Contrary to the popular misconception, sales tracking isn't just about complicated numbers and graphs.
It's about uncovering granular details about your entire sales process, identifying what processes work and what don't, and using the available data to glean actionable insights. Sales tracking begins from the first interaction a lead has with your company to how they move down the sales funnel until the very end when they convert into paying customers.
By analyzing every detail about your sales process, you can unearth secrets that can help you identify bottlenecks and leaks. Sales tracking gives you a visual idea of what's keeping your leads from converting.
And the best part? Sales tracking also gives managers the power to make data-backed decisions to patch up those leaks and unclog bottlenecks before they damage the company's bottom line. Moreover, it'll also help pinpoint the sales reps, activities, and strategies that are giving the best results. Not only can you optimize your sales funnel with this knowledge, but you can also maximize the returns on your marketing investments. Sounds good, doesn't it?
How to set up a sales tracking process
Now that you've grasped why you need to implement sales tracking as soon as possible, let's discuss how to set up the process.
Document your goals and objectives
No plan can ever be fulfilled without first setting down the goals in concrete. Documenting your sales goals and targets will go a long way in streamlining the entire process and unifying your sales team's efforts in the right direction.
Your sales goals depend on several factors - territory, product, funnel size, market. But the biggest influence is played by your sales reps. It's crucial to include them in the discussions to understand what's a realistic goal for them.
Another point to keep in mind is that the metrics you track should be simple yet extensive enough to give you a clear idea of how the sales process is performing.
Learn all you can about your ideal audience
All marketing and sales plans need to be customer-centric. After all, if your strategy doesn't appeal to the prospect, your numbers will always be in the red.
Understand the different aspects of your ideal buyer and build a persona. Every strategy that you create should be geared towards selling to this ideal buyer.
For instance, a B2B company selling data management and reporting software needs to figure out how to pitch its product to C-Suite executives. While a B2C brand selling recycled fashion wear will have to tailor its process for college-going youth.
Identify the platforms your audience is on
This is the step where you study all the possible entry points for your sales plan. Due to the massive scale at which digital media has permeated our lives, it's important to identify the channels, platforms, and other sources that your audience frequents.
From social media to blogs to websites to forums to mobile apps, learning where your audience exists can help fine-tune your entire strategy.
What stage does the lead belong to?
Each lead is built differently. They have different intents, different interactions, and different expectations from your company. Putting them through the same funnel will only lead to clogging.
Start by identifying which stage of the funnel your lead is currently in. Are they just prospecting? Have they contacted the company yet? Have they interacted with a sales rep? Are they on the verge of buying?
Defining each stage will bring in clearer numbers. It'll also ensure that you can find the exact stage when most leads drop out and why.
Set up the most relevant metrics that need to be tracked
In the last stage of the process, you need to find out which metrics and KPIs are critical to your sales process. These metrics will help you understand if your sales process is working ideally or not. And if not, why?
Metrics that should be tracked are:
- Sales per source
- Total monthly sales
- Sales per rep
- The average revenue per user
- Churn rate
- Average time to close a sale
Setting up a sales tracking system is a rewarding exercise. It'll help optimize your sales process, ramp up sales numbers, minimize budget wastage, and increase profit margins. Using software to track sales activities and results will inherently transform the way you look at sales again - from a rigid number-based PoV to a visual, critical data-based PoV.