How do you keep track of inbound offers on your domain names?

Rewind five years ago and I got about one inbound offer a month, now I get 200+ offers a month and the good old Google Sheet became a less-than-efficient way to keep track of inbounds. I would say that for every 100 offers I get, one is from a qualified buyer that actually wants to buy a domain at a realistic price.

This is where Google Sheets (formerly Excel Docs) fail because it’s almost impossible to keep track of emails, phone calls, etc. Also I learned years ago that following-up on inbounds over time can convert some duds into sales. Here’s a great example of where a spreadsheet really fails for managing inbounds.

You can an inbound from an interested buyer, you have six phone calls and send 24 emails through the course of negotiating the deal. Then the buyer goes dark. For those who have been selling domains for years you know this (unfortunately) happens all the time.

Six months go by and suddenly the buyer is back…the problem is, you can’t remember what happened on those six calls, and you’re scouring your inbox looking for each individual email. It’s a mess, you’re less organized, and over time you’re not collecting data on the number of calls, emails, etc. that it takes to close a deal.

With Salesforce all you have to do is pull up the account and there it is, a log of every phone call, every email, notes, etc. all in one place. On top of this you can run reports so you can see exactly what % of inbound offers turned into conversations, what % turned into deals, what % of failed deals come through, and all the other granular details that can help you get into the data.

Of course there are many ways to keep inbound offers organized. So now I’d like to ask you – how do you keep track of inbound offers on your domain names?

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Joseph Peterson April 14, 2016, 7:07 pm

    Built my own database-driven tracking system.

    Reply
  • Vivian April 14, 2016, 8:15 pm

    Such a timely question since I just started getting offers.

    As I have plenty of Excel worksheets going, I don’t want to start another one. So, I’m trying Gmail. I create labels with the domain name for the outbound emails. When I get an offer/inquiry I send myself an email with my notes,and tag it with the label for the domain. It’s then easy to find. Or at least, I hope it will be.

    Reply
  • Vat April 14, 2016, 8:27 pm

    I am using enquiry.io to manage domain enquiries in organised manner. You should check that out.

    Reply
  • danny April 14, 2016, 11:47 pm

    Domain Name Sales (original system) is really great for that. I was considering to use some other open source CRM system before, but over the course of a few months working with the Domain Name Sales brokers, I got more and more comfortable using their system. Even for outside leads (phone calls, direct emails, etc), you can still log it in.

    Reply
  • Joseph Peterson April 15, 2016, 12:27 am

    There is 1 issue with relying on DomainNameSales’s lead management system – which I admit worked fairly well. It’s this:

    If you find yourself suddenly banned from DomainNameSales, then you lose all records of all inquiries ever. That may seem far-fetched, but it happened to me 1 day out of the blue; and I never would have imagined it possible either. Their VP asserted his right to meddle in negotiations. I explained why I considered this a bad policy. Rather than reply to my concerns, he ordered me to act as a “Uniregistry representative” because (as he put it) my potential buyers assumed I was his employee; therefore I must act as one. I disagreed. So he peremptorily banned me.

    Fortunately I relied on an external lead tracking system, and I was in the habit of transcribing buyer information and conversations in full. So I lost nothing.

    But if I had relied on DomainNameSales for managing my inbound offers, then I would have experienced a significant loss. Jeff Gabriel certainly knew that, and he meant to do me harm. I had a lucky escape.

    Now I realize that my experience at Uniregistry / DomainNameSales is atypical. Most customers are treated better. And there are many positive aspects to their UX. But mine isn’t an isolated case either. So I would recommend that Uniregistry customers back up their leads externally on a regular basis. The same applies with any system. Everywhere there is risk – computer theft, hard drive failure, petty tyrants, etc.

    Reply
  • Krishna April 15, 2016, 6:21 am

    When DNS is there, there is nothing to think about this kind of things. It is the best one.

    Reply
  • Nick April 15, 2016, 7:13 am

    Just like Joseph has done, I am doing the same. I hope to be done with mine soon. And I agree with Joseph, its cool and convenient to use the cloud these days but I am old-school in that I like to keep my data close to me. I’ve found myself on the banned side of the fence too – through no fault of my own. Its not fun. No one can ban me from my own system. If you cant download the data from the tracking system you’re using in the cloud somewhere, then think about why you’re using it. If you lose access to that system for any reason then you’re screwed.

    Google Sheets and Excel have their limits. What you want is a database management system with a front-end data entry functionality and a query interface that allows you to ask questions of your data quickly, returning accurate results. Whether you use a canned CRM or build your own – its going to help you much more than a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets have their place and they can be useful to track domains but at a certain point it becomes more work than it needs to be. Its certainly worth the step-up from a spreadsheet tracking system!

    Reply
  • TGIF April 15, 2016, 1:06 pm

    I use DNS / Uniregistry Market.
    It is the best around.
    In addition, instead of changing the NS Record, I point my domains to DNS via A record,
    and use my own NS on a hosted VPS. That way I get to keep the access to the MX/Emails ( and routed stats ) and still keep the ppc.
    My purpose in keeping the MX is to create a mailbox for each domain ( batch ) as
    leads@sld.tld .. that way I can reference lead activity from the past. ( which then gets unified in my local VPS and combined with Routed NS leads, for this I use BIND ( it’s free ).
    It can be tricky but the info is always available even if Im offline.
    happy friday.
    ps: how expensive is SalesForce ?

    Reply
    • Morgan April 15, 2016, 9:06 pm

      @TGIF – I understand how that helps with email but how do you keep track of phone calls? Salesforce is around $30/month.

      Reply
  • Raymond Chai April 16, 2016, 7:39 pm

    I create a folder for each domain name enquiry at GoDaddy email inbox. Let say all email correspondences are kept in xxxx.com folder I created. For any phone enquiries, I email myself and keep all phone calls conversation written down on a new email message, and email back to myself, and keep in xxx.com folder.

    This system is very simple to manage and effective even I have hundreds of domain name folders. The title of the folder is the control point eg Bitcoin.World folder helps me trace all enquiries and phone calls regarding Bitcoin.World domain name buyers and email enquiries. Simple.

    Reply

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