Are You Successfully Tracking Leads Through the Whole Pipeline?

Written by: Munira Fareed on 3/30/16 2:03 PM


Every business that bothers to track information on leads and customers has experienced it – the realization that you have three (or more) entries for one lead in a database because your employees entered them in differently.

One spelled a person’s first name wrong, one put in a shortened version of the business name, and one entered it into the wrong category.

It happens. These are pretty run-of-the-mill issues to encounter, but they can actually have fairly serious consequences.

If you can’t track your marketing activities through the entire pipeline, you’ll never be able to see how they all connect. If the data you have on the behavior of leads can’t be tied to your sales data, then how will you know which marketing activities are paying off?

Invest in Tech that Allows You To Make Connections

Marketing organizations today have tons of data. With so much of marketing moving to the digital space, it’s easier than it’s ever been to track how people behave online and interact with the marketing materials they encounter.  That’s all great for marketers, but much of that data is currently stuck in silos that make it less useful.

If you don’t know that the person who viewed a recent blog post is the same one that downloaded your eBook, then the role that blog post played in helping create a new lead won’t be recognized. You have the data on blog post views and eBook downloads, but are you able to reconcile them?

You need to turn the data you already have into the story of your buyer’s journey. Technology can help with that. Marketing performance management software can bring all the information you already have into a single console to reveal new insights. You can take a high-level view of how your marketing organization’s doing and dig down to see the specifics of how each marketing campaign and activity performs. Then, you can connect all the dots to see how each is helping you reach your ultimate goal: higher revenue. 

Create a Standardized Entry Procedure

Having the technology will only count for so much if your records are still inconsistent. If Jane from Acme Brothers Company is inaccurately entered into the CRM as Jan from ABC, then the records in your marketing analytics won’t match and there will be no way to connect the success of the marketing activities to the purchase Jane made later.

Most businesses will need to put some work into updating the database entries you have now for consistency, but you can make some changes that prevent having to undertake a project like that again in the future.

Create clear rules for how to enter information into each product you have for tracking lead and customer information. These should mirror the approach your administrators take when performing bulk operations like uploads or deduplication. Where possible, put into place automated policies that either correct entries in real-time or kick off workflows to ensure consistency around web forms.

Despite the best of intentions, however, the human element will invariably still introduce inconsistencies. Because of this, it’s important you distribute the rules you create to everyone in Sales and Marketing and emphasize the importance of following them. You may also need to put into place a review process for additional data oversight. If you make clear to your employees the importance of sticking with the procedures, you’ll have a much easier time following specific leads through the entire buyer’s journey.

Provide Human Analysis for the Data You Have

The right mix of marketing technology makes it possible to start seeing the journey each prospect takes through the entire pipeline, but once you have that information it’s up to your team to harness that knowledge effectively. Your marketing analytics can start revealing not only which marketing activities are the most effective, but also who your most valuable customers are, what marketing campaigns work best for them, and the amount of time and number of touch points typically required to get them to the point of sale.

With that information, your team can make more informed decisions about how to divide your efforts and budget to achieve the most success. The data will tell you everything you need to know about how your past efforts have performed, then you can put that knowledge to work creating better results for tomorrow.

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Topics: Marketing Maturity, Hive9