How Closed-Loop Reporting Aligns Sales and Marketing Efforts for Business Growth

Learn how closed-loop reporting can align your marketing and sales teams to identify what marketing tactics are working and how to generate more quality leads. 

If you are a business owner, you know there are many things needed to achieve business growth – two of them being effective marketing and efficient sales.

While marketing and sales may go hand-in-hand, in many businesses these teams operate in silos. Often, the marketing team is responsible for building awareness amongst potential customers and driving leads, while the sales team works to convert those leads into actual customers and revenue for the business.

The challenge for many business owners, however, is knowing what marketing tactics are delivering ROI in reaching potential customers and converting to quantifiable sales.

One solution to this challenge is closed-loop reporting, a tactic that brings marketing and sales teams together to collect data on where revenue and leads are coming from, and use that data to prioritize and shift resources to marketing efforts that actually work. In other words, these efforts help “close the loop” between marketing and sales and help business owners decide how to best allocate marketing resources to achieve a quantifiable ROI.

Why Closed-Loop Reporting is Important

Let’s say you are a professional services company, such as an accounting firm. You’re likely using all the big channels to market online – organic, paid, social media, email marketing, and more. You are successfully analyzing metrics month to month or year over year, but ultimately you have a hard time answering questions like “how many sales came from our paid social efforts?” or “how many clients did we acquire as a result of an email campaign?”

Closed-loop reporting does exactly that. It answers the question of where sales and leads are coming from, so marketers can prioritize and make more informed decisions about how and where to allocate resources, based on channels that are truly bringing in leads and generating revenue.

Many organizations and marketers don’t use closed-loop reporting because it’s intimidating. Setting up all the tracking systems and data so it can be easily monitored and analyzed sounds, on the surface, like a massive undertaking. But the reality is it’s not as hard as you think.

Ultimately, it comes down to tracking both marketing and sales efforts in one place, so the data can show the entire path from marketing qualified lead, to sales qualified lead to eventually becoming a customer.

Here’s what goes in to getting started with closed-loop reporting:

  1. Define your goals. This is a step that should be part of every marketing campaign. For closed-loop reporting to be successful, it’s important to establish goals specific to lead generation and revenue/growth for the coming years.
  2. Identify the data you have. Before you can set up any kind of process to track or analyze data, you first need to determine what data you currently have to work with, and what holes or clean-up needs to be done. This includes checking that the tracking codes on your website are properly implemented, auditing what Google Analytics (or your marketing analytics platform) is – and isn’t – reporting, and ensuring that the framework is in place to correctly track the actions you want to monitor.
  3. Map the data. Once the goals and data sources are identified and correctly tracking, the closed-loop reporting process is set up using a marketing automation tool (such as HubSpot) or a manual method.
  4. Track the data and analyze results. When closed-loop reporting is in place, monitoring the results on a consistent basis can provide both a short-term snapshot view of data as well as a long-term “big picture” view.

Implementing closed-loop reporting can help business owners of all types truly know the impact marketing efforts are having on sales and business growth. In one example, a healthcare client was in the process of implementing a campaign with a heavy focus on paid social media optimizations. An analysis of the data from closed-loop reporting revealed that the company’s qualified leads were, in fact, coming through organic, not paid social media efforts. As a result, the company prioritized adjusting the strategy of the campaign to ensure social media brought in the same quality leads as the organic

While there are many ways to track and measure marketing and sales tactics, closed-loop reporting is unique because it provides complete visibility into the performance of each channel, allowing companies to maximize marketing efforts based on that data.

If you would like to learn more about how Adept can help your business set up a system for closed-loop reporting, get in touch with us.