As much as I’d like to keep the metaphor going, I have to admit that fishing and sales are not actually that similar. For starters, sales is a lot more hands-on. Between finding leads, nurturing them, pitching, and following up, there are a lot of points of interaction between the initial bite and onboarding.
With each of those interactions comes a data point. These data points range from details like where the lead came from to what stage of the sales cycle they’re in, revealing insights about your sales process. This information can help you determine when to set up meetings with leads, which sales enablement materials (like sell sheets) to send them, what questions to ask, and more. But in order to harness that data, you need a way to track your sales activities.
What you need is sales tracking.
What is sales tracking?
Sales tracking is the process of measuring and monitoring each aspect of your sales process. From the moment a lead enters your radar to the handoff to customer success, it provides a deeper look into what’s going on behind the scenes at each moment in time.
On a micro level, it gives you more information about your leads, like who they are, how they got into your system, and where they stand in your sales funnel. But on a macro level, sales tracking can also reveal insights about your sales organization as a whole, like how reps are performing or whether goals are being met.
What is sales tracking software?
Sales tracking software is an application or tool that helps you measure and analyze your sales process. It collects all sorts of data about your customers, deals, reps, and sales ops, organizes it, and turns it into actionable information that helps drive decisions.
Types of sales tracking
Considering the number of sales activities that make up the sales process, and the amount of data they generate, it doesn’t make sense to lump them all together. It’s easier to understand what sales tracking can do when you break it down into categories.
Lead tracking is the process of identifying leads, understanding their characteristics and behavior, determining their source, etc. This information can reveal deeper insights like their potential value, which actions will have the greatest impact on their purchase decision, and more. Examples include:
Last contact date
Next action or task
Time to conversion
Source and cost attribution
Sales tracking software can also help you measure and monitor each of your sales activities. It can help you understand which actions are performing, which aren't, and why. Examples of sales activity tracking include:
Number of sales calls
Duration of sales calls
Number of opportunities from month to month
Response rate for SMS
Email open rate
Email response rate
Having a clear view of your entire sales pipeline is essential for understanding the value of your deals and forecasting future sales accurately. Pipeline tracking provides the insight you need with metrics like:
Number of open opportunities
Sales cycle length
Number of opportunities lost or gained
If you want to meet your sales goals, you can't go in blind. In order to map out your path towards sales success, you'll need to track all of your goals and the progress towards them. This aspect of sales tracking covers metrics like:
Total revenue goal
Customer LTV (Lifetime value)
Average deal size
Daily, weekly, and monthly goals
Daily, weekly, and monthly sales totals
Sales funnel tracking
Sales tracking can also help you figure out how your sales funnel is performing. It can highlight which parts are working well, which aren't, and where the issues lie. These sales tracking metrics include:
Total inbound and outbound leads
Number of qualified leads per month
Conversion rate for each funnel stage
Duration in funnel
Duration in each stage of funnel
Last but not least, sales tracking software can help you maximize your sales potential by measuring and comparing rep performance. It helps sales managers determine which reps are hitting their quotas, which are falling short of their targets, how they’re spending their time, and more. Examples of these metrics include:
Revenue per rep
Number of meetings completed
Total revenue generated
Number of cold emails or calls made
Percentage of revenue from new vs. recurring customers
Top sales tracking software 2021
Now that you’re aware of the types of sales tracking and how it can help, it’s time to review some of the best sales tracking software options available right now.
Gong is a revenue intelligence platform that provides much more than just revenue analytics and forecasting. Gong for teams is a rep tracking tool that helps leaders help their reps win more deals. By harnessing and highlighting data on rep behavior and performance, it helps leaders understand what sets top performers apart from the rest. Then, it provides actionable insights that allow sales leaders to ramp up new hires faster, replicate winning rep behavior, and drive better alignment across teams. Using Gong, sales leaders can provide personalized coaching based on data, not opinions.
Outreach is a sales engagement and intelligence platform that aims to maximize sales effectiveness. Pulling data from Salesforce, it takes a deep dive into your customer interactions and pipeline activity to provide conversation intelligence and buyer sentiment analysis. With real-time AI assistance, reps can receive real-time support that helps them crush every customer interaction -- before, during, and after. Armed with these insights, you can “Accelerate deals with actions that matter,” as outreach puts it.
Clari is a revenue operations platform that makes both revenue forecasting and intelligence far more accurate. It provides total visibility across your business, empowering each team member and leader with the data they need to make informed decisions. It reveals the complete history of your revenue data, helping each team understand where they're at, how much they need, and how to get there. Plus, it offers automated reporting and workflows that help ops leaders streamline, scale, and standardize forecasting and revenue cadences.
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. Salesforce is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform that gives you a holistic view of your customers, everywhere they interact with your brand. It logs all of their data, allowing you to develop a clearer understanding of their profile and needs so that you can tailor your approach and provide a better customer experience.
We’d be remiss to leave out our own tool, wouldn’t we! As you already know, visibility is crucial if you want control over your sales process. While the other sales tracking software solutions in this list are amazing for tracking leads through the sales funnel, none of them tell you what’s going on after you send a proposal.
But Proposify does.
Beyond making it way easier and faster to send winning proposals to your prospects, Proposify helps you track those proposals once they leave your hands. With the activity feed, you can see exactly what your prospect is doing with your proposal -- when they’ve opened it, how long they’ve spent on it, which pages they’ve visited most, and so on. It can even send you reminders to reach out and follow up with your prospect.
Pipedrive is a sales tracking software solution that gives users access to lead management, communications tracking, pipeline automation, and detailed reporting. In their words, it's "designed to keep you selling". It helps reps manage new and existing opportunities, and like Proposify, can even send notifications telling reps when to step in.
Zoho CRM is another widely-used CRM software that's best known for its vast array of features. It comes with a suite of sales tracking tools like customizable dashboards, sales forecasting, detailed analytics, and automated workflows. While its interface isn't as intuitive as some of the other options, it's a powerful solution that helps reps and leaders gain a better understanding of their sales process. Plus, it allows you to leverage gamification to turn the chore of capturing leads, measuring goals, and accomplishing tasks into a competition, making it easier for reps to stay productive.
Sales tracking software is one of the best ways to measure and optimize your sales process. It provides insight into your operation so that you can see what’s going on below the surface, allowing you to make better informed decisions. With so many clear benefits, the question isn’t whether or not you should use it, it’s which one(s) you should use. While each aspect of sales tracking is important, you can power up your process even further by combining multiple sales tracking solutions to maximize visibility.