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Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
Marketing Transformation 2: Create an Automated, Integrated Closed-Loop Lead-Management ProcessBy Julie Schwartz
At ITSMA, we are constantly asked what the most effective marketing mix is. The only way to answer this question is to know what is working. To know what is working, you have to be able to track and measure. But most marketers hand leads off to sales and have no way of knowing what happens from that point on.
Other marketers know what happens to leads—sometimes—because they keep manual, often inaccurate, spreadsheets. As a result, many leads are lost. We know that it can take up to 12 to 15 touches before a lead is ready to buy. And many times, when it comes to services and solutions, leads may not be ready to buy for months or even years.
That is why companies must have a system in place to maintain and build relationships with leads even when they are not ready to buy. But to do that, marketers need content! Marketers need to use the content from their content-generation engine to create multiphase campaigns designed to progressively move leads from one stage of the buying process to the next.
The Benefits of the Closed-Loop Process
The main obstacles preventing companies from knowing what is working are lack of systems and disparate data. Marketers need a closed-loop system for demand generation and lead nurturing.
Unfortunately, very few services marketers have formal lead-nurturing and lead-tracking programs. In fact, in ITSMA’s annual Budget and Trends Survey this is a priority for just one of the companies we surveyed.
Still, some companies have made great strides in this area. They have linked their customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation systems. As a result, they are experiencing many benefits:
And perhaps most important, these companies are gaining the ability to demonstrate marketing’s impact on the sales pipeline and on closing deals.
To find out how CapGemini is creating an automated lead management process, read ITSMA’s Manifesto for Marketing Transformation in 2010.
ITSMA specializes in helping companies market and sell services and solutions more effectively. We work with the world's leading technology, communications, and professional services providers to generate increased demand, strengthen customer relationships, and improve brand differentiation.ITSMA annual program clients include business leaders such as AT&T, Cisco, Deloitte, EMC, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, and Tata Consultancy Services, among others. Our comprehensive research, consulting, and training on topics including ITSMA Account Based Marketing℠, Brand Positioning, and Solutions Development provide the insight and experience companies need to improve business results. ITSMA is based near Boston, and has offices in London, Mumbai, and Tokyo. Learn more at www.itsma.com.