ROI doesn't end when the phone rings: Why you need lead attribution and management


  • Positive effects on sales/marketing ROI:
    • Pairing your marketing goals for quality of leads with quantity of leads
    • Standardizing lead management and communication between marketing, sales, and customer service
    • Prioritizing channels, campaigns, and messaging based on customer acquisition, satisfaction, and retention - not just top of the funnel metrics
    • Balancing financial and time expenses with the value these expenses add
  • Negative effects on sales/marketing ROI:
    • Allocating time and money to campaigns that aren’t effective
    • Lacking visibility into calls and conversations with leads and customers
    • Disorganized lead management and routing
    • Wasting time on unqualified leads
    • Losing deals due to inconsistent follow up and follow through
  • A solution that improves visibility into your performance and helps boost ROI: To show the true ROI of your campaigns, you need a system like Lead Center that not only helps you manage and report on all of these factors, but also adds to your ROI by ensuring consistency, organization, and timeliness.

Start here to improve ROI: Capturing every lead

If you are currently using “new leads generated” as the main KPI (key performance indicator) for showing the ROI of your efforts but don’t have a unified system collecting said leads, you may be cutting yourself short.

Manually logging each inbound call means your ROI data can be off due to human error. Using spreadsheets and managing leads in multiple systems can lead to disjointed reporting with overinflated ROI due to duplicates or underreported ROI due to missed leads.

In our current digital, multi-channel world, few businesses rely on only one marketing avenue to reach potential customers. For example, a brick-and-mortar company that devotes marketing spend to print campaigns, pay-per-click advertising, blogging strategies, a high-performing website, and lead nurturing emails is not unusual. If anything, that variety is now par for the course.

The big challenge in this multi-channel world is making sure you aren’t missing a single person who calls, emails, chats, texts, fills out a form, or shows up in person at your business.

Accurately proving your marketing ROI will be difficult if you’re losing leads as they make their first interaction with your business. Plus, you never want to miss out on sales simply because prospects fell off your radar — or never got on your radar in the first place.

After all, if you’re spending money to generate leads, and some of the leads aren’t followed up with, those marketing dollars are wasted.

The best solutions allow you to communicate with leads — at any part of their customer journey — and offer strong reporting that helps with lead and revenue attribution. Our unified business communications solution, Lead Center, can help you better track your ROI by offering a single inbox that collects leads for you from these different sources. This can help boost communication with the use of additional tools for moving your contacts through the funnel from lead to customer.


Additional resources to help in your lead capturing and ROI reporting:

Getting specific with ROI reporting: Tracking every call

Let’s dive deeper into phone calls, a commonly misreported outlet for lead generation.

Most teams and the digital marketing platforms they use aren’t set up to register, measure, and nurture incoming phone calls. This increases the odds that leads become lost — or, at least, misdirected — during the sales process. A solution to this challenge can be found in Call Tracking.

Call Tracking ensures that all phone calls enter your lead management system and also allows you to identify the:

  • Marketing source of those calls
  • Campaign that generated that call
  • Right person on your team the caller should connect with

Lead Attribution by Score

By assigning a unique phone number to each campaign and/or channel, you generate advanced data on marketing strategies that were previously not as easy to accurately measure.

For example, if you run a law firm and are marketing divorce services, estate planning, and personal injury cases amid three different campaigns, you can use call tracking to generate different phone numbers for each. In this way, you know what someone is calling about as soon as the phone rings and which campaign generates the most traction with its respective target audience.

The more detailed information you have about your phone calls’ origins, the more accurately you can attribute your ROI to specific efforts.

How Call Tracking + Lead Center improves ROI:

  • Ensures 100% of inbound calls are logged in your lead management system
  • Empowers your sales and customer service teams with more contextual insights on how the lead found your business and what content influenced them to call so they close or retain more customers
  • Gives managers the tools they need to easily make sure calls are being followed up with to make sure no leads fall through the cracks
  • Allows marketing to adjust campaigns and goals to optimize for lead generation from inbound calls if they prove to have a positive ROI

Analyzing every conversation for improved marketing and sales performance

Phone conversations rely on an interpersonal back-and-forth — undeniably powerful, but tricky to analyze for effectiveness beyond the obvious identifiers of a good or bad call (e.g., the lead enthusiastically becoming a customer on the spot or hanging up in a huff).

