The world is full of potential clients. They’re the people who Google your company, click on your Facebook ad campaign and hear about your services from a friend. But all those potential clients are just that—potential—until you follow up.
Sales lead tracking software makes following up easy. It can record potential client contact information, facilitate targeted marketing and show you which tactics work best over time. If this sounds powerful, it is: Cutting your sales lead time and reactivating cold leads is worth your effort.
Ready to get started? Here’s what you need to know.
What is lead tracking?
The core principle behind customer lead management is simple: When a potential client finds your business, you record their details and follow up. The execution, of course, can be a bit more complicated. Consider the following:
The client. What is the lead’s contact information? How did they find your business? Have they read your website, blog or newsletter?
Follow-up. Who will reach out to them? Do they seem hesitant or ready to close?
Big picture. Are most clients coming from digital marketing or referrals? Are certain members of the sales team outperforming others?
This is where a technological solution comes in. Customer relationship management (CRM) software can keep track of the answers to all these questions in one place, allowing business owners to manage leads quickly and easily.
Why should you start lead tracking?
For most businesses, the problem isn’t a lack of leads. It’s the time, effort and organization it takes to turn a lead into a sale.
A sales lead tracker reduces, if not eliminates, these barriers. There’s no need to remember a promising conversation, hunt down contact information and find time to follow up. Instead, software automates virtually the entire process.
CRM software can show you a lead profile, complete with contact information and previous interactions. Then, you can assign a team member to a lead and set regular reminders for follow-up contact. That capability alone can boost sales—80% of sales require five follow-up calls, but left to their own devices, 44% of salespeople give up after just one.
CRM software can also facilitate automatic, targeted email marketing—like sending all new leads a welcome coupon with their name on it. Personalizing your emails is just one of the best practices that you can follow.
How do you get started?
You could track leads with pen and paper. But technology exponentially increases productivity by allowing quick data entry, automated marketing and analytics. The first step to effective lead tracking is choosing a software solution.
Choose software, not a DIY spreadsheet. Relying on a spreadsheet alone has some major disadvantages. You’re missing some of the most powerful features of a dedicated CRM solution: automated data entry and targeted email marketing. Here are two types of CRM to consider:
There’s a reason CRM is a flourishing industry. CRM solutions can automatically track every interaction a lead has with your business, from opening an email to chatting with a sales rep. They can facilitate targeted, automated marketing campaigns. And they can be very affordable.
HubSpot CRM and Zoho are two industry leaders that are free to get started, with charges for additional users and other extras. There are plenty of other well-known CRMs on the market, and each one contains dozens of features. The variety can be overwhelming, to say the least. For subject matter experts, the important thing is to choose an option, learn how to use it and, after testing it out, assess whether or not it meets your needs.
Pro: Plenty of free and affordable options, powerful marketing capabilities
Con: Bells and whistles can be overwhelming
Who it’s for: Most small businesses
CRMs like Hubspot and Zoho are built to fit most of the needs of most businesses. What if you could have a solution perfectly suited to you?
Well, you can. By hiring software developers to customize an existing solution or even build a brand-new one, you can unlock even more productivity potential. But a quality software developer costs at least $100/hour and this is a time-intensive project—is it worth it?
If you truly can’t manage your leads with existing solutions, customization could be for you. For the vast majority of small businesses, however, the cost outweighs the benefits.
Pro: Increase productivity by cutting bloat and upgrading as desired
Who it’s for: Growing businesses with tons of leads and unique sales workflow
Follow up smart
Whatever option you choose, remember: At the end of the day, lead tracking is a technological upgrade to good sales practice. Make connections, follow up and close. Do not spam anyone, though, or continue to contact leads who have indicated that they don’t want to be contacted.
Products and product features listed above are subject to change.