Why Your Voice is the Biggest Untapped Mobile Opportunity for Marketing While executives and marketers rely on a whole lot of applications, software services and platforms to seal the deal, they may be underutilizing this secret weapon.

By Kyle Christensen

This story originally appeared on Salesforce

The explosion of digital-marketing technology in the past decade has been a boon to marketers everywhere. Unfortunately, despite the billions that have been spent in marketing platforms, there's a massive hole in most marketers' toolkits. And it's costing them their most valuable leads.

The gap? The good old-fashioned inbound phone call. That's right, kids: 1-800 numbers aren't just for late-night infomercials anymore.

The reality for the majority of today's consumers is that the path to purchase is completely non-linear. It weaves across devices, between online and offline channels. Most conversions, especially for B2B companies, actually happen offline -- in person or over the phone.

Related: Seven Secrets to Cold Calling Success

For the majority of businesses, inbound calls are among the best leads. The conversion rate of calls is between 30 to 50 percent, while web leads convert at 2 percent. Calls are more likely to represent high-intent, informed customers who are ready to purchase or ask the final questions that will lead to a conversion. But most companies aren't prepared to take advantage of these calls. Most aren't even prepared to think about these calls from a digital-marketing perspective. Even though their most valuable leads are calling, they have no idea who these prospects are or where they're coming from.

Connect the Call to the Rest of Your Marketing
If you're producing awesome content, executing smart lead gen campaigns and sending compelling emails, people will want to call you. Marketers (provided they're not actively hiding their phone number on their website) are probably responsible for driving inbound phone leads. (Whether they're taking the credit is another story.) Call intelligence captures each marketing effort that helped drive call. No more mysterious "unknown" lead sources in your CRM database.

Related: 8 Steps to a Successful Sales Call

Once you have the power to tie marketing efforts to phone calls, you have the data to measure real ROI. Call intelligence gives you the means to connect the dots between marketing, phone calls and revenue. With a holistic picture of marketing performance, you can optimize by changing up the marketing mix, buying different keywords and advertising in different publications, depending on the respective quality of the calls they're driving.

Moving from a call to a conversation
Call intelligence offers an even deeper data layer, giving you new insights into actual conversations with prospects. Conversation intelligence allows you to listen, at scale, to the things said on your inbound calls. What are the key phrases turning people on (or off)? Who are the competitors that are top of mind for your customers? Gaining insight from call intelligence is analogous to using Google Analytics for your website. You're figuring out how people are engaging but in this case, the channel is inbound phone calls.

Conversation intelligence takes advantage of a gold mine that doesn't exist in other channels. You can actually analyze human interactions, figure out what your best salespeople are saying and strategize about how to can scale it. You can better understand who your competitors are, what key features your customers want, and how people are reacting to your business.

So the next time you think about your marketing strategy, make sure you're not stopping at digital. Your customers aren't forgetting about calls--you shouldn't either.

Related: 8 Tips for a Successful Sales Call

Kyle Christensen is the VP of Marketing at Invoca, a company that provides inbound call marketing tools.

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