May 18, 2021

Prospect Tracking: A Guide to the World of Sales

How are you doing with your prospect tracking? You might be wondering how to do it properly, or what the best way is. This blog post will help you get started on the right foot when it comes to prospect tracking.

The world of sales is a tough one. There are many different strategies to adopt in order to be successful, and it can be hard keeping track of them all. 

Prospect tracking allows you to keep tabs on what has been done with each prospect so that you don't forget anything important!

What Is Prospect Tracking?

The concept is simple. For example, if an online newspaper gets 50 visitors to its website, that isn’t the end of the story; it may not be enough for them to notice. 

However, if they then track which visitors go on to make a purchase (or sign up for an email list), they can begin to map out which types of people are most likely to spend money with the site. 

Those individuals can receive different marketing materials than those who didn’t convert into customers or subscribers.

It is exactly how it sounds: companies track their prospects' moves throughout their sales cycle to determine what leads are most promising. A sales cycle consists of the stages a prospect goes through between hearing about your company and becoming a repeat customer or client:

The stages vary by industry and type of business, but this gives you an idea of the different types of activities that must happen before someone becomes a customer. 

Prospects can fail at any stage in the sales cycle, so successful salespeople know that they need to do everything possible to help potential customers succeed.

Prospect tracking doesn’t mean monitoring every step your prospects make; it simply means finding ways to track their progress along the path from awareness to profit-generating customer. 

Sales reps often ask themselves: What steps will my target audience take? Which ones should I worry about the most? How can I support them along this journey?

Keeping track of prospects allows you to be proactive; if it seems like your best leads are struggling, you’ll be able to correct the course. It also helps your reps avoid floundering around with no idea how to help their potential customers (and vice versa). 

With prospect tracking software, everyone knows where they stand at any given time because there is always an accurate record of progress. 

You can use customer data to do things like identify the top 100 targets that will generate the highest number of sales over time, or find out which customers are converting into promoters so you can encourage more engagement from them. Once everything is tracked, it’s much easier to improve sales results.

In the tracking stage of the sales cycle, you want to look for a clear path from awareness to conversion. 

With SEO and marketing automation tools, this isn’t always obvious anymore, but if a prospect finds your site with an organic search result or through a marketing email that prompted them to click, they should be able to continue on that same path into further engagement. 

If not, you—or they—can move onto another option until everyone knows exactly how they can support each other in reaching their goals.

What Is The Need Of Tracking Prospects?

Tracking prospects is necessary in order to know more about them, but before tracking it's important that you have an interest from the very beginning. They may not believe what you're selling at all and end up buying from a competitor.

Or maybe they're interested enough to buy from you sometime in the future, if only you get back to them later on or answer their sales questions correctly, etc.

So why track? Because this way you can keep records of every single interaction with your leads. This will let you review these interactions and find out which of them led to a sale and which of them didn't. 

No matter how small a lead is - having historical data points for each one of your leads allows you to analyze why some people purchased and why others didn't.

Here are the top 5 reasons why you should do just that:

  1. Give more relevant messages With knowledge of who is opening your emails, when they opened it and what links they click on within your email, you can send increasingly relevant messages at important stages in their buying cycle. 

By creating a drip campaign with Dynamic Content , can send different content to separate groups of recipients . Like showing a product to a lead who has shown an interest in the past , but something else when they have been more active on your site over time.

  1. See how prospects move through your sales funnel With information on when and where someone drops off from your funnel, you can see what areas need improvement, for example if they're not quite convinced by one of your offers. 

And with this information you'll be able to see at which stage they drop off most often so that you can work on improving it or even remove it altogether.

  1. You'll know where interested leads are in their buying cycle If prospects follow a certain path in order to get in touch with you - requesting a quote in return for an initial email address for example - you can follow their progress through your sales funnel with marketing automation. 

You'll see where they are in the buying cycle, so if they have requested a quote, but haven't responded to your last few emails that's probably because they're still just researching solutions and haven't made up their mind yet. 

Or perhaps there was something wrong with an earlier offer? Either way, you can use this information to adjust your content accordingly to get them back on track again.

  1. Improve communication between departments When marketing automation is set up well throughout the company, different teams (like sales and marketing) will be able to instantly see which prospects could belong to them without having to send any additional messages. 

Because let's face it; It's more efficient when everyone can see what other departments are doing. We've even had some clients where the sales manager is able to login and update a prospect's status on his own, saving valuable time for both parties.

  1. Gain more insights into your customer base With marketing automation you can gather valuable information about your customers like which pages they visit most often, where they drop off in the buying cycle or whether they're ready to buy anything yet. 

You can then use this information to optimize your website design or even develop new products that better target existing customers' needs. 

Tracking prospects will help you get an idea of who it is you're actually selling to so that you'll know exactly how you should be with them later on. Entire companies have been built just by understanding how their customers behave. So why wouldn't you do it?

How To Track Your Prospect?

There are so many things to track and manage when marketing your product or service. Prospects, leads, opportunities—there’s a lot to keep up with! But you can simplify it all by taking advantage of the free sales prospecting tools available online.

One of the most important steps is tracking prospects as they move through the pipeline. This way you can see which opportunities need additional nurturing and follow-up, and which ones may require immediate attention such as a call or meeting.

Prospect Activity vs Activity History

There are two types of activity that you should track for each prospect: the initial lead generation phase and the later phases where leads turn into sales opportunities and finally sales. Let’s take a look at both of these and what kind of information they require:

1). Initial Phase (Lead Generation) —You want to make sure you capture everything about the initial communication with a potential customer or referral source, including things like: what communication methods were used (email, phone call, social media), when it occurred (specific date & time), who initiated it (if multiple people on your team communicated with them), etc. 

