From the Center for Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly supplement to Applying Strategic Relations, mailed at your request

Tracking Lead Conversion

Business relationships aren't just connections between individuals; they also include connections between systems in an environment. This means as much as individual actions influence customer satisfaction, the system you use to qualify leads influences customer relationship quality.

In the last lesson, you saw reasons why quality leads influence your customer relationships. It's important that you know there is such a thing as a bad sale. Yes, you generate revenue but the solution wasn't right for the customer, or perhaps was more a benefit to your bottom line than a customer's interest.

Bad leads are leads generated that even if they became customers wouldn't benefit from what you offer. The only way to differentiate bad leads from good ones is to take measures along each customer interaction starting with first contact. In this lesson, you'll see how Customer Relationship Management (CRM) can help with this effort during your conversion process.

Next month stay tuned for methods to turn customers into clients who purchase frequently, including strategies to pre-qualify leads for most profitable customers.


Justin Hitt
Consultant, Author & Speaker

Ps. Thank you for the great questions, from the role of business development to generating profitable customers. Did you know those answers and much more is available with membership? Visit today to learn more ...

What Customer Relationship Management Must Do To Track Lead Conversion

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

Understand you can't create new customer relationships unless you have a steady stream of leads converting into buyers. Not any lead will do, for the most profitable customer relationships your leads need to be highly qualified to benefit from what you offer. How do you know which leads are qualified and which are not?

It is critical that your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system not only support customer retention but the cultivation of lead conversion. This double duty helps tune your efforts to increase lead quality with less effort.

For CRM to track lead conversion efforts it must:

  1. Track lead sources at the point of first contact. Collect everything you need to know to match a lead with a marketing effort; including ad codes, medium, and lead source. These details help you determine the return on specific marketing investments.
  2. Record every interaction from lead to point of sale. Track everything you do to qualify a lead for a certain solution so that you know what made a sale. Use contact histories to build an understanding of what makes a good lead who becomes a customer.
  3. Connect with your accounting system to place transaction values on leads. Use real accounting information to gain a clear picture of your cost per sale. This value tells you how much you can invest in lead generation to remain profitable.
  4. Use reporting to understand the value of a customer across all lead sources. If you're not using a customer profitability scoring system, then at least have reports for Recency-frequency-monetary (RFM) measures. Identify your most cost effective lead generation sources that are most likely to produce a conversion.
  5. Clearly define your sales pipeline early.Track leads into a sales pipeline with a standard means of developing accurate forecasts. It's critical that you always have a clear picture of potential cash flow as it pertains to your lead generation efforts.
  6. Sales, marketing, and service departments must all use CRM. Often only pockets of customer-facing professionals use CRM when everyone should use it. Customize each group's access to serve their needs, combine departmental databases into this single interface.
  7. Make CRM a universal collection point for all interactions. Often today's unqualified leads have a high potential to become buyers later. Use one system to create the most complete picture of everyone who interacts with your organization.
  8. Let CRM assist in literature fulfillment to new leads. Track marketing materials sent to each lead and how they respond. Most companies don't know which information has influenced a purchase decision; use CRM to make this clear to you.
  9. Create a single source for all customer account details. From lead generation to repeat purchase, your CRM system can track every detail. Use this system to track customer history as they cycle through your company into leads for other products.
  10. Maintain and clean your data regularly. You'll save money, resources, and time if you update all your records regularly with standardization tools. If possible, quarterly correct addresses, verify phone numbers, and update demographic information with third party sources.

To support lead conversion CRM must enhance your ability to understand customer behavior. Use this checklist to measure your own lead generation and conversion efforts.

Don't make the mistake of seeing lead generation as an event separate of building customer relationships. Leads today are potential customers of tomorrow. Enhance what you know about them by allowing CRM to support your lead generation conversion efforts.

© 2004 JWH Consolidated LLC dba Center for Strategic Relations, All rights reserved.
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Who else wants leads that generate more profits with less effort? If you make decisions about marketing or sales efforts, you can learn specific metrics that improve customer profitability. Write to schedule your Marketing Needs Assessment today ...

Justin Hitt is a strategic relations consultant and the author of "27 Ways to CRM Return on Investment" (Tool Kit) available on-line. For more information, visit

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