It is a fairly well established fact that a successful Lead generation strategy and increasing the number of leads that enter your sales pipeline can have a positive impact on sales. The question is, what to do with all the leads in your sales funnel?
If you have defined your sales funnel, then you know the different stages to guide your lead through to convert a raw lead to a prospect to actual sales and finally to a returning customer.
Filling up the top of the funnel is good news to your business, but at the same time, it is important to focus on the number of leads at each stage.
Yes, I’m talking about Sales Tracking throughout the various sales pipeline stages. An efficient sales process is one where the manager is always in the know of which stage a lead is on, how long has it been in the sales pipeline and which sales team member is working on which lead.
The Importance of Tracking Sales Leads
Sales pipeline Tracking Software is a must for a business to stay competitive. We have in the past discussed the use of sales metrics to improve the sales process resulting in increased sales, enhanced sales team performance and even customer retention. Now, it’s time to check out some of the major advantages of sales tracking:
Pipeline tracking is vital to coming up with an overall sales forecast. You need to know the estimated value of your sales pipeline – this involves quickly filtering out the unlikely leads, focusing on prospective customers and evaluating the potential size of the deal.
Sales forecasting is important to help you set well defined goals for your sales team, identify the causes for shortfall, if any, and plan ahead for the future.
Streamline Your Sales Process
Tracking the status of leads as you guide them step by step through the various stages of the sales pipeline helps your sales process to become more efficient and organized. You can identify and remove those leads that are unlikely to become prospective sales and focus on actual prospects instead.
You can also identify where in the sales funnel leads are getting stuck and take measures for corrective action by examining why they are taking time to move from one sales pipeline stage to another.
Measure the Results of Campaigns
Say, you’ve just launched an offline promotional campaign offering a 20% discount coupon. You’ve also invested in online advertising with Google Adwords. Your sales has spiked, but, how do you know which campaign worked better for you?
It doesn’t make sense to blindly spend on any promotional campaign without measuring how much impact it had when it comes to improving your bottom line. To know the kind of value or return you are getting for your investment you have to start tracking sales leads.
Boost Sales Team Performance
Sales tracking enables you to know which of your employees are working on which leads and to measure their performance at different levels. This could spur healthy competition and boost morale when high performers are recognized and appreciated.
By monitoring sales progress in a systematic manner you are unlikely to miss responding to a customer query or feedback. Satisfied customers help spread the word with positive feedback and eventually come back to for repeat business.
We can all agree that sales tracking is an important part of the sales process resulting in significant gains for both - profitability and productivity. So the question isn’t about whether to track leads or not, the question is ‘what is the best way to do so?’
Advantages of Using Sales Tracking Software
If you’re still using Excel spreadsheets for sales tracking then you really need to stop and consider using an automated sales tracking software. Here are some of the ways in which sales tracking software trumps Excel templates:
Ease of use
Excel spreadsheets are cumbersome to use and involve many manual operations such as setting complex formulae for calculations and jumping between multiple sheets to find the information you need.
A sales tracking software automates this process and breaks down the metrics that you need on a sales dashboard so that you are always on top of your sales operations. Your numbers are updated automatically without you having to worry about altering complex calculations.
The time saved by a sales management software can be better utilized towards closing deals and making customers happy.
Efficient data management
Data collection is so much easier when you have a software that tracks sales. Rather than typing out contacts yourself, you can just import contacts from your email account or automatically generate leads from users filling out forms on your website.
Managing data is a breeze thanks to the cloud sync offered by a capable online lead tracking software. You can easily move contacts from one place to another according to their status in the sales funnel and thus get rid of copy pasting across multiple spreadsheets.
Many online sales tracking tools today are cloud based so they are accessible from anywhere as compared to your excel template which is more likely to be stored on your computer’s hard drive. So you and your sales team can enter updates from wherever you are and from multiple devices.
This kind of on-the-go functionality is the USP of online sales software that makes it extremely popular for businesses especially when there is a lot of travel involved.
Better Customer Service
Using a sales pipeline tracking tool helps you to better serve your customers by providing the right information, ensure prompt follow ups, communicate promotions or discount to help move your leads to the next stage of the pipeline towards realizing the sale.
An automated process will help you systematically track customer queries or feedback so that you can respond faster and making a very positive impact when it comes to customer retention. In modern day sales CRM systems, sales tracking has now become an integral part.
Enhanced Team Collaboration and Communication
Since the tracking tool is accessible online, multiple sales personnel will have access to the data and be able to make updates and share information regularly and from multiple locations.
This improved communication flow can help the team work more productively by avoiding overlap and clearly defining responsibilities. There won’t be any confusion as to who is working on which lead and at what stage anymore
Some tools will allow you to generate and access sales reports as well for quick analysis of the progress. These sales reports offer valuable insights to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business. This allows the sales team to work as a more cohesive and efficient unit for better results.
Ensure that you have well defined criteria to classify your contacts in order to accurately determine the stage of the sales funnel that the leads are in. Unclear definitions can lead to misclassification ending up cluttering the sales pipeline for everyone.
Also make sure that your entire team is dedicated to the cause of lead tracking by making regular updates and sharing relevant information in a timely manner. It might take a bit of motivation from a manager to get this going.
A systematic and automated sales tracking solution is often the ticket to ensuring that all stakeholders are committed to lead tracking and management. The upside is that it won’t cost you much to sign up for a sales management software because many of them offer generous freemium plans.
So, why don’t go ahead and ditch that spreadsheet for a productive alternative that has the potential to make you more money?
This post first appeared on The ClinchPad, please read the originial post: here