Lead Management Market Overview Published!

Lead management automation requires a degree of process maturity many B2B firms don’t possess.  The result? In the market overview report about this market, published today, I found underachievement by vendors and users alike. While the benefits of adopting lead management automation are clear — successful implementations enjoy more predictable deal conversions, faster sales cycles, and real alignment between marketing activity and sales results — market penetration is low. We estimate that only 2% