I just got off the phone with a member of the Aberdeen community discussing my new research paper, The Roadmap to Revenue and Its Tollgates, and felt compelled to share the gist of the conversation, which I found really fascinating. We both agreed that lead management is a foundational element of marketing, but that the proliferation of technology and various measurement models has created a bunch of noise that is actually preventing success. It seems that many marketers need to focus on getting the foundation in place.
Now, this wasn’t just me spewing a random opinion, though I do have many; the research behind my new report painted a really compelling picture that shows WHY and WHERE companies are falling off in their lead management implementation. I’ve bulleted the list below to make it easier to follow the logic:
- The journey starts with the 58% of respondents who reported having a well-defined common lead definition between sales and marketing. This is a decent start (though honestly, more should have this in place).
- When asked about having some marketing lead management processes defined COMBINED WITH basic lead qualification in place, our affirmative respondents drop to 34%. This dropoff is telling: the work to define the actual processes for leads is making 24% of our respondents decide to refrain from the rest of the lead management journey.
- We also lose a few, from 34% down to 32%, when we ask if they have some processes automated such as basic lead nurturing and scoring. This means respondents are struggling to implement the actual automation process; how someone sets up their MAP systems to make it work.
- The kicker, and where we lose the most of our journey-takers, is full automation. When asked if they have well-defined lead management processes in place with all processes / campaigns “automated” (such as an ongoing process for lead qualification, nurturing and behavioral scoring), only 9% responded that they had achieved this. This is a staggering drop in adoption and tells a very distinct tale of an audience that knows what to do, but is having difficulty actually implementing it.
So the lingering question is why? Well, the proof is in the data . Respondents tell us they are pulled in too many directions such as content creation and lead generation and they are just not finding the bandwidth to get it done. I believe this, but I also think the above bulleted list is a symptom of a larger issue we marketers face: with so many technology solutions and so many methodologies that give us the ability to measure even the most granular marketing data point, I think it is easy to lose sight of the basics. This is why I wrote the paper and introduced a basic, foundational lead management and conversion model within it. You can download the full report here, at no charge.
You have to walk before you run and for those companies who aren’t walking the lead management walk, I’m afraid they’re going to have trouble catching up in the race.