You can only nurture leads towards a buying decision if you fully understand their needs and know when and how to reach out.
A lead tracker with the right data capture provides that insight, allowing you to make informed decisions that benefit buyers throughout the sales process.
In this article, we’ll explain what a lead tracker is, provide a handy lead tracker template and show how using one to prioritize deals can help you close more deals faster.
A lead tracker is a tool businesses use to track sales opportunities, refine sales processes and maximize profitability by collecting data on each lead (e.g. name, location and contact details).
Many advanced lead trackers provide additional value compared to the usual spreadsheets, documents or software companies use because they include data like:
Estimated customer value
Chances of conversion
Forecasted close time
Most lead-tracking organizations use spreadsheets, documents or software to collect basic data on each lead, such as:
Source (e.g. website visitor or email inquiry)
Many trackers go into more detail, where the real value lies.
Factors like estimated customer value, chances of conversion and forecasted close time help sales leaders direct reps’ attention towards easier or more valuable sales. Reps can then close bigger deals faster.
By analyzing lead-tracking data over time, you can also get answers to broader organizational questions like:
Where is our lead traffic coming from?
How effective is our lead-generation strategy?
How efficient is our sales process?
Which practices drive the most conversions?
With this knowledge, companies can allocate resources more effectively (like doubling down on a consistently fruitful lead source) and spot valuable improvement opportunities across teams.
For example, if the quality of leads drops suddenly, it could show that a new marketing campaign isn’t working.
Lead tracking starts when data is first captured and continues until the final purchase. A lead tracker’s data will help you in the key stages of this process:
This step involves recording the lead’s basic details, such as name, email address, source, needs and buying preferences. You can easily automate this step through customer relationship management (CRM) or lead-management software.
For example, Pipedrive’s LeadBooster add-on can pull data from your website’s chat function directly into your Leads Inbox to speed up your lead-tracking process.
This involves assessing your lead’s relevance to the business. How well do they fit the ideal buyer profile? Use the BANT framework (Budget, Authority, Need and Timeframe) or similar to determine whether a lead is worth your sales reps’ attention.
Scoring means assigning scores based on the likelihood of conversion and broader value to the business.
Based on factors like demographics, online behavior and past engagement, these scores will help you prioritize high-value deals (like those which are easier and quicker to close or have a greater estimated value) and stay productive.
Use a scoring method that works for you: it could be 1–10, or something as simple as hot, warm and cold. Bear in mind that the more detailed you go with scoring, the more data you’ll need to collect.
Assigning follow-up actions
In this step, you’ll distribute leads to the most suitable sales reps. Who needs to move the lead into the sales pipeline and what actions should they take?
For example, if a lead emails from Europe, fits your qualification framework and wants to know more about a product, you can assign a rep who knows that market and product well.
Tailoring the rep to the deal will help to increase your chances of making a sale or can cater to the customer in their local language/time zone.
Your lead tracker and sales pipeline map two parts of the same customer journey, before the sale and during the sale (some sales teams also manage what happens after the sale).
What you learn about someone in the first stage (when the buyer has only shown basic interest) will help you in the second (when they’re getting closer to a buying decision and you’re trying to close the deal).
For example, if a lead consistently emails with inquiries rather than calls, that’s likely to be their preferred contact method and sticking to it could strengthen your relationship. Ask the lead how they’d like you to contact them to be sure.
A refined and organized lead-tracking process can benefit your business in various ways.
An organized sales team is a productive one. A lead tracker with the right data will act as a priority list for sales reps, telling them which leads need (or justify) attention.
Reps can plan their time around factors like chances of conversion and estimated customer value, using sales targets as context to be as efficient as possible.
With a quota deadline looming, you could target the easiest sales for quick results. In another scenario, it might be worth spending more time nurturing a lead with a higher estimated customer value.
Strike while leads are hot, so they don’t forget about you, move forward with a competitor or assume you can’t help.
Organizing your lead tracker by factors like “date sourced” and “time sourced” will make it easy to see who you need to reach out to first to start the nurturing process.
Update interaction data regularly (you can automate this with the right CRM tool and integrations) and create timely follow-up tasks to ensure leads get attention when needed.
For example, if a lead says they’ll be in a stronger position to buy next month when their budget renews, record that interaction and schedule a follow-up call for the start of the month.
