Kevin Yi

by Kevin Yi | PPC Optimization

When servicing B2B and lead generation customers, there is nothing more exciting than finally receiving that email from my client with the words:

“Hey Kevin — Here’s your login info for accessing our CRM data.”

Getting hands-on insight into CRM data (or back-end data, as we’ll call it) is a game-changing event for any digital advertiser. Understanding performance at the MQL, SQL, or opportunity level can provide you meaningful leverage to drive more insightful decisions for your digital marketing strategy. Here’s how you can utilize this down-funnel data to make a further impact on the bottom line.

Initial Steps

So you’ve successfully logged into the CRM system, and you wave hello to all the beautiful leads you’ve generated in the past year — now what? It’s important to completely understand the context of the lead data and how it’s being worked and processed.

The first step is to identify if your leads are being processed and scored correctly and to scan for poor lead quality (test conversions, I am looking at you!). Assuming you are using UTM parameters to pass through information into the CRM system, you should check to ensure that these valuable snippets of info are coming in successfully on the back-end.

After you’ve confirmed the data is coming in correctly, you should pivot your attention to how leads are being categorized and sorted. Here you’ll experience the full alphabet soup of marketing and sales acronyms. From MQLs to SQLs and tier 3 leads to working leads, as digital marketers it’s imperative that we understand how sales teams sort and work leads.

Once you verify the quality of the back-end processes and lead data, you can now create reports with the requisite data points — lead source, campaign, keyword, pipeline opportunity, lead quality, and lead status — to pull in the necessary information to make front-end adjustments.

SEM Investment

Case Study

Whether you’ve integrated your CRM data directly with Google Ads, a Google Sheet via an API, or perhaps a fully customized, cross-channel reporting engine — like Metric Theory has and builds for our clients — it is important to then leverage the increase in insights to drive stellar performance for your account.

With one of our larger B2B clients, our team matched up the client’s CRM data with channel lead and cost metrics to drill all the way down to the keyword level data from the past year. We then partitioned it by channel, campaign, geo location, and pipeline opportunity segments.

We saw ample opportunity and positive trends for certain campaigns on SEM by determining which areas of the account performed stronger from a back-end perspective and then using that information to contextualize the front-end metrics that we have more control over. The team then used the newly-found insights to increase budgets and bids in campaigns we identified to drive higher quality leads that were more responsive to our client’s sales team. The client was able to scale their SEM spend investment by 50% over the past year while improving both their raw Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) volume as well as their total return on pipeline revenue opportunity MoM.

More recently with that same advertiser, the back-end data allowed us to identify opportunity for expansion to other countries. On the front-end, we were investing about 10% of spend towards European countries. Over the past few months, however, we’ve seen a lift in branded impressions in Europe — roughly double in those months YoY. Unsurprisingly, when we vetted this increased front-end appetite for our client’s product with the back-end data, we found SQLs from Europe comprised of nearly 40% of the dataset. The team then moved forward to increase investment and scale out our European presence on SEM.


Back-end CRM data is so valuable in the performance marketing space because it gives clarity to all facets of the digital marketing program. You gain information on who is searching your keywords, who is converting on your landing pages, how leads are being evaluated by sales, and how they’re being worked throughout the entire process. Marrying your back-end data with channel front-end data is imperative to understanding which levers to pull that will make a genuine impact on performance. If you want to learn more, contact our team and we’ll be sure to see you in our CRM data!