How To Track Your Inbound Phone Calls

You hear a lot about how companies need to use call tracking to see the true value of their marketing campaigns. But what is call tracking, really?

Call tracking measures the impact of marketing efforts on lead generation and sales. It was born from evidence-based marketers’ desire for increased visibility into lead sources. If all leads and sales came from simple online form conversions, it would be easy to know which ads provide the best ROI without any call tracking whatsoever. But for most industries outside of basic ecommerce – including travel, healthcare, automotive, financial services, and B2B technology – the vast majority of leads and sales are generated via the telephone. The reality is that without call tracking, as soon as a lead sees a telephone number in an ad and decides to dial, the insight into the performance of that ad disappears.

How To Track Inbound Phones Calls For Your Business

In this analytics-driven world, a new buzz word has started to take life: Inbound Call Tracking. We are all aware of web analytics and how cookies can track a user throughout  the path-to-purchase. When it comes to online analytics, we ramble on and on. However, when it comes to offline tracking, we are short of words. This avenue is new to the world, especially in India, which is only starting to realize the potential of calls. Here are a few things that the average Indian digital marketer must know about call tracking.

How beneficial is Inbound Call Tracking?

Inives your business the ability to connect online activities with offline activities and offers powerful insights and information about your callers.

This gives you the ability to understand your target audience like never before and optimize your marketing efforts to provide a better experience and improve your ROI.

There are plenty of services for tracking inbound calls. So, before deciding try to choose the one which can provide important services like:

  1. Manage phone numbers – Create local and toll-free phone numbers to track your call marketing campaigns and route your call traffic to target destinations.
  2. Track the source of inbound calls – Call Tracking gives you access to granular insights about your marketing efforts and allows you to see exactly where they clicked to call.
  3. Figure out what is working – With detailed analytics and reports about your call traffic, you can optimize your campaigns and improve your caller experience to earn more per call.
  4. Manage call routing and forwarding – When a customer makes a call to your tracking number, the call is automatically routed and forwarded to the most optimal target.
  5. Record phone conversations – Listen to how calls are being serviced and monitor agent performance.
  6. View reports and optimize in real-time – View reports, dig into call logs and optimize your campaigns using real-time data about you calls.

You can do call tracking for nearly free if you get a few phone numbers and put them on your advertising or landing pages. This won’t tell you much – just that ‘this phone number delivered this many calls.’ It doesn’t scale, as you will find, because you can’t track keywords from search, A/B testing is very manual, and tracking anything more than a couple of dozen campaigns or landing pages is incredibly frustrating and provides limited information.

Call Tracking + Caller ID

There’s some basic call tracking vendors that track the calls in a slightly more sophisticated way than the free version mentioned above, and they’ll provide you with the caller-ID of the caller. Very limited visibility, but a little bit better than ‘free’.

Dynamic Numbers Tracking/Ring Pools

Using a simple line of javascript on every page of your web properties, landing pages, etc., you can insert dynamic phone numbers that automatically populate for each unique visitor. For example, when a new lead hits your website from a search term, a phone number is dynamically populated for that user on that webpage. This lets you track not only the call, but a lot of details – their click path, which keyword they used, even which ad brought them to the site. Typically, the phone number has a ‘session’ and is recycled back into the ring pool to be used again.

Performance Advertising Pay-Per-Call

If you’re using publishers or ad networks to drive leads and you pay them per click, the same applies to calls. But, in order to deploy pay-per-call effectively with performance marketing, you need to be able to track which of your partners drove which call, and what criteria deserves a payout. These systems allow publishers, networks, and advertisers to log in to their own view of a campaign, to agree upon criteria (such as ‘no bidding on branded words,’ or, payout conditions), and to monitor spending levels and fraud. Pay-per-call provides performance marketers another avenue for revenue.

Call Intelligence Platform –  Conversation Intelligence

Once a call is patched from your call tracking system to your call center or sales rep, call intelligence will record the call or ‘listen’ with automated speech to text conversions. Different companies do this part  differently. Some record the call so that it can be played back with an audio transcript chaser – typically for quality assurance or training purposes, or, some allow you to use predefined keywords or phrases that when spoken will automate other activities – such as scoring, routing, or screen pops. The keyword ‘listening’ allows you to better understand the key questions that occur on the call, any mentions of competitors, and even the outcome of the call.

Integrations: AdWords, CRM, Bid Management and Marketing Automation      

Once you have your call tracking and intelligence set up, you’ll want it to integrate with your other key marketing tech. An AdWords integration will give you incredible visibility into how your search programs are driving inbound calls. A bid management integration will make sure to tell your bidding system to bid higher or lower based on call conversions, and integration to CRM will give you and your contact center shared intelligence about the inbound caller for the live conversation and for optimizing future spending. A successful call tracking/call intelligence system will integrate seamlessly into your current technology stack to give you the complete data picture for both online and offline efforts.

IVR/Interactive Voice Response

Interactive Voice Response, more sometimes called ‘the phone tree’, prompts your customer for information that you may require. For example, “Press 1 for home insurance, 2 for life insurance, and 3 for auto insurance.” You can also use this to filter calls that may not be from the most qualified lead source. Your IVR serves as a routing service to help navigate your callers to the appropriate department to quickly address their needs. The IVR should be clear and easy to navigate in order to provide a quality caller experience.

Routing and Automated Routing

Once your phone is ringing, you want the best person to answer the call based on the needs of the caller. If your call intelligence software is properly set up and maintained, you should know who that right person is by the time the caller hears the first ring – if it’s an existing customer , your CRM integration can pull up the call record and will automatically direct the call to customer service. If it’s a high value customer, who you’ve scored with real time data appending in your marketing automation solution, then you send the caller to your best rep. If your best rep is busy, the system should be smart enough to know that and route to the next best rep.

Call Analytics & Scoring

Analysis isn’t a luxury – it’s the very reason for call intelligence to begin with. Every company does this differently. Some provide only basic charts or summaries. Some provide a very detailed export. While others provide complete analytics engines. Some provide in-app analytical automation, like scoring. Scoring captures the key elements from a call – where the caller came from, their in-call behavior, the value of appended data or CRM data, and produces a score that helps to priorities routing and other automated functions.


If you’re a small business, you can’t go wrong. Generally, you spend the most that you can to get more capabilities to make better decisions and get more inbound sales calls.

If you’re a medium business or large enterprise, you can’t afford to go small. You will regret it because you will want to upgrade before you know it.


Get integrated with your key marketing and CRM tech from the beginning and get going!