LucidEra, a provider of on-demand analytics for sales professionals and managers, is bringing marketing into its fold with the addition of LucidEra Lead Insight.
This is an analytics application with more than 65 prebuilt metrics focused on marketing performance — specifically, how effective the marketer is in converting leads into sales opportunities and closed deals.
The application also links to LucidEra’s flagship sales performance analytics product and Salesforce.com transactional data.
Shift in Focus
This outreach to the marketing world represents a new focus for LucidEra, which originally launched with an application that analyzed sales opportunities, tracking the movements of prospects through the pipeline.
LucidEra gradually came to realize that managing leads was just as challenging as managing the sales pipeline, Darren Cunningham, senior director of product marketing, told CRM Buyer.
Customers needed help with the front end of the sales funnel, he said. Their sales departments weren’t closing enough of their marketing departments’ hard-won leads.
The analytics technology in Lead Insight focuses on that particular pain point — the conversion of the marketing lead, Cunningham continued. “You can see the actual percentage of conversions, how quickly they convert, how fast they move from lead to sales opportunity, and so on.”
The point, he said, is to link marketing initiatives to sales revenue.
The new module is a natural addition for LucidEra, Jeff Kaplan, managing director of THINKstrategies, told CRM Buyer. In fact, it is a well-trodden path for the CRM industry in general; the earlier on-premise vendors usually began with a sales app and then built out to include marketing and service.
In many cases, though, there has been no effective link between marketing and sales, which is counterintuitive, Kaplan commented. “After all, providing greater insight into marketing lead conversion rates is a key measure of sales productivity.”
It’s difficult to poinpoint why businesses — as well as the CRM industry — have failed to better integrate these two functions. Partly it is a matter of entrenched habits on the part of marketing and sales professionals, and partly it is due to the general difficulty in using analytics software.
Engaging the Customer
LucidEra’s application addresses the latter point, Kaplan said.
“No matter how easy a Software as a Service application may be to use, many end users do not know how to fully take advantage of them,” he said, but he noted that LucidEra’s Pipeline Health Check — a service the company offers clients for free — goes beyond the training vendors typically offer new clients.
“It is much more of a consultative approach,” explained Kaplan. “It will take pipeline data and analyze it, and then present the client with scenarios on how it can better target its sales and marketing efforts.”
Such user education is almost mandatory in this particular sector. Despite being an “on-demand” vendor, a classification that — at least, in theory — suggests an easy-to-use interface and feature set, LucidEra plays in a very complicated space. Business intelligence has typically been characterized by complex implementations and the need for highly trained users.
The original LucidEra application offers most of what can be found in traditional BI products, incuding connectors to data sources, data extraction, data cleansing, OLAP and reporting services.
Two years after its launch, Cunningham said, “we are still finding that customers are very interested to learn about best practices in this space.
LucidEra Lead Insight will be generally available to Salesforce.com customers this month as a standalone analytics application or as a component of LucidEra Enterprise.