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You’re being told to embrace data from every news outlet and blog. This can be easier in some areas of the workforce than others, though. In marketing, you can measure success with tracking of ads. In my world, it’s all about linking marketing with sales and measuring the impact one has on the other. So, it’s important to not only understand what marketing is successful (or not successful), but also what tactics in sales are working or not working. Today’s focus will be around Step 1 of understanding what is working: sales activities. Your team of reps or account executives should be almost literally tracking their every move.

Let’s go over the three things that – bare minimum – you should be tracking related to sales activities:

1. Calls

Whether your sales team is making cold calls all day, every day, or they’re calling a qualified list of prospects; your team should be tracking in a CRM the calls they’re making. This functionality is readily available in most CRMs today. Extra details allow for a more advanced understanding of the call and what came from it – perhaps you’d like the sales rep to choose a category for the call. Was is a cold call, a follow up from an email, or a phone call prompted by the lead filling out a web form?

2. Meetings

Secondly, meetings should always be tracked. In most cases, meetings are what reps are trying to obtain in their day to day activity. If you’re calling in an effort to drive a certain sales campaign, you’re most likely also tracking toward a meeting goal for that particular campaign. Our team finds it helpful to also indicate the type of meeting when we record this data. We indicate if it was simply an introduction, a meeting with a technical resource from our staff, or if it was a meeting where we were delivering a proposal.

3. Closed Business

Lastly, when your sales activity turns into closed business, you want to be able to track that fact. Ideally, your CRM has a way for you to connect the contact record with the opportunity record. If your CRM doesn’t have this functionality, be sure to make a note of the contact that the opportunity came from somewhere in the new record. This link is what you’re going to be looking for when you measure the lifetime value of a contact or customer and understand your sales funnel.

Bringing it all Together:

Aggregating the data into meaningful information is the end goal. From your tracked information on phone calls, meetings’ and closed business, you can understand a few things. How many of your phone calls turn into meetings? What percentage are you hitting? Does that percentage change during months or quarters when you’re running a specific sales campaign?

What percentage of your meetings turn into closed business? Are there patterns in the data of the link between meetings and business? Perhaps it’s a certain industry vertical is a higher success rate than the rest. This information you can take and make adjustments to future calling and campaigns.

A Step Further:

Getting marketing involved in this process can be a game changer. As a sales team, tracking sales activity is only a portion of the funnel. Most likely, your marketing team is coming up with ads or collateral that sales can utilize. To further your understanding of how marketing and sales can improve the pre-sales process together, you’ll need to link marketing and sales data.

More on the link between sales and marketing data in Part 2 of this blog in a couple weeks!

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