What is lead tracking? (With definition and benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 14 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Leads are an important part of marketing for any organisation and form the basis of how they interact with their customers and work to bring in new ones. In sales, a lead is someone interested in the organisation and what they offer, making it essential that the firm works towards turning them into an actual customer. Monitoring these leads is essential for any marketing professional, as it helps you understand your audience. In this article, we define lead tracking, explain how it works and list some of its benefits.

What is lead tracking?

Lead tracking, similar to lead generation and lead conversion, is a marketing strategy that works to transform a potential customer into a loyal supporter. When tracking these leads, the organisation categorises them by looking at how they interact with the business across a range of settings, including in-person and over social media. By doing this, it's possible to collect various data relating to the leads, such as how likely they are to buy a specific number of items. Using this information, the firm may understand which particular marketing strategies to employ moving forward.

The marketing funnel, which sets out the ‘stage' leads are currently at, is a big component, as tracking lets the team figure out where to place leads within the funnel. This allows them to better adapt their techniques to each lead, figuring out how to move them from one stage to another. Tracking is similar to lead scoring, a process which assigns a score to each lead that specifies how likely they are to buy something. This analysis works in the short-term, while tracking may form the long-term basis of how the organisation approaches entire campaigns.

Related: What is lead generation in business? A beginners guide

How to conduct tracking for leads

Here's how to conduct tracking for leads in six steps:

1. Develop a method of tracking leads

Figuring out effective ways to communicate with your leads is vital for this strategy's success. This is usually the first step of tracking leads, as it's critical that you know how likely people are to engage with the organisation, such as by using social media or email marketing. The latter in particular lets you track how often leads open these emails and click on the links within. Both of these increase the likelihood of a lead turning into a customer and give you data on the content that leads frequently engage with.

Related: 10 lead generation strategies that deliver high returns

2. Use CRM software

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a core pillar of lead analysis, automating many of these techniques and interpreting raw data in the most efficient way. These tools collate the necessary data into reports faster than any team member while also storing previous versions of the same data. As a result, executives see how leads and customers alike respond to their new approach. The platforms also automatically update in response to new contact information from a lead, ensuring you don't miss any chances at conversion due to an email change.

Related: 5 important CRM system benefits (plus definition and tips)

3. Capture the leads

The next stage is to collect the leads you want to track by using the techniques and mediums that are likely to get the most engagement from potential customers. Do this through a wide variety of approaches, such as by hosting webinars or giveaways, archiving transcripts of phone conversations with leads and distributing web forms that directly ask for customer input. An organisation's activities generate a very high amount of data, and it's crucial to capitalise on this to inform future marketing campaigns.

4. Collect lead data

After you capture the leads and set up the software to analyse the customer's information, it's time to actively collect this information. Do this with an online form or a card that you ask any visitors to complete and submit. Though the exact information you collect varies depending on the organisation and the service it offers, tracking commonly asks for a possible customer's name, phone number, location, email address and any questions they have along with the products they may buy. All of this goes towards figuring out how to convert this lead.

Related: Why it's important to know your customers and how to do it

5. Follow up with new leads

The sales team sometimes actively chases up leads as soon as possible to get more information about them or to better understand their particular demographic in general. When a new lead becomes part of their database, a sales team member may email or even call them to learn more, such as if they live close to one of the firm's branches. These interactions may even follow a dedicated script, giving the sales team an idea of what data is necessary, such as the lead's current budget and the questions they may ask to collect it.

6. Qualify and categorise each lead

After obtaining enough information on your leads, categorise them and sort them into the ‘marketing funnel'. The stages of this funnel set out the likelihood of the lead becoming a customer, with a high proportion of leads sitting in the middle of the funnel. They're considering making a purchase, and it's up to the marketing and sales teams to solidify this. They look for certain characteristics in their leads, including whether they're a marketing-qualified lead that responds to marketing materials or a sales-qualified lead who's ready to discuss business with the organisation.

Related: The five marketing funnel stages that are important to know

Benefits of tracking leads

Tracking offers tremendous benefits for any organisation that uses it, allowing the marketing and sales teams to work in harmony with each other. This synergy is the foundation of the strategy's success, allowing teams to focus on attracting customers. The main benefits of tracking leads include:

Helps the organisation focus

Tracking builds a profile of the organisation's target audience and how people across different circumstances respond to a product or service. This is vital for helping an organisation recognise their main customers and a prime consideration when developing products in the future to match this demographic. The organisation makes sure that it focuses on meeting its audience's needs and sets its goals and budgets with this in mind. This data even helps the firm determine where to open its next branch.

Increases the number of purchases

With tracking, the sales team employs a more personal touch, using the information at their disposal to learn a customer's wants and needs. Analysing market trends helps the team create custom strategies that specifically seek to convert certain leads or attract new ones. The team may use CRM software to determine the factors that bring a lead from one step of the marketing funnel to the next. This data helps executives generate compelling calls to action to encourage purchases.

Related: What is customer advocacy? (And how to implement it)

Shows a company their potential customers

Tracking is a great way for an organisation to learn about the demographics and groups they're reaching and how they might best reach their target audience. This helps them assess who's most likely to buy from their organisation, how a lead first hears about the firm and how they check for updates from the organisation. Knowing the whole spectrum of opportunities and audiences lets the organisation see where their biggest proportions of leads come from in the first place.

Related: What is brand equity and why is it important? (Plus examples)

Optimises the marketing and sales teams

The marketing and sales teams work better than before when tracking leads, as this gives them the raw data to assess their recent campaigns and make any necessary adjustments for future ones. By monitoring campaigns, managers from both teams learn the strengths of their current techniques and capitalise upon this to convert more leads. This also saves money for the organisation by allowing them to focus their efforts on the most successful endeavours, trimming away campaigns that aren't bringing strong results.

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