Big Picture – See the forest and the trees
How you organize and keep track of your client and project information is an integral part of what will make you successful. I’ve talked to a lot of sales folks keeping track of their business conversations via e-mail organized into folders by client or project. One of the traps with “managing by e-mail” is the lack of ability to SEE THE BIG PICTURE. While you can see the individual messages, the trees, it’s a bit harder to see the big picture, the forest. What you really need is a system that allows you to see both the forest and the trees. In addition, you need a system that will provide some sort of reminder of when to follow up next. Flags associated with e-mail reminders are an alternative, however if you’re managing more than a handful of projects, you’d like to have more of a by project or by client overview to help you keep things organized and help you plan your order of attack.
Take the time to plan out how you wish to organize your plan of attack. What categories do you need to keep track of? Is it by client, by type of project, by group title? Next, what type of status tracking are you currently utilizing? If you’re currently using a system that has defined steps, use what is already familiar to you. Finally step back and think of 6-8 “milestones” that you’d like to know for all clients or projects. Is a short project description helpful? Do you need to know the budget or the start and projected end dates?
W5T may offer you the solution you’re looking for. Download a free trial and take it for a test drive. All you need is a current copy of Microsoft Excel making it easy to use and work with. Wishing you a good rest of your day. Enjoy the view.