Then move on to other leads who are more likely to convert now (something you’ll know based on data in your lead tracker) without losing sight of the initial contact.
Every lead interaction tells you something useful about your target audience.
Web page visits indicate what products your potential customers are interested in, or at least what they think will solve their problem
Early conversations and inquiries reveal your leads’ common pain points, buying positions and apprehensions
Source data shows how leads find your business, helping you understand their research processes and the effectiveness of your marketing efforts
For individual leads, you can use this information to personalize your outreach by emphasizing the most relevant products and features.
On a broader level, the more information you record in your lead tracker and the longer you use one, the better you’ll understand your wider audience’s needs.
As well as helping in sales conversations, marketers can use the same knowledge to create more engaging, relevant and relatable content.
Liveclicker appeals to its leads’ pain points in this marketing email. The brand knows retailers face ongoing disruption and, therefore, “regaining some control” will resonate with the recipient.
The “lead source” column of your lead tracker will show at a high level which of your marketing campaigns or channels bring in the most leads.
However, quantity doesn’t necessarily translate into value.
Outbound marketing content that makes huge, problem-solving promises to your audience might generate thousands of inquiries, but if you can’t deliver on those promises, leads will quickly go cold.
For example, you could promote an unfinished or unavailable product to raise awareness and get plenty of leads, but these leads won’t make it past the research stage if they can’t buy what they need straight away.
High-quality content can also be ineffective if you don’t target your audience properly. You’ll just get fewer leads or more unqualified leads. Either way, you’ll have wasted time.
The real measure of marketing success is the rate at which your campaigns generate sales-qualified leads (SQLs). These leads make it through the sales team’s lead qualification framework and are deemed ready to nurture toward a purchase.
Filter your lead tracker to show only SQLs and organize your data by source. If you find that a certain website landing page, social media post, search engine ad or email newsletter is drawing more than its fair share of the right people, use it to inspire other content.
A lead tracker provides easy access to valuable insight on leads, instantly making your entire team more useful to buyers.
With knowledge shared in real time, reps can work together to help leads make buying decisions sooner. Using the lead tracker as the single source of truth helps everyone stay in the loop.
For example, reps with specialisms (such as technical knowledge of the product) can join calls to provide extra reassurance when deals are faltering or step in when an allocated salesperson isn’t available.
In circumstances like these, a lead tracker acts as a ready-made understanding of the lead’s position and needs.
If you’re not sure how to start creating a sales lead tracking spreadsheet, you can use a template.
A lead tracker template is a quick and simple way to begin collecting valuable lead data. You don’t need much time to set it up and can tweak it to fit your needs by adding or removing data categories.
Here’s an editable blank lead template, ready for recording.
Alternatively, use lead-tracking software or the lead-management function of a good CRM tool. Tools can help you become more productive by acting as a centralized and standardized hub for all your buyer data.
For example, Pipedrive has Leads Inbox, a place to store any leads who aren’t yet in your sales pipeline.
Upgrade your lead process to lead tracker software and minimize disruption by importing your existing data from spreadsheets directly into Pipedrive’s Leads Inbox. We’ll further explore the benefits of lead-tracking applications like this in the next section.
While many businesses record their leads in spreadsheets, the lead-tracking functions of a CRM tool will help you streamline this part of your sales process for faster, better results.
Here are five major benefits of using software over spreadsheets.
Forget switching between applications to get the information you need. CRM software like Pipedrive acts as a one-stop shop for all your customer data, from lead contact records to customer purchase histories.
Save time with an instant complete picture of your buyers’ behaviors and needs instead of having to pull insights from different places.
While salespeople will spend the most time using lead data, others can benefit, too. Give marketing and customer service teams access to your CRM to help build a consistent end-to-end brand experience for buyers.
According to Daniel, a Sales and Marketing Director at a prominent construction company, a central customer data hub like this is crucial:
A CRM tool is a standardized database that prompts users to record the same data types in the same formats. You can choose those types and formats based on your business’s needs and what you find most helpful.
Without this standardization, it falls on individual salespeople to determine what is valuable. The result is a picture that’s clear to them but not to others, as well as inconsistent audience data that isn’t comparable across the business.
On this, a Business Development Manager at a leading wholesale jeweler told us:
The way around these subjective inconsistencies is standardization.