And while some tools request this information on signup forms automatically, you should also keep track of the following things on a spreadsheet or in your CRM:

If you’re using an email tool for this process, keeping track of all of these details will be easy. You can create separate “email templates” for each communication method (i.e., phone calls, social media messages) and then use them as needed to save time.

2). Later Phase—Once leads turn into sales opportunities, it’s important to track activity so your team is always up-to-date on what stage an opportunity has reached—and who the best person is to follow up with next. It may look something like this:

You’ll notice that there are three phases here prospecting contacts typically go through: generating interest (who the prospect is and why they’re interested), nurturing (when you start to provide more information and answer their questions), and finally, closing (when the sale is made).

What information should be tracked in the early phases of lead generation?

As mentioned previously, you should collect all communication-related information during this phase. It’s not necessary to ask for contact details like phone number or email address since they may change over time. 

But it is helpful to capture their name and company so you can use it during outreach via email or social media messaging. 

As an added bonus, if you keep track of which specific posts were shared by prospects on social media (LinkedIn statuses, tweets, Facebook posts), you can create targeted content later on around those topics.

What information should be tracked in the later phases that leads to opportunities?

Once emails have been exchanged and you have a meeting scheduled, it’s time to start gathering all contact-related information that you’ll need for your CRM. Track things like phone number(s), email address, LinkedIn profile link, etc. 

so your team can easily follow-up with them after initial meetings are over. You may also want to ask for their manager or department so you can track lead status at specific companies more easily. 

Note: If you’re using an email tool for this process, keeping track of all of these details will be easy. You can create separate “email templates” for each type of communication method (i.e., phone calls, social media messages) and then use them as needed to save time.

A lead nurturing process is a great way to communicate with leads that have been generated but aren’t quite ready for your sales team to begin their follow up. 

In this phase, the objective of your communication is to provide enough value so they feel compelled to continue engaging—and ultimately purchase from you soon! 

To nurture leads effectively, you must first understand what specific needs each one has at the moment—this will help determine which content types will be most useful in your communications. 

You should also consider how likely they are to go through the buying cycle and whether or not you need to send out several emails throughout a period of a few weeks or a few months.

Here are some information you may consider capturing in this stage, depending on your team’s needs:

  • Historical communications with the prospect.
  • Which content types were provided to them (blog posts, white papers, videos, etc.).
  • When each piece of content was sent out.
  • How interested is the prospect in receiving email-based content? Are they reading it regularly? If not, then perhaps social media messages would be more effective.
  • How interested is the prospect in receiving phone calls? Will they answer any questions that you have for them over the phone? Asking about their favorite topics can be a good indicator if they’d be willing to chat for a bit. Then set up a call for a time when you’re both available.
  • How likely is the prospect to convert? If they’re engaged with your content and seem willing to learn more about purchasing from you, you can be more aggressive in your nurturing tactics.

Consider creating new pieces of content and asking for feedback before sending it out—this will give the person something valuable to review instead of just asking for their business on first contact. 

On the other hand, if they don’t seem engaged at all or unwilling to provide any feedback, this may indicate that they aren’t interested in hearing from you again (or not yet ready). In this case, providing general updates like industry news might be more effective than pushing them towards an engagement that is too specific.

Sales Prospecting Tools You Need

Sales prospecting tools were created to help sales people and their managers gain a competitive advantage. Sales prospecting tools make it easy for you to target your contacts and find new ones on the web, on social networks and on mobile phones. 

They also let you keep track of them and develop stronger relationships with them by using automated communication. 

Here are some of the best sales prospecting tools that will surely help your company grow:

1) Sendbloom this is a platform for sending personalised emails such as newsletters, e-books and e-zines through email campaigns. It can also be used as an integrated CRM system since it combines user profiles, contacts and customer communications into one single tool. 

It features powerful analytics that measures the effectiveness of every email campaign and gives instant feedback on conversion rates, open rates and see which links were clicked. 

It also allows you to identify decision makers in your prospects list through their job titles and company information.

2) Hubspot CRMthis tool is one of the best in sales prospecting simply because it has all the necessary features that a CRM needs. 

An online platform for marketing and sales, it is used by more than 16000 companies around the world including big names like AirBnB and GE. Its main advantage is its simplicity as it helps manage activities, contacts, campaigns and follow up emails from one central location.

3) ZoomInfo Free Profiler an online personalised search engine for finding contacts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. It is used by over 10 million people every month to access the profiles of more than 100 million professionals. 

You can create custom lists for sales prospects or competitors and reach them through email marketing campaigns with high chances of success.

4) Rapportiveit is a Gmail plugin that displays information from LinkedIn directly inside your Inbox so you know all about your contacts before sending an email. 

It integrates data from multiple sources such as Google Chrome browser, Salesforce CRM, social networks and other customer management systems. This helps increase the chance of converting emails into meetings since you already have a lot of information at your fingertips including names, photos, companies and job titles.

5) feedblitza marketing automation system that helps you develop your business with email newsletters. 

You can create RSS feeds for your website or blog to attract new visitors and subscribers, schedule automatic email messages to be sent at specific times over the week, manage multiple subscriptions, import contacts from social networks, see subscriber activity online in real time and send messages automatically based on customer behaviour.

These are the top 5 best sales prospecting tools that will surely help your company grow by giving you more exposure to potential clients. Combined with other digital marketing strategies they offer great results so you should definitely give them a try!

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Himangi Lohar

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