“A walk of a thousand miles starts with one step” is an old saying that still rings true today. Many in the door to door sales industry are overwhelmed in the beginning because they’re so busy trying to see the forest for the trees that they lose sight of the bigger picture. But this can be fixed when you learn how to start tracking your sales activities.
Everyone is so focused on trying to increase sales that they fail to realize the ‘door to door sales walk’ of a thousand miles (or a thousand sales) starts at the beginning. And it begins with sales tracking activity.
The reason every company implements a sales process is to provide you with a step-by-step action plan to close more deals. The problem is that most door to door reps don’t have an effective method in place to track their sales activities. They either don’t know how to track their activities or they don’t know which information is important to collect.
Going Old School
Back in the day, sales reps were forced to carry around their handy-dandy clipboard and write everything down via pen and paper. The address went on one side of the sheet and the outcome on the other.
This manual process made tracking sales activities all the more frustrating. Having to log everything by hand while you’re pounding pavement almost guaranteed you’d never successfully track every door you hit. There’s always some that are sure to be left off the list.
Let’s say you have a massive case of OCD and you’re one of the few who actually writes down every attempt; what do you do with that information at the end of each day or week? The key to sales activity tracking is to use the data you collect to make decisions and improvements.
The bottom line is you need to stop being lazy and track every sales activity, regardless whether you choose to use a tool like SPOTIO or decide to kick it old school with pen and paper.
You want to collect as much information as possible each time you bang on a door. The more information you can round up, the more leverage you’ll have in your back pocket when you need it. This is how you master sales activity tracking.
At the most basic level, here’s what you need to get at every door:
Address: Street, City, State, Zip
Date & Time: The day and time you knocked
Status: The outcome of your attempt
Sales Rep Name: The name of the person who knocked the door
Notes: Any information relevant to your product
Note: If using SPOTIO, there are 5 default statuses to choose from (No Answer, Not Home, Not Interested, Lead, Sold).
Keep in mind the notes you’ll take will vary from industry to industry. If you do exterior work like painting, roofing, siding or windows, you’ll probably want to jot down a couple quick things about the property. The better notes you take, the more strategic you can be in your sales efforts. If you can gather quality information, consider creating a targeted marketing list without ever having talked to somebody.
If you’re lucky enough to find someone who wants to answer their door for you, there’s some additional essentials to obtain. It’s critical that you don’t leave without this information, even if they’re not interested. The options to remain in contact with each prospect are endless.
If you speak with someone, here’s the information you need to collect:
Full Name: Much easier to build a relationship when calling someone by their name
Phone Number: Required for follow up calls
Email Address: Use this for automated email campaigns
Notes From The Conversation: The topics that were discussed
Follow Up Date & Time: The day and time you’ll speak with this person again
Do I Really Need To Track Every Attempt?
Without a shadow of a doubt, the answer is yes. Before you ask, I’ll go ahead and tell you… Yes, this means mark the outcome for every single door you knock, including those who weren’t home and aren’t interested.
When you stop being lazy and start tracking every attempt, you get some seriously powerful data. Our analytics have told us that approximately 67% of the doors you knock on are not going to answer. If you’re not properly tracking your sales activities, how will you know who you’ve talked to and who you haven’t?
Just because the homeowner doesn’t answer the door the first time you visit doesn’t mean you should just shrug and move on. While you may not get an immediate result from your efforts, you can still gain valuable insight that will help you in the future.
If you’re only going to have a conversation with roughly 33% of the doors you knock on each time you visit a neighborhood, you essentially need to make 4 trips through that area in order to exhaust all potential opportunities.
Sales Fortune Cookie Follow Ups
The key to increasing sales is following up. Shockingly, 48% of salespeople will never make a single follow up attempt with a prospect, and 44% will make only one. This leaves the door wide open for the sales reps who will follow up, but it’s going to be extremely difficult to do that if you’re not keeping track of what happened each time you visited a prospect.
One of the worst things you can do is guess. It will make you look unprofessional and kill any chance you had, especially if the homeowner calls you out on inaccurate information. Having a record of your conversations with potential customers gives you ammunition that you can work into your pitch.
Showing that you remembered the last conversation will help you build credibility and familiarity. It demonstrates that you actually care about the consumer and are looking out for their needs.
It Gets Easier
Believe it or not, your job will actually get easier by tracking sales activities. The obvious objection is that recording every attempt made and entering detailed notes is time consuming. It may seem that way in the beginning, but the juice is well worth the squeeze.
By logging all of your data in a sales tracking app, you’ll become more familiar with the area you’re working and the people who live there. There’s definitely times when cold knocking is uncomfortable. Imagine going into a cold situation and being able to open with, “I was just doing an install at Bob and Susan’s house next door last week, so I wanted to stop by and introduce myself while I was in the area…”
Your chances of getting a warm reception just increased dramatically. Trying to keep track of the amount of information needed to have substantial sales conversations is difficult enough as it is. Trying to do it all in your head, or having to flip through 20 sheets of paper to find the information you need is even more daunting of a task.
If you follow up with prospects who didn’t answer on the first try like you’re supposed to, being able to use the social proof principle of persuasion will be nearly impossible. As you revisit the territory you’re working, you should be able to build a solid base of homeowners you can reference in your pitch.
The Highest Converting Leads
When it comes to leads, referrals reign supreme. They’re not only the cheapest leads available, but they’re also the highest converting lead source. Sadly, the overwhelming majority of salespeople fail to ask for customer referrals after closing a deal.
If you’re one of the few who do, your book of business is going to rapidly expand. It doesn’t get much easier than referrals. Soon enough you’ll have prospects calling you. This is when tracking sales activities becomes absolutely crucial.
Knowing that referrals are the highest converting and cheapest lead source, why would you ever want to take the chance of losing that information? You need to know who gave you the referral to reference in your pitch, the job or service you sold for the customer, why they believe this person is a quality prospect, and the list goes on.
Could you imagine how easy your job would be if you only worked these types of leads and never had to knock a cold door again?
Back To The Starting Point
None of this is possible unless you have all of the details and know for a fact the types of things your competitors can only guess at. Here’s a few of the things will give you an advantage over your competition:
The territories producing the most leads and sales
Who the best reps are and how you can get the rest of the team on their level
When you need to go back and re-work a specific area
The prospects who have a need for your product or service
Everyone always says they want to increase sales and make more money, but it’s one thing to talk a big game and another to actually do it. You may think tracking sales activities in such great detail is tedious and a waste of time in the beginning, but if you plan on improving your sales skills, this is your starting point.
You have to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run. Tracking sales activities is your first step in determining where you’re currently at, where you can improve, and where you’re having success. Without this data, you’re guessing.
You have no way of knowing for a fact why your numbers fluctuate so drastically. Recording every attempt will show you exactly where you’re struggling or having success within the sales process. If your contact rate is high but your lead rate drastically drops off, you know it’s your pitch that needs a little work.
Tracking your sales activities is the only way to get an immediate and definitive answer related to your performance at the door. If your lead rate is below average like in the example above, you can start working on improving your hook at the door.
The people who are serious about becoming top performers won’t scoff at having to log every single thing they do. If you don’t believe me, just check out how Terry went from zero to #1 in a Fortune 500 company in just 3 weeks.
Questions or comments? Contact SPOTIO at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.
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