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How to adapt GTD for sales?

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  • How to adapt GTD for sales?

    I wonder how fans of GTD use it in a sales role.

    GTD is ideal for sales because every lead and customer can require next actions (NAs), follow-up, and copious notes within their file. And it can be a lot of pieces of data about contacts, tasks and emails that need to be tamed.

    Personally, I have created a separate Task category called @Opportunities where I list my big near-term sales opportunities. It is similar to my Projects category. I review it weekly and ensure that it is triggering NAs. I can easily see what my top opportunities are.

    I also created separate categories that I move a task through the sale process including 1-Unqualified Lead, 2-Qualified Lead and 3-Follow-up Required.

    But what methods to others use? Are there any good books or advice on how to efficiently track sales leads and complete timely follow-up?

  • #2
    I would also be interested in what people are doing.

    We have an Opportunities spreadsheet at work on the network that each salesperson logs in Opportunities, and then they are tracked based on status. The salesperson, price, customer, and customer's phone number are a part of each opportunity, so you can sort and print out that for a "project list"

    I think it is good to view each OPPORTUNITY as a separate project, as if they are for different customers, and have a separate folder for each opportunity, as the paperwork for that opportunity gets more than one sheet.

    I have a "quotes" folder that contains a list of my opportunities, and any information on opportunities that only needs one sheet of paper. But when I start calculations, printouts, spreadsheets, etc, each opportunity gets a separate folder.

    I do think it is really good to have that one printout with the opportunities, names, and phone numbers so those sheets of paper can be handy for followup calls when you drive.

    David said something somewhere to not use a call log. That each call is a separate action, to be filed with that project. I do not do this. I have one sprial wide ruled NOT PERFORATED notebook that I log in notes of each of my phone calls. I always write the date, the name, and the number for each call for each day, so that I can always make calls later if my phone or pda or computer is not available.

    In Outlook, I have a separate folder for each customer, and then sub-folders for each opportunity/quote/project under that. All email on that topic gets logged into that specific folder. This can be tough. I do not remember later what quote went where. So I use Outlook search. If you get a quote from South Bend Tractors, that quote goes into Lake Park Elementary School project email folder, BUT, I put the contact info from South Bend Tractors into my Contacts.

    I think the Covey system has you log your day in a diary, and then note your calls or visits in your customers, so if you are visiting a customer and you want to review your last conversation, you look at customers, see the call entry log, and then go to that day, to see the actual entry. I think Act! does that with one computer file memo that is logged to the project and the customer.

    I want to be better at the above last paragraph.


    • #3
      I have a Contacts file where I track each customer or prospect as a project. Generally, my interaction is either over the phone or in person, but I do keep a separate list of next actions that does not happen in either of those contexts. I use a paper planner and I have one page for each person I am currently working with. If someone asks me to call them back in two weeks, I use the tickler. Only the customers I am actively working with have pages in my planner - the rest are archived for when follow-ups are again due. I also make a daily call list of people I need to call and people I would like to call - people who are expecting me to call them and people who aren't expecting to hear from me TODAY. I have a list of who I need to write thank-you notes to as well.

      Basically, each customer is a project and then I track Next Actions according to type - stuff in my office, calls, thank-you notes (anywhere), deliveries (errands), etc. My "Contacts" would probably be equivalent to your "opportunities" - in my business, each customer would be a single opportunity rather than having multiple projects going for a single client, as might be in some fields.

      Other than that, I don't have much more to add at the moment.