April 27, 2015

5 Reasons You Should Track Your Leads (And How To Do It)


We don't think we need to convince you that the quality of your lead generation strategy is important for finding new customers. Or that effectively nurturing leads throughout the various stages of the sales pipeline is invaluable to building your business. But knowing how to best track leads can have a huge impact on your team's productivity, as well as your bottom line.

So, what's the best method for sales lead tracking? Check out the advantages of automating this process and, we think you'll agree that, if you're not using sales tracking software, you're missing out on some fantastic benefits!

How to Best Track Your Leads

1. Better Organization

It's spring and the top thing that has been on my mind has been to organize. It's the essence of spring cleaning.

However, one, year round thing that has always been a priority, at least for me as a marketer and I'm sure anyone on the revenue side of things, is to always keep our leads organized.

When you use sales tracking software, organization will no longer be easier said than done. By having all of your lead information readily accessible and categorized by the different pipeline stages, your team will be able to better utilize their time on closing deals and providing excellent customer service.

We've all been there though, from post it notes to a dry erase board, having a proper, scalable, and organized software or system to track your leads is essential. So what is the best way to organize your leads?

How To:

Some of these tips may be subjective and are dependent on the way your organization is structured, but these can be flexible.

One way to organize your leads is by lifecycle stage. Are they a prospect, lead, opportunity, or customer? Your company may have different lifecycle stages, but it's important to identify your leads to where they are in your sales and marketing funnel.

Another way to organize your leads is through your qualifications. Is this lead unqualified, marketing qualified, or is it a sales qualified opportunity? Your qualifications should go hand in hand with your lifecycle stages or they should be exactly the same.

Lastly you can organize it by basic segmentation through demographic data, company sizes, industry, etc. Organizing by segmentation shouldn't be the main way you structure things to better track your leads, instead coupling with your qualifications can help to provide insight into what leads are the most qualified for your business.

2. Increased Efficiency

Sales tracking software allows your team to be more efficient. At any point in time, management has the visibility to know which stage each lead is in, how long leads have been in the pipeline, and who is working on each lead. And each individual member of the sales team is able to quickly share information and provide updates.

With the entire team on the same page, collaboration becomes a whole lot easier, resulting in more closed sales. Having your team on the same page, inherently creates better alignment, especially through sales, marketing, and customer success. This alignment generates closed-loop feedback and hopefully analytics, so that you can see the whole picture of the revenue side.

How To:

Lead scoring sounds like a simple project because at it's foundation you are assigning various point values to leads. However, lead scoring is a much more difficult process that requires heavy lifting on the front end, but payoffs greatly afterwards.

You can score your leads on their qualifications, actions they take on your website, emails they open, or pieces of content they download. The different marketing automation platforms have out-of-the-box lead scoring, but starting with 2-3 different scores is a good beginning. Then adding on slowly after finding similarities with the scores can help improve your overall lead scoring system.

3. Create Customized Sales Pitches

By having a complete picture of each customer in one place, the sales team has immediate access to pertinent customer details. Being able to easily obtain this information allows you to formulate customized sales pitches that best match each customer's unique needs.

Not only does this increase the likelihood of making a sale, but it provides better opportunities to create the strong customer relationships that are necessary for the success of your business.

How To:

Knowing where each lead is in the buying process can provide you the insight you need to create targeting messaging. This targeted messaging can be created through automated messages and/or custom templates with important marge fields can amplify the effectiveness of your sales messaging.

4. More Accurate Reporting

With sales tracking software, real time sales data is at your fingertips, enabling you to develop forecasts that more accurately predict sales.

Say goodbye to the headaches caused by reports that don't reflect the most up to date sales information (and those cumbersome Excel spreadsheets).

The worst things anyone can do in a business is to not track anything and not report on anything. You can't throw money down the drain or brush things under the rug, especially with leads.

Tracking your leads will help add a level of insurance to more accurate reporting. You'll be able to see what leads are actually driving revenue and which ones are not. Essentially, you'll see what is working and what isn't.

How To:

Contactually's Pipelines tool assigns values to deals, aggregating your pipeline's current value, and providing you with a clearer perception about the actual value of each deal.

5. Higher Customer Retention Levels

An automated sales lead tracking process gives you the ability to monitor activity for all current and potential customers, helping you to respond to inquiries and feedback in a timely manner, and ensure prompt follow-ups. No need to worry about important items dropping off the radar.

Being on top of these important customer service tasks will lead to happy, satisfied customers. And those customers are the ones who will help build your business by becoming repeat customers, as well as bringing you new business by spreading the word about your awesomeness.

How To:

You have your contacts on your phone, in an address book, in your email, and even some social media accounts. How do you keep them all updated? Syncing all of your contacts and customers in one place is the first thing you need to do in order to ever retain them in the first place. Instead of going into those several different sources with fragmented information, putting these contacts and customers into a lead tracking platform, will create a system of record so you will know when you need to speak with a customer, if they get a new job, or if it's time for you to follow up with them for renewal. You'll have all of their information in one place to do this.

You Can't Go Wrong

Sales tracking software is the best way for you and your team to effectively manage your customer base and prospects, allowing you to analyze information to help you make improvements to the sales and customer service processes as needed.

Ready to hop on board with great sales tracking software? Check out Contactually's Pipelines tool and learn how it can enable you to visualize your deals throughout every phase of the sales process, helping you close more sales and maintain positive customer relationships.