The importance of effective sales follow-up to convert a customer
Business tracking or sales opportunities allows you to manage and streamline your pipeline so you can focus on growing your bottom line . In this article, we show you how to track and measure your sales opportunities and more effectively demonstrate your impact on revenue.
Not all leads land on your website on Monday and convert on Friday. For some, the sales process can be much longer and usually involves more points of contact to get potential buyers to cross the line.
For low cost sales, a B2B sales cycle can take up to three months to complete. In contrast, B2B sales cycles for higher value contracts can take between six and nine months.
With sales tracking, marketers can get a bird’s-eye view of what’s working and uncover critical insights to convert more opportunities into paying customers .
In this article we will see:
- What is commercial tracking?
- 5 steps to set up your sales monitoring process:
- Why tracking sales opportunities is important
- How to start tracking opportunities?
- The advantages of setting up a commercial follow-up action
- Important parameters to follow
What is commercial tracking?
When a prospect is qualified and moves up the sales funnel , it often becomes a sales opportunity . As the name suggests, a sales opportunity is a qualified prospect who has shown some commitment to working with your business and has a high probability of turning into a business or a customer. Tracking and managing business opportunities provides full visibility into the sales process and enables businesses to more effectively track all opportunities across the pipeline.
5 steps to set up your sales monitoring process
Step 1: Identify your target audience
As is the norm in most sales and marketing processes, you should always start with knowing who your customer is, your persona. This step will help you plan the rest of your process much more clearly. Know who the influencers, decision makers, and buyers of what you are selling are.
Step 2: Identify your sources
Then you need to know the platforms that this audience would be present on, online and offline. Find out which social networks they frequent the most, what keywords they search for on search engines, and what types of websites they frequent. If you have a mobile app, you can also try in-app ads . You can now make a complete list of all possible entry points and select the most relevant to you.
Step 3: Define the stages in which each prospect must be
Now define the different stages in which your prospect could be. It can be a “cold lead”, a prospect, a “lukewarm lead”, a “hot lead” or a customer. These steps vary by company and industry. You can then recognize at a glance what stage of the sales funnel a prospect is at any given time.
Step 4: Define the Different Ways Your Prospect Can Engage With You
You need to identify the means by which you want to nurture your prospects. These can be email marketing, advertisements with a redirect to a dedicated landing page , webinars, white papers, etc. List all the points of communication your prospects have with your business. These can be social networks, forums, web forms, emails and phone. This step allows you to keep track of the maturing activities that are helping a prospect convert.
Step 5: Define the parameters that should be measured consistently
Now that you have the system in place, the last step is to figure out what you need to measure with the trade tracking system. Is it the number of visitors to your website? Or the number of people arriving from a particular source ? Or the average time it takes for a prospect to become a customer. You can then create reports according to your needs to get the most out of your sales tracking process.
Why is tracking sales opportunities important?
Tracking, or managing, opportunities is at the heart of any successful sales operation. With effective opportunity tracking, business leaders can see exactly how prospects turn into customers and allow teams to focus on the higher value activities that help get things done.
To demonstrate the importance of business tracking , let’s use an example. Suppose you work in a marketing agency and use the following five steps in your sales process:
- Acquisition of a lead : You first collect the contact details of a potential customer via a form, a phone call or a chat request.
- Prospect Qualification : At this point, prospects don’t know much about your business. Your sales team follows up to determine if the lead is relevant to you or not.
- Make an appointment : Once the prospect is qualified, you organize an online or face-to-face meeting to present your business and your services, and to better understand the prospect’s needs.
- Sending the contract or quote : If the meeting went well, the buyer will then see a quote proposal or contract that includes your solution and a breakdown of your services and prices.
- Deal : This is the last step in your sales process, and the prospect has become a paying customer .
Let’s say you convert ten leads on your website. You follow up with all of your prospects, and seven of them decide to make an appointment to learn more about your services . At the end of all your meetings, three prospects ask you for a proposal, and one of them accepts and becomes a paying customer.
To attract a new customer, you need to capture at least ten leads at the point of conversion through any prospecting channel. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? However, without tracking opportunities, it would be nearly impossible to sum this up.
Bonus tip * : Also remember that working on a customer retention method is much less expensive than looking for new customers. So remember to maintain good relationships with your customers and retain them!
How to start the commercial follow-up?
Effective tracking of sales opportunities can help you close more deals with less effort by letting you understand:
- Why prospects come out of the funnel and don’t buy .
- At what stages of the sales pipeline the majority of sales opportunities are blocked.
- And which stages of the pipeline have the lowest conversion rates .
Good sales and opportunity tracking is a must-have solution for almost any business. However, without the right strategy and the right tools in place, it can become overwhelming. That’s why we’ve provided four steps to get you started .
1. Define the pipeline stages in your sales process
To start managing and tracking opportunities, you must first define and approve the stages of your sales process.
The basis of any successful sales operation is an established and well-structured sales pipeline. Simply put, a sales pipeline is a series of steps that allow businesses to guide prospects from first contact to closing . Below are some of the more traditional stages of a sales pipeline.
“Appointment Fixed, Qualified to Buy, Meeting Fixed, Contract Sent, Closed Won, and Closed Lost.”
No company is the same. Therefore, each sales pipeline is unique. Some organizations may opt for a 3-stage pipeline. While organizations with longer sales cycles may need more steps to ensure prospects reach the buying decision .
