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I D C W O R K B O O KOptimizing Marketing and Sales LeadManagement With Marketing AutomationSeptember 2008Adapted from: CMO Advisory Services Best Practices Series: Marketing’s Lead Management Process, byMichael Gerard, IDC #204760Sponsored by MarketoAt many B-to-B vendors, the sales and marketing departments are not well aligned, especially aroundtheir respective lead management processes. Specifically, companies are challenged in the areas oflead definition, data collection, lead qualification / lead scoring, sales handoff, lead nurturing andperformance measurement.This IDC Workbook explores the challenges related to lead management processes and howmarketing automation software can help alleviate these challenges by supporting process integrationand data flow. This Workbook also discusses approaches to sales and marketing automation andprovides sales and marketing departments with a question set for selecting sales and marketingtechnologies and vendors.Common Failures in the Lead Management ProcessAt typical companies, approximately half of the marketing budget is allocated for demand generationinitiatives as events, direct marketing and Web advertising. Approximately one-third of that totaldemand generation investment is earmarked to directly support the sales force in the form of marketdevelopment funds, sales training and tools, and other channel marketing activities. Consequently,the integration of marketing and sales is critical, yet nevertheless such alignment remains a challengefor many companies. For example, at some companies, marketing sends responses to sales withoutany cleaning or qualification, essentially giving sales permission to ignore marketing due to the lowquality of leads.Companies looking to address the key points of failure need to examine the main stages of asuccessful lead management process: Lead definition. Devising a common definition of a lead based on an agreed upon taxonomy with marketing and sales. This common definition is the foundation for an effective lead management process, without which the organization will be unable to identify and nurture prospects with the greatest potential, leading to lost opportunities and continued misalignment with sales. Regardless, the majority of organizations today continue to operate without a global definition of a lead. Data collection and cleansing. Sales and marketing need to collect the data that is most important for their relative functions. Data collection and cleansing are also essential to ensuring database integrity for customers and leads. Although clean data continues to elude even the largest marketing organizations today, recent IDC research indicates that this is an area earmarked forIDC 699