Beyond keeping basic client records, it’s important to track and assess business leads. About a year ago, I researched several ways to accomplish this. I discovered the incredibly useful online app, Capsule.
Capsule includes basic CRM features but also allows you to track project opportunities. The Sales Pipeline page is the hub of this activity. You associate your contacts with opportunities and categorize these possible projects by their latest milestones. Capsule provides a default set of milestones, or you can use your own. As you complete stages, Capsule suggests your “probability of winning” the project increases. The app uses the resulting percentage and the expected value of your open project opportunities to assign a dollar amount value to your Pipeline. You can use this number to inspire your marketing and follow-up efforts and to roughly predict your income.
Capsule can improve your business approach in additional areas. It has helped me with the following:
1. Developing a Consistent Project Creation Process
When adding an opportunity, I assign it a custom “Project Creation Process” track. This is a series of staggered to-do’s. Capsule emails these tasks to my inbox, ensuring I don’t forget about an important step.
2. Following Up With Potential Clients
The Sales Pipeline links to a page of open project opportunities. I check this list about once a week and know who to follow up with. I can also see which clients are “not today,” or have decided to put their project on hold. I occasionally reach out to these contacts to keep the lines of communication open.
3. Evaluating Proposal Success
To evaluate the effectiveness of my proposals, I compare the number of won and lost project opportunities in the last 30, 90, and 360 days. Capsule even pinpoints my proposals’ conversion rate. This data helps me analyze my proposal and follow-up process.
The automated and consistent aspects of Capsule’s project tracks, calculations, and its overall lead tracking system make it an invaluable business tool.