Why Sales Tracking is Necessary for Every Business
Before we begin, just ask yourself this question: why does my business need sales tracking? Maybe I can draw a parallel to Game of Thrones. If you, like the majority of the world, have been following the show, you would know what I am talking about. If not, let me do a quick recap. Two of the major characters, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen meet for the first time. While the former has come to request help, the latter assumes he has come to surrender. This leads to a pretty awkward situation!
But why did this happen to the Mother of Dragons? Simply because she hadn’t prepared enough for the meeting and gone into it with her own assumptions. Had she taken some pains to learn more about him, maybe she could have convinced him to surrender.
Of course, one disadvantage was that the world of Westeros had no sales tracking tool. So, she couldn’t know what her target audience was thinking. But we in the digital era do. Knowing your lead before you have the first point of contact is important. Else, you may lose out on that valuable first opportunity to make an impression on them. But is that all sales tracking is about?
What is Sales Tracking?
The process of documenting the interactions a lead has with your business, right from the point of entry, emails and phone calls that they receive, and how they move down your funnel, to ultimately become your customer is called sales tracking. This allows you to get a visual idea of how a lead is conversing with you and any pain points that may be present in your sales cycle. It also helps you understand the effectiveness of your sales funnel.
How do you set up a sales tracking process?
Step 1: Identify your target audience
As is the norm with most sales and marketing processes, you always need to begin with knowing who your customer is. This step will help you plan out the remainder of your process with much more clarity. Know who would be the influencers, decision makers and buyers for what you sell.
Step 2: Identify your sources
Next, you need to know the platforms that this audience would be present in, both online and offline. Figure out which social media platforms they would frequent the most, which keywords they search for, and what websites they frequent. If you have an app, you can try in-app advertisements as well. You can now make a complete list of all possible points of entry.
Step 3: Set stages that each lead would fall into
Now define the different lead stages that your lead could possibly fall into. This could be something like cold lead, prospect, warm lead, hot lead, and customer. The stages would vary across businesses and industries. You can then recognize at a glance which stage in the sales funnel a lead is at any given time.
Step 4: Define the various ways your lead can engage with you
You need to identify the ways in which you aim to nurture your leads. This could be through email marketing, drip marketing, webinars, e-books or more. List out all the points of communication that your leads have with your business. This could be through social media, chat, web forms, email and over the phone. This step ensures that you can keep a track of what nurturing activities are helping a lead to convert.
Step 5: Set up metrics that need to be measured consistently
Now that you have the system in place the final step would be knowing what you should be measuring with the sales tracking system. Is it the amount of traffic your website gets? Or the number of people who come in from one particular source? Or the average time it takes for a lead to become a customer. You can then create reports based on your requirements to make the most out of your sales tracking process.
Important metrics that you should measure:
You have successfully set up the process. Now, let’s take a more detailed look at the final step in the process. Your sales tracking doesn’t just stop with knowing how the lead interacts with you. It also involves knowing how they impact your business and its revenue. A good sales tracking process should help you measure these metrics
- Sale per source: Calculate the number of sales that happen through your various lead sources. This helps you find out which lead sources are giving you the maximum amount of business. This helps you to concentrate your sales and marketing efforts more on those channels.
- Total sale in a given time period: Calculate the number of sales that have happened on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. Gives the management an idea of how the business is performing overall.
- Sale per demography: This could tell you how many customers come in from a particular age group, job profile, or geography. This helps you to figure out who your ideal buyer persona is and you can target them better with paid campaigns as well as through content marketing.
- Sale per sales person: Know which sales person is bringing in the maximum amount of revenue. You can use this as a performance monitor as well as a good way to keep the morale of your sales team up.
- Average time to close a sale: This metric helps you to figure how long it takes for a lead to become a customer. For some businesses, especially B2C the sales cycle is much shorter compared to B2B businesses. By figuring this out, you can set optimal and achievable targets for your sales team.
- New vs recurring customer sales: This metric lets you know how much business is coming from new customers and how much from older ones. You can also figure out how much it costs to get a new customer, compared to how much it costs to retain an old one.
- Churn rate: Know the rate at which customers are leaving your business and why. You can then try to revive lost customers and get them back or try to prevent the same mistakes from happening again.
- Average revenue per customer: Know how much revenue each customer is bringing you. This will help you fine tune your target audience as well. You would know that too high paying or too low paying leads would not fit your business.
Must-have features in your sales tracking tool:
Congratulations! You have now setup an exciting plan to track all your leads and how they move down the sales funnel. But, as we all know, ideas without execution isn’t going to fetch us many results. If you want to track your sales process properly, you need to have a tool that is equipped with the features that can help you out. Here are some necessary features that you need to look out for.
Detailed web tracking: The tool should be able to capture every point of contact that the leads have with your business, be it email, phone or chat. You should be able to know which pages they visited, how much time was spent on it and which forms they submitted. It should also have the ability to notify users based when one particular page is visited. Additionally, it should be able to track the email and phone conversations that the lead has with you, to figure out how and why they convert or why they don’t.
Easy to use interface: The tool should be simple and straightforward so that you do not need to waste valuable time in trying to learn how it works. The longer time it takes to implement and learn the software, the more time you waste that could be spent reaching out to your leads.
Easy customization: You should be able to add your own lead fields and stages to make more sense to your business. Some tools come with predefined fields and it is very hard to make changes. Such tools would cause some amount of error is properly tracking your sales cycle.
Clear sales pipelines: Your sales pipelines should be easily visible and should not require for you to dig too deep to find out what is happening at each stage with the lead. You should also be able to manage leads and build lists of leads in similar stages for your sales and marketing efforts. If the tool does not allow you to do this, then it is not for you.
Detailed reports: Reports are what are going to tell you how successful all your efforts have been. Therefore, you should be able to get detailed analytics from your tool. It should allow you to create custom reports as well, so that you can create reports that are more suited to your business.
Advantages of sales tracking:
Here is a list of the tangible and intangible benefits that you get from implementing a sales tracking process for your business:
- More detailed and deeper insights into your sales funnel
- Monitor the performance of your team and perform quality checks from time to time.
- Get to know which products/services, geographies, and sales persons bring in the maximum revenue and why
- Learn when something goes wrong and avoid risks.
- Have better communications with your target audience by monitoring their behavior.
- Increase customer satisfaction by addressing their queries and providing customized services to them.
So, this is everything and more that you need to know about sales tracking. I hope you find it useful and stay tuned for more.