Sales tracking: The guide to sales activity management (Updated 2023)

Are your sales tracking tools delivering useful data that your team can actually use to measure performance, or, better yet, gain insight into your customer’s greatest needs? In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing market, second-guessing these things puts you at risk of being left in the dust.

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With effective sales tracking, you can watch your bottom line grow as you close more deals, reduce churn, and add more customers to your sales funnel.

What is sales tracking?

Before we get into the specifics of how to establish goals, track sales reps, and use your newly acquired data to take your agency to new heights, let’s first get on the same page about what exactly sales tracking is.

If you’ve been delivering digital marketing services for a while, you’ve probably developed your sales chops and managed to expand your customer base. Many people can do this for a while without formal sales activity tracking. However, as your business grows, having the right sales tracking tools and knowing how to use them can make all the difference between struggling to stay afloat and signing new clients regularly. So what is sales tracking, exactly?

Put simply, sales activity tracking is a strategic practice that organizations can engage in to monitor and analyze sales data, and to use that data to make better decisions that drive growth and profits. Data is every marketer’s best friend, and the right sales tracker can help managers and teams keep an eye on what’s happening with their sales funnels, fine-tune marketing strategies, allocate resources more effectively, and build better relationships with clients.

Sales tracking by the numbers

Sales goal tracking involves first setting goals and then tracking sales activity to ensure those goals are being met. It’s all about staying on top of some essential metrics, which generally include:

  • Revenue
  • Number of sales
  • Conversion rate
  • Number of new customers
  • Number of returning customers
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Average sale value
  • Sales cycle length
  • Top lead source

Sales tracking involves collecting this data, and managing it with the right sales activity tracker or other sales tracking tools, like CRM systems or spreadsheets, to keep it all organized. Then, it can be analyzed to identify trends, spot problems, and inform sales strategies.

Without knowing what is going on in your organization, it’s easy for small problems to snowball into large ones, for exciting leads to go neglected and disappear, and for profits to evaporate. Sales tracking solves these problems by helping sellers spot which marketing initiatives are working, stay on top of their prospects and existing customers, and act in a data-informed manner.

Like many other data-rich pursuits, it’s important not to succumb to data overload, and instead to focus on the most important metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) that will actually help you grow your business. That’s exactly what we’ll cover here.

The importance of sales goal tracking

Tracking is a crucial step in the sales process, but the concept isn’t just limited to sales.

When someone is dieting, they keep a close watch on the food they eat, with some dedicated dieters counting their intake down to the calorie. When saving for a winter vacation, you track your spending habits, and commit to setting aside funds from each paycheck. Some people have even committed to recording how long they sleep at night, and as a result have adjusted their lifestyles to accommodate more of it. Side note: more naps are never a bad thing!

Tracking the progress of your sales team is no exception, as it has become a powerful way to show whether or not you’re seeing results. The big picture of the sales journey can be intimidating, but an effective sales activity tracker will help you dial in on the details. Things like individual salesperson performance, the number of prospects in your sales funnel, and managing daily tasks are all essential components of a successful sales strategy.

Types of data for tracking sales

To make the most of your sales tracking efforts, consider using both quantitative and qualitative data. When combined, these data types provide a comprehensive view of your sales activities, allowing for more effective decision-making.

Quantitative data

Quantitative data focuses on numerical values and objective measurements. It aims to quantify what is happening in the sales process, providing insights into the "what" or "how much" of a particular situation. Quantitative data can be collected and analyzed, which allows for the identification of trends, patterns, and relationships between different figures.

Examples of quantitative data include:

  • Average amount of time spent per lead
  • How many closes your team made last month
  • Where your leads are coming from

Qualitative Data

Qualitative data is collected to explore and understand non-numeric, subjective information about prospects and customers, such as their motivations and values. Unlike quantitative data, which is focused on objective measurements and numerical analysis, qualitative data seeks to provide deeper insights into the "why" and "how" behind a customer decision or a sales opportunity, adding context and meaning to raw numerical data.

Qualitative data is descriptive and generally text-based, as opposed to quantitative data, which is numerical and statistical. It can be derived from open-ended interviews, focus groups, observations, meetings, and various other communications with customers or prospects.

