Leads… traditionally thought of as the end-result of a marketing funnel and the initiation of the sales funnel, these little gems are the currency of the marketing and sales interaction. Perhaps the best example of this traditional outlook is the movie/play “Glengarry Glen Ross.”

If you’ve seen it (and if you haven’t, why haven’t you?), you know that the script features some hard-luck real-estate salesmen proving themselves good enough to get new (and lucrative) leads by closing their old (and stale) leads. The underlying theme, and the critical point, is that the old leads just weren’t any good to begin with. If only ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ characters Dave Moss and Shelley Levene could have let their marketing team know just which kinds of leads worked and which ones didn’t…

Companies are starting to see that the best way to measure the success of their marketing department isn’t just the number of leads they’ve generated, but the effectiveness of those leads in the sales funnel.  By connecting the results of the sales funnel with their marketing process, smart marketers are able to focus their efforts on the techniques that generate the best leads, not just the most leads.

How Will Sales and Marketing Funnel Integration Improve My Marketing?

Ultimately, the best marketing efforts are the ones that generate the most revenue – and that’s a number that you can’t tie directly to specific marketing campaigns without including the sales funnel. With sales funnel integration, though, you can focus your marketing in a number of key ways:

Focus on Sales Generation, Not Lead Generation
Not all leads are created equal. By focusing on your sales department success as a measure of marketing success, you can repeat the techniques that generated the most sales instead of the most leads.
Focus Your Marketing Budget on the Biggest Sales
Not all sales are created equally, either. If your marketing department can use sales data to measure their success, they can focus their marketing campaigns on the leads that generate the largest sales.
Focus Your Marketing Budget on the Shortest Sales Cycle
Tell us if you’ve heard this one before, but not all sales are created equal. When your marketing department can see the cycle length of closed-won leads, they can focus the marketing on the campaigns that generate more “short-cycle” leads.
Make the Best Use of Your Salespeople’s Time
When leads are treated as a quantity game, your salespeople end up spending A LOT of their time qualifying. By using the results of your sales funnel to plan your marketing (and focusing on the campaigns that have created well-qualified leads), you can make more efficient use of your salespeople’s time – and create happier sales people to boot.

How Can I Integrate My Marketing and Sales Funnels?

Fortunately, technology has made it much easier to integrate the sales funnel into the marketing funnel. Namely, this is done by integrating your CMS (Content Management System) with your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. While there are quite a few ways to accomplish this (custom API development, specialized WordPress plugins, proprietary software systems, etc…), the option with the lowest barrier to entry is integrating a Hubspot account with SalesForce.com.

Not only are Salesforce.com and Hubspot leaders and innovators in their respective fields, they have worked together to create a very simple integration. (You don’t even need access to the Salesforce API, making CRM and CMS integration available even for Professional accounts.)

The Hubspot to Salesforce.com integration allows you to track what content brought potential leads to your site and how they converted to a lead. Then, as your sales team uses Salesforce.com to track their activity and the eventual fate of the lead, marketing can create reports and dashboards to monitor which specific pieces of content generated the best leads.

If you’re also interested in integrating your Google Analytics and AdWords data with your CRM click here!

Does Marketing and Sales Funnel Integration Make a Big Difference?

Of course we’re a bit biased, but the answer is an emphatic yes. For example, one company that we worked with was struggling to figure out how to improve the ROI from their marketing. While they were generating a steady amount of leads, their revenue would fluctuate significantly.

We helped them implement an integration of their CRM and CMS. Then, when they started analyzing the data they got back, they found that one campaign generated 75% of their leads, but only 25% of their revenue. On the other hand, another campaign generated just 25% of the leads, but (you guessed it) 75% of the revenue. By shifting more of their budget to this high-value lead-generation campaign, they were able to see significant increases in revenue while maintaining the same marketing spend.

When you get right down to it, it just makes common sense:  Measure the success of your marketing by the quality of the leads you create, not the quantity. Not only will you make your sales team’s lives a lot easier, but you’ll be able to show better results without needing a bigger budget.

If you’re ready to implement an integrated CRM and CSM system, but aren’t sure how to get started, contact a Webmechanix team member to find out.

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