One of my new years resolutions coming into 2019 is to finally make the move away from spreadsheets when it comes to keeping track of inbound offers on my domain names. For years I’ve used spreadsheets to manage inbound offers on my domains and for a brief stint I tried using Salesforce but it was overkill and I found myself back in spreadsheet hell.
Late last year I discovered Pipedrive and we started using it a Bold Metrics to manage our sales pipeline. After using it for about a month I realized, hey – this would be incredibly useful for handling inbound domain offers. So I decided to take the plunge and create a new account specific to track inbound offers on my domains.
There are a lot of benefits to using a CRM, but Pipedrive I think is particularly well-suited for managing inbound offers on domain names because of its focus on managing your pipeline. Like anything that you sell, domain sales go through a relatively normal set of stages, and the chance that a deal gets done increases as deals move their way through the pipeline.
What I really like about Pipedrive is that it makes it incredibly easy to assign a probability to each stage. Along with this information, the solution also keeps track of how long deals are in each stage for typically, so, over time it can get better at predicting how much you’re likely to close in a given month, quarter, etc.
Here’s a look at the labels I gave to each stage in my Pipeline and the associated probabilities:
I’d be interested to hear what other Domain Investors think about the probabilities I assigned to each stage. Here’s my general thought. As we all know, the vast majority of inbound offers that come in are from people with pretty much no budget that don’t make an offer, and just ask “how much?” I set these at 2% because if you respond with any number higher than about $50 they usually just disappear.
More serious buyers make offers and I’ve assigned a 5% probability to inbounds that make an offer. Still, let’s be honest, most of those offers are ridiculously low so the chance of closing a deal is still low. If someone is willing to negotiate, well, now you’ve got a chance, but still not a great chance IMO so I’ve set the probability to 10% once negotiations have started.
Where things really get interesting is when you reach an agreement. At this point you might think, “wait, if you’ve reached an agreement why do you have the probability set to 33%?” One thing I’ve learned over the years is that people back out of deals all the time, in fact, they do so a majority of the time. You might think you’ve closed a deal when someone tells you they agree to your price via email, but until the money is in the bank, you don’t have a deal.
This leads to my last stage. By Escrow started I don’t just mean that I’ve started the transaction, I mean that the buyer has signed in and agreed to the terms and is now supposed to wire the money. This is the only stage in the transaction where I think you can feel good about having a greater than 50% chance of the deal closing. Still, I’ve had many experiences where a buyer backs out even after agreeing to Escrow, they just never wire the money and disappear.
In the end, once you have your pipeline setup, it will then create a board for you in Pipedrive that looks like this:
There’s more setup that I need to do in order to configure my Contacts and Organizations so that they have some additional custom fields that apply specifically to domain buyers…but I’ll leave that for a future post if you find this interesting.
On that note. Do you want to hear more about setting up CRM tools like Pipedrive to manage inbound offers or is this a snooze-fest? Let me know and this can either be my one and only post about it, or my first in a series.
As usual, I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!
Note: I don’t know anyone at Pipedrive, am not being paid by Pipedrive, nor do I have any affiliate links in this post. I’m using Pipedrive because I like it, that’s all. So I could care less if you sign up, there’s nothing in it for me.