Sales activities are one of the most important activities for any firm to track, regardless of size, market, service, or marketing culture. Firms that struggle with sales tracking are usually tracking the wrong things or hoarding their information in all the wrong places. Sometimes, it’s a combination of both errors. Company-wide tracking of sales activities (e.g., leads, qualified opportunities, proposals, and wins/losses) not only holds the firm accountable but can foster a better team approach to business development. The best way to effectively track sales activities is to start with the right measurements. Here are a few basic metrics to track:
Leads are unqualified interests in your firm (i.e., permission-based prospects). People in this category could have come from a form request for information, firm seminar, or networking event. While some leads may qualify now, others may take longer. Continuous marketing to these leads may help you convert them to opportunities down the road.
Opportunities are qualified leads (based on your firm’s criteria) that have demonstrated a need for your services. These opportunities are often pursued via meetings and typically lead to a proposal or engagement letter.
This category includes the number of proposals you deliver as well as your win/loss rate. It is important to understand why a proposal was won or lost.
For the metrics above, it is important to track the contact information, lead source, segment (i.e., service or industry), requested services, and status. Tracking this information can be relatively easy if you have a customer relationship management (CRM) system as most systems provide a way to track leads and interactions. if you don’t have a CRM system, fear not; Excel is a good alternative. In addition to tracking opportunities and their status in your pipeline, you will also want to track overall leads, opportunities, and proposals by month and year. Benchmarking your progress from year to year will tell you how your global marketing efforts are working together as a whole. When your measurement efforts are in sync, leads, opportunities, and proposals will increase. It’s not a 1:1 ratio, but it is forward momentum.
Tracking the right metrics and understanding why they matter is a gold-standard business development skill. If this article has piqued your interest and you want to dive deeper, we invite you to learn more about our Rainmaker Development Program® (RDP). This virtual training program is designed for accounting professionals that are ready to launch their career, add value to clients, and lay a firm foundation for marketing success. In the program, you’ll learn how to develop and manage your unique Sales Pipeline. This tool is a favorite among our program graduates and for good reason – keeping track of sales activities increases your chance to close more deals. If you a question about our training programs or services, please email us today at email@example.com.