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It’s 2018, and your online presence is most likely a large portion of your business. Whether you are selling a product and accepting online orders, or offering valuable services and collecting leads, it’s important for your lead data to be safe and easily accessible.

There’s an art to collecting leads from multiple sources and pushing data to multiple endpoints. This practice will ensure that you have your data where you need it to be and also function as an unofficial backup to help you sleep better at night. While you should have a full website backup as part of your disaster recovery plan, this is a little more niche and specifically related to your team’s organization and smooth operations between departments.

For example, let’s say that you’re collecting leads from multiple forms on your website and need that information to go to your sales team for follow-up, your marketing team for email campaigns, and another place for reporting purposes. A good practice would be to store that information within your website database and simultaneously send that data to other places like Salesforce CRM, the email marketing system, email notifications to specific people, or a Google Doc. This enables you to automate the process of collecting leads and client or customer messages, and pass them on to the appropriate systems, which will improve your operations as a whole.

If you are a marketing agency or serve clients, this becomes very useful when you need to report on conversions or form submissions. It also provides multiple places that you can compare against each other if there’s ever a discrepancy or an error with one of your systems.

At Catalyst, we do this with the combination of various tools, including WordPress, Gravity Forms, Salesforce, Zapier, Act-On, and GravityView. This is a mash-up of existing integrations and JavaScript to assist where there is not an out-of-the-box plug-in. It all works together to pass the data along between the website and other systems, which allows our internal teams and clients to see the data where they need it. This has also helped when it comes to problem solving because you can trace the data back to the point of failure if you have a problem with your workflow.

As mentioned earlier, this process supports the backup of your data, but it should not be used as your primary backup. It would become useful if you needed to recover a small portion of data collected, saving you from performing a full recovery from your primary backup.

Every operations plan is unique, and lead data collection is always a critical part of the plan. When you contract with marketing firms to drive leads, be sure they have a solid data plan in place to protect your most important asset — your lead data.