How To Keep Track of Your Leads

Posted by | March 09, 2011 | Marketing Advice | 3 Comments

I recently was asked by a contractor how he could keep better track of his leads. He said he was frustrated to not really know where his leads were coming from and didn’t know where to start. Keeping track of your leads is one of the most important decisions you can make in your business. Tracking your leads helps you make better marketing decisions on where to place your marketing dollars and where to spend more time prospecting or networking.

Here are a few quick tips to help you get started. For of all, I recommend keeping a digital copy of your leads, not a notepad. If you use a notepad, make sure you transfer your leads into your computer so you can easily run reports in the future.

  1. Digital Tracking: Use a Google Spreadsheet, MS Excel or a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program to track your leads. When choosing a CRM to use for your business, make sure the lead tracking and reporting are strong features.
  2. Track the Source: Track your leads based on the Source (i.e. Customer Referral, Website, Door Hanger, BNI Meeting, etc.)
  3. Track the Dollars Spent: Track the estimated dollar amount for each bid you do: Won and Lost. This is crucial. If you get 35% of your leads from your direct mail efforts but only close 10% of those leads (and the job sizes are small) this will trigger a reaction. You’ll have to make some changes to how much time and money you spend on direct mail.
  4. Reporting: Run several reports on a monthly basis and evaluate your marketing efforts. I have a client who can run a 10 year report on his radio campaigns. He can tell me how many leads he received, how many jobs sold, and the dollar amount of jobs sold and lost. He can also run reports that tell us what years and months were the best for his radio advertising. After reviewing the reports together we can make an informed decision on whether we’ll continue advertising on the radio. So far, it has been worth it!
  5. Implementing: Lead tracking and reporting are useless unless you commit to viewing your reports and implementing changes when needed.

How do you currently track your marketing efforts? How has it worked for you? Let me know your thoughts. I’ve just shared some simple guidelines for those who do not current track their leads.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


  • I started tracking leads more formally this year. I’ve been using the notes section in Quickbook to digitally keep track. Since we already enter customer info into Quickbooks this does not take alot of additional effort

    ie. referral 2011 : phonebook
    referall 2011 : online : google
    repeat customer 2011 :

    I can then run a filter in quickbooks to look at the data. I’m thinking there are much better ways to do this possibly at no additional cost. I’ve been told to check out but I’m thinking this may be overkill.

    Any Ideas or comments would be appreciated

    Thanks Angelo

  • David says:


    Salesforce is a great program! It is very robust. It is basically a complete office system: sales, marketing, financial syncing with QB, documents created, stored, email marketing: the works. If you are not ready for just a BIG upgrade, I’d suggest Pipeline Deals or 37signals Highrise. These are less expensive and quality CRM products. I do not believe they sync with Quickbooks though. QB has some CRM-like programs but I’ve not heard good reports about them. If you use Pipeline or Highrise, this is where you can keep careful track of your clients and run reports easily! Let me know if this helps and what you decide to do.

    The “free” option is to create an excel document and keep track that way. However, you have to be an excel wiz to learn how to run reports using this option.

  • Hi, I would like to subscribe for this web site to take latest updates, thus where can i do it please help out.

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