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Whenever I meet another business owner or marketer, I always ask the same question: How do you organize your leads? I’m fascinated with how other people organize their data and track the success of their marketing initiatives.

Not surprisingly, these are typically the responses I hear:

  • What leads?
  • Oh, you mean my connections on LinkedIn?
  • I keep a stack of business cards that I can reference
  • I add important people to an Excel spreadsheet
  • I created a “VIP” folder in my email account

The problem with storing data in a spreadsheet, your inbox, or with a good old fashioned pen and paper is that nothing is systematized, and therefore nothing is measurable. As a small business owner, you need to be tracking all of your marketing initiatives so that you fully understand the value of every marketing dollar you’re spending. It’s as simple as documenting the first time a potential customer contacts you, and all of the subsequent activities until they become a customer.

If you’re in the business of selling good or services, you should be able to answer these three simple questions:

  • If someone fills out a web form on your website, how do you know if that person turns into a sale?
  • How many phone calls does your company get a day or a week, and how do you report the data?
  • If someone emails your info@company.com email address – who follows up with that person and how are they alerted to do so?

To effectively track potential clients, nurture them until there is a sale, and foster them into becoming lifelong loyal customers, then your data needs to be in a centralized system. Customer relationship manager (CRM) software stores all of your customer data, prospect data, purchase history, notes and communications such as emails a phone calls. And, if it’s set up the right way, it’s less time consuming than adding prospects to a spreadsheet or jotting down notes.

At HomeStretch Marketing, we’re a small business too – so we understand that taking on a new system and  paying expensive license fees can be daunting. However, we also understand the value of having systematized data, a lead management process, and reports that prove marketing value. Leave us a comment or gives us a call if you want to know which Salesforce edition is best for your business needs and budget.

Jen Stretch

Jen Stretch is a marketing professional with a decade of web-based technical experience. Her core competencies include Salesforce.com and marketing automation consulting, implementation, and training. She is a certified Salesforce.com Administrator with five years of marketing automation experience.

Jen is also a enthusiastic cyclist and applies the same competitive spirit that she has on the bike to push businesses out of their comfort zone and beyond their perceived finish line.

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