How to use labels on Trello to monitor your lead flow


One of the most common issues that I find with business leaders I speak to is the struggle to keep a track of leads in their business. I often work and speak to people who say things like, “I received an email 8 days ago and I haven’t responded yet” or “I am not 100% certain I have got back to everyone who has contacted me through Facebook.” “I have no idea how many leads I have lost this year.”

Just take a moment and think about how it feels when someone doesn’t respond to you as a consumer? I am always actively seeking when, as a customer (or potential customer at this point in the journey) things are done well, and not so well. I innately build this into my learning and apply it to improvements in my clients’ processes.

For example

Recently I walked into a hot-desking building in my local town. I am a completely cold lead for them, they have done nothing to try and get my custom apart from listing themselves on Google Maps. I take a look around and I am upfront about how much I want to use the space, how much I can afford to pay etc. We exchange cards and I am told that she’ll speak to her team and get back to me. 27 days later and I am still waiting. STILL WAITING!

And another one…

Two months ago I had a discovery call about getting some specific support with one of the many, many social media networks. We agreed that the consultant would quote me for some ongoing support. She never got back to me. Awkward.

The stats

You know how the saying goes, a satisfied customer will tell 5 other people. A dissatisfied customer will tell fifteen other people. Keeping a basic track on your lead flow will put you in the satisfied category, even if you don’t win the work, you need to do your business a favour by not putting yourself in the dissatisfied category.

So just a couple of simple hints that you can implement quickly and easily today. If you are waiting to implement a CRM, a larger process or are holding off on bringing structure into your business until you have the time, I would argue that this can’t wait. You can set up and use Trello for a basic lead capturing system TODAY. This post goes into more detail about the basics of Trello but the important things to know are:

1. It’s free 2. It’s intuitive 3. It’ll take you 10 minutes to set up the basics.

Basic lead capture board

I have a couple of suggestions for how this might work for your business, pick which makes the most sense for your business and how much you want to use Trello.

Whichever one you use, your card should always be one client name / business.

1. Listing in order of where clients are in their journey with you.

This is how I use Trello because I use it to log their entire journey so your list headings will look something like this:

Mentions - someone has tagged you into a referral post on social or elsewhere. Go into detail about whether you’ve got back to them within their individual card.

This category doesn’t necessarily need a response, the person may not be EXPECTING you to contact them unless that was explicit in the mention. If you do contact them and they respond to you, you’d move them across to the ‘Leads’ list.

Leads - someone has made an enquiry directly with you. This is a bit more active, there is EXPECTATION from the lead in this category and disappointment if you do not respond. This category do need a response. Go into detail in the individual card.

Discovery calls booked - as it sounds like, you’ve entered a rapport with this person, they are in the pipeline. If you’ve got a lot on, having this list separated out makes it clear whether you have any work to do yet.

Quote - the discovery call has happened and you have agreed that you’ll send a quote. These people do not want to be let down! This is now a to-do list of what to do next. If you have ended the discovery call with no further action, simply move them to a ‘Completed Lead’ board.

As you can see, this strategy it lends itself easily to adding further customer journey lists such as ‘Onboarding’, ‘Active clients’, ‘Offboarding’ - or any headings such as these that make sense for your business.

2. Listing where the client lead comes from.

If you want to use a more basic system to pick up and go today and you’re struggling with leads across multiple platforms, use a list per platform. So your lists would look something like this:

Slightly more obvious, if you just need a list to quickly see at a glance of who has come in from where, this way may suit you. You can use this as a checklist to run through and action everyone.

Using labels

And for the colour and visual lovers out there. Using labels will help you at a glance to see where everyone is at. This video shows you how it might work:

An alternative way, if you are using the 2nd way above, you could use categories to show you where they are in the process i.e.

Green - lead Orange - calls / quotes Red - closed

I find that this is a slightly harder way to keep track but it is completely personal to you and your business

I hope that you find a way for Trello to work for you. Let me know if you need a hand getting it set up and how you get on - I’ll always use a bespoke system specific for your business. You'll find my information here.


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