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How Is CaliberMind Different From My CRM Attribution?

What Makes CaliberMind Attribution Different Than My CRM?

Attribution is one of the most misunderstood concepts in B2B marketing for three reasons:

  1. With all of the systems marketers use, it’s complicated!
  2. Every model answers a different question (click here for more on models).
  3. How we instrument it doesn’t always align with how we intend to use it.

The simplest definition of attribution is assigning opportunity value (dollars) to touchpoints to estimate what works best. With multi-touch models, the theory is that the touchpoints with the most dollars are the most effective at generating pipeline or bookings.

Our attribution is only as accurate as the following: 

  • What we capture digitally, whether that’s a manual tradeshow badge scan upload or integrated form 
  • How closely we align what we include with what is meaningful for answering the question being posed
  • How closely we align the model and included touchpoints to the questions our business leaders are trying to answer

These concepts may seem right, but let’s dig into how CaliberMind views them versus CRM models to make the difference more concrete.

What Are Consistent Callouts that Make CaliberMind Different?

We’ll call out shortcomings in different systems below, but you’ll notice that the key limitations in CRMs include the following:

  • Which contact records are automatically incorporated into the model
  • How much manual data entry is needed to incorporate touchpoints into a model
  • How much control you have over which touchpoints should be included

CaliberMind automatically incorporates all touchpoints with your brand at a given account, even if those touchpoints were with a person still floating out as a lead record in your CRM. We can customize our logic to help support regional offices or buyer groups instead. This logic bypasses the need for salespeople to use opportunity contact roles – and if we’re honest, they probably aren’t very diligent about using this join object.

CaliberMind allows you to filter out certain activity types to support executive objectives better. For example, suppose your organization wants to use multi-touch attribution to prove marketing is responsible for a portion of pipeline and revenue. In that case, we can support incorporating touchpoints from other departments or in-app signals to support this vision better. Additionally, we recommend excluding low barrier-to-entry touchpoints like website visits and email opens from this type of model.

CaliberMind also incorporates non-campaign activities using our “virtual campaign” tables. This means we can incorporate successful sales calls, meetings, and email responses in your attribution model without blowing up the campaign table in your CRM.

CaliberMind can also support a machine-learning model using the Markov chain effect, and we can support custom models.

Salesforce Models

Salesforce has three models commonly used in the B2B space, and we’ll call out some of the restrictions our customers have run into with each of them.

Lead Source (AKA First Touch)

Salesforce has a standard field on the Lead or Contact record that maps to Lead Source or the description of what happened when the person’s name was first added to the database. It’s important to ask your administrator how this field is used today and double-check how your marketing automation field integration functions. Sometimes people overwrite the value each time a person interacts with a campaign, which more closely mirrors the Last Touch or Opportunity Source model. The best practice setup is a static snapshot of how the name was first acquired.

The lead source model is intended to answer the question: 

Which tactics are most effective at getting accounts to engage with our brand first?

Regarding Salesforce attribution, Salesforce pushes the lead source to the opportunity record–provided a salesperson selects a primary contact on the account. This field will default to “User Input” or blank/null without a primary contact.

Having trouble getting salespeople to enter a primary contact after they create the opportunity? Remove the opportunity create button from every account page layout and communicate several times that they must create opportunities from the person they’re working with the most on the account.
Opportunity Source (AKA Primary Campaign Source AKA Last Touch)

Many organizations report and compensate based on which department “generated” an opportunity. For most B2B organizations, it takes many interactions across multiple departments to generate an opportunity, but we digress. This model also depends on whether the salesperson creates the opportunity from the “right” primary contact.

Some organizations take this logic further and examine custom fields to determine a department source. For example, whether or not an inside salesperson created the opportunity, the opportunity was generated from a deal registration, or the opportunity resulted from a marketing-qualified lead conversion. Without these sources, companies usually assume that sales self-sourced the opportunity.

Ask key stakeholders how they define the Primary Contact and socialize this definition with the sales team. Chances are high that you’ll get multiple definitions and need to work on aligning the organization on a single definition.
Opportunity Influence

Salesforce’s multi-touch attribution pulls campaign member records related to opportunity contact role members into a campaign influence object. It functions only as well as your sales team’s proclivity to do data entry on the opportunity contact role. It’s also restricted to the campaign object, so if you aren’t assigning campaign member records for partner interactions, your influence will be restricted to campaign activity.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, provided you aren’t trying to sell this multi-touch model as an estimate for how much pipeline and bookings marketing should get “credit” for. Because other departments’ efforts aren’t factored into the model, it should be used exclusively as a marketing campaign optimization tool. In other words, there is utility in this model, but it’s only as good as your campaign adoption and the willingness of the sales team to use opportunity contact roles for more than just the primary contact.

We recommend running a regular analysis on how many contacts are associated with opportunity contact roles versus how many contacts are engaging with your brand at the account. By doing this, you can identify any significant gaps in your model.

How is Salesforce Attribution Different than CaliberMind?

The following differences should be called out when comparing Salesforce to CaliberMind:

  • CaliberMind incorporates touchpoints from all account-related contacts and leads that can be matched back to the account
  • CaliberMind incorporates touchpoints from multiple departments and systems 
  • CaliberMind is not dependent on opportunity contact roles
  • CaliberMind is not dependent on campaign member records
  • CaliberMind can support many multi-touch models, including custom and chain-based (machine learning)

Hubspot Models

Hubspot has the attribution models Salesforce offers and can support several other models, such as U-Shaped and Time-Decay. However, significant limitations exist regarding which interactions are incorporated into these models. Keep in mind that:

  • You can only associate up to three contacts with a deal
  • If interactions are taking place with a contact not associated with a deal, you need to update the records to refer to the deal manually
  • You need to pay for an enterprise-level instance of Hubspot
  • You need to enable the interaction types you want to include
  • You have little control over which marketing touchpoints are included

The big benefit to Hubspot is its ability to automatically associate people with company records. This means we bypass leads altogether. If you use the CMS for your website or leverage Hubspot landing pages, their UTM tracking is pretty reliable compared to some vendors. But there are significant drawbacks.

For example, Hubspot will automatically incorporate website visits and email clicks and opens into your attribution reporting. This can skew activity in marketing’s favor, but this is often at sales’ expense. It’s also challenging to understand whether those email clicks and opens actually reflect a human intentionally interacting with an email or if it’s a security bot.

There isn’t a great way to integrate partner influence unless their activity is logged and manually associated with the opportunity.

One of the most significant limitations is that the number of contacts associated with a deal is limited to three people. In B2B, buyer committees number 8-10 people, meaning you’ll miss two-thirds or more of your brand interactions.

How is Hubspot Attribution Different than CaliberMind?

The following differences should be called out when comparing Salesforce to CaliberMind:

  • CaliberMind incorporates touchpoints from all company-related contacts, not just deal-related contacts or deal-related touches 
  • CaliberMind incorporates touchpoints from multiple departments at your organizations and systems beyond Hubspot
  • CaliberMind allows you to control what kind of touchpoints are included in your attribution models
  • CaliberMind can support many multi-touch models, including custom and chain-based (machine learning) that incorporate all touches within a timeframe at that company

In short, CaliberMind offers you more flexibility regarding the touchpoints and people you include in your opportunity’s attribution because we don’t rely on salespeople to tell us who and what should be considered “legitimate” touchpoints.

How did we do?

Running a Sales/Pipeline Review with CaliberMind

CRM Campaign Member Status and Campaign Response Best Practices