07.08.2022

Keeping Track Of Sales Leads: A Comprehensive Guide

One way to evaluate the efficiency of your sales cycle is to look at your lead generation results. By attracting enough targeted prospects to your business regularly, you’ll set your company for a flying start.

But here’s the thing:

Lead generation is only the beginning of your sales process. There’s still a long path ahead of you where you have to manage your prospects closely to ensure that you’re not missing any real opportunities.

The only way to maximize your success is by keeping track of all sales leads as soon as they enter your funnel. Which is often a daunting task that can cause a lot of frustration — especially when not planned for carefully.

So in this guide, you’ll learn some of the most efficient ways to monitor your sales leads. But before we get there, you need to understand what lead tracking is and what makes it so important.

Let’s get started.

What is Sales Leads Tracking?

Sales lead tracking is the process of monitoring your prospects throughout the sales cycle. It consists of identifying your lead source as well as understanding your ideal customers and how they are interacting with your business.

We’ll jump later into the best tips and tricks for tracking your sales leads effectively. But before we get there, you need to understand why monitoring prospects is important in the first place.

Why Is It Important To Keep Track of Sales Leads?

Your sales and marketing teams already have a lot on their plates.

Marketers spend most of their time developing marketing campaigns to help your brand grow. They’re also responsible for creating new content and promoting it to make sure it reaches the right audience.

Salespeople, on the other hand, have to do a lot of reaching out and convincing to generate interest in your offers and close more opportunities.

All of that will make you wonder:

Is lead tracking really worth my time?

Here are four reasons why tracking sales leads is crucial:

1. Keeping Track of Sales Leads Improves Your Sales Process

Lead tracking is extremely important for enhancing your sales cycle and increasing your bottom line. It’s an excellent way to improve your sales performance as it helps you make informed decisions based on accurate predictions with each step of the process.

Tracking your leads will also allow you to focus on the best sales tools and strategies in your business. You’ll know how successful your salespeople are and how you can help them be more effective.

2. Keeping Track of Sales Leads Helps You Stay Organized

When should we launch our new campaign? Who’s responsible for each duty? And how can we improve on our current results?

These are all questions you’ll easily get the answer to if you track your leads in an efficient way. You’ll know which decisions and elements are working in your favor so you can double down on them in your future campaigns.

By monitoring how your leads move through the sales funnel, you can break down your process into smaller phases. With perfect sales and marketing alignment, you can guarantee a smooth, successful sales process.

3. Keeping Track of Sales Leads Allows You to Identify Your Best Leads

Identifying target leads is never a matter of luck and guessing. It takes monitoring and a lot of trial and error to be able to determine who exactly you’re trying to sell to.

Tracking sales leads helps you gain a wider understanding of your prospective clients. Based on your sales metrics, you can develop an ideal customer profile with demographics, challenges, and interests to rely on in your future campaigns.

4. Keeping Track of Sales Leads Is Key To Effective Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is a guaranteed way to develop stronger relationships with target clients and convert them quickly into customers. But, it’s only possible to nurture your leads effectively if you understand their behavior.

When you know who your prospects are, you can target them with marketing messages and sales offers tailored specifically to their needs. For example, you’ll be able to create educational content that helps your ideal clients overcome their daily challenges with ease.

How To Keep Track of Sales Leads Effectively

Whether you’re using a CRM or a lead tracking spreadsheet, there are key steps that you must follow to monitor your sales pipeline successfully and keep your data organized.

Also:

You have to develop a strong communication system that keeps everyone in your company informed — especially your marketing and sales teams.

How to track sales leads activity in five simple steps:

1. Understand the Customer’s Buying Process

What goes on in the prospect’s mind from the moment they face a problem to the moment they buy from you?

Understanding the buying process from the lead’s perspective makes a huge difference when it comes to sales performance. You need to be aware of the different stages in the sales process so you can segment prospects more effectively.

For example:

You shouldn’t expect a prospect in the awareness stage to be ready to discuss product features with you. They barely understand what their problem is and why it’s important to solve it.

By the same token, a lead that’s ready to make a purchase doesn’t need to get more information about your offers. They need to communicate directly with your SDRs to push them to make the final decision.

2. Use a Lead Tracking Tool

Sales lead tracking tools will take your sales performance to the next level.

Obviously, you’re not going to track each prospect individually with a pen and paper. You need an advanced tracking tool to help you manage lead information and use it to improve your sales process.

Monitoring lead activity using software is the best way to stay organized and achieve better results in your sales process. For instance, tracking tools will grant you total control over lead records so you can manage prospect information more efficiently.

Lead tracking tools also enable you to identify your different lead sources and how each prospect is interacting with your company. That in turn will help you better score your leads, segment them into categories, and personalize your communications to boost engagements.

3. Develop a Lead Scoring System

One thing you need to know about your leads at all times is where they are in the sales cycle. Having clear insight about prospect activity is crucial for increasing engagements and boosting sales.

