Closing the Loop

A B2C sales cycle may be simple as pie. A new customer sees an ad, clicks through, lands on the website, and converts—all in a matter of 10 minutes. But let’s face it—many B2B businesses have such long sales cycles (often a year or two) that it’s nearly impossible to track a specific buyer’s journey. Or is it?

Difficult yes, but nothing worth doing is easy. The key is capturing your efforts. It is very much possible to trace a transaction back to the very first touchpoint of the customer—but only if your company has the right mechanisms in place to capture this information.

What this means is cleaning up your customer relationship management system (CRM) and keeping your marketers and assistants accountable and trained in the highest standards of record-keeping. If Tim first met Jake at an expo, that needs to be clearly recorded in the CRM. Jake gets on the newsletter subscription list? That goes into the database as well. Second contact is made in connection with another firm? It gets added. Ditto for details about Tim’s pain points, needs—even his job responsibility.

The key is completeness and clarity. In the long run, it will allow you to return to the first moments of contact. Collectively, you can learn valuable information about where your customers enter the journey. The additional details are just icing on the cake—you’ll be able to meet growing expectations of personalization and show the customer they’re truly important. There’s no better way to do business than that!