A few examples include:

  • Why people want to buy your products
  • How well your salesperson performed
  • What your clients are objecting to

Using both quantitative and qualitative data is an incredibly effective way to track your sales activity. By doing so, you can keep a watchful eye on the ‘what,’ the ‘why,’ and the ‘how’ of every aspect of your sales journey.

By incorporating both quantitative and qualitative data in your sales tracking, you can monitor every aspect of your sales journey and make more informed decisions. Combining the two types of data can help you answer the what, why and how at every stage along your sales funnel.

Putting quantitative and qualitative data together

Qualitative and quantitative data are different but synergistic, so implementing a system that enables you to collect and analyze both will give you the best chance of success when it comes to growing your business. Some tips for putting together quantitative and qualitative data include:

  • Establishing your sales tracking goals and key performance indicators (KPIs): Which metrics are most relevant to your agency? Why do they matter? What are your targets for these KPIs?
  • Develop a sales activity management system: What tools will you use for tracking sales? Does your sales tracker capture all of the data you need in order to reach your goals and KPIs?
  • Train your team: For sales goal tracking to work, everyone has to be on board. While the best tools will automatically generate a wealth of data for you, teams have to be on board to interpret it and apply what they learn to improve their sales outcomes. You will also likely need team input to gather and interpret more subjective qualitative data.
  • Make your job easier with technology: Sales tracking in a spreadsheet may be possible, but if you want to keep your hair, there are far better ways to get the job done. We’ll cover some awesome tools at the end of this article.

Sales activity management essentials

Sales tracking is a journey, and to do so effectively, you need to know how.

1. Be consistent

When tracking sales activity within your organization, set a standard for your team. What data are you collecting? How often are you updating it? Recording consistent data frees up valuable time for your salespeople to spend more time prospecting and less time feeling lost. How can you expect anyone understand your data if no one is speaking the same language?

Consistency in sales activity tracking helps with onboarding new hires too. Even the most talented sales reps need time to understand your company’s specific sales process, and a consistent set of standards will greatly assist with that.

2. Be accurate

Your sales tracking data is only going to be as good as it is accurate. It is recommended that your salespeople set aside 30 minutes to record data after a pivotal sales conversation. That may seem like overkill, but remember that you’re collecting complex data, and it is necessary to make sure your data is complete.

Accurate data in your sales activity tracking can show you where you are thriving, and where you need to make improvements.

3. Be unbiased

One of the most powerful things you can do with your sales activity tracking data is to look at it as if you were an outsider. Where are your wins? What are your pain points? Is there anything your team can be doing better? Many organizations get caught up in pulling what they want from their data, because it makes them feel good. It is okay to admit where you’re failing! Just be sure to take the necessary steps to correct it.

Use your data to convert leads, fill the sales funnel and steer your sales team in the right direction.

Turn your data into sales

Once you’ve collected all of this relevant data, where do you start? When done right, sales data tracking can provide valuable insight into your sales process and the key metrics needed to help your team convert more leads. When not done right, tracking data can feel like a waste of time and can quickly become overwhelming.

It’s important to understand not only what to record, but how to actually use the data you’ve been tracking. A proper sales CRM software will provide you with relevant insights into what’s working, and what’s not. An effective sales activity tracker helps to track performance over time, and provide tangible proof of the processes and procedures that are actually working.

Use the data you collect to help form specific goals for your sales team. Some examples of things you can track are:

  • When can you expect to close a specific deal?
  • Are we closing more deals on longer, or shorter phone calls?
  • Where are our unqualified leads coming from?
  • Which salespeople are performing best? Which ones are falling behind?

Use your data to answer questions like this, and set realistic goals to enhance what you’re doing well, and correct what needs work.

2 Sales tracking tools to consider

The right sales tracking tools can make staying on top of your goals, tracking sales, and ensuring sales reps are performing as required a breeze. Here are a few of our favorites, and why they’re worth your attention.

Snapshot Report and Opportunity Management

Before you can engage in sales activity tracking, you (or your sales reps) need a robust pipeline full of opportunities. There’s no point using sales tracking tools if you don’t have any sales prospects to track. That’s where Vendasta’s Snapshot Report and Opportunity Management dashboard come in handy.

