Track of Your Accounts
whether a sales rep is a Key Account
Manager focused on servicing just one or a handful of clients
or an Inside Sales Rep who must manage a territory of hundreds of
possible accounts, having an organizational system in place is important
to success. Selling into an account or a territory without a sales
structure is downright hazardous. There are those who don’t have
the key organizational
skills to keep track of what opportunities
they are pursuing, who their key contacts are, what has been proposed
and the details of each opportunity. This is a recipe for disaster.
In order to
forecast correctly and to understand the nature of one’s pipeline,
it is important to follow some key guidelines for opportunity management.
Listed below are some ideas that will enable you to take control
of the opportunities
you must manage as a sales professional.
- Know the When and How Much – Imagine
having two-hundred open opportunities, each one with a different
possible transaction size and stage. In order to be able to
manage such a large number of opportunities, it is imperative
that each opportunity include two key pieces of information. First,
you need to know the amount of the opportunity. Are you pursuing
a $1,000.00 sale or a $100,000.00 sale? Second, in what stage
is this opportunity? Is it in the prospecting stage, has a proposal
been sent or is it in final contract review? By applying this
type of data to your opportunities and keeping it updated, you
will be able to know a) where to spend your time and b) which
accounts need to be moved from one opportunity stage to the next.
Come up with your own stages – ones that fit your business
model. Doing so will allow you to run reports or maintain
spreadsheets based on where an opportunity stands and the
possible size of the sale.
- Keep Great Notes – Whenever you
have a conversation with an account, be sure to keep notes. Regardless
of whether you are meeting
face-to-face or over the phone, keep a running log of what
is discussed so that you can refer to your information later.
Memories fade… notes don’t. Try to store them electronically so
as to keep as many notes as possible in one place. If you handwrite
your notes during
a meeting, transfer them to an electronic
document. This process will actually help you expand on your
original notes as the act will jog your memory and allow you to
record other information.
- Keep an Archive of Documents –
We recommend you do
this electronically so as to make your life easier. Some sales
professionals build folders on their computer for each customer
account. Anytime they build a proposal, take notes on a call,
a contract or create a document related to that client, they
store it in those folders. This is a great way to have relevant
data available at your fingertips. Some prefer to do the same
via hanging file folders. Do whatever works most effectively for
you, just so long as you do it.
- Build an Archive of Signed Contracts
– I’ve found it is helpful to create a separate binder or repository
for contracts. Since
some client folders can get bogged down with other documents,
it is helpful to have contracts within easy reach. The size of
your contracts (1 page? 100 pages?) will help dictate the medium
you use to track them.
skills will go a long way in helping you manage your accounts and
your contacts. By having a system in place, you won’t get caught
off-guard scrambling to find
the information you need.