Tracking Your Sales Leads…..

While working at a local firm, sales tracking consisted of a precariously rigged Excel sheet that only one person could edit at a time, was consistently out-dated, and just all around horrible to use. Not to mention you couldn’t access it outside the network without VPN access.

After asking around, this was a pretty typical setup. And the response from business owners when asked about sales tracking tools consisted of, “sales tracking is for the big guys” or “small to medium businesses can’t afford full time sales professionals, let alone a system to track their leads.”

In comes SugarCRM… It’s open source, runs on a LAMP (Linux, Apache, Mysql, PHP) server, and takes less than 30 minutes to set up. It sounds too good to be true, I felt the same way trying it out.

SugarCRM

After the initial setup I copied what I could from the existing spreadsheet into SugarCRM, showed it to my boss, and had her test it out for a few days. The result, she was amazed! It was immediately implemented to everyone within the company (every employee is a salesperson within a small business).

One of the best features is the ability to add cloud connectors (LinkedIn, Jigsaw, homebrew) to your leads. Once you’re logged in you can hover over a LinkedIn icon and see if you have any connections within the organization, or if you’ve even spelled the company’s name correctly.

I’d have to say the second best feature is the charts/reports. A picture truly is worth a thousand words. The below image makes it even easier to see that  a large amount of potential money is stuck in the First Discussion phase and gives staff an opportunity to put emphasis on opportunities within that bucket.

Oh and don’t forget the ever popular plugin capability! Anyone with a will and a way has been at work creating features and functions to make the tool fit your needs.

I’m writing this about a month after roll-out and things are going strong. Sales leads generation is up, sales are up, and we’ve developed a nurture program for companies who have expressed interest but may not be ready to purchase.

Without further sounding like a complete commercial, go have a look. Get rid of the idea that sales tracking is costly and time consuming. Find the nearest open source guru, an afternoon and be amazed at how cheap and simple lead tracking can be.

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