Sales processes are important because they generate the revenue that sustains the entire business, creates value for customers, and helps the business meet its goals. Sales tracking is one tactic for ensuring that the sales process remains relevant for both customers and business strategy.
This guide provides all the information you need to understand what sales tracking is, how it works, and it can help improve your sales process.
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What is sales tracking?
Sales tracking is the process of mining sales activity for information and insights about lead sources, lead quality, and conversion rates. This allows sales teams and managers to adapt their sales process for a more effective buyer journey, refine strategy, and improve their sales pipeline stages to increase the chances of converting leads into customers.
Common metrics and data involved in sales tracking include:
- Lead sources
- Contact and job information
- Company size
- Time to close
- Features the prospect found most compelling
- Relevant Information about contact and interactions with the prospect (meeting notes, emails, questions, etc.)
Sales tracking also allows teams to create more accurate sales forecasts and stay decision-ready by providing data on all sales activities. It analyzes opportunities won and opportunities lost, and aims to identify patterns within the two that can be improved upon.
Why is sales tracking important?
The sales process is an equation with many variables, like customer expectations that change over time, product development, and shifting business strategies. That means that the sales process itself has to adapt in order to remain effective. Sales tracking helps teams respond to these changing variables quickly and confidently.
It supports an effective sales process by:
Providing real-time information
Sales tracking tools update continuously. Teams don’t have to wait for weekly, monthly, or quarterly reports to assess performance, so processes can be adapted more quickly.
Enabling better decision making
Department managers and stakeholders use sales tracking data to make informed strategic decisions. The wealth of real-time information takes the guesswork out of management-level judgments.
Enhancing coordination between departments
Sales and marketing teams can access the sales tracking platform to collaborate and meet sales enablement needs better. With the shared information and performance data, they can coordinate and time their efforts and focus on the same benchmarks instead of working toward independent goals that may not aid the overall aims.
Defining target markets
Sales tracking includes information about which customers respond to marketing, purchase your products or services, or browse your website. With this knowledge at your fingertips, you can define your target audience and create sales strategies focused on their interests, needs, and purchasing patterns.
With data from the entire sales pipeline, it is easy to find bottlenecks. For example, perhaps your reps have to sort qualified and non-qualified leads manually, slowing down the sales process and increasing the chance that they will spend time on people who are unlikely to make a purchase.
Clarifying goal tracking
Sales tracking software simplifies the collection and organization of data for a range of metrics. This helps sales teams align their processes with the overall business strategy and to track progress against their goals.
Which metrics should sales teams track?
The metrics that you should track with your software depend on your industry. However, some insights will prove valuable regardless of your business type.
Key performance indicators (KPIs)
Key performance indicators define your goals and serve as benchmarks for sales campaigns. KPIs include overall revenue, revenue by customer type, customer lifetime value (LTV), and selling expenses.
These numbers focus on sales reps’ performance. They can include the win rate, the conversion rate for each level of a sales funnel, total conversions, total open opportunities for leads that have not led to sales, and the length of the sales cycle.
Lead generation metrics
These figures focus on attracting interest in your business. The numbers here include customer acquisition cost, number of qualified leads, number of dropped leads, and volume of new customer acquisitions.
You can also look at the different tools and techniques that sales teams use and gauge their effectiveness against one another.
5 common sales tracking areas
There are several sales tracking targets, and each of these areas offers unique insights into the current state of your processes and strategies. Here are five key areas to focus us for worthwhile insights.
New sales lead tracking
New sales lead tracking focuses on the sources of leads and how they respond to initial interactions with your company. By defining the origin of each potential customer, you can learn which marketing and outreach efforts work and which bring the most quality leads.
It is helpful to follow these new leads through the sales funnel because it can link conversions with the source of the customer. You can then differentiate between regular leads and high-quality ones with a better chance of bringing sales.
Sales pipeline tracking
Sales pipeline tracking gives you a holistic approach to the entire sales process. This tracking type focuses on converting leads into customers (and, hopefully, repeat customers). By painting a complete picture of your sales processes, you can easily find areas for improvement.
For example, you might see places where many leads drop out of the pipeline. The sales tracking data can help you see whether poor sales practices, overwhelming marketing emails, or uncompetitive promotional offers are to blame for this dropoff.
Sales activity tracking
Sales activity tracking focuses on the actions of sales team members. While this data can provide insights into the performance of salespeople in your company, it can also serve as a resource to make their jobs easier.
It shows them what stage a customer is in the sales pipeline and provides information about each client’s needs and interests, making it easier to close the sale. With this information at their fingertips, any sales team member can take over communication with a prospect at any time without losing the rapport their previous contact built with them.