Sales teams can use Snapshot Report to identify exactly what their prospect’s more pressing needs are. Snapshot Report can be sent to prospects to get a productive, consultative conversation going. Then, in Opportunity Management, sales teams can see their pipeline at a glance, with prospects organized according to “hotness”, based on interactions with the Snapshot Report campaign.

The result? Sales reps can set savvy data-driven goals, and focus their energies where they’re most likely to be successful.

Sales CRM

Vendasta’s CRM software can be used to organize and streamline pipelines, track tasks, and turn data into actionable insights. Campaigns can be created directly in the CRM, where orders can also be processed, keeping all important communications in one place. Plus, managers can get a valuable high-level view through leaderboards, built-in meeting scheduling, and features designed with agencies in mind.

Bonus: Integrations with sales tracking

An excellent CRM is a game-changing tool for digital agencies, but it can be made even more useful when it effortlessly communicates with your other digital solutions. Vendasta’s CRM can be made more functional by using a suite of available integrations to tailor it to your needs.

These include:

  • Online marketplace CRM integration: showcase your prospects a portfolio of world-class digital products, reducing the friction in their buying process, so you can move them along your pipeline faster.
  • Appointment scheduling CRM integration: Create any kind of meeting directly in the CRM dashboard, making it easier for salespeople and prospects to stay in touch when it matters.
  • Marketing automation CRM integration: Move prospects along the sales funnel by automating key marketing communications with conversion-boosting email flows. Thanks to this CRM integration, salespeople can see exactly when an email is being viewed, so they act quickly and connect with prospects when they’re most likely to be successful.
  • Ordering and billing CRM integration: Make it easy for your salespeople to create proposals and close deals with in-app ordering and billing.
  • Third-party integrations: Create a CRM that truly works for you with integrations to all the most popular software, from Google and beyond.

Let’s take a closer look at how these sales tracking tools can be used in action.

Tracking sales reps in Vendasta’s CRM

Sales teams and managers can track the metrics that matter and create accurate forecasts with Vendasta's CRM.

Screenshot of pipeline dashboard in Vendasta’s CRM showing a hot lead, an account with high account health, and an account with one digital product with a “closed - won” status and another with a “closed - lost” status.

Sales managers can monitor sales team performance through tracked sales communications and account notes. Get a high-level view of metrics like revenue, missed opportunities, and response times and use this information to monitor the status of sales conversations, identify team strengths and weaknesses, and guide your revenue forecasts.

Sales reps can manage contacts, Sales Activities, and manage individual sales tasks with S&SC to stay on top of opportunities. Sales activity lets sales reps quickly log important information about prospects and clients. This can be used if you want to follow up on a conversation, you wish to communicate with other salespeople who might interact with the account, or you just want to remember something personal about your contact.

Plus, if there’s a discontinuity, like a salesperson quitting, the relationships they built won’t disappear along with them. With all of the data gathered in your CRM, including important conversations and the history of any key actions the account took, anyone can relatively easily get caught up and take over the account.

How Task Manager makes tracking sales easier

Staying on top of your sales funnel requires tracking more than just activity—how do you prioritize and contextualize those activities? With task management.

Do your reps need to call a prospect back on a specific day, send collateral, create a proposal, or double-check something with account billing or support teams? Task Management will allow your salespeople to stay on top of that work and build stronger relationships with their clients.

Making it easier for salespeople to do these important tasks without wasting all day looking for documentation or putting together proposals frees up time for them to focus on things. Sales teams can focus their attention on moving their prospects meaningfully along the pipeline by setting up conversations, scanning their pipeline to see what needs attention most urgently, and helping their clients identify the best solutions for their needs.

Screenshot of pipeline dashboard showcasing three pipeline stages: lead, qualified, and proposal. Businesses appear listed under each stage.

In today’s competitive market, tracking sales data is a crucial step in the journey of turning your prospects into paying customers. With effective CRM software like Vendasta’s CRM, you can give your salespeople the tools they need to capture hot leads, maintain positive customer relationships, and identify new, promising prospects.

Effective sales tracking keeps salespeople from getting bogged down in routine tasks and missing crucial opportunities. By investing in sales activity management, you can empower your sales team to successfully grow your agency to the next level.

About the Author

Dom Ierullo is a former Product Manager at Vendasta and specializes in talking about guitars, snowboarding, and memes. In his spare time, Dom likes to be outside exploring.

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