Question

Leads vs People and How to Manage Sources

  • 14 February 2022
  • 8 replies
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Userlevel 2

We’re trying to understand the benefit of importing inquires into leads instead of people.  I understand the qualification aspect and we do need to do that.  What becomes challeging is that it can take some time to qualify that person and there are interactions that need to be documented that are not supported in leads.

Th other key aspect we are trying to sort out is capturing source information from that inquiry.   From what I understand in the documentation, if a opportunity is not created at the time a lead is “converted” then that source information is lost.   We are converting leads before they are at the stage of Opps due to what I mentioned above and our workflow.   So now I am wondering if we should be importing tags instead so as not to lose that data.

And/or do we look at our OPs differently - perhaps a ‘qualified’ stage instead when we convert?

 

The end game is to be able to track our marketing activities (web visits, mailchimp opens, sign up offers) automatically and then have the ability to see what is actually driving revenue.  Right now sales and marketing are disconnected here.


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8 replies

Userlevel 2

I’d also like some visiblity on first touch and the multiple touchpoints lifecycle (marketing and sales) and duration to close that sale.   As example, are 3 webinars and 2 articles the sweet spot to close the sale or what % sign up right away as a client or what time period is most common.  Where do they drop off, etc.

Userlevel 7
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 Hi @Tammymiles, thanks for posting! Looks like there are a couple of things to unpack here. I also have some questions for you which I’ve marked with a :question: so you can easily find them.

 

To use Leads or not to use Leads?

Seems like you have a good understanding of the core function of the Leads section and that you have a clear qualification process. In that scenario, using the Lead section can keep your Copper system a bit cleaner, but as you mentioned, it adds some complexity as well. 

:question:  Question - you mentioned “importing inquiries” - can you tell me more about where your leads are coming from? Is it from a form on your website, for example? Are you uploading it manually into Copper or do you have an automation set up? And how many are you getting in a week or month?

Depending on the number of Leads you’re working with, I might actually recommend turning off the Leads section and putting everyone into People.

  1. You won’t have to risk losing information (such as Source - more on this in my next comment) when you convert a Lead
  2. All your contacts would be in the People list, meaning you don’t have to flip back and forth or reconcile the data
  3. If you have multiple new contacts from the same organization, you can use Companies to group them together. For example, you could have a Company called Copper with Michelle Lee and Ken Aponte listed inside. This allows you to see all the activities with an entire org at once. Leads does not support this - if they’re a Lead, they cannot be associated with a company until after they’re converted.

My personal opinion is that Leads is not a good fit in most use cases. However, I’d like to learn more about your specific scenario before making a recommendation.

You mentioned this:

So now I am wondering if we should be importing tags instead so as not to lose that data.

:question: Question - could you tell me a little more about the data you’re losing, aside from Source? If it’s stored in a custom field, we might be able to get that field to flow through when they’re converted into a Person.

 

And/or do we look at our OPs differently - perhaps a ‘qualified’ stage instead when we convert?

Yes, it’s actually very common to put a “Qualified” stage at the very beginning of your pipeline. Actually, I have seen pipelines that include a stage for New Lead as well. Kind of like this:

  1. New Prospect
  2. Qualified
  3. Demo
  4. Negotiation
  5. Contract

There are some advantages of having stages for New Prospect and Qualified:

  1. Your sales folks have more visibility over how many potential deals they have over the entire process, not just from when the lead is qualified.
  2. It’s easier to calculate conversion rates
  3. There’s no loss of information because you’re not converting a Lead.

This setup can become messy if you’re dealing with lots and lots of new prospects though.

 

I have to hop right now, so I’ll have to address your other two questions (Sources and touchpoints) in a separate comment a little later today.

 

Thank you Tammy!

Userlevel 7
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Alright, back to the other two questions you touched on.

 

Preserving Source information when converting a Lead to a Person

You mentioned that if you convert a Lead into a Person (and not an Opportunity), you will lose the Source information. That is correct, but there is a workaround to ensure that information is preserved. That involves re-creating the default Source field as a custom field. Then, you would apply that custom field to Leads, People, and Opportunities. This allows any information in that field to be carried over into the resulting Person and/or Opportunity when you convert a Lead.

Let me know if you’d like more guidance in implementing that.

 

Touchpoints

I’d also like some visiblity on first touch and the multiple touchpoints lifecycle (marketing and sales) and duration to close that sale.   As example, are 3 webinars and 2 articles the sweet spot to close the sale or what % sign up right away as a client or what time period is most common.  Where do they drop off, etc.

For time to close, you can use workflow automation to calculate that. This is what that would involve:

  1. Create a custom number field to store Time to Close
  2. Set up a workflow automation that calculates the number of days between an opportunity’s Creation Date and its Close Date

From there, you can look at the Time to Close in either list view (if you just need to know for each account), or you can add it to a report (if you want to calculate averages, etc). Let me know if you’d like more guidance on these items.

