Over the course of the past 12 months we have been researching and developing the next level of conversion optimisation processes.

Today, conversion optimisation is a marketing term. Typically, marketers deal in numbers, it’s quantitative.

Sales count numbers but deal with individuals – it’s qualitative.

Marketing and Sales teams struggle to get on as each tends to blame the other for poor performance. Sales complain about not enough leads or lead quality, marketing complain about poor lead-to-sale ratios and lack of repeat business (up-sell, cross-sell, or referral). It’s just an opportunity to focus away from what matters: great value services and products in the hands of happy clients and customers.

A common term for this is the marketing to sales gap.

A lot of people are saying that marketing automation plugs the gap. It is the biggest trending term in digital marketing right now and there are so many potential providers (literally thousands) it is a bit tricky to figure out where to go. A big part of the problem is that there is no gap, so marketing automation can’t fill it.

Also, marketing automation does not stop sales and marketing from butting heads. The exact same problem arises in that the definition of “lead” is up for interpretation. Marketing’s definition of a lead is probably a little less solid than Sales’.

So let’s start by defining them as different things:

Marketing Lead: Someone that has interacted with advertising and/or content.

Sales Lead: Someone that has expressed interest in purchasing a product or service.

The problem here is that a sales person may be able to close a new prospect that has never even heard of the product or service being offered.

The sales pitch is the advertising and the person goes instantly from marketing lead to sales lead. Of course, the marketing team thinks now that anyone that sells should be able to close all of their generated “sales leads” when they have found out the name of someone to call back.

Secondly, someone can express interest in purchasing a product or service but turn out to not be a realistic prospect. So often, these people get dumped into a emailing list that they’ll eventually unsubscribe from due to it being exceptionally poor in terms of segmentation and relevance for that past prospect.

Now let’s talk about the marketing to sales “gap”.

This is a poor term for it – it suggests all that has to happen is for someone at the marketing edge of the gap has to jump over to the sales edge. Most segmentation in CRMs miss this too.

A sales lead can go backwards and become a marketing lead, a sales lead that buys becomes a marketing lead for repeat business.

Here are some example outcomes:

Marketing lead enquires – becomes a sales lead, doesn’t buy, goes back and becomes a marketing lead.

Marketing lead enquires – becomes a sales lead, does buy, gets delivered to, becomes a marketing lead and sales lead for repeat business.

As you figure out more outcomes you quickly realise that marketing and sales here have exactly the same goals. More new business and more repeat business. There shouldn’t be a gap at all!

A trending term that really nails this concept is the “Customer Journey” – and it is a much better description.

Sales and marketing hold hands and become the Customer Journey Management Team, (since we are talking about legal services, we swap it out for Client).

The point here is that every single future client is somewhere along the journey. They need to be marketed to and sold to at every point along their journey.

This is where Client Journey Intelligence (CJI) comes in. It provides actionable data (and automation) along the whole client journey.

At its core, CJI is about tracking and reporting. Every single interaction that individuals have with your business is part of their client journey. That can be a visit to your website, a call, a visit to your business premises, an email, a networking meet up, and anything else.

By tracking as much of these avenues as possible, we can create a profile for every individual.

The next step is identification. Who is this individual we have a profile for? There are many ways this can be done, but they all boil down to the individual telling us who they are. The trick here, is to have a solution in place that, when they tell you who they are, we can monitor their future interactions with our advertising and/or content as well as, where possible, what their retroactive interactions were prior to telling us who they are.

After this point, every single interaction the potential client has with you should be recorded into their profile. This includes all interactions on your online properties, calls in, services/products purchased, payment status, calls out, mailing out, visits to your premises, visits to their premises. Every single interaction should be recorded.

With comprehensive tracking in place, reporting is made possible. This gives everyone on your team fantastic insights on an individual level in terms of what promotions to market to a prospect, how to approach selling your product or service, as well as the likelihood of repeat business and client satisfaction.

Our reporting system works in real time. If a prospective client does a certain action, we can instantly alert the right person on your team. If someone that previously enquired but didn’t buy comes back to the website, we can let you know immediately. Or you can build an automated process that is triggered by the action.

Client Journey Intelligence can seamlessly connect your entire business organisation and focus them on the four areas of business success: more clients, more value, more frequency and more satisfaction. It can also be built into your organisation’s work flows over time, adding modular improvements in intelligence and integration with your current systems (such as case management software and your telephone systems).

No matter your current systems, we should be able to build an integration for your staff to get all the benefits of Client Journey Intelligence.