Sales and Marketing Plan: Why Have Closed Loop Reporting?


closed-loop-reporting-sales-and-marketing-5Do you have a sales and marketing plan in place?  Does this plan  include closed loop reporting? Closed loop reporting is a very important aspect of inbound marketing due to the amount of data available. In order to make sense of all this data, you need to know who is converting and who is just wasting your time and money. First off, lets take a look into what closed loop marketing is. Then you will start to see the benefits of having reporting within your sales and marketing plan.

What is closed loop marketing?       

The term closed loop marketing derives from the fact that to have beneficial information, you need to have the sales team “Close the Loop” by reporting back to marketers. To gain any real beneficial insight to all the data, you need to know which leads closed and which leads were not good. Sometimes this means connecting your CRM software with your marketing software.  In smaller businesses it could be as simple as a meeting between the two groups (Sales & Marketing).  Either way, with closed-loop reporting, marketers can dig into the analytics of their marketing efforts to pinpoint exactly how a visitor became a lead and ultimately a customer. But without that final piece of crucial data, which leads are customers, you can’t tell what marketing campaign worked as planned. So let’s take a look at why having this information is important.

Build Insights

Now that you know exactly which leads are converting to customers, you can start focusing on the details. Take a look back at where these prospects originated from.  What pieces of content did they download? What pages have they been visiting?  Did they read any blogs? All this information can be used when deciphering what information your consumers truly value.

One of the most important pieces of information you can pull from this data is where the customer is coming from. Did they come from a social link, search engine, paid search advertisement, referral site or an email?  For all the different ways customers find your site, you will find that your lead-to-customer rate is higher for certain ones. This may be a great way for you to decide how you want to divide your time, by which avenues convert the best.  Or you may just find out that all of your customers are specifically coming from LinkedIn, so you should place more emphasis in that particular area.

From the different data you have, you can build many different assumptions about your audience. Analyze what content your consumers value.  Afterwards, this can be helpful when you’re brainstorming for new ideas of advance content or creating lead nurturing campaigns.  Speaking of lead nurturing campaigns, you can even evaluate your different LNCs and their effectiveness by seeing which ones were more successful at converting customers.     

Analyzing the whole path your lead takes to becoming a customer can help you build better buyer personas.  You see what they are interested in and now you can see what their pains and challenges are.  Compare these pains with your form data.  See how prospects differ and if their pains are the same or not.

Help your PPC campaign.  Focus on the right channels with the right content.  You already see what content is converting the best, so offer that in your next ad.  Look at the different keywords and how they are converting.  See if you can’t find which keywords are hurting your spend and make them negative keywords so you stop wasting your money on words that don’t convert.  There are many things you can conclude from your Adwords analytics, so take a deep dive into those leads that convert to come up with your own conclusions.


Are you placing emphasis on your analytics in your sales and marketing plan?  If not, you should.  And before you start, make sure you make that connection between your sales and marketing in order to close the loop.  Analytics on leads is one thing, but analytics on customers is a whole different ball game.  A more profitable one.      

sales and marketing management

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