Managing the Lead Cycle in a B2B Sales Model

A new report by Aberdeen group found that 80 percent of B2B marketing organizations admit they’ve lost revenue due to misalignment between sales and marketing. Among other issues, the report cites lead management software and tools as a key enabler of finding success when it comes more efficient routing of leads.

While the technology is good, I think the real underlying problem is the lack of coordination that plagues the opportunity management process. A lot of people assumed CRM would fix this, but it hasn’t. CRM and lead management solutions certainly help, but often times I find customers speaking to the different languages sales and marketing departments are speaking.

Marketing and sales have different scorecards and aren’t always working towards the same goal. Yet the truth is sales and marketing are symbiotic – one can’t exist without the other. As far as lead generation is concerned, I’ve heard from tons of customers that a ton of prospect data isn’t as good as a pound of focused, filtered data, but on the flip side, sales should do a better job of keeping marketing informed of which leads are better than others.

Moving forward, I really only see the problem exasperating as B2B companies start turning to social networking initiatives to generate leads, i.e. corporate blogs, networking, etc. The argument between marketing and sales is one of generated leads versus accepted leads, but the results are still the same – how do you find the right customer?

One thought on “Managing the Lead Cycle in a B2B Sales Model

  1. Gents / Peers,

    This has been a recent thread / topic on the #scrm twitter stream (Not Lead Routing/Scoring per se). People, Process and Technology. First align the people with the process, then bring in the technology to support their efforts. My take on the general consensus (if I can be so bold), is that the issue is as described by Aberdeen and you, a process misalignment. However, where Aberdeen’s take moves off of the beaten path is to suggest that technology is the answer. Technology may be part of the solution, sure, but it is not ‘the’ answer.

    Nice post,

    (disclosure, I do work with Martin and Colin, but they may not admit it 🙂

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