Now you have decided that the opportunity is one you want to go for…
You guessed it… it’s time for some form of spreadsheet or database!! Yes, there are lots of systems out there that can do this for you (and we will cover CRM’s in the next module) BUT, do you really need one to start with?! Personally, I recommend that you focus on the fundamentals FIRST before you start investing in more tech and systems, ensure that your strategy is nailed and THEN find a system that is fit for your purpose once you have that nailed down and understand your own requirements!
The first thing to do is look at your own internal process when it comes to opportunities and what that looks like and ask yourself the following questions:
- How do you contact leads? How do they contact you?
- How does the initial contact go in terms of calls, emails etc?
- Do they usually require a full proposal?
- Are there questions from them for proposals or is it a free template for submission?
Now it is time to take that information and create yourself a tracker! When I was in corporate, this became my proposal BIBLE and something that I used every single day to make sure I was on track with things and didn’t let my clients down, so there is serious power in being organised here.
This should be a template that allows you to complete for each opportunity as they arise in your business. Not only does this ensure you don’t miss things for each opportunity, but having them set out in a spreadsheet or table format, with each question as a column header, this allows you to see if opportunities overlap in terms of their requirements and keep a keen eye on your capacity both before AND after the potential win!
There will be a variety of types of data that is included within these columns including names, email addresses and dates. The dates can then also be made into a proposal Gantt Chart if you are feeling fancy!
From my experience, the name column headers you should include will be:
- Contact Name
- Contact Company
- Contact Email
- Initial Contact Date
- Sales Call Date
- Follow Up From Sales Call Required (Yes/No)
- Scope Requirements Finalised (Yes/No)
- Proposal Submission Date
- Pre-Proposal Questions Required (Yes/No)
- Follow Up Date
- Follow Up Completed (Yes/No)
- Proposed Contract Start Date
- Negotiation Call Date
- Revised Proposal Required (Yes/No)
- Contract Decision (Win/Loss)
- Contract Signed Date
Some of these may not be needed and you may also have other things that you need to track for your own personal circumstances, but this is all about making your life EASIER and keeping track of things so you stay in control.