If you’ve spent any time working in marketing, you understand the importance of reporting. Reporting is critical for measuring how your marketing efforts are performing. While reviewing website traffic and conversion rates is good, it's even more important to look at what happens to the leads you have passed onto your sales team. This process proves value in marketing efforts for a company and is referred to as closed loop marketing. It provides answers to burning questions such as:
What source provides the best leads for the sales team?
What's working/what's not/what do we need to tweak to move forward?
When you’re facing these questions, whether they come from your sales department, your clients, or your superiors, the answers are in closed loop reporting. It’s also the answer to fine-tuning your marketing efforts to make them successful.
First, Show me the Data
Marketers are responsible for attracting visitors, converting those visitors into leads, and then passing those leads onto sales for conversion into customers. While it sounds simple at first, the efforts involved in each step are filled with variables. Through data and analytics, marketers can determine what path brought those individuals to become leads. This is good, but not great.
Why it's good and not great is in terms of big picture thinking. Plain and simple, a business needs customers. This is typically why a sales team takes ownership of the leads and qualifies them. While each business differs, leads typically fall into one of three categories after a sales team intervenes:
Closed – a sale occurred
Cold – not yet ready to buy
Disqualified – will not buy
When the sales team reports back to marketing with how the leads fall into each category, this is the sales department's interpretation of “closing the loop.” These closed loop analytics are critical for marketers to understand what their most powerful conversion paths are and how to continue to drive more traffic down this path for more qualified leads.
Identifying Trends through Closed Loop Reporting
Once marketing knows which leads landed in each category, they can bring that information together with their data to determine which path each visitor took on their journey. Once identified, those paths provide insight into which content, offers, and efforts brought them through each conversion.
The benefit of reviewing the closed loop analytics is uncovering trends from this information. Imagine being able to demonstrate either of the following:
67 percent of the leads who downloaded a specific eBook turned out to be cold leads
33 percent of the leads entered into a specific workflow, clicked the CTA in the fourth email in the queue, and then proceeded to download the corresponding offer. As a result, 20 percent of these turned into customers.
With this data, it’s much easier to demonstrate which marketing efforts nurture people toward sales and which ones do not. Marketers can then learn which content and efforts become their best lead sources, as well as which do not. Without closed loop reporting, identifying the trends to demonstrate the value of marketing is less concrete.
Benefits of Closed Loop Reporting
In order for closed loop marketing to be successful, there needs to be a combined effort between sales and marketing. Without this, you’re missing some very important pieces to the puzzle. Through closed loop reporting, marketers can determine which channels and offers are most successful, how their target audience actually uses their content, and what goals and expectations make sense in each situation.
I hope that clarifies what closed loop reporting is, and the benefits of working with your sales and marketing team to bring a better understanding of what your efforts are doing. If you have more questions, please reach out, we'd love to help you connect your efforts to show results.
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