December, 6, 2012

Lead Tracking and Accountability

Now that you understand the importance of capturing leads on your site from advertising, social media, and other marketing efforts, it’s time to dig in deeper on fixing your funnel.

This next topic is one that isn’t very fun. It entails the nitty-gritty tracking of leads and making sure those that handle the leads are held accountable. One point of clarification here… I’m not only talking about lead source tracking, but also the tracking each lead from point A to point B through your entire sales process. It may also mean that you’ve got to play the part of bad cop if you have entrusted others with managing your sales process. It’s never fun playing bad cop. But, if you’re not tracking every single lead and holding people accountable, guaranteed you are wasting a lot of money on advertising and leaving way too much money on the table.

The sales process can sometimes be long and arduous so, it is important to continually be filling your sales funnel. The first step in the sales process is to generate leads but also, very importantly, is to have a mechanism for lead tracking and lead source tracking. With detailed information about your leads, you will be better able to understand their needs and challenges which will help you in the conversion process.

Smart lead tracking can help you differentiate between good leads and the rest because it will identify where the lead originated, how the lead interacted with you and the nature of the interaction (was it an inquiry or simply a comment, for example). A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system (such as Infusionsoft), database, or even pen & paper can help you track each lead and how they move from stage to stage through your sales process. Close monitoring of this will enable you to make changes to your sales process and net a higher conversion rate.

On top of all this, sales manager and rep accountability must be taken into consideration. Poor sales rep performance needs to be differentiated to determine if the problem is the marketing strategy, the economy or simply the sales rep’s lack of action (or improper action!). Some of the best sales reps I’ve seen have mastered the art of “cherry picking”. They are masters at quickly weeding out the riff-raff and only work with the super-hot, ready-to-close leads. Effective…but what about the countless leads that are assigned to them, but NEVER followed-up on? Work to establish a culture of accountability in your work environment and that will ensure a healthy sales funnel and strong conversion rates.

I continue to be shocked at the percentage of both small and medium businesses that have never taken the time to map out their sales process, don’t use a tracking system, and let sales managers and reps run wild. If you’re in the same boat, don’t feel bad – most businesses don’t have the time or don’t know where to start and this is why Infusionsoft Consulting is here to help.

Once you gain a lead, what process do you use to follow up on it?

Posted by Dave Lee