Brian Carroll

Closed Loop Marketing Isn't Software

I recently spoke with a reader who was struggling with his closed loop marketing process. I’m sharing part of our conversation so that other readers may benefit.

He explained that his company had invested "big dollars" to install a new marketing automation software system. It promised to deliver better ROI measurement for their marketing campaigns. I could hear his frustration when he said, "But we are still unable to close-the-loop and measure ROI on most of the sales leads we pass to sales." 

I asked him where he thought the breakdown was happening and he said, "my sales team… They don’t update the CRM so I can’t get the reports I need." I told him this is a challenge that a lot of marketers face.

I then sent him a link to a post titled why don’t sales people update the CRM and what can be done about it. It has some great ideas and comments from other readers.

Overall, I agree with the idea of software and systems for better ROI measurement and accountability. And I do believe the CRM Database should be the hub of all communication between sales and marketing. But closed-loop marketing isn’t software.

Personally, I’ve never seen closed-loop feedback suddenly erupt as a result of software. It just doesn’t happen. Good collaboration and a well documented process (that works manually) must exist first.

We need to realize that marketers and sales people often have very different ideas on what data is valuable. Unless this is understood, our attempts to measure results after the fact simply won’t work. And that’s where I’ve found "lead generation huddles" help get that ironed out.

I also passed along this recent article "Closed Loop Marketing" by Greg Anderson. I think Anderson does a nice job explaining some of different ways that closed loop marketing adds value and contributes to sales and marketing teamwork. 

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CRM, Lead Generation, Lead Management, Marketing Strategy, ROI Measurement, Sales Leads



  1. Allen J.
    | #1

    I just read an article about how “lead grading”, not to be confuesed with “lead scoring”, can help close the loop and spur a better sales-marketing relationship. It’s from the guys at Sellingpursuit.com: http://sellingpursuit.com/2007/08/22/lead-grading-vs-lead-scoring-closing-the-loop-on-lead-generation/

  2. | #2

    When top dogs — including the CEO — are totally committed to “closing the loop” between marketing revenues and expenses, things tend to be a lot easier.

  3. | #3

    I totally agree with you. The CEO plays a major factor in the process.

    CEOs can make a huge impact by focusing on collaboration – between sales and marketing. If the CEO isn’t an active supporter of marketing in the company, the proper environment for good, sound lead generation is far removed from reality. The CEO, after all, shapes the vision of the company and sets the tone for its corporate culture.

    In the absence of CEO support, I believe marketers are in the unique position of being catalysts for change. Ultimately, it becomes the job of the marketer to lead the charge in pursuit of success of the company’s lead generation program.

  1. | #1