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Do You Know What Your Sales Team Is Doing?

I’ll admit, as a marketer I often quarrel with our Sales department. There is a natural territorial struggle in most organizations, including ours, between sales and marketing. For us, the most common reason we get into these quarrels is that both departments are contacting the same customers, often with different or competing messages.

Most businesses today would agree that customers are becoming harder and harder to connect with via telephone. People are becoming more and more reliant on email as their primary mode of communication. We send five emails back and forth with someone over the stretch of a day to schedule a call instead of doing a quick, two-minute phone call that would accomplish the same thing in a fraction of the time. But that’s just the nature of doing business these days.

The other day I was making coffee here at the office and thinking about the traffic to our websites. One of my biggest frustrations is seeing Google Analytics reports, like the one below. The two big, red arrows I’ve added highlight my frustration. The above mentioned quarrels and this Google Analytics report at first glance seem completely unrelated, but any of you Google Analytics pros out there may know where this is going.

While watching my partner, Keurig, brew up that morning’s caffeine fix I asked myself, “How do people get to my site without being caught by tracking?” That’s when I began running through a bunch of scenarios. It’s possible that people are bookmarking pages, maybe links from other sites, but those would probably only feed a few visits in a day. Then it hit me! Our sales team sends people to our site eight hours a day, every business day. Those emails are generated through a CRM tool, or Outlook for a lot of people, and don’t necessarily have any tracking.

So do you know what your sales team is doing? Do you know what kind of traffic they drive to your site? Do you know how effective their emails are?

Want to???  Read On. It’s actually pretty simple.

All that is needed is a few parameters added to your links, and then some policing of your sales team. What we did here was to create a list of all of our products in an Excel sheet, in this case courses. We then used the Google URL Builder to generate new clean URLs with parameter tracking attached. Here’s how it looks:

Here are the settings we use:

  • Campaign Source = sales_email
  • Campaign Medium = [sales person's name, i.e. "tom"]
  • Campaign Name = [code for the product]

The generated URL  for the page looks something like:

The link I would give our sales person, Tom, would look like this: Google Online Marketing Boot Camp

We gave each of our sales reps a sheet that was unique to them with these clean URLs that had parameter tracking attached. We asked them to insert those links into the emails they send to customers instead of creating their own links. To my surprise, they took to them pretty well because they like seeing the data specific to their efforts and the amount of time to insert that link is about the same as it is to insert a clean URL on their own.

By doing this, you can now use your analytics tool to generate reports and segment out just the traffic that is being driven by the emails your sales team is sending. Below is a sample of some data from our Google Analytics:

This is a nice Do-It-Yourself way of tracking the traffic generated to your website by the emails sent by your sales team. You can later combine this data with stats on the number of emails they are sending to get an idea of the effectiveness of their emails. We also drill down into the geographic data associated with these visitors to see which geographic regions were receptive to the emails. Our sales team is not mass email marketing, so they typically know which customers were sent their emails. This allows them to know who was or was not interested and they can plan to follow-up accordingly.

This has definitely opened up communication between the marketing and sales departments and discussions about effectively creating and using emails within our company. Hope this helps your company as well.

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