If you’re not already, you’ve probably thought about using a CRM to manage your leads and deals, haven’t you? Organization is a good thing, and some discipline might help close some of your leads, turning them into deals.
In sales parlance, someone who might be interested in your product or service is a lead. If you have determined the lead as someone as an eligible fit, qualified if you will, they are then considered a prospect.
Now, depending on your business, perhaps you sell lawn mowers, or build out websites, you may want to then attach that prospect to a deal. That deal would be the end product or service you’re trying to sell (close) the prospect on.
Once you’ve defined the parameters of the deal, either a decked out riding lawn mower, or an e-commerce website with all the bells and whistles, your next job is to close this deal. This could take a day, or weeks, depending on your business and your prospect’s sales cycle (i.e. selling a multi-million dollar software package requiring multiple sign-offs).
Track and Manage Your Deals
You’ll want to track the progress of your deal, like phone calls, follow up tasks, documents as well as create reminders to keep it moving along on both sides. This serves a few purposes.
First, you’re not always going to close a deal immediately. You’ll need to persist, even if it seems annoying even to you. Prospects are busy folks, just like you, and have many other responsibilities tugging for their attention not just you. Stay on target.
Second, having a record of your calls, follow ups and notes will help you look more prepared and competent to your prospect. If they do call with a question, you can pull up their deal in your CRM and have notes readily accessible.
Use deal stages to track the progress of your deal. Set the deal to “bid” or “contract sent” so you can track these deals separately by stage. If your CRM has the feature for deal likelihood via a percentage, this can be helpful in forecasting your necessary efforts to hit your monthly sales targets.
Some CRMs also have triggers and automations to help you stay on track as well. Set up reminders at predefined intervals to make sure you don’t miss following up with prospects, or getting all-important signed documents.
Improve Your Sales Performance
Adding data along the way can help you and your manager track and improve your performance. By adding in the dates when deals were added, when they were closed and reasons why deals may have been lost, you can begin to forecast your closing ratios, and determine what your average won deal size is and how long it takes to close on average.
Circling back to why you should use deals in addition to just tracking leads, for some businesses, you might sell to someone or a company again and again. By adding a deal (or opportunity) you can track total deal value by person, or average deal by company and be more granular in your reporting. This can help you determine which salespeople sell more trucks versus cars, who closes bigger deals more often, and maybe who should get the harder to close prospects.
Finally, your marketing team can leverage data from your closed deals to help find more leads that look like ones you’ve successfully closed. It’s an endlessly evolving process.
Let’s make some sales!