We have all recently seen an explosion of applications that are focused on different components of marketing. This explosion has created a challenge in maintaining uniform data and data integrity. With many applications fighting to be a system of record, how do you make sure you have the clean data to make the right, accurate insights? I say: follow the customer.

Let’s take a look at why your CRM is the most inter-connected hub to report data from, the benefits of having a single source of truth, and why a single data silo is easier to manage and secure.

Customer Relationship Management as Your Hub

What if there were a system that multiple teams at your company depended on and pulled data from throughout the sales cycle? Well, that’s your customer relationship management system.

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Here’s how the customer lifecycle looks:

  • Marketing enters campaigns into Salesforce or integrates their marketing automation into it
  • Sales engages and closes the deal to trigger delivery and billing
  • Finance manages the invoice and also handles compensation of employees
  • Customer success delivers the product and supports the customer

From finding a prospect to closing the deal all the way to supporting the customer, your CRM follows the customer through the customer lifecycle, and we are proponents of measuring performance with the data that exists in that repository. It is the system of record and knowledge base for all things customer related, so it makes sense for the organization to use this system. This brings us to our next major point: how an integrated business process leads to success.

Integrated Business Processes

Here’s an example of an integrated process made possible by maintaining marketing performance data in Salesforce. Marketing brings in a lead from a webinar and a sales rep contacts the lead. The lead is too early in the buying cycle, so the sales rep disqualifies the lead for now and the lead is nurtured for another year before making the purchase. If this data is recorded in Salesforce (through a marketing analytics extension application) and surfaced through reports (such as funnel velocity), the metrics can show that this webinar might be bringing in early but promising leads. Thus, the marketing and sales teams can engage with stage-appropriate educational content and nurture campaigns. Without this integration in the CRM records, the company just has a bucket of disqualified leads without knowing what is working and what isn’t. With this integration, the entire organization can see what is working and what isn’t for closing deals, and managers can then incentivize (through SLAs) and compensate employees across organizations to do more of the former.

Single Source of Truth

This should sound familiar: a company’s marketing team is targeting a certain channel with increased spend because of that channel’s previous success but the sales execs do not agree with how much revenue has been attributed to that channel. They disagree, and when they look at the data between their marketing automation platform and the CRM, the revenue figures for that channel aren’t jibing with what actually occurred in landing the deals.

Having alignment between different teams is very important in measuring past success and setting future goals. This is a huge strength of your CRM system. When configured for full funnel metrics (with a tool like Full Circle Insights), Salesforce has the initial marketing campaign data tracking the leads up to the point where a salesperson engages. This way, both sales and marketing agree on the source of an opportunity. Then your customer success team can utilize that knowledge to provide targeted service to the customers.

Security

Last but not least, we have the CIO and IT’s concerns about infrastructure and integration. Are you familiar with the term “consumerization of IT”? Your employees are using their personal devices for work, downloading a myriad of free productivity apps such as Box or Evernote, and generally causing your IT department a few headaches. Are you confident that these apps, devices, and integrations between their networks and yours are all security and audit compliant? Salesforce has strict compliance workflows built into its product and databases due in part to their clients, especially in healthcare and finance. Examples include two-factor authentication, strict website login controls, mobile app security, and the list goes on. With Salesforce, your IT department can take comfort in the “one throat to choke” technology stack without the fear of vulnerable weak points or scattered paper trails of data that they’d have to track down for any audits.

Make Your CRM Work for You, Not the Other Way Around

While we have plenty of tips, tactics, and strategies for having the right reports and processes for your organization, here is the key: have your house in order with clean data. Everything else is built on top of that infrastructure, and your CRM is the strongest foundation for building your business processes (as ThinkSmart would also tell you). With a secure single source of truth and alignment across your organization, you can gain real visibility into your business and clear the internal roadblocks to growth.

Want to learn which marketing reports and insights to extract from Salesforce? Check out some educational resources on metrics, such as funnel metrics or campaign revenue attribution.

This guest blog post was contributed by Feng Hong. Feng leads product marketing at Full Circle Insights. Full Circle Insights delivers Marketing Performance Measurement solutions through response management and campaign attribution that provide actionable intelligence with funnel analytics and attribution data to optimize your marketing mix and drive more revenue.