Even if you record calls and take time to transcribe them, you might miss the signs that your conversations are effective or ineffective. In this case, ignorance is not bliss. The efficacy and ROI of your marketing strategies might not be as accurate simply because you or a member of your team isn’t saying the right things on the phone.

Conversation Intelligence solves this problem by analyzing every incoming and outgoing call that marketing and sales teams have with leads and customers. This solution can:

  • Automatically transcribe calls
  • Use AI to analyze conversations
  • Measure keyword and keyphrase use during calls


With this data, your business not only assesses your marketing and sales strategies more effectively but also identifies areas of potential improvement. Conversation Intelligence also helps drive more personalization with leads, which appeals to 90% of U.S. consumers.

How Conversation Intelligence + Lead Center improves ROI:

  • Feedback loop with sales, marketing, and customer service on interactions with leads and customers to communicate commonly used terminology, objections, and praises from the top of the funnel down to the bottom
  • Identify sales reps with highest success and create training with replicable processes using their best practices, call scripts, and follow up techniques
  • Save time and money on multiple tools for call recording, transcribing, and analysis

See how in our case study with Qshark

Make better use of your marketing dollars by understanding the impact of each activity

Too many marketers focus on the first interactions and don’t examine all the subsequent steps and conversions along the way.

Lead attribution charts the journey to a sale — or failed sale — one interaction at a time. Consider these three circuits leads might take:

  • A new customer might have called in after seeing a print ad, and then visited your website, filled out a form for a free e-book, clicked on a link in an email, called back in for more information, and placed an order directly with a salesperson.
  • A new customer might have searched for your business on Google, clicked on a paid ad, filled out a form, been contacted by a salesperson, and then waited a month before placing an order online.
  • A lead may have seen a billboard, called a phone number, talked to your sales staff several times, and ... disappeared forever, never again answering another email or call from your business.

All these paths are different, so how do you compare them? Lead attribution offers a way to examine each unique buyer’s journey and even extract data.

Turning this data into actionable insights helps you determine what’s working, what’s trending, and what adjustments you need to make to improve the ROI of your overall efforts.

When you can identify what individual touches are most influential on your highest value leads, you can make informed decisions on where to reallocate time and money to make the most impact on your results.

Additional resources to help map your most effective customer journeys to boost ROI:

Calculating the ROI of every marketing dollar

Lead attribution inevitably turns into revenue attribution (in fact, the terms are often used interchangeably), in which you connect all the marketing and sales dots to show your ROI. Return on investment might be the most important metric marketing and sales teams track from an overarching standpoint. Data points such as cost per click (CPC) and customer lifetime value (CLV) are crucial. Still, ROI measures the bottom line: Are your marketing and sales strategies translating into sales?

The simplest calculation of ROI is basic math: revenue earned minus marketing investment. However, you don’t need to stop there. Advanced metrics such as CPC and CLV can be incorporated into ROI calculations to provide deeper data to show which strategies and customer paths — again, revenue attribution — are delivering the biggest impact for your marketing dollar.


And make no mistake: You should be computing these next-level numbers, not only to see where you should make adjustments to derive the most value from your marketing tactics, but also to show the value of your efforts to the people you report to ... and their bosses.

Tools for every marketing and sales team

Marketing and sales teams may have great ideas, but without tools that support those ideas, you might be left guessing how successful your efforts are or whether your efforts truly contribute to your ROI. Worse yet, you might guess wrong.

Utilizing a platform like CallRail with products like Call Tracking, Lead Center, Conversation Intelligence and Form Tracking all in one unified system enables you to effectively communicate with and nurture leads, generate important data, and streamline your marketing and sales processes. CallRail can help businesses looking to take their marketing to the next level. Sign up for a free trial to experience everything CallRail has to offer.

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