Whether you deal with sales prospects yourself or manage a team of sales reps, getting a complete view of your company’s sales pipeline is no easy task — in fact, it requires constant maintenance and updates to get a picture that is as close to reality as possible.
In this post I will show you how to set up a simple and (almost) free sales pipeline to help keep track of how well your business is doing with its sales initiatives.
Use Online Marketing to Find Potential Clients
Unless you are entering your market with a huge database of clients that are lined up to buy your products and services, you will have to invest a good amount of time and money in advertising and marketing.
My colleagues at AllBusiness and I have written several posts about marketing and how to get it right. You can find useful information about website tools, website performance, marketing apps & tools and banner advertising. For more information I highly recommend checking out SEOMoz for their absolutely fantastic marketing guides. That’s where I found this infographic that lays out all the possible marketing channels that can turn any visitor into a client.
Without previous insight about your market, you will probably need try out almost all of these channels because your most profitable sources will only reveal themselves after some time. (Check out what’s known as the “Pareto principle.”)
When managing multiple marketing campaigns and handling many channels at the same time, automation becomes a crucial aspect — a time-saver that you will definitely learn to appreciate very quickly. Zapier is one of these automation tools that help you work more efficiently by automating recurring tasks.
You’ve built your website. You’ve done your marketing. Now you’re seeing traffic coming in to your website.
So how do you convert your visitors?
Give them a good reason to do so. Do you offer a free trial? Dollar amount credit? First round free? 10% off until the end of the month? You decide, but find something that offers a benefit you believe will resonate with your clients and use that to initiate a first contact.
Let’s use a practical example: John Fisher found your website and is eager to explore the 14-day free trial of your online Spanish course.
Use a Contact/Subscription Form
John doesn’t have much free time (hint: this applies to many!) and prefers to fill in a short contact form instead of sending an email inquiry. Because you are ready to engage users quickly, you’ve created your free trial signup form with Jotform, a service that integrates with Zapier.
Keep Track of Your Subscribers
Now that John has signed up (with an email address and password) he is able to take full advantage of his 14-day free trial right away. You, meanwhile, have been able to collect his contact information. Zapier can now export John’s information from Jotform to Intercom.io, a CRM (customer relationship management) tool that you should not miss out on.