CRM expert David Taber provides some good perspective on how to properly track leads in his recent article, How to Improve Your CRM Lead Tracking.
Taber notes that almost every CRM system can track a lead source through conversion and close. While this sounds good on paper, most customers don’t make their first purchase as a result of one marketing tactic (email, trade show, banner ad, etc). This is even more true for B2B transactions that require a complex sales process. Taber advocates creating campaigns to keep track each time there is a customer touchpoint….
In B2B companies, it’s not at all unusual to have at least one outbound e-mail a month to every lead or contact in the system. And hopefully there will be some customer response, such as registering for a Webinar or doing a download. Every single one of these actions or responses is recorded as a separate campaign member “event.” If you’ve got long sales cycles or long-running customer relationships, a contact’s campaign history can grow to 100 records or more. This gives your sales reps tremendous insight into the state of the customer’s knowledge (and hopefully the evolution of their interest/attitude) before they pick up the phone.
More importantly, these records provide the basis for much more intelligent CRM automation. Each lead and contact will have a more detailed profile, so marketing can segment them better. You also have a record of what each individual has done over time, so your marketing automation system can do a much better “behavioral scoring” of the lead for filtering and prioritization. If you have a customer support solution-suggestion system, it will have much more complete keywords to narrow the documents it suggests in your customer self-support portal.
I agree with David’s article and thought it would be fun to show some screen shots of Salesforce campaign structure.