Sales Tracking

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Tracking your sales effectively will help you win more deals and grow your sales.

What is a sales pipeline and how can it help with sales tracking?

In simple terms, a sales pipeline is a visual framework that will help improve your sales tracking. A sales pipeline contains the amount of business your company attempts to win over a period of time. It also helps you to make informed decisions that will improve your sales process and grow your business.

You can picture a sales pipeline as a funnel with multiple stages. Read more to learn about what each stage is and how the funnel can help you grow your business.

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Sales Tracking

  1. 1. EFFECTIVESALESTRACKINGBrought to you by:www.futuresimple.com
  2. 2. CONTENTS1. What is a Sales Pipeline and How Does it Help With Sales Tracking? ! earn what a sales pipeline is and how you can visualize it as a funnel with a few L simple stages ........................................................................................................... 22. Stage 1: Incoming ! his is the first stage of a sales pipeline. All your incoming leads and outbound lead T targets start in this stage .......................................................................................... 43. Stage 2: Qualified ! ny lead that is qualified to be a good fit for your business is moved into this second A funnel stage ............................................................................................................. 74. Stage 3: Quote ! hen you’re ready to provide your prospect with a price quote, the lead moves into W this third stage .......................................................................................................... 85. Stage 4: Closure ! ou’re almost there. Follow up with your lead, answer any additional questions and Y close the deal! .......................................................................................................... 96. Stage 5: Won or Loss ! elebrate a win and learn from a loss. The sales pipeline can provide rich insight C and help you win more deals! .................................................................................. 117. Getting Started ! earn how a simple CRM app can help you turbo-charge sales tracking in minutes L by putting a sales pipeline to work for your business .............................................. 13!
  3. 3. WHAT IS A SALES PIPELINE AND HOW DOES ITHELP WITH SALES TRACKING?In simple terms, a sales pipeline is a visual framework that will improve your salestracking by illustrating the amount of business your company attempts to win over aperiod of time. A sales pipeline helps you to better understand your company’s salesand helps you to make informed decisions that will improve your sales process andgrow your business.Picture your sales pipeline as a funnel with a few simple stages. These stages help youto clearly organize leads and visualize what’s in your pipeline. And much like a real-lifefunnel, a sales funnel begins with a wide opening at the top and narrows as you gofurther down.Let’s look at a snapshot of an example sales funnel. INCOMING UNQUALIFIED QUALIFIED QUOTE CLOSURE LOST WONThe first (and widest) stage of the funnel is the Incoming stage. This is where yougather all business leads for initial processing. Any lead that is a good fit for yourbusiness is then moved to the Qualified stage for follow-up (leads that are not fit foryour business get parked in the Unqualified stage). After successful follow-up, a lead 2
  4. 4. moves to a Quote stage for price quoting, and then to a Closure stage for finalnegotiations. Last but not least, a deal that’s won moves to a Won stage, while onethat’s lost moves to a Lost stage.Using a simple sales pipeline will help you track sales, visualize leads, and organizeyour follow-ups. And most importantly, a sales pipeline will give your business a wealthof information like why deals are won or lost, where your leads come from, and howyour leads translate to sales. This is critical information that will help improve your salesprocess and help you win more deals.Lets look at the this example sales pipeline in more depth, taking it one stage at a time. 3
  5. 5. STAGE 1: INCOMINGThe first (and widest) stage of a sales pipeline is the Incoming stage. This is the stagewhere all your business leads begin. Leads in this Incoming stage can include bothincoming leads (such as ones from your website or from a customer referral) as well asoutbound leads (such as a target list of cold call prospects you wish to call). You canthink of this Incoming stage as the clearinghouse for all your leads.Your leads will come from a broad variety of sources. One very important data point youneed to track for every lead is its source - where did it come from? For example, did thelead come from your website? Did it come from a newspaper ad? By capturing thisinformation, youll be able to better understand which of your lead generation efforts aremost successful and understand which lead sources are most likely to produce winningdeals for your business.Naturally though, not all the leads in your Incoming stage will be a good fit for yourbusiness. With so many things to do and so little time to do them, one major pitfall youwant to avoid is wasting precious time chasing leads that arent a good fit for yourbusiness from the get-go. Thats why its so important to qualify your leads.Qualifying leads is a critical activity youll need to perform upfront for leads in yourIncoming bucket. If a lead is qualified, move it to the Qualified stage (the next stage inthe funnel). If a deal isnt qualified for your business, move it to the Unqualified stageand dont spend any more time on it.A Qualified lead is one thats a good fit for your business. To figure out whether a leadis qualified, ask yourself the following questions: 4
  6. 6. Is the prospect a strategic customer?Is this prospect a high-profile customer that youd like to include in your portfolio fortestimonial purposes? Is it a customer from whom you expect substantial work in thefuture? If one of your leads is of strategic importance to your business, youll want tomake extra efforts to win the deal.Can the lead afford your service?Be true to your pricing for your goods and services. If a lead is operating with a budgetwell below your price point, its unlikely that theyll be interested in the price quote thatyou send them down the road.Can you deliver the work that the lead is asking for?It is important to examine the scope of a project from a lead and make sure that (i) theproject is the kind of work that your business excels at, and (ii) your business has thetime and resources to complete the project.When does your lead need you to deliver?If your lead is perfect in every way except that they dont need your help for months oreven years, it makes little sense to spin cycles and spend a large amount of time on thelead now beyond the occasional contact. Place this lead in your CRM and make a noteto follow-up down the road.Do you have a relatively high chance of closing the deal?Focus a good deal of your time on the 20% of deals that have the highest chance ofclosing 5
  7. 7. Answering these questions will help you to identify your qualified leads; those are theleads that should be moved into the Qualified stage of your pipeline. 6
  8. 8. STAGE 2: QUALIFIEDWhen youve determined that a specific lead is a qualified one (a good fit) for yourbusiness, its time to build a relationship with your prospect and start getting the wheelsin motion towards winning the deal.The Qualified stage is where you learn about the specifics of a deal and start building arelationship with your prospect. During this phase of the selling process, you mightexchange phone calls and emails or you might give presentations and conductmeetings to convince your prospect that your company is the best one for the job.Your goal during this stage will be to progress the discussions and relationship to thepoint where your prospect requests a formal quote or price sheet for your business. Thetype of business and scale of the project will dictate the length of time youll spend in theQualified stage. For example, if you are selling office supplies, it may take one phonecall to move to a quoting stage. However, if you are an architect pitching a buildingdesign, this stage may last months.As soon as your prospect formally requests a price quote from you, the lead moves intothe next stage of the funnel, which is the Quote stage. 7
  9. 9. STAGE 3: QUOTE CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS EBOOK 8

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