When choosing a CRM system and during the CRM implementation it’s important to understand your areas of lead tracking, accounts, contacts, and opportunities. These areas represent the stages of your sales cycle and the people that are your targets for selling.
Here are two examples of Tracking leads using CRM software:
In the first example of a business using CRM software, the company frequently purchases lists of “Contacts” or “Targets”. These contacts are potential clients, but the business knows very little about them, outside of the contact data provided and the parameters for the list. By leveraging several different types of marketing campaigns, such as email or outbound calls, you’re able to nurture and qualify these different contacts into leads. Does the contact information work? Are they interested in your products? The answers to these questions allow you to determine whether they are a sales ready lead, or possibly a nurture until later lead.
One thing to keep in mind is that the quality of purchased contact lists can definitely vary across vendors, and will rarely be as sales-ready as inbound leads generated from SEO, PPC, or other inbound marketing efforts. Only when the data has been verified and qualified should it be listed as a sales-ready lead in your CRM system.
Once these leads are deemed sales-ready in your CRM, then your sales team should receive a notification that they have a new lead to engage. During the process of your sales-team engaging with your prospects, they’ll use the CRM to track their leads by adding notes from the various email communications and sales calls, as well as any other relevant data inlacing the company’s budget and services/products they’re interested in purchasing. It’s at this stage that the salesperson will convert the lead into an account and contact to track the opportunity and estimate the sales pipeline.
The two key principles of Tracking Lead in your CRM in this process are:
1. Targets and leads are unified records that contain early stage client information. This information is basic details such as name, phone number, email, address, company name. The company name of a target is a basic text field in a CRM, an attribute of the person — not a complete account or record of its own.
When you create a Contact, it is directly related to an account record which has all of the company and address information. This is because most CRMs are account-centric, with every major event occurring in the account.
2. Typically a lead is a converted to an account or contact either when preparing a quote or documenting an opportunity. Quotes and opportunities both need to be related to an account in order to document either event. The lead must first be converted into a contact with an associated account record.
Another example of tracking leads in your CRM is this — a business that does not have a lot of low level target information and tends to generate new clients through the sales process as well-qualified leads, through cross-selling or up-selling, or by receiving enough data through inbound lead forms. In this type of business model, you simply deal with leads, contact/accounts and opportunities.
When generating most of your new leads through inbound marketing, it’s important to be able to track each lead via campaign and source in your CRM. How do you track leads by campaign and source? Some CRMs will come with the option to track leads by source and then you just need to fill in the data through a drop-down menu, others may require customization, and the use of APIs can help you track leads by various sources as well.
Tracking your leads in your CRM through to opportunity will also require the creation of dropdown boxes, but this one to measure the percentage of likelyhood of closing the sale (0% to 100%) or the stage of the sales cycle. You need to decide whether it’s necessary to track one, the other, or both.
Tracking leads in a CRM solution may seem about as entertaining as watching paint dry, but is crucial in getting your sales and marketing houses in order. If you’re evaluating different CRM systems and they don’t include lead tracking, then you should probably run away as fast as possible. A CRM that lacks lead tracking will not be able to scale with you as you grow and then you’ll be doing the CRM evaluation dance all over again.
If you’re interested in trying out a CRM, 1CRM offers a fully-featured free trial with no credit card required that provides a complete business management tool.