Sales email tracking
Sales email tracking can help measure the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns. With this tool, you can see the source of customer email addresses, measure their actions related to the emails, and see how many people opened each correspondence. This tool helps with email nurturing, scheduling, and automation of repetitive tasks.
Sales funnel tracking
Sales funnel tracking provides an overview of the complete customer or buyer journey, from first contact to most recent purchase. In other words, it provides a roadmap for how customers became customers.
This information is invaluable because it shows you what works. Also, it helps you streamline and automate the best aspects of your sales pipeline so that you can repeat successful operations. This tracking data is most effective when organized and visualized.
How to keep track of your sales process
Sales tracking aids the organization of your data so that it leads to actionable insights. Use this framework to learn how to get the most out of your sales process data.
Step 1: Decide on the most important metrics
The first step is to select the metrics that will provide useful insights. You always start with key performance indicators to help you measure success and progress towards your goals. You should also pay attention to the revenue figures that affect your bottom line, the growth rate, and the overall value of each customer.
Other metrics depend on your sales and marketing processes. They include email marketing success rate, the bounce rate on your e-commerce site, and other online analytics figures.
Step 2: Define workflows and set up your process
It is essential to have a uniform process and well-defined workflow. Sales tracking data will mirror your sales department. The data won’t provide useful insights if processes are chaotic and poorly defined. However, with established practices, policies, and processes, you can easily see what is working and what isn’t.
Step 3: Collect insights in a standardized way
Standardized data collection is also essential. The template for tracking should be the same for everyone. Also, automation can take human error out of the equation and keep sales staff from leaving out information that may be unfavorable. Therefore, any tools you use should allow for automatic data collection.
Step 4: Go through the data and turn information into strategy
If the processes are well-defined and the data is standardized, it is easier to find information you can turn into action. Sales tracking tools that can organize and visualize data can automatically bring valuable insights, which you can turn into process improvements.
Step 5: Restructure the process
Sales tracking data is useless if it does not lead to process improvement. Its data should drive all your decisions. When restructuring the processes, you will return to the second step in sales tracking and make certain that the new process is well defined and that everyone is aware of the changes.
You will want to keep the metrics you used before the change to see how your new processes compare against their former iteration and whether they generate the expected improvements.
Learn more about process improvement.
How sales CRM software helps optimize sales tracking
Sales CRM software improves sales tracking by highlighting personalized insights tailored to your sales processes. It can also help you set benchmarks based on specific metrics and set and track goals. Here are some of the ways sales CRM software can optimize your sales processes, create more personalized user experiences, and help sales teams reach their goals.
Full visibility of key metrics, better process personalization and sales strategy
With features like dashboards and process performance reporting, gain the controls you need to personalize metrics and insights. In addition to collecting information for analytics and decision making, you can classify leads and send reports to your sales team in real time.
You can also visualize key data so that the sales operations team can easily understand how the frontline sales team is performing, gaps in the sales process or strategy, and ways that the sales process can be improved.
With full visibility of key metrics and performance, sales leads and decision makers have the data they need to build comprehensive sales strategies and assess current processes for effectiveness.
And with the ability to centralize and track information from various stages of the sales pipeline, sales teams can see the “big picture” and make strategic decisions holistically rather than focusing on single solutions.
Achieve goals focusing on what matters the most
With access to details from throughout the sales pipeline, sales teams get to the root of process problems and see the process details that drive results and, more importantly, sales. Improve productivity and drive results with sales strategies your teams can replicate successes and fix process failures at their source.
Quickly scale and deploy solutions with sales tracking templates
Sales tracking templates for sales lead qualification or sales CRM can help you standardize, automate time-consuming data collection and management, organize your processes, and customize and streamline your information flow.
Templates not only help you quickly scale and deploy sales tracking solutions without having to add to the IT backlog, they also make it easy to implement process updates or automations and access information in a centralized location.
Integrate your everyday tools for seamless sales operations
Manually managed processes and data entry can lead to errors or even lost deals due to incorrect information. Avoid those unnecessary risks by connecting your CRM software with your existing tech stack so you don’t lose important information and improve collaboration between sales teams.
Use Pipefy to manage, track, and optimize sales processes
Pipefy is a low-code process automation software that turns key sales tracking insights into actionable improvement and sales strategies.
Its visual user interface makes it easy to tailor processes to meet your sales team’s needs, implement automations for time-consuming and repetitive tasks, and gain a higher level of control over sales tracking data collection and visualization.
Gain a holistic view of your sales process and easily share and visualize data with sales team members and company decision makers to reach goals faster.