Closing The Loop: Are You Tracking Every Lead?

Jun 3, 2008 - 7:40 pm 0 by

Session Intro: When paid search results in leads, are you keeping track of them in an organized, efficient manner? This session looks at integrating leads with Salesforce, ensuring that leads related to search but happening offline get properly tracked and other issues related to lead management.

Chris Sherman, Executive Editor of Search Engine Land is moderating this session along with Chris Winfield, President & Co-Founder of 10e20 doing the Q&A moderating. Speakers include Adam Goldberg, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of ClearSaleing, Alissa Ruehl, Manager of Paid Search Services at Apogee Search, John Tawadros, Chief Operating Officer of iProspect and Lauren Vaccarello, Director of SEM and Analytics at FXCM.

First up is John. He begins by asking if we recall the last time we ate too much, drank too much and said too much. Tracking web site stats cannot be done too much. He then goes on to say that if we are not tracking every detail of a lead, we are missing the boat. He shows us several real examples of how if they track the most minute details, one can learn a lot of what advertising works and what does not.

Tracking in this kind of detail show that the combination of TV, search and blogs provide the best marketing combination that yields the greatest results. In other words, you cannot track too much data. Pretty simple presentation that really asks us "how much is too much." For John, he wants to know it all. At least then he has the option to sift through what he needs and doesn't need.

Next up is Alissa. She asks what does your company really want to get out of its marketing effort. Most often it has to do with money. What then are you using to measure that success? All leads are not created equal. So how can you separate the wheat from the chaff.

Pull paid search info into your CRM system. She then shows us three case studies. First example shows that keyword that generated the most leads produced the worst conversions. Shallow success can mislead. You can also find buried treasure when you track a campaign at this level. Second example discovered that Yahoo traffic was not the kind of traffic they wanted which then prompted them to change the way they spent budget at Yahoo. Third example, even though an improvement, led to lower lead to sales conversions.

How to implement? Create custom fields in CRM system. Add referral URL for SEO purposes. Update tracking URLs. Make sure not to duplicate variables in tracking URLs. Set cookies as well to track user activity. Also add hidden fields that will pull values from the cookies. Most important -- test and report. Adjust campaign accordingly.

Caveats to remember -- ay attention to statistical significance, take your sales cycle length into account, look at junk leads as well as sales, and consider an intermediate step of looking at cost per opportunity.

Adam is up next. He shows us three different ads, one of which is much cheaper than the others. The common move would be to eliminate the more expensive ads but if you can show that the more expensive ads convert better, you can justify spending more for those ads. You really need to show how much you have added to the bottom line. In his three examples, he showed that the ad that cost the least made only $20 profit whereas the most costly ad made $2,200 profit.

He next talks about the stages of the customer buying cycle. Problem recognition is first. This is followed by information search. They then look for alternatives before making a purchase decision. Finally they make their purchase. Knowing this allows us to make shifts in the way we market.

Next he talks about phone call tacking.  Adam's company combines cookie tracking along with generated session ID and phone call data to track phone leads. Sales rep upon determining customer is on web site asks for session ID number and can then monitor the activity of that lead.

Finally, Lauren is up. Who needs conversion tracking? Any sort of lead generation site, especially where most of your money is made offline. Benefits of integrating tracking is that you will define the quality of the lead. You get true conversion tracking. Omniture, ClickTracks and Webtrends are all analytics programs that integrate with Salesforce.

Now the sales department is going to always combat the marketing department. How do you go about working with them? Bribery works. Give a certain set of sales people the better leads list so they will be on your side. Watch out for poor planning.

Some strategies to increase ROI? Go for low hanging fruit. Build useful reports for sales force. Build time to sales reports for sales teams as well. Give best leads to best sales closures. Finally, stop wasting money. Look for where money is bleeding and stop it.


Here is a recap of "some" (not all) of the questions that were asked and answered.

  1. How do you know if conversions are a result of a good sales day or marketing?

    Adam says that you have to look at statistics over time rather than on a day by day basis.

  2. Are there more robust tracking options than cookies?

    Human input into tracking systems such as Salesforce can tack beyond people deleting cookies because it can associate with name or even company name.

  3. Compare acquisition costs between three major players.

    All seem to agree that Yahoo and MSN cost less but the volume is just not there as it is with Google. Adam said however that he doesn't look at CPA because if you track further you can sometimes see that it is a false metric to measure success by.

  4. If conversions are low, how can I know if it is advertising, sales team or even crappy web site?

    Look deeper into leads -- where they are coming from and how they end up. That may help track down the cause of low conversions.

Session coverage by David Wallace - CEO and Founder SearchRank.


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