Reporting can also help you analyze the opportunity losses/drop off. For example, which stage and which loss reason is associated with the opportunities you’ve lost in a certain time frame.

As for your question about touchpoint lifecycle - you can easily see the timeline for an individual opportunity under its Activity Log. Aggregating that data is more difficult. We have some basic functions under activity reporting, but I’m not entirely sure they’ll work for your optimization goal.

I recommend you join one of our live sessions to talk through these items. I’m happy to provide support in the forum, but often it’s easier to talk live. My colleague Kevin runs these weekly sessions:

Userlevel 2

Michelle, this is really great information, thank you!

 

To answer your questions, leads are coming from our website through lead gen forms or registrations to events.  They currently populate in our lead section. I confirmed with our dev team that we are not checking the system for existing contacts so duplicates are being created here which we’ll want to fix.

 

As for lost data - that’s only my understanding of Copper so far in terms of the lead segment in the system.   We’re digging into the CRM in more detail as we haven’t been leveraging all it’s capabilities.  We haven’t mapped our marketing activities so that’s really where I am trying to empower our Sales team with as much data as possible and how existing and new prospects are interacting with our content and give context.    Where I am struggling is in the how and to ensure that we are not losing any data - whether its a new lead or an existing one with new information we want to add to their record.

 

When I read that source data is lost, that is why I thought tags might be the better approach.   But from what I am reading in your response, perhaps going directly to People and creating a full funnel view from prospect, qualified, booked call etc….makes way more sense to me than to be segmenting those 2 out.   I know the leads section is a bit confusing for our reps and there is frustration in that it creates duplicates at times.

 

I think there is a misunderstanding around leads and reporting - my sense is we could build reports from the people section too from a “lead to converted” point of view with the opps funnel yeah?

 

At the end of the day we want to be able to pull reports on leads generated and from where, how our marketing campaigns are influencing prospects down the funnel, and what actually contributed to a sale.   The other element was to understand the cycle of lead to sale - how long, what touchpoints etc.

 

As it stands now, we have prospects being pushed into “leads” and no Ops funnel that reflects marketing.

Userlevel 7
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@Tammymiles 

To answer your questions, leads are coming from our website through lead gen forms or registrations to events.  They currently populate in our lead section. I confirmed with our dev team that we are not checking the system for existing contacts so duplicates are being created here which we’ll want to fix.

Ah yes, that’s another big consideration when using the Leads section - you might end up with a contact who is entered as both a Lead and a Person in the system. If you were to enter them directly as a Person, the system cross-references their email address with existing People to prevent duplicates. That mechanism doesn’t apply between Leads and People since they are different record types. So if you add a new Lead, the system does not check the People section for the email address.

You mentioned a web form… how many submissions are you receiving? In my opinion, if it’s not too many, then it might make sense to put those new submissions directly under People so that you don’t have to contend with the duplicates issue and the other items you mentioned.

You can have the system automatically create a new Opportunity for each web form submission and put it in the first stage of your pipeline.

 

 

Where I am struggling is in the how and to ensure that we are not losing any data - whether its a new lead or an existing one with new information we want to add to their record.

When I read that source data is lost, that is why I thought tags might be the better approach.   But from what I am reading in your response, perhaps going directly to People and creating a full funnel view from prospect, qualified, booked call etc….makes way more sense to me than to be segmenting those 2 out.   I know the leads section is a bit confusing for our reps and there is frustration in that it creates duplicates at times.

You mentioned something really important, which is how your reps use the system and whether they find it intuitive. Here’s something I’ve learned from working with CRM implementations: you could meticulously build something that perfect suits your use case, but at the end of the day your team needs to be comfortable navigating it. If your team is feeling frustrated, I recommend digging deeper there. You mentioned they find it confusing - if you can find out why it’s confusing for them, that might help you figure out if you should transition away from Leads.

 

 

I think there is a misunderstanding around leads and reporting - my sense is we could build reports from the people section too from a “lead to converted” point of view with the opps funnel yeah?

Yes, that’s correct - you can build a report that looks at which leads were converted. Conversely, you can build a report that shows how many opps you Won (i.e. your win rate). The tricky thing about your current setup is that you have an in-between state where a Lead has been converted but there is no opportunity yet. So in your current state, you’d have to piece together three separate Insights to get a view of your funnel:

  1. How many Leads have been added and converted,
  2. How many of the resulting People have had an opp created for them
  3. How many opps reach a Win

Whereas if a new prospect was added as an opp immediately, you could calculate your win rate with only one Insight.

 

At the end of the day we want to be able to pull reports on leads generated and from where, how our marketing campaigns are influencing prospects down the funnel, and what actually contributed to a sale.   The other element was to understand the cycle of lead to sale - how long, what touchpoints etc.

