Is there a standard way that people keep track of who they are selling to and where they are in the sales cycle? I’m talking to many different potential and current clients and I have notebooks, excel sheets, sheets of paper, lists (I think you get the idea) of where I am with each of them. Is there a recommended way to keep track of who you are talking with and where you are with each of them?
by Naomi Kokubo, Cofounder of Founders Space
The simple answer is SalesForce.com — which has an incredible system for doing just this.
If you don’t want the Ferrari of sales tools, like SaleForce.com, you can opt for a simple Excel spreadsheet or database, where you track your sales pipeline. I’ve done this many times. Here’s how I typically set mine up. Keep in mind, there aren’t any rules. You can do whatever works for you and your business, but I like to keep it simple and consistent.
Create a simple sales spreadsheet with the following columns:
You get the idea. I also like to share this spreadsheet online using Google Docs, so that everyone on the team can edit and add to it.
You can also add other tabs for things like “Target List” and “People Who can Help”, etc. And I usually sort by “Priority” first and “Company” second.
That said, you’ll find a spreadsheet quickly gets cumbersome to manage, and that’s when you’ll want to upgrade to something like SalesForce.com.
I hope this helps!