How to Build a Reporting Tech Stack

January 27, 2021

According to HubSpot, showing ROI for marketing activities is still one of the top marketing challenges for businesses. Incidentally, one of the most common reasons clients work with us is that they can’t seem to get a handle on their marketing and sales reporting. 

While many consider this to be a technology issue, the root cause is often a combination of issues with user behavior, data structure, business processes, and reporting infrastructure. Struggles with marketing and sales reporting usually indicate a perfect problem for RevOps to solve.

Building a reporting tech stack requires a strategy that encompasses technology, but also how the different units in your business collaborate through that technology to generate more revenue and long-term customer relationships.

Steps to Building Your Reporting Technology Stack

On its own, The HubSpot CRM Platform is an amazing tool for providing marketing analytics and top-of-funnel reporting. But when it comes to stringing together a history of conversations and seeing multi-touch journeys with key conversion events, you need something more robust.

Meanwhile, Salesforce serves as a powerful database, but it lacks the key marketing data you need to drive rules around attribution.

Both solutions have native reporting features. But when it comes to mapping cohorts and conversion funnels, things start to get complicated quickly.

One of our favorite ways to solve this challenge is to leverage three different systems at once: HubSpot, Salesforce, and InsightSquared. And even if you don’t have room in your budget for InsightSquared, you can still go far with the first two.

Here are some suggestions for using these technologies, so you can deploy a comprehensive reporting tech stack at your organization. 

1. Define Your Demand Gen Reporting Strategy

Before you start adjusting your solutions, you need to decide which metrics, campaigns, and sub-campaigns are most important to your reporting structure. 

At Aptitude 8, we like to create hierarchies based on each of our assets, then create sub-campaigns based on the channel our impressions, clicks, and conversions come from. For example, if we launch a campaign for one of our high-value content assets, like our 2021 RevOps Cookbook, we’ll create reporting hierarchies for the asset itself as well as for each channel we market on, such as paid social media advertisements. 

This provides us with an easy way to see which channels are performing. We can also attribute specific leads to specific channels and sub-campaigns.

If you use this strategy, you don’t have to limit your hierarchies to channels, either. You can choose to generate reports based on affiliate partners, content types, products, or anything else that aligns best with your reporting needs.

2. Build a Salesforce Campaign Hierarchy

Once you’ve identified your campaign hierarchy, you can formally define it in Salesforce. This enables you to build dashboards and other reporting units off your original structure, so you can see aggregated data and campaign metrics that are specific to your sub-campaigns.

For example, if you’re marketing a piece of high-value content like the 2021 RevOps Cookbook, you could build a reporting to track how many leads you’ve generated from the asset. But you can also generate dashboards for that asset’s sub-campaigns, such as your LinkedIn ad campaign.

You can then analyze your sub-campaign metrics to understand how your asset is performing on specific channels or through specific campaigns. And you can do all this right in Salesforce. 

3. Add Hidden UTM Fields to Your Web Forms

You are probably already using UTM codes in your web links. These are snippets of code that are added to the end of a URL to track the performance of your campaigns and tell you where traffic is coming from. They usually appear in the URL after a question mark and look something like this:

?utm_campaign=blogpost_&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook

But by adding hidden UTM fields to your forms, you can ensure your UTM data gets tied back to the contacts themselves instead of being generalized inside Google Analytics. This lets you track specific contacts via the campaigns and forms that brought them to you in the first place.

4. Leverage HubSpot's Marketing Analytics

The good news is that you don’t have to create hidden UTM fields manually if you’re already using HubSpot. HubSpot’s tracking code automatically adds UTMs to all your corresponding marketing efforts. This way, you won’t have to worry about maintaining s series of links to capture this data.

In this way, you can utilize the HubSpot CRM Platform as an air traffic controller for your marketing campaigns.

Create HubSpot workflows for your forms that intake inbound leads, then determine what to do with those leads based on the fields you create on the forms themselves. You can also generate workflows by inputting enriched data (data you find outside of HubSpot through services like Zoominfo or Clearbit) and your business rules.

5. Enroll in Salesforce Campaigns

Using this logic, you can use a series of workflows to determine specifically where a lead came from. For example, maybe they clicked on a LinkedIn advertisement, reached the landing page for the 2021 RevOps Cookbook, then filled out a form, leading to a conversion.

Because HubSpot is a CRM Platform, it integrates with Salesforce. You can therefore aggregate this information to the Salesforce campaign you’ve associated with that content asset. This makes your LinkedIn Ads a child to your overarching campaign for the content asset.

6. Use Campaign Member Statuses

Keep in mind that all campaign history isn’t equal. 

You can enter different statuses into Salesforce to differentiate between contacts, MQLs, or even people who registered for one of your events but never attended. Similarly, you can mark objects in Salesforce based on eBook downloads, requests to speak to sales, and more. You can then use this to see the history of your campaigns and monitor their success.

7. Use Primary Campaign Source Opportunities

At Aptitude 8, our team keeps it fancy by creating a custom trigger to find the best campaigns to associate with newly created opportunities (we also make our own puff pastries. No big deal). But you can use the out-of-the-box Salesforce functionalities to do something similar.

Because you have campaigns associated with your contacts, any newly created opportunities will grab the most recent campaign and attribute it back. This makes Salesforce an ideal tool for attribution. Combined with the HubSpot CRM Platform, you can get a complete view of your revenue operations apparatus in action and see exactly where your best opportunities are coming from.

8. Push It All to InsightSquared (Optional)

At this point, you can see in Salesforce how many leads your campaigns are generated and which opportunities you’ve generated. You can stop there, but we recommend taking things one step further to simplify reporting.

By integrating InsightSquared into your stack, you can see which campaigns generated the most original conversions and opportunities. You can even see which ones contributed to a sale over time despite never being first in or last out.

While this isn’t necessary, it adds yet another level of understanding to your campaigns and makes it easy to attribute sales and revenue to contacts that aren’t apparent in your other tools. It’s a great way to see how the value of your contacts evolve, and it can help you determine if remarketing campaigns or other strategies are viable for contacts who have fallen off the grid.

Build Your Reporting Tech Stack with Aptitude 8

Even if you’ve been using Salesforce and the HubSpot CRM Platform for a while, this all might seem a bit complicated. That’s why we’re here to help.
Aptitude 8 will work with you directly to deploy your reporting technology stack and leverage it for RevOps. Contact us today to learn more.

Kaitlynn Sirotkin

Kaitlynn Sirotkin is a Solutions Consultant at Aptitude 8 and heads up A8's Sales Enablement projects with Outreach.io She has been a seller, Demand Gen Leader, and has 5+ years of direct RevOps experience helping sales teams get more out of the tools they live in every day.