In Pipedrive’s Lead Inbox, you’ll see the following data in each lead record:
Lead details. Labels, value, owner and source.
Person. Name, email and phone number.
Organization. Company name and address (clicking on the address will bring up the location on a map).
Notes. A place to store any non-uniform information on a lead.
Planned activities. Upcoming activities you have planned related to this lead.
Email. Any emails linked to the lead.
Changelog. When the lead was created and any other updates (including completed activities).
The resulting dataset is easier to navigate, so reps can pinpoint the information they need, when they need it. It’s also simple to import and export clean, standardized data between platforms for added functionality, including automation.
The best CRM tools have automation features that’ll save you time by handling repeatable tasks, like triggering follow-up actions and synchronizing data between platforms. Use the time gained to deliver more thoughtful, bespoke customer experiences.
Pipedrive’s automation software allows you to set up workflows and triggered events, like automatically adding a lead’s contact information to your tracker data or moving them into the sales pipeline.
Build on Pipedrive’s automation capabilities with integrations and add-ons. For example, Zapier synchronizes data between Pipedrive and other marketing and project management apps, while LeadBooster can automatically feed your CRM with high-quality inbound and outbound leads.
Putting lead information into a spreadsheet on a smartphone is slower than using a laptop or desktop and the risk of making a mistake is much greater. However, if you wait until you’re back at the office, you might forget important details.
A CRM tool with a well-designed mobile app will help you capture precise information on the move, for smooth and effective follow-ups.
Pipedrive’s mobile app was built specifically for smaller touchscreen devices. It allows you to manage leads, archive records and analyze data quickly from any location with an internet connection.
For productivity’s sake, look for a mobile CRM that can store data offline. That’ll help you prep for follow-up activities even when you don’t have a reliable internet connection.
A lead tracker is just one of many tools you’ll need to run a successful sales organization. You’ll also need calendars for scheduling actions, invoicing apps for getting paid, project management software for organizing staff and communication tools for maintaining strong relationships.
By tracking leads in a well-equipped CRM, you instantly tie your data directly to all of these functions to create a slick and efficient sales machine.
Pipedrive is a great example of CRM interaction in action. It integrates seamlessly with all the tools you already use through the Marketplace, like Zoom, Slack, WhatsApp, Gmail, Outlook, Calendly and hundreds of others, so you can act on lead data quickly and with minimal effort.
For example, save time when emailing leads, adding follow-up tasks to calendar apps and scheduling video calls by staying within your CRM interface.
Pipedrive is a powerful, intuitive CRM that helps salespeople manage client relationships with high-level and detailed overviews of operations. The LeadBooster add-on is a comprehensive package that contains four features to collect and manage leads: Chatbot, Live Chat, Web Forms and Prospector.
Chatbot is a customizable chat feature that helps leads qualify themselves. Set goals, like “Book more meetings” or “Get more leads”, to help the bot direct conversations to the right place.
Create playbooks to guide leads and customers to the right place on your website so your reps are fielding fewer low-level questions.
If a question requires a more complex answer, Chatbot can pass them along to a human representative.
Live Chat helps you reach more leads with support. Chat personally with your website visitors and personalize the qualification process.
Live Chat is available on desktop and through the Pipedrive mobile app, so you can reply to leads the moment they need you. React quickly to engaged leads and convert more contacts into customers.
Create embeddable forms on your website to give leads a fast and easy way to contact you. With Web Forms, you also get a reliable way to send information directly to your CRM (without the need for code or third-party apps).
When a lead fills in a Web Form, Pipedrive automatically creates a deal or lead in your CRM.
Prospector is an outbound lead generation tool, pulling leads that fit your ideal persona from a database of 400 million professionals.
View leads by person or organization and choose whether to add them to your Leads Inbox. Gather high-quality leads matching set criteria in moments with Pipedrive’s Prospector.
Learn more about LeadBooster’s features in our Knowledge Base.
While all lead trackers serve the same purpose, it takes the right tools and a refined process to manage leads effectively. Tools lacking critical features, such as integration opportunities, won’t adapt along with your business and may lead to headaches down the road.
Many businesses manage just fine on Excel and Google Sheets. You can use one of our templates to start recording the data most important to your business.
For the best results, store your lead data in a central hub where it’ll contribute to a much bigger, clearer picture of your audience and ultimately help you sell more.
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