What is Lead Tracking?
Lead tracking is the process of determining the source of leads, actively monitoring where leads are in the sales and marketing funnel, and pursuing the appropriate actions to move the lead to the next stage and close the sale.
Why do sales and marketing need lead tracking?
Lead tracking helps sales and marketing departments work together seamlessly to provide a better user experience, find more qualified potential leads, and close more sales.
Effective lead tracking can help marketing departments determine where their leads came from and how those leads reached out or were contacted. This helps marketing teams discover which campaigns are bringing in the most qualified leads. From there, marketing can pass qualified leads to their sales department with all the information sales needs to close the lead–providing a seamless transition and better lead experience.
With proper lead tracking, sales can start the relationship with the data to treat each lead on a one-on-one basis and increase the chance of winning the sale.
What is a lead?
Sales departments use different models to determine if a lead is indeed a lead. IBM developed the BANT model (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline) for qualifying prospects. However, some sources now claim that the BANT model is outdated, such as Ash Alhashim:
The biggest problem with BANT, though, is that it assumes that the customer not only has budget, a need, and a timeline for evaluating and purchasing software in place: as a prerequisite, it assumes that the customer is aware of the fact that they should be buying a product like yours in the first place.
The generally accepted sales and marketing funnel includes five stages:
- Inquiry: A user whose interaction demonstrates potential interest in your service or product.
- Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): A lead whose interaction with marketing materials indicates that he or she had potential to become a closed opportunity.
- Sales Accepted Lead (SAL): This is exactly what it sounds like–an MQL that sales has accepted as a potential lead.
- Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): In theory, sales would use the BANT model (or another standard) to determine if the lead is ready for the next steps in the sales process.
- Closed/Won Opportunity: The lead purchased the product or service.
Michael Brenner explains that, “An inquiry is a person who has done something to express interest in understanding how to solve a problem… A lead is a qualified business opportunity.The only way to know whether an inquiry is a qualified business opportunity is to ask them.”
This funnel varies for different industries, but, in general, requires that sales and marketing be in close contact with each other regarding the status of leads.
So how do the two departments work together to bring in inquiries and turn them into closed deals? Lead tracking.
How does lead tracking work?
Modern software and tools allow marketers and sales reps to track where inquiries came from and their development into variations of qualified and accepted leads along the funnel. Multiple tools often integrate together to make this happen (marketing automation, customer relationship management, lead management, and call tracking software). These tools track the various touch points that users make across channels–both online and offline.
Why is lead tracking important?
Lead tracking gives marketers the data they need to track how leads contacted them, improve campaigns, personalize their efforts, and increase ROI. Similarly, it gives sales the personalized pain point information per lead that they need to close the deal. In essence, lead tracking is the tool set sales reps and marketers use their jobs more effectively.
SiriusDecisions, a research and advisory company, released a study that found, “B2B organizations with tightly aligned marketing and sales achieved 24% faster revenue growth and 27% faster profit growth over a three-year period.”
Lead tracking can also help close the loop in the marketing and sales processes. 75% of marketers have trouble calculating ROI because they don’t know the end results of their campaigns. Meanwhile, 42% of sales reps feel they don’t have enough information before making a call. Lead tracking tools bridge this data and communication gap.
Why is call tracking crucial to your lead tracking?
Salesforce research states that 92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone. Once sales and the lead connect via the phone, call tracking is the obvious continuation of the lead tracking and attribution process.
Tools like CallRail’s call attribution, analytics, and management software provide the needed data for sales and marketing teams to sync up and perform their best. Call tracking software tells marketers
- what campaigns drove the most leads to call,
- which keywords to continue to target, and
- what mediums are reaching the right target audience.
Meanwhile, lead tracking with call analytics gives sales reps and account executives the upper hand in
- knowing which callers are true SQLs through call scoring
- setting up new sales reps to succeed and continue sales training with call recording, and
- faster response times (since 30-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first).
Lead tracking is a crucial contemporary development in the sales and marketing process. The toolset available to modern marketing and sales departments means less manual data entry, better attribution models, more intuitive sales processes, and happier customers.