Talk to any marketing professional and he/she will tell you that once a marketing tactic or campaign is launched, you need to measure its success. Direct mail campaigns are often broken down into sub-campaigns in order to “test” to see what the response was. You absolutely need to test to measure success. Otherwise, how will you know your level of success? What campaign, sub-campaign, mailing piece, copy or other aspect actually pulled in results?
We recommend that if your sales cycle (the amount of time it takes to consummate a sale) is 30 days or longer that you use ACT!’s Sales Opportunity manager. It allows you to monitor the various steps a sale takes from inception to completion. Some firms have sales cycles of one year or more (ask any commercial real estate agent). It’s a key tool to keep track of:
• Who’s involved in the sale (client/prospect/attorney/buyer, etc.)
• The value of the sale
• The number of days the sale’s been open
• And other valuable pieces of information
We’ve posted a lot of information on the ACT! Sales Opportunity manager. We’ll also be holding a seminar in the first quarter of 2011 on Sales Opportunities.
But once the Sales Opportunity has been closed, over time this can become extremely valuable information. An ACT! Sales Opportunity can be Open, Closed-Won, Closed-Lost or Inactive. Once it’s been closed, the sales manager (owner, president, etc.) can query the database to find a host of valuable information:
• How many sales were won? How many were lost?
• Who’s the top performer? Who’s not performing well?
• What the top selling product/line/color/style?
Once an ACT! Sales Opportunity has been closed, you’re prompted for a Reason; a reason why it was won or lost. Future data mining can yield a treasure trove of information that will let management making informed decisions.
As we always say, entering information into ACT! or what CM or CRM tool you use will be an investment, not a drudgery.