily basis. It is very likely that your marketing team will be paying far more for target prospect data when in fact the RFA system could provide the data as well as the other functions it fulfils.
Data Validation is another use of the system, increasingly businesses have their own CRM solution and using the API provided within the RFA system, the CRM tool can talk to RFA and will enable the data to be both updated and validated, taking advantage of the 80-100,000 daily updates to the 6m records in the system.
Business Investigation is a function that is difficult to do as there are often many and inaccessible sources of intelligence, the Red Flag Alert system solves this problem by bringing everything you need into one place and its intuitive navigation makes the searching required very simple. The system also includes business partnership data whereas many would only cover fully incorporated businesses. We have examples where accountancy practices review the client lists of their competitors through the system enabling for example, Insolvency Practices to identify who accountants refer work to or the quality of the client list of a particular practice.
Inevitably, whilst the Red Flag Alert business intelligence system was not originally designed to solve the many problems that its users now routinely use it for, it still provides one of the very best credit checking and financial evaluation facilities. Red Flag Alert themselves now have recognised its broader appeal and are keen to extend that further by talking with businesses that perhaps used to have a licence or switched from the system for any reason to see if the new systems answers their current needs. Our challenge is if the RFA system can’t meet your current or future needs we’d like to know what we can improve or change as this is a dynamic and rapidly evolving solution that should suit every business.