Phone call tracking is an often overlooked tracking tool to begin with, but when it comes to analyzing the results, most of the companies that utilize phone call tracking don't use it to the fullest. If you aren't using phone call tracking already to track your online marketing efforts, then head on over here to learn more about how to track calls from your digital marketing channels. If you are using phone call tracking, but simply look at the total number of calls in aggregate as the definition of success or failure, then this post is for you (and so is this post from Avinash Kaushik). Don't feel bad though - you aren't alone. We all look at data in a reporting manner instead of analyzing it. It takes less time, the reports are usually prettier, and in many cases it's "not my job" because the results of the analysis may create more work to implement changes. It doesn't have to be this way though; there are many fairly easy ways to take advantage of the great insight that the phone call tracking data may currently be hiding from you. Analyze phone call tracking

You're going to have to commit to it though, and you may have to change some things about the way you've done them in the past. You may have to adjust some things with your customer service team or your CRM. You may need your sales team to provide some feedback after their conversations with prospects. As competition increases online and the fact that visits from mobile devices continue to climb, getting the most out of those leads is imperative. After all, isn't it much easier to sell to someone when you are on the phone with them as opposed to emailing them? Here are some ways to help you take that next step towards analyzing your phone call tracking data instead of simply reporting on it:

1. Take Advantage of Call Tracking System Features

Start out by making sure you are taking advantage of all of the features within the call tracking system that are you using. Call recording is probably the biggest feature that can help you with analysis. There are instances where making the decision not to record the phone calls is the right business decision, but that just means you may have to adapt your process to help yourself in the long run (see #3 below). Other features such as call whisper can be turned on to alert the call recipient that the lead came from a specific marketing source (note that call whispers don't work with automated IVR systems). You can also set up automated email alerts to trigger a next step.

2. Make Analysis a Part of Your Process

The reality is that you need to make the analysis part of your process. You probably already do some quick analysis with form submissions to separate leads from spam, so just adapt to the new norm with phone calls as well. As marketers, many of us get lost in the reporting stage because those numbers look better. The reality is that we are being judged on the outcome of the leads so we need to do our best to track leads through the funnel as best as possible.

3. Update Records in Real Time

Have the person that handles the inbound leads and phone calls keep tabs on which calls are received via tracking numbers vs. those that are not and update your records in real time - this at least helps you cut out the robocalls, sales calls, wrong numbers and people that use Google instead of typing in your URL. Add some fields to your CRM, bookmark your call tracking tool login, create some tagging to be able to sort the calls, rate the calls, etc. If you get into the habit of doing that after each call and making it part of the process instead of an additional process then it becomes habitual, quick and easy. For those that have a CRM with API import abilities, that can speed this process up greatly to meet your needs as most call tracking tools have that ability.

4. Cut Out Short Call Lengths

Want to simply cut down on the quantity of calls to listen to? Cut out call lengths shorter than a specific timeframe. For example, if your IVR system takes at least 20 seconds before someone is connected to a live person, it makes perfect sense to exclude calls under 20 seconds since you know those aren't leads.

5. Use Tags and Lead Scoring

Tagging the leads and utilizing lead scoring can be really helpful to future forecasting and analysis, but this also requires making it part of the process and being proactive with that process. Not every company can implement the same process based on the volume of phone calls, so consider some various ways of internally tagging the calls - Leads vs. Sales Calls vs. Forwarded Internally and so on. You can also implement your own rudimentary lead scoring numbers to help you prioritize which calls you are going to listen to or further analyze.

6. Consider a Predictive Analysis Tool

Many call tracking systems nowadays have some sort of predictive analysis tools or can be paired with a secondary tool. Based on the words used, length of call, back and forth nature of the conversation, etc., these tools can suggest whether or not the calls were conversations vs. abandoned calls vs. wrong numbers. At that point if you are listening to all of the call recordings you have at least narrowed down the call log dramatically, similarly to #4.   In the end, none of us are made of time, we know that much! These are simply some ways to help you save time and get to more of the meaningful data that can help us make better informed decisions. The outcome of these efforts can be tremendous: attributing better value of each channel's marketing efforts, learning about conversion rates online vs. offline, improving the lead generation and sales process, as well as improving the customer service channel. Not only that, but it will also make you look good to your boss because you are able to create better forecasting models for growth potential. The list goes on and on!