Lead Generation and CRM are Just the Beginning

Every dollar that a company earns comes from a customer. But before they were a customer, they were a lead that was converted by sales. Sales, however, doesn’t generate those leads – that task is handled by marketing departments. Without lead generation, companies would be hard-pressed to drive revenue and improve sales.

Customer relationship management (CRM) and lead generation are effective starts to the marketing and sales cycles, and many businesses invest a tremendous amount of budget and strategic thinking into the development of their lead gen and CRM strategies.

Lead generation is frequently cited as one of the biggest challenges that marketers face, with a 2012 study from MarketingSherpa suggesting that approximately 71 percent of businesses view the task as a major priority. A report released by Demand Gen also suggests that marketers plan to up their spending on demand and lead generation by 20 percent over the course of 2013. By getting more leads and passing the higher quality prospects down through the funnel to sales, marketing hopes the company will be able to improve conversion rates and raise revenue.Thanks to new software solutions, lead generation is now easier than ever. Numerous vendors have created lead generation tools that simplify, streamline and automate the process. Marketers spend a lot of money acquiring and implementing these tools.

Lead Generation is Just the Beginning

However, despite the fact that lead generation is such a prominent concern among many businesses, they need to realize it’s only one step in the process of converting new customers. Many marketers only consider the lead generation part of the equation because it’s core to their main objective: securing high-quality prospects for salespeople.

Marketers still need to consider the other end of the funnel, where the leads come out. Lead generation and CRM is a good start, but these leads will have no value if they are passed into the hands of salespeople who can’t capitalize on them. Just as marketers need tools to help them generate leads, salespeople need tools to help them convert prospects into paying customers.

If companies are looking to connect lead generation to prospect conversion, a distributed marketing automation platform can finish the process. Asset management platforms offer salespeople all the tools they need to take the leads given to them by marketing and engage them in a meaningful way. By creating personalized marketing collateral in a timely fashion, they can engage high-value prospects on their own terms and stand a much better chance of converting them.

Lead generation is an effective tool to start the customer relationship, but businesses and brands that want to be truly effective should consider using a distributed marketing automation platform that helps sales finish the job.