One important feature of any sales follow-up system is its ability to give crucial business information on leads, deals, and the sales force in real time. This is why there is a rise in web based sales automation software. The real time sales tracking gives an instant snapshot of the strength of current prospects.

By tracking sales within the business contact management software you have an instant snapshot of the progress of each deal through the pipe line. By inputting leads in to a web based system it is possible for multiple members to see the size of deals in the works at any given time. Sales managers can find out when a deal is closed or rejected the size of the deal (opportunity) and review notes during the process.

This real time information helps track the Return on each lead by:

Reports: Managers can run a variety of reports based on the capability of the software. At any time a report can identify the percentage of overall deals closing, the price points of deals that are closing, or the close rate on individual products.

Deals (Opportunities): Building on the last point, are there particular products that are bringing the leads in? At what point in the lead’s life cycle is the deal won or lost? Are there identifiable trends developing? Sales follow-up systems allow you to look across a range of criteria to determine which opportunities are producing the highest close rate so that you can change your marketing strategy to maximize your sales.

Employee Progress: One key component of these sales follow-up systems is watching trends and sales figures of individual employees to identify areas of strength and areas that may require additional training. With these systems it isn’t necessary to wait until a project is won or loss to assess an employee’s progress moving the lead through the funnel. Systems that offer real time tracking and notification in a change within the status of a lead means that at a manager can watch trends of individual salespeople, or the trend of an entire department or company.

Best Lead Source: For companies that rely on lists or lead generation from outside, being able to determine the quality of the list will help you make wiser decisions about the usefulness of certain lead list vendors. For those who work more through networking or word of mouth business development, being able to track leads and get reports on the number of leads that close, are declined, or remain pending helps you spend your time more wisely when determining the networking groups, referral networks, or even associates who get the bulk of your time.

While only a tool, software that helps manage your business contacts and sales prospects through the pipeline offers businesses of all sizes the benefit of customized reports and tracking with a small business price. These tools range from $10-$100 per month for those that offer monthly systems.