Feb 11, 2022
Do you know what's worse than losing a deal?
Forgetting about it.
If you have been in sales for a while, you are most likely guilty of that one forgotten deal (If not more).
In the case of small business owners, the chances that you forget that one deal is even higher.
Small businesses are often overly dependent on the business owners for multiple functions. The same person who is supposed to be closing deals is also managing all other chores that you can think of ( from handling customer complaints to negotiating lease agreements). Therefore, the chances of letting things slip through are quite high.
According to Investopedia, missing out on critical opportunities is one of the key reasons why 45% of new businesses fail within the first five years of operation.
As a small business, it is therefore critical to reap the most from all available opportunities by meticulously tracking all activities, and sales deals are definitely not an exception.
Before we get down to understanding the nuts and bolts of sales deal tracking, let us tell you the story of our friend, Jake. Jake loves pubbing on weekends (we all do). Once in a while, he is able to strike up a conversation with a beautiful single lady in the pub. On a rarer occasion, he may end up with her number.
What does Jake do with the number though? Does he keep in on a piece of a napkin? Does he wait a day to give her a call? So many questions and so few answers…
Surprisingly enough, the process is similar when talking about your sales prospects and your sales process… All you have at the beginning of the sales process is a lead.
A lead could be an individual or a business interested in buying your product or service. You start the sales process when you first communicate with a lead. Once any interaction has been made with your sales lead, and you begin making notes of them in the system - they become your sales deal. In simpler words, a deal is an opportunity to sell to a lead.
It's almost like the story of Jake's (let's call him Jake) weekend pub visits. When Jake manages to get the name and number of a beautiful lady at the bar - she is no more just the "beautiful lady at the bar." She could be Alice, Emma, or Megan. In other words, she has moved from just a lead to a deal in Jake's world.
Most Sales deals take their own time to close. It could sometimes run into weeks and months. It’s longer when you are selling a complex product (which requires substantial explanation) or a high-value service. In cases like that, you are likely to face multiple levels of objections during the sales process.
Successful selling is often about successfully navigating through the multiple hurdles of objections. Going back to Jake’s example - what objections could Jake have possibly faced?
“No, You can’t have my number”
“No, We can’t go for dinner”
“No, We can’t move in together”
“No, I don’t love you”
“No, I can’t commit to marrying you”
Similarly, during your sales process you can face a number of objections, questions, and requests:
“Sorry, I am not free this week. Can we connect mid of next week?”
“Can you provide me with a few case studies?”
“I need a better price.”
You may be at different places for different ongoing deals, and that will happen a lot as your company grows. But how do you plan to keep up with all of them successfully? Unless you have an eidetic memory the chances are you have to start tracking your deals.
Let's look at some of the main benefits of tracking sales deals for small business. Those will make your life a bit easier:
You don't end up losing deals because you forgot to follow up. As mentioned already, most small business owners struggle with managing opportunities alongside daily chores and responsibilities. Deal tracking helps bring over discipline in the process.
You can't improve what you can't measure. Tracking sales deals is essential to successfully improve your sales conversion rate (i.e. your sales to leads ratio). Your deals tracker tells you clearly which deals you need to prioritize over the rest. For example, you may need to spend more time on a deal that you are closer to cracking.
It also reminds you of past context about the deal ensuring that you have the conversations in control.
To unlock a whole lot of sales insights. Past deal information is a goldmine of data. You can derive powerful insights to sharpen your sales process further by keeping track of sales. For example, you may notice a particular recurring theme of objections. This observation can help you proactively pivot your pitch to handle such an objection.
Better Financial and Operations Planning: Correctly keeping track of sales and measuring deals helps you project future revenue and spending in a more accurate way. It can also help you plan your operations better and avoid hiccups and surprises.
The best way to keep track of sales will be a CRM software. CRM is a vital cog in the process of sales deal tracking. A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software helps you keep track of your sales funnel-related information in one place. By properly keeping track of sales using CRM, you can ensure that you don’t miss out on an opportunity.
Traditionally, CRMs were used by enterprises to track big-ticket sales. Thus the traditional CRMs such as SAP and Oracle is built to serve enterprises which, in turn, leads to a common perception that CRM tools are only for enterprises and too expensive for small businesses.
However, the good news is that there are new-age CRM tools that are optimized for businesses of any size. In fact, you may want to check out the CRM tool inside our very own SanityDesk software (It’s free to try). We serve small business owners, thus deal-boards have been built keeping in mind the needs of small businesses and solopreneurs needs.
Examples always work the best, so let's talk deal-boards using an example of selling a coaching service.
The following could be the different stages of the sales process:
Lead Generation - When you get the information of a potential client who is looking for coaching services.
Meeting Scheduled - This could be a welcome call, where you analyze whether there is a fit and try to gauge the nature and scale of the requirement
Qualified Lead - If you and the lead both feel that there is a chance of working together
Offer Sent & Negotiation - Discussion on terms, pricing, etc.
Closed - Could be a win or lose
While setting up sales tracking for small business in CRM, it is crucial to map the different stages correctly. You need to ensure that the stages you identify are good enough to classify all present and future deals.
Classifying deals by stages helps you get a clear view of your sales pipeline.
Apart from stages, you can also feed in other necessary information related to the past communications:
Size of the Opportunity (Could be an estimate)
Details of the lead (Imagine how many brownies you can earn if you remember their favorite soccer team or the name of their pet)
Relevant files and documents
Once all this information is fed to a tool like Deals Board, you are all set to reap the benefits of keeping track of sales.
One question remains: What do we do with the information?
Yet again, CRM tools provide you with many options for engaging deals at different stages. Starting from sending personalized marketing emails, text messages, or even calling people from the system - options are countless.
What’s even better? You can also automate the engagement processes to make your sales engine run effortlessly. Sounds cool, huh?
There are multiple ways for successfully engaging with leads and deals at different stages. Some of the ideas might be:
An email sequence could comprise simple newsletters or personalized outreach emails. Based on the reaction to your email (e.g., Opened, Clicked, etc.), you could trigger the subsequent communication. If you need some help with the emails, here are some examples for you, you can thank us later.
An email marketing tool will be your helper in running email sequences and automating the process. There are many email marketing platforms available that let you start off for free. In fact, SanityDesk comes inbuilt with email marketing as well, thereby, enabling you to nurture your contacts from one source.
Lead scoring helps understand how well a lead engages with your communication.
Imagine that you are running a daily newsletter for all your leads. You may add a certain score against a lead every time they open or interact with your email. Once a lead reaches a cut-off score, you may consider taking the next bold step. It could be an outreach explaining your services. Since the lead is already familiar with you, you are more likely to get a response.
Stay in touch with your potential clients. Set yourself a task with reminders to follow up your deals on a particular date & time. It goes a long way in ensuring you a win.
Because remember 'there is only one thing that is worse than losing a deal… it is forgetting about it. '
Make a record of the calls with the deals or notes about your conversations in the system.
That might make your life easier since you can always get back to what the conversation was about and personalize your next message/call.
Or even better, you could also call your prospect directly from the system by using SanityDesk.
As you may have understood, keeping detailed track of your sales deals for small business substantially increases your chances of winning your next customer.
The more you win - the more is your chance to survive as a business in the long run!
At Sanitydesk, we are committed to seeing small businesses and solopreneurs succeed. Thus, our software is built with all your needs in mind. The best part of SanityDesk is the pricing that starts from zero and only grows when your business grows. We can thus become your trusted partner from your early days to your eventual day of glory.
Book a call with our team and discover
how SanityDesk can scaleup and automate your business.
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