A recent Forrester market review revealed marketers agreed that Sales Lead Generation (SLG) and Lead Management Automation (LMA) delivers real financial value, but also that many businesses don’t hold the right level of knowledge to deliver these programmes fully, resulting in opportunities being missed and mis-managed on a daily basis.

Done well the report highlighted, marketers felt that SLG and LMA resulted in an overall healthier sales pipeline. A healthy pipeline has a suspect database of the right types of contacts in the first place and prospects that are being nurtured through to a number of sales leads of good quality, and deliver a high “opportunity-to-pipeline conversion” and “deal velocity” rate.

By working in this way the strategy not only delivers value to the bottom-line but takes steps to tackle the age-old issue of bringing sales and marketing closer together. This is because both parties are engaged through the entire process, from targeting suspects to sales closure and beyond, as success depends upon it.

 By embracing SLG, marketers create a better opportunity to justify the expected ROI on marketing investments and demonstrate where suspects and leads have been touched by marketing activity. This provides marketing with greater accountability and the evidence to show its impact on the business.

The final component of a successful strategy is a well planned and structured programme which marketing and sales can base its activities around over a sustained period of time. This is important as buyers become more selective and deals take longer to close, meaning suspects and leads need to be engaged at different times to ensure they are not lost until they are ready to buy.