Many company managers feel great when they successfully generate a lot of leads. However, a lead on a new prospect does not automatically translate to a “paying customer.”

Converting mere prospects into cash-generating customers who buy products requires a specific, multi-tiered strategy and solid execution of that plan. It starts with capturing key points of data about each lead or prospect. Let’s take a look at the Top 3 pieces of information business owners should obtain from their new leads.

1. Email Address

If you don’t have the email address of a lead, it’s like you don’t even have a lead. It means you don’t have an inexpensive and efficient way to communicate with your prospect. While it’s true that many marketing automation platforms capture all kinds of key data points about a lead, failure to get an email is an oversight that cannot stand.

Consider that, without an email, you are limited in marketing options. No drip campaigns, no follow-up contact from sales made (unless you have a phone number for text or MMS), Facebook ad custom targeting is gone, and more.

Thanks to other powerful marketing tools, such as SMS and MMS, email has lost its sheen for too many marketers. Email is still “a thing,” however, and it affords greater opportunity to build relationships with customers and repeat sales.

2. Name and Phone Number

It seems obvious that a lead comes with a name, but it’s important to get that name and use it appropriately. But first, a warning. Research has found that using a customer’s first name to start an email (such as “Hello James!) is not recommended, and an anonymous greeting is better.

The reason is believed to be more people concerned about privacy and security. An email from a company that seems to already know too much about a recipient is a turn-off for many prospects. Also, many people believe it is spam and will automatically delete it. Note that this is true only for automated emails and not for personal email communication with leads.

Capturing names for customer leads remains important. For example, when a sales rep calls a customer using the telephone, asking for them by name and using their name is important. Overall, a name is simply an essential data point that will come into play in a variety of proactive marketing efforts.

3. Job Title

This data point is excellent for segmenting leads. For example, does the subject control his or her company budget? Are they an important decision maker? There’s a big difference between those responsibilities and an intern.

This, in turn, makes it easier to send highly qualified leads straight on to the sales team. For example, sending “Mary Smith CFO” of Company A is a hot lead. Culling out low-value leads is indeed difficult because one tends not to want to lose a single lead. However, some leads can be a waste of time. A job title can say a lot about who’s hot and who’s not.