A lead tracking software will help you score leads automatically based on a variety of factors such as company details, decision-making ability, interest, and behavior. You’ll have a reliable scoring model that’s based on metrics and real-time data instead of guesswork.

This helps you identify which prospects are most qualified to have a sales conversation. You’ll also know which leads need more nurturing so you can push them down the funnel towards the decision stage.

4. Research Your Competition Campaign

Sales is a big puzzle with lots of holes to fill. There’s always more to learn about different trends, tools, or techniques that can help you skyrocket your results.

For example:

With each new product or service you launch, there’s an improved way to engage prospects and get them to convert. One way to gain quick knowledge about that is by analyzing your competition.

This is especially useful if you’re just getting started with a new strategy or trying to increase profits quickly.

The truth is…

What already works for your competitors will likely work for you as well. So you don’t need to reinvent the wheel or waste months trying to understand your target prospects all over again.

Instead:

You can easily analyze the leads of businesses similar to yours and see how they’re interacting with them. This is a great way to gain valuable knowledge that helps you boost engagements and improve your sales process.

5. Customize Lead Generation Forms

A lead generation form can tell you so much about your prospects if created the right way. You can collect a lot of information about your leads without having to annoy them with so many fields.

As a rule of thumb:

Your web forms have to be simplistic and easy to fill so that your leads are encouraged to convert. You should only ask for necessary details — such as the full name, job title, company name, and email address.

You can also learn exactly where your prospects are coming from without having to create a visible field for your visitors to fill.

What you’ll do instead is add a hidden input field to your existing lead generation forms. This invisible field will capture a UTM code from the link that the prospect used to access your landing page. Then, it uses that to identify which website or marketing channel they came from.

Another way you can identify your lead source accurately is by asking them directly where they found you. All you need to do is add a “select” field to your form with the most popular marketing channels.

3 Common Mistakes Made When Keeping Track of Sales Leads

Lead monitoring can sometimes be a complex process for many marketing and sales professionals. It involves the introduction of many duties and new tools, which can make the learning curve a bit steep.

To be honest…

There is no way you can totally prevent your team from making mistakes at the beginning. There will be many errors that will slow down your progress and set you back from converting more sales.

But:

There are also many mistakes that you can easily avoid when tracking leads. By educating your internal teams about such avoidable errors, you’ll accelerate your sales cycle at no additional cost.

Not Tracking All Lead Sources

There are dozens of lead sources that your marketing and sales teams can use to generate new business for your company. The most popular ones are email, phone, social media, organic search, referrals, and business directories.

Obviously:

You won’t get the same outcomes from each lead source you use. Some lead generation channels are slow to bring you results and may take a lot more work. Others are more suitable for specific industries and may only waste your time in the long run.

So how do you know which lead generation channels will work best for you?

You need to track all the possible lead sources to identify your top three to five channels and focus on them in your future campaigns. And that’s only possible if you’re experimenting with a lot of mediums simultaneously and tracking all of them.

Not Nurturing Your Leads

Tracking your leads is a fundamental step in your sales process. But it only matters because it helps you be more informed in your decision-making. So if you’re not putting those findings into practice, your lead tracking efforts will be as useful as a white crayon.

A common mistake that lots of companies make is failing to nurture unqualified prospects.

If you’re not following up with every single lead that you attract, you’re missing out on a lot of sales opportunities. Because while it is smart to focus on converting sales-ready leads, it’s equally important to nurture potential clients at the awareness stage with consistent messaging and relevant content.

After identifying the prospect’s interests based on their behavior, you can reach out to them with tailored content that answers to their needs. This will get leads at the top of the funnel to be more interested in your company and ready to talk to you.

Using a Bad Lead Scoring System

You can use the best CRM to manage your prospects with the most efficient monitoring tools and still fail in your lead tracking. That often happens when you have an unreliable lead scoring system to guide your efforts.

For instance:

Based on the wrong metrics, your internal teams may undervalue or overvalue certain prospects and place them inaccurately in the sales cycle. As a result, you’ll waste a lot of time trying to communicate the wrong message to the wrong lead.

A good lead scoring system eases the work for everyone in your company and helps your marketing and sales teams stay in perfect alignment. It enables your SDRs to focus on qualified leads and let the rest for your marketing team to nurture.

So what makes the perfect lead scoring system?

Your lead scoring model needs to focus on crucial metrics and relevant customer data when evaluating prospects. It should take into consideration relevant measures and characteristics to help you score your leads’ readiness wherever they are in the sales cycle.

Summing It Up

Keeping track of sales leads should be a fundamental step in your sales process if you’re serious about enhancing your business results. It helps you better understand your target prospects and adjust your strategies accordingly so you can increase your bottom line.

To monitor leads effectively, you first need to view the sales journey from the buyer’s perspective and get into their thought process. You’ll then need to use tracking tools and a lead scoring system to automate everything to save time and effort.

Only then will you be able to spend more time analyzing your competition and looking for better ways to track your prospects.

Vito Vishnepolsky
Vito Vishnepolsky
CEO and Founder at Martal Group