How to Know Where Your Leads are Coming From

Aug 19, 2015


Article ImageMany companies have no idea where their leads come from or how sales are finalized. They also go through periods when leads are higher or lower than normal, but they don't know what's causing these peaks and troughs.

If someone has discovered you and become interested enough to inquire about your product or service, don't you want to know what led them to you and proactively make sales surges happen again?

By taking control of your data analysis and taking on the challenge of measuring your marketing efforts, you'll improve the quantity and quality of sales leads while allocating your budget based on true performance and ROI.

How Did They Find Me?

Inbound leads have many sources, and will mostly come to you either as a telephone call -- which are often the most valuable leads -- or website visits, which account for the vast majority of leads.

To begin analyzing sources as precisely as possible, it's common practice for marketers to attach codes to them, so that when a lead arrives it can be properly attributed. It helps to make sure you keep a well-maintained record of your promotional and public relations actions, as often a surge in leads can be attributed to more than one event happening at the same time.

Here we take a look at the different channels you can monitor and the techniques used to do so.

Monitoring Online Leads

Managing sales leads from the internet is easy, with many automated methods to choose from that create reports based on lead sources. However, web analytics tools often focus on things like hits, clicks, and bounce rate, which doesn't offer you much insight as to what your site really achieves. You can make more meaningful changes by looking into the more detailed stats on individual visitors, such as page views, geographical location, and conversion details, to tailor your site and create more potential for success.

Path to Purchase

The ability to measure path to purchase through keyword analysis allows businesses to see which terms individual customers search for in the days and weeks before they make a purchase. Users tend to begin their search journeys with very generic terms, which become more defined over time as they learn how to find relevant results. Look at your journey paths from across your marketing reports to analyze this keyword data, you can use it to appeal to a wider audience, or target new keywords to sway your audience before your competitors ever reach them.

Page and Click Tracking

Page tracking allows you to track which keywords searched for or which traffic sources have resulted in an action being performed on your website, by placing code on the confirmation page. By making sure the page you track is only accessible after taking valuable actions on your site, such as filling out an enquiry form or making an online payment, you can then add a monetary value to this action to work out your Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). Google Analytics Acquisition Reports helps you to identify your most valuable channels and keywords, by highlighting the acquisition, behaviour, and conversions details for each channel that sends traffic to your site.

However, not all businesses rely on forms being filled in to measure a valuable action. To measure the engagement levels of your site in more detail, you can use Click Tracking, or Event Tracking. By using Google Analytics Tracking Codes and ensuring the ga.js tracking code is installed on the pages where you configure event tracking, you can monitor events like when a PDF or ebook is downloaded that doesn't require filling out a form, or when the play button is pressed on a video embedded on your site.

Click/Event Tracking allows you to measure where the traffic came from that resulted in these click actions, and which keywords were used to get them there. By knowing which words result in valuable actions, you can spend less on targeting traffic and change your copywriting and content strategies to convert more of this traffic, resulting in a higher return on investment.

E-commerce Tracking

If you sell products online, installing e-commerce code to track all interactions with your online store allows you to see exactly how much it costs to sell each product.

Not only can CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) tracking tell you what your true profit margin is after advertising costs, it shows you the final keyword and traffic source that led to the sale.

In Google Analytics, for example, you can discover your revenue per traffic source by selecting Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium and selecting e-commerce to discover which traffic sources bring you the most sales. You can also set the secondary dimension to Keyword to see which keywords are the most valuable.

E-commerce tracking gives you a direct response ROI, and you can see a very quick response in profit by using the data to fine tune your strategy and scale up your spend in line with your profit.

It is also important to track offline sales, as many people still prefer to buy offline or over the phone. So if you sell offline as well as online, you can discover which activities support your e-commerce transactions.

Using Call Tracking to Attribute Offline Sales and Enquiries

Speaking of transactions made offline and over the phone, the tracking of telephone calls gives you a more holistic view of customer interactions with your company.

It is no longer necessary for your receptionists or reps to ask your customers where they heard about you when they call in. Instead, call tracking software from providers such as Mediahawk has become one of the most powerful tools in a marketer's arsenal, from tracking traffic sources to providing the ability to analyze a range of metrics relating to data from every phone call.

The software lets marketers apply unique static telephone numbers to their offline marketing materials so you're able to measure the effectiveness of your print campaigns at generating leads. But here's the clever bit: the software allows you to add JavaScript code to your site to generate individual phone numbers for every unique visitor. This means you can trace the entire user journey onsite -- including the traffic source where they came from -- right up until they pick up the phone. This lets you analyze your online and offline marketing efforts together for a truer picture of effectiveness.

Similarly to page and click tracking, call tracking can tell you the search terms that resulted in a call, and integrate with Google AdWords and search platforms like Google Analytics as well as the rest of your online business tools to give you a full picture of your marketing efforts.

With features such as call whisper -- which tells you the source of the call before you're connected -- and location and IP tracking data, your sales force can be more informed of what the caller wants and how they came to find you.

The use of call recording, average time of call, missed call alerts, and unanswered call data all works to give businesses a better understanding of how leads are dealt with, allowing managers to pinpoint areas for improvement and help their teams with relevant training.

Track Your Leads from Source to Sale

Once leads are picked up by the sales team, it is important to score how valuable they are, by how many converted to sales and how quickly, as well as any problems they faced along the way. Use a CRM solution that allows this - one that will also track leads through the completion and after-care stages.

You can use one central CRM platform to not only manage your sales leads, client and product data, but also your email marketing, billing, marketing automation, project management and all of your integrated tools.

There are so many benefits to tracking your sales leads; you could save money and increase ROI, generate new leads, or maximize performance, all from using effective diagnostic tools.

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.)