Consider, for a moment, how your business uses its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. At many businesses that have CRMs, they are often used by salespeople to track interactions with leads—moving leads through the sales process, closing deals, and assigning monetary value to leads that become sales.
There’s a line between marketing and sales, and most CRMs are used on the sales side.
Salespeople use CRMs to make smarter decisions that can help turn leads into customers. But before leads become customers, they’re simply conversions: people who filled out a form, sent a chat, or made a phone call to your business.
Marketers understand conversions. They track, manage, and report on conversions to see if their efforts are working. However, important data can get lost between a conversion and the final sale—data that’s worth tracking. Companies that use data in their marketing decisions see 15-20 percent more ROI than those that don’t. This is why marketers should care about connecting with their data.
In this post, we’ll explain seven reasons why marketers should have access to CRMs, and how marketers can recapture the missing data between acquiring a lead and making a sale.
1. Finding the common thread between marketing and sales
Let’s take a step back. How do you currently track your marketing success? Maybe you use a simple tool like Google Analytics, or perhaps something more powerful. Whichever it is, you’re using it to see which marketing sources drive leads.
Leads are the common thread that connects marketing to sales. On the marketing side, conversions become leads. On the sales side, qualified leads become customers.
It’s notable that over 75 percent of B2B marketers don’t have revenue or industry information about leads in their database. Since both marketing and sales teams care about leads, both teams can benefit from access to lead information, such as:
Where leads came from
What they want
How they got in touch
Who they are
What their budget is
How much they’re worth in revenue
Marketing tracking software allows you to connect marketing sources to lead. The CRM allows you to connect leads to sales. If you can connect all these pieces of data, you can track the entire customer journey.
2. Overcoming the Google Analytics problem
There are problems with using a simple tool like Google Analytics to see how many conversions came from each marketing channel. Google Analytics can tell you how many people filled out a form after seeing your PPC ad, or how many people called you after clicking a Facebook ad. That’s useful information, but it’s incomplete.
Google Analytics doesn’t tell you what happened next. Did the conversion result in a qualified lead? What was the lead value? Did the lead turn into a customer, and how much was that customer worth?
Once the marketing department generates a lead and delivers it to the sales department, it’s generally accepted that the marketing department has done its job. However, marketers can benefit greatly from following those leads further.
Leads are fuel for sales, and sales are the ultimate indicator of success. That’s why you have to go deeper than Google Analytics.
3. You’ll understand the value of leads over other metrics
Marketers should care about leads just as much as salespeople do, because leads are the best metric to track when measuring marketing effectiveness. If your marketing is working, you should be driving leads.
While you might understand the significance of marketing statistics (impressions, CTR, clicks, conversion rate), the people in your boardroom or in your client meetings care about leads. They understand that leads—more than any other metric—are fuel for sales.
4. You’ll be able to calculate ROI down to the cent
Let’s say you spent $4,500 on various marketing channels last month. How do you know if it worked? How do you know if you should increase spend more next month, spend less, or shift spend to different marketing channels?
You’d start by finding out how many conversions each marketing channel generated, but without access to a CRM, you don’t know if those conversions led to quality leads. You don’t know if your marketing is driving sales. As a result, you don’t have any way to calculate the exact ROI of your marketing efforts.
Now, what if you knew that your Facebook Ads resulted in 200 qualified leads and $5,000 in actual sales? Or, that your Google PPC ads generated 300 leads, but only 50 of them were qualified? That’s valuable, actionable information and it can be found in a CRM.
The marketing journey doesn’t end with the conversion. It ends at the sale, and marketers should follow the journey all the way to the end.
5. You’ll discover which marketing channels drive the best leads
You can’t just track how many leads come in; you have to account for lead quality and lead value. This information will tell you which marketing channels drive the best leads, and are worth investing in.
Marketers that don’t have access to a CRM can’t track lead quality or lead value. They can track leads back to the marketing source, but that’s it.
By integrating CRM data with marketing software data, you can follow the lead all the way through to the sale and with the marketing info still attached. This gives you the ability to produce reports that show which marketing sources drive leads that convert to high-value sales.
6. You’ll be able to answer all your marketing questions
Once you have access to all the details about every lead, you can start to answer more detailed marketing questions such as:
What marketing inspires our best customers to reach out?
Are Facebook Ads driving the kind of leads that turn into sales?
When a customer fills out a form, is that usually a good lead?
Are customers getting in touch to inquire about sales or to receive support?
These are the kinds of questions that help create an effective, long-term marketing strategy that doesn’t need to be re-worked every few months.
7. You’ll save time
Business owners often barely have enough time to create and execute marketing campaigns, let alone to go back and measure data from each campaign to see what worked and what didn't. Marketers need these insights so they can invest in the campaigns that deliver ROI and abandon campaigns that don’t. That’s where CRM data comes into play.
The better you understand which marketing channels work, the less time you have to spend creating new marketing campaigns and re-working campaigns that aren’t producing results.
With the right integrations, CRM data can instantly show you which campaigns are working. Tools like Google Analytics might show you which marketing sources drive leads, but these tools miss a lot of info, too. The tracking stops when the lead gets to the sales team, when in fact it should continue on through the final sale.
When you’re measuring your marketing effectiveness, ask yourself if you have all of the relevant information. Most importantly, ask if you can track every lead from initial marketing source to final sale.
The more information you have about which marketing channels work, the more streamlined your marketing strategy will be. That means marketing costs go down and leads go up as you zero in on your most effective channels. Plus, combining the CRM data with your marketing tracking data gives you the ability to answer detailed questions about your marketing efforts. In a boardroom or a client meeting, that ability is invaluable.