Cold calling remains a key component of the sales process.

It may feel like a hit and miss activity but if you can keep track of your cold call information, you will have more hits than misses.

Getting a prospect on the line is a victory in itself. If you are able to retrieve valuable information, this will bring you one step closer to your goal.

Companies spend time and money in developing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs. By constantly updating information in the CRM, you will know where the prospect is with respect to the sales funnel. Keeping track of your cold call information will help you plan the next steps for your sales team.

For example, if you are selling subscriptions for landline or mobile services, you should know if the prospect has had provisioning done by his/her current carrier.

Provisioning is a necessary step before a subscriber can switch over to your service and this will take time. In some case, the current carrier may purposely delay provisioning to discourage him/her from switching services.

By staying on top of the prospect status, you can take a more proactive approach so that the provisioning process can be expedited. In your CRM, it should not take more than 2 weeks to complete the switch. Thus, you can establish a two- week timeline to sign up a new subscriber for your telecommunications service.

You can place frequent calls to your prospect so that he/she can do regular follow ups with the current carrier. He/she may likewise grant you authorization to contact the current carrier on his/her behalf to fast-track the provisioning process.

Keeping track on cold call information is likewise very important for those who are selling healthcare products and services.

For example, if you are selling health packages for patients with diabetes, they just cannot switch healthcare providers without the approval of their doctors. You have to stay on top of the status of their pending approvals. Otherwise, the patients may just retain their current diabetes healthcare provider.

As you can see from these two examples, failure to keep track of cold call information will leave plenty of money on the table. You will lose opportunities simply because you had no idea which steps you should take next.

The sales activity is a process in itself. In order to close a sale, you have to constantly move prospects down the funnel.

Here are a few ways you can keep track of your cold call information:

Excel Spreadsheets

A spreadsheet is the traditional way of tracking information. You can say it is old school, but it still works. A spreadsheet is made up of rows and columns, the size of which can be customized to fit your data. You can create your own format or use the free templates made available by the program.

The first step is to assign a file name that you can easily remember. A proven approach is to use the name of the company or client you are calling for.

Next, assign categories for each column. The rows are usually reserved for the names of the prospects you are calling. Here is an example of how a spreadsheet would look like for XYZ Telecommunications Company:

XYZ Telecoms

Company

      
Prospect

Name:

Residence

Number:

Date of

Call:

Number of Calls:Contact Made:Notes:Follow Up Schedule:
John Smith123 4567August 5, 201811Interested; Information to followTomorrow after lunch.
George Williams234 5678August 5, 201811Not Interested; subscription valid until November 20183 months or November 2018
Jessica Ross345 6789August 5, 201810Will try again 
Anthony Jackson456 7891August 5, 201811Interested; will have wife sign up as well.Tomorrow 9:00am; ask for details.

The difficulty with using spreadsheets is that it can be time-consuming. You need someone who can regularly update its information. If the cold call list is voluminous, it will take some time to have all the information inputted.

Another problem with a spreadsheet program for your CRM is that it may only be usable on the computer in which it was created.

You will need to designate a person who is very well-versed with the spreadsheet program to make sure you can utilize its full set of features and have it accessible by different devices.

  • SalesForce

SalesForce’s CRM system has become a popular choice for companies looking to gain a sales advantage the last few years. SalesForce reports that more than 150,000 companies have signed up for their CRM service.

SalesForce offers a cloud- based CRM system. This means everyone on your sales team can access it for regular updates and status checks. The program is also accessible via mobile devices.

The great thing about using SalesForce is that the CRM’s interface offers a clean and simple look that makes it easy to use and navigate through. You can integrate SalesForce with your webmail system thus, keeping communication constant, easy, and more convenient.

Another big advantage of using SalesForce is that its CRM program has built- in analytics. It will give your sales people real- time, data- driven analytics so they can identify potential pain points in the selling process and find solutions before the problems can get bigger.

If you’re worried about pricing, SalesForce has different packages to choose from. You don’t have to include the features that you don’t need for your business.

  • ACT

ACT has been around for the longest time. It is a recognized name in providing CRM solutions for companies looking to improve their sales process.

ACT has the advantage of allowing you to customize the CRM to fit your business’ needs. It will also provide you with highly-detailed reports based on your designated metrics or benchmarking approach.

Because ACT offers a wide variety of features and options, getting familiar with its CRM system might be a challenge for many first-timers.

However, you can be assured that if you ever run into problems or technical issues, ACT has an excellent customer service team. In addition, online tutorials can be accessed by those who want to learn the CRM program.

Similar to SalesForce, you can integrate ACT with your current webmail provider particularly Gmail and Outlook. You should also know that subscribing to ACT’s CRM service will be quite expensive. Perhaps those with larger expected sales volumes would benefit more from ACT.

  • Batchbook

Batchbook is fast becoming the do-it-all CRM program in the industry. It offers a cloud- based software that can be accessed by everyone on your sales team.

Because the company’s pricing packages are designed to entice unlimited use of the program, you will not incur extra charges if more people from your sales team use Batchbook.

You can also integrate Batchbook with your webmail. However, Batchbook does not stop there. You can likewise integrate it with your email campaign software, accounting, and file organization programs.

Its friendly pricing and wide range of features make Batchbook the ideal CRM for small and medium- scale businesses. For example, its most affordable option can already handle 2,000 contacts and provides email support for your team.

The company has also seen to it that you become proficient with their program. They have included live training for users as well as training videos that are available to all subscribers.

Conclusion

Whether you decide to go old school and use spreadsheets or take the technology route and subscribe to cloud-based third party CRM software providers, the bottom-line is to keep track of your cold call information.

The method you use to track the status of your cold calls will depend on the size of your business, type of industry, volume of expected calls, and of course, your budget.

There are companies that invest in a proprietary CRM. They create a sales portal which can be accessed by designated people from the sales team. Other than calling prospects, these people will also be given the task of regularly updating the CRM.

Find the method you are comfortable with and make sure your calls are regularly tracked and all client information updated. This is the one of the best ways to improve your ROI on cold calling and consequently, increase overall sales.