Lead Management Builds a United Front for Marketing

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Better collaboration through CRM
Better collaboration through CRM

In each of the past three years that Gartner has tracked lead management solutions, one of the chief challenges facing providers has been organizational alignment. Things like enhanced analytics and reporting happen quicker in an environment in which sales and marketing are on the same page and sharing ideas.  According to Gartner's new Magic Quadrant study of lead management software suppliers, however, technology is beginning to foster collaboration.

“Companies tend to have pockets of information stuck in certain areas of the operation, and it's difficult to get the email marketing team talking with the website team and the people running events,” says Gartner analyst Chris Fletcher. “It's especially difficult to overcome in large organizations where there are more legacy apps entrenched in various departments. These [lead management CRM] programs can absolutely help them overcome it.”

By way of example, Fletcher mentions revenue performance management features offered by Eloqua, which, along with Marketo, was cite in the Magic Quadrant as one of the leaders in the lead management field.  “It's one of the reasons companies turn to lead management to begin with,” Fletcher says.  “If you're a marketing manager and you can measure the revenue from your lead generation efforts, you can go to the head of sales and say, ‘Here's what we contributed last quarter, now give me more budget.'”

Sales of marketing automation platforms, which include lead management, are surging. Gartner says the market for such products grew by 20% in each of the past two years and will total more than $4 billion by 2016.  The researcher pegs the popularity of these solutions to pressures for growth, attracting and retaining customers, and maximizing sales productivity.

Demand is also fueled by B2B companies that are expanding their definitions of CRM and lead management, says Gartner. As they begin to embrace activities such as social media marketing, Fletcher says, “their challenge is to incorporate Web analytics into a B2B marketing structure.”

IBM's lead management solution received high marks from Gartner for ease of execution by large and complex enterprises. Neolane was hailed as one of the top visionaries in the field for its program's ability to span both lead management and campaign management capabilities.

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