I’ve been using Evernote to increase and track my sales for a while now. But I’ve finally decided to share the system I use in the hope that it will help other people too.
Most people that I’ve talked to that work in a sales position do not have an organized system for staying on top of their leads. I used to be one of them. It wasn’t until I met a top producing salesman (now a coworker of mine) who was using a digitized version of the index cards, that inspired me to switch over from using an analog system to a digital one (Evernote).
I had been researching Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems online when I stumbled upon Scott Bradley’s Evernote Prospecting System on YouTube. This was a game changer. Implementing Scott’s Evernote Prospecting System meant never losing a lead or ever having trouble searching for important data. By that point I was already using Evernote for organizing almost everything else so incorporating the system just made sense.
Now I want to share with you the system that has helped me track my leads and increase my sales, thereby doubling my income. Below I will show you step-by-step how I’ve set up my CRM system using Evernote.
Before we get started I am writing this with the assumption that you already have at least a basic understanding of how Evernote works. If you need help getting started, check out their website for getting started here.
The Set Up
For my system I use two Notebooks and a Stack:
- Inbox – The Inbox is where I temporarily dump notes, scanned files, and anything that will need processing later on.
- ABC Company – This is just an example but you’ll want to name this notebook after the name of the company you work for. This is where I store any file that is directly related to my company. For example, price lists, compensation agreements, and contracts all get filed here for referencing later. Technically, I could just use a Tag for this but I prefer using a Notebook.
You’ll also need to set up a Stack with the following collection of Notebooks:
- Sales Funnel – This is where the magic happens. The leads enter from the top and sales trickle out from the bottom. The goal of course is to have as many leads/notes end up in the Sold notebook as possible.
- Cold – This is where a lead starts if they’ve never been contacted by me before.
- Warm – A lead becomes warm once I’ve established contact and if I think there’s a good chance of them becoming a prospective customer or a Hot lead.
- Hot – Hot leads are prospects who have expressed an obvious interest in buying my product or service. Hot leads are very close to scheduling an appointment.
- Appointments – All of my scheduled appointments go here in addition to my Google work calendar.
- Needs Follow Up After Appt. – Prospects that did not buy during the appointment are moved here for a post appointment follow up. From here they are moved accordingly.
- Nurture – Clients that are not ready to purchase yet but I want stay in touch with because they are likely to buy in the future.
- Dead – The Dead Notebook speaks for itself; if a prospect isn’t going to buy, it ends up in here.
Finally, you’ll need to create the following Tag:
How It All Works
Now that you’ve set up the basic framework for the system, let’s run through how it all works. No matter which Notebook a lead is created in, the ultimate goal is to eventually move that lead into the Sold Notebook. Before I enter a new lead into the funnel, I first determine what kind of lead it is. For example, a lead can start out as Cold, Warm, or Hot to begin with (refer to the chart above). But let’s pretend for a second that the lead is Cold because I haven’t established contact yet. After I make the call, if the prospect tells me that she is interested but not yet ready to meet with me yet, I’ll move the prospect to the Warm Notebook because 1.) we’ve established contact and 2.) they’ve expressed an interest in my product. A lead will get moved into the Hot Notebook only when I feel that the client is close to scheduling an appointment with me or making a buying decision. In other words, they’ve expressed an interest in pricing and meeting with me in the near future. Here is an example of a Hot lead:
Once I have an appointment scheduled I will move them into the Appointments Notebook. Here is an example of a scheduled appointment:
From here the lead can end up anywhere depending on the outcome of the appointment. For example, if the prospect makes a purchase then I’ll move the Note into the Sold Notebook. But let’s say that John Smith didn’t buy because he wants to talk it over with his spouse. He gets moved to the Needs Follow Up After Appt Notebook. Depending on the outcome of this follow up call, there can only be one of three directions the lead can go. He may schedule another appointment, he may not be ready to make a decision right now in which case I’ll put him into the Nurture Notebook where I will periodically touch base with him. Lastly, if he is no longer interested in what I have to offer, he gets dumped into the Dead Notebook.
Each day I review my Evernote Reminders to see who I need to contact for the day. The Reminders are organized by date on the right and at a quick glance, I can see all the calls that need to be made in the near future. Here’s a view of my Evernote Reminders:
I never use the reminders function to actually remind me of tasks. I only use them because it allows for a nice organized-by-date view. I have these Evernote Reminders set up in every Notebook except for the Appointments and Dead Notebooks.
Finally there are Tags. I only use Tags to remind me of who needs to be sent a thank you card. I will tag a client with the thank you cards Tag if I sell something or if I’ve had an important meeting with someone. At the end of each week I block out about an hour of time to hand-write thank you cards to clients. In addition to just being a nice gesture, the genuineness of a handwritten thank you note can make you stand out from your competition.
Although this Evernote prospecting system won’t show you a high resolution graph of detailed sales analytics, it works for me. You’ll need to spend a little time initially setting it up, but once you do it’ll become simple to use.
Feel free to experiment and change or add things to make it work for you. One of the great things I love about Evernote is that it’s a blank canvas for your imagination.