Using Spreadsheets

I need to share some thoughts about spreadsheets and the management of data. The most important aspect of nurturing leads and opportunities is the ability to be able to find them again and review them. I have met way too many consultants who have had no process to capture, record and track their leads. Some of them would only be able to show me last week’s leads by going back to the notebook they were using at the time and back combing through their notes. Rarely was there then a marker on their CRM to indicate a lead associated with the end client. Money slips through their fingers everyday and they are hungry for more jobs. Ironic that they spend their sales time chasing suspects who don’t wish to talk to them, about CVs that had been specced out the day before to a semi-relevant distribution list.

For the record – my preference is to use the CRM system to log and track leads and to plan my sales activity for each day by starting in my leads and opportunities. Live in this section of your CRM for at least an hour a day.

IF your CRM is unable to support you with a record and track system, then use a spreadsheet. One spreadsheet. Use the CRM to record your communication and sales calls. The spreadsheet gives you a dashboard of your activity and becomes a flash report from which to do your planning.

I have attached some examples of lead tracking spreadsheets. Note, I have tabbed them to reflect the months of the year so you can create a catalogue of your leads discovered month by month. A lead never gets deleted. It remains as a record of the information you captured and a footprint of a client who could still prove to be of value in the future.

Additional notes for each spreadsheet example:

Lead tracker – Team

A simple spreadsheet for a team of consultants to use. Save in a shared drive and set up permissions in Excel to allow multiple people to amend at the same time. Each tab is for an individual consultant with a spare tab for legacy leads that have been dropped. Colour coding to denote stage of engagement.

Lead Track Form – Perm

For one consultant to track leads month by month. Colour coding recommendations and a tracking process to mirror a typical hiring process. At each column the consultant who is running the system adds the future date that the client will arrive at the milestone to get timing of call aligned with decisions (and potential failures in process)

Lead Track Form – Contract

As above with nuances for contract process and details to track

Contractor Traitor Sheet

For tracking both the contractor and the manager. Column B hosts the name of the contractor and column D the name of the immediate manager. As the contractor nears the end of the contract you want to ensure you are marketing them out as the supplying agency will be trying to get the extension before they do anything proactive. Get the contractor out and then go back and fill the extension. Column E is therefore a column to filter and use at the beginning of each month to see who is due to finish this month and next month. Mailshots of future finishers are more valuable to well organised managers than immediately availables to start tomorrow. A good contract mailshot should have contractors available now, end of month and next month. Send it out labelled as the proactive talent planner.

Temp Traitor Sheet

For tracking the managers of temps and the temps themselves. As above you can use this to resource from and to create a sales plan. If you work in high volume temp environments then use it to track the highest value temps who tend to work in longer term bookings. E.g. Reach FLT rather than pick and pack individuals.

Client Mapping Future Cash Cows

One tab per client with a mapping system for all contacts known in the end client, including candidates. For both perm and contract/temp markets. Ideal for those of you who want to go whale hunting and land a big one. Colour coding reflects the level of contact and their intentions for hiring in the immediate future.

I have also added a Traitor Tracking spreadsheet for those of you who wish to grow your temporary service offering or place more contractors. This is always going to be an incomplete document i.e. you will never arrive at a point where you can say “I have finished mapping my competitors’ workers”. Again, this is a dashboard. All conversations should be logged on your system. Entries in the spreadsheet could include prompts to get more info. Classically, the column which has the managers’ names start off sparse. It could be that you need to revisit candidates to complete pieces of info. If a temp tells you they are working with another temp add this to the spreadsheet with name UNKNOWN. This NOOB (Not On Our Books) temp can then be tracked and registered through effective referral generation strategies or direct approach through switchboard.