Gotcha. Any single dropdowns (such as Source) are relatively easy to report on. For marketing campaigns - are your prospects usually part of a single campaign or multiple? That would influence how you need to store the data in order to report on it.

When you’re thinking about what you want your reports to look like, I recommend making a list or a sketch of your “ideal” dashboards. Then if you want to share that in the Community (now or in the future), we can provide more specific guidance on what’s possible, what’s not, and if there’s any additional setup needed to achieve certain metrics.

 

 

As it stands now, we have prospects being pushed into “leads” and no Ops funnel that reflects marketing.

Sounds like we are on our way to addressing that :slight_smile:

Userlevel 1
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Great discussion so far!

I’m a recovering marketer who’s currently running Outfunnel (a Copper partner that helps to connect sales and marketing data), and would love to understand your use case better @Tammymiles. You said:


The end game is to be able to track our marketing activities (web visits, mailchimp opens, sign up offers) automatically and then have the ability to see what is actually driving revenue. 

 

We’re keen to improve reporting in Outfunnel, so hope you don’t mind a few additional questions:

  1. How are web visits currently tracked, if at all? And does the solution that you use to sync form submission to Copper automatically capture traffic source? Also, what platform is your website built on (if Wordpress or Wix, Outfunnel may help with the above).
  2. Are Mailchimp opens and clicks currently recorded in Copper?
  3. What’s the “sign up offer” you mentioned? Is this a specific email, and if so is it automated or manually initiated by someone?
Userlevel 2

Hey Andrus,

So we are in the early stages of syncing data into Copper.  I am looking at Outfunnel to bridge the gap with Mailchimp.  I am also looking at Three60.

 

We have enabled the web tracking feature but I don’t think we are set up with Outfunnel yet but I do see data in Copper under the Marketing area.  If we can sync web activity with the person record without them having to fill out a form (which triggers a copper web event) that would be really helpful!  We also want to track mailchimp engagement.

 

To your questions:

 

1 - we are posting any form submissions into leads right now.   we will be changing this to people and any “new” leads will be tagged as new under status.  No opps created - the sales team says having opps for every lead creates a mess with their sales funnel reports.  Opps are only created when a call is booked.  We are on WP.

 

2 -  that is on my list to set up but is not currently recorded.

 

3 - we are cycling through various offers - free articles, research whitepapers, case studies, webinars, summit virtual conferences.  So lots of different activities.   We want to know what sources drive NEW propsects that convert to a booked call as one report.  And any touchpoints they may have on their journey to becoming a client.  I haven’t found a way to pull reports like this yet but perhaps a simple attribution of first and last touch to start.

 

We don’t have automations set up but want to get this going as well.  We have 5000 contacts in our system, many of which are not being nurtured so we want to fix that.   What I’m not clear on is the pro / cons of setting up nurture campaigns in Copper vs Mail chimp.    Any best practices or guidance around this would be great.   We have sale leads, new leads, leads in prospecting phase where sales are engaging them directly, demoed, contract, pilot and clients.   I feel like we have some opportunity on the stale lead side and also some bigger opportunity on syncing Copper and Mailchimp contacts.  I am pretty sure those two systems are not talking to each other and we are missing engagement visibility in Copper for contacts in Mailchimp NOT in Copper.  And vice versa, there are likely contacts in Copper not on our marketing campaigns.    

 

I’m new to the Marketing role so just untangling and doing some housekeeping while building some systems going forward.   

Thanks for the great feedback on this thread so far!

Userlevel 1
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Hi @Tammymiles , sorry for the late reply! Took a quick break, then an idiot started a war in Europe. Anyway, back now.

So it seems that what you’d need is to record all marketing touches in Copper, and then “reverse engineering” your won opportunities to see which touches contributed (with emphasis on first and last touch).
 

  • New form submissions on your WP site - you said “we are posting any form submissions into leads right now.   we will be changing this to people and any “new” leads will be tagged as new under status.“ How is the posting done -- is this a custom development you’ve done? Can it store source/medium data as well? (I see you have an active Outfunnel trial. If you used Outfunnel to record form submissions into Copper, Outfunnel would record source/medium data automatically)
  • Recording campaigns sent, opened, clicked - can be done via Outfunnel or Three60
  • Recording offer engagement in Copper. You mentioned “free articles, research whitepapers, case studies, webinars, summit virtual conferences.”. Outfunnel would be able to record website visits in Copper (for previously identified customers). This would mean that articles, case studies and potentially whitepapers would be covered. If some of these are gated with a WP form, these would definitely be covered. Webinar / summit participation would probably be covered with another SaaS tool - which hopefully has a Copper integration.
     

I’ll also reach out via email - perhaps it’s easier to talk this though on a call. (We’re currently planning some functionality that would simplify understanding the contribution of marketing touches to opportunity generation and closing, so keen to understand specific needs better)