Let’s face it. Basic web analytics are pretty easy to collect, and there are plenty of free or low-cost tools available to generate the charts and graphs the corner-office guys love. But web analytics can only ever deliver a part of the picture. What about the people who take a roundabout route to your site? The ones who come back a week, or a month, later and download something? And yes, there are plenty of people in this world who see something interesting in a marketing piece they’ve received and pick up the phone to get more information. What a concept!

These  are the people I want to talk about today. How are you tracking phone  responses to your marketing campaigns? Is your call center (or your marketing intern) capturing the information you need to add them into your campaign ROI? Are all those call-in leads making it into your CRM system and being followed up by the sales team? It’s all too easy, in this ever-more digital world, to focus on web responses and Google Analytics.

For many companies, phone responses are emerging as a key indicator of campaign success. Making a phone call requires a significantly higher level of interest on the part of a prospect than clicking a weblink and auto-filling a form. These leads are HOT! They merit serious attention by salespeople, and they can represent a shorter, more profitable sales cycle. So why aren’t people paying more attention to them?

Probably because traditional marketing analytics and automation solutions have taken the easy way out. Collecting clicks is, after all, not rocket science. But what if it were just as easy to collect phone responses and feed them into the sales machine? That’s what we asked ourselves as we reviewed available marketing analytics solutions for holes that were leaving marketers without viable data for some aspect of their campaign analysis.

SharpSpring takes a holistic approach to lead tracking and campaign ROI calculations, enabling marketing professionals to easily collect and analyze lead generation datafrom any source and optimize their entire marketing strategy through a single web-based solution that’s deeply and seamlessly integrated into CRM systems like Salesforce.com. The intuitive input forms take just a few minutes to set up, and are so simple to complete that there’s no excuse for call respondents to not complete them. Both online and offline leads are tracked from the moment they contact the company throughout the entire sales cycle, providing a comprehensive view of the lead-to-sale lifecycle from each individual source (even those notorious “don’t recall” sources – but more on that in a future post).

From my perspective as a long-time sales and marketing executive, it only gets better. Not only can I track how many phone calls from in from any campaign, I can see in Salesforce.com what the status of sales team follow up is, what the short and longer-term value of those prospects is, and measure comparatively how much warmer those phone-in leads may be than the link-clickers. (And as a marketer, you can do all of this without bugging the sales team for reports –we all know how much the sales guys like getting those requests, right?)

But the biggest benefit of all for budget-challenged marketers for taking a closer look at SharpSpring may be our unique “freemium” approach to doing business. You can get started with SharpSpring for absolutely no money. And until you hit 500 active leads in the system, that’s the way it stays. There’s no charge to get set up – we’ll even help you configure your first campaign to make sure you start to see value as quickly as possible.

So, if tracking phone responses is an important part of your lead generation machine, take a look at our newest white paper, Call Tracking and Analytics Made Easy, today. It just might give your next campaign ROI a whole new dimension.

Lindsey Sherman