Your sales pipeline is like a well-lit road. Each lamppost represents a stage in your pipeline. Without these lampposts, the road darkens and you lose all visibility. The same goes for your sales pipeline.
Without the right pipeline stages, your prospects will enter the sales cycle and you will end up not knowing where they are.
2. Store lead, opportunity, and sales data from multiple sources on one platform.
Next, you need to make sure that your leads and customer data are stored in one place so that you can effectively manage every interaction throughout the buying journey.
CRMs are a popular choice because they essentially provide a central place where businesses can store data about opportunities, track interactions with customers, and share key information with stakeholders.
Most CRMs have dedicated tools that make the process of building your sales pipeline much easier.
3. Segment your leads, opportunities and sales by source
Your business opportunities will likely come from multiple points of contact and sources. By capturing data from multiple marketing channels in your CRM, you will be able to identify the channels that generate the most qualified leads .
You can then make smarter decisions about the top of your funnel and focus on the sources of marketing that you know will drive downstream activity. While seemingly straightforward, the process of tracking lead sources in your CRM and navigating through them can be overwhelming without the right processes in place.
The advantages of commercial follow-up
Here is a list of the tangible and intangible benefits you get by setting up a sales tracking process for your business:
- A more detailed and in-depth view of your sales funnel.
- Monitor your team’s performance and perform quality checks from time to time.
- Get to know which products / services, geographies and sellers are the most profitable and why (Know the evolution of your market and expectations).
- Learn when something is wrong and avoid the risks.
- Improve communication with your target audience by monitoring their behavior.
- Increase customer satisfaction by answering their questions and providing personalized services.
Important parameters you should measure
You have successfully implemented the process. Now, let’s take a closer look at the last step of the process . Your sales follow-up isn’t limited to knowing how the prospect interacts with you. It’s also about how they impact your business and its income . A good sales tracking process should help you measure the following metrics
- Sales by channel : Calculate the number of sales made by your different channels. This lets you know which channels are bringing you the most business. This will allow you to focus your sales and marketing efforts on these channels.
- Total sale in a given period : Calculate the number of sales that have occurred on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. This gives management an idea of the overall performance of the business.
- Selling by Demographics : This can tell you how many customers are from a particular age group, business profile, or geographic region. This helps you determine who your ideal buyer persona is and you can better target them with paid campaigns as well as with content marketing .
- Selling by Salesperson: Know which salesperson generates the most revenue. You can use this number to monitor performance and to boost the morale of your sales team.
- Average time to close a sale : This metric lets you know how long it takes for a prospect to become a customer. For some businesses, especially B2C businesses, the sales cycle is much shorter than for B2B businesses. By determining this, you can set optimal and achievable goals for your sales team. (Think SMART)
- New Customer Sales vs. Recurring Customer Sales : This metric lets you know how much of the business comes from new customers and how much from old customers. You can also determine the cost of acquiring a new customer versus the cost of retaining an old customer .
- Churn rate : Know the rate at which customers leave your business and why. You can then try to revive lost customers and keep them coming back or try to prevent the same mistakes from happening again. Hence the importance of giving your customers a voice and collecting their feedback and using it .
- Average Revenue Per Customer : Know how much revenue each customer brings to you. It will also help you narrow down your target audience. You will know that potential customers who pay too much or too little are not suitable for your business.
Conclusion, the essential functionalities for its commercial follow-up
Congratulations! You now have an exciting plan in place to track all of your leads and their progress through your sales funnel. But, as we all know, ideas without execution aren’t going to get us much results . If you want to properly track your sales process, you need to have a tool with the features that can help you . Here are some necessary features that you should look for.
- Detailed Web Tracking : The tool should be able to capture every point of contact between prospects and your business, whether through email, phone, or chat. You need to be able to know which pages they visited, how long they spent there, and what forms they filled out. It should also be able to notify users when a particular page is visited. In addition, they should be able to follow the email and phone conversations the prospect has with you, in order to understand how and why they are or are not converting.
- Easy to use interface : The tool should be simple and straightforward so that you don’t have to waste precious time trying to learn how to use it. The more time it takes to implement and learn the software, the more time you waste that could be spent reaching your prospects.
- Easy Customization : You should be able to add your own unique fields to your leads and steps to make your business more meaningful. Some tools come with predefined fields and it is very difficult to make changes. Such tools can lead to a number of mistakes in tracking your sales cycle.
- Clear Sales Pipelines : Your sales pipeline should be easily visible and shouldn’t require you to dig too deep to find out what’s going on with the prospect every step of the way. You should also be able to manage leads and build lists of leads at similar stages for your sales and marketing efforts. If the tool doesn’t let you do this, it’s not for you.
- Detailed Reports : Reports are what will tell you the success of all your efforts. You should therefore be able to obtain detailed analyzes of your tool. It should also allow you to create custom reports, so that you can create reports that are better suited to your business.
Twilead has been designed by following the scheme described above! It is the all-in-one tool that allows you to manage all of your sales and marketing operations and manage your customer relationships. Since a sales pipeline is unique to each company, Twilead allows you within a clean and uncluttered interface to personalize your pipeline, your lead lists and even your detailed reports. A real toolbox, Twilead allows you to carry out your commercial follow-up easily while including outreach, emailing marketing and chat functionalities to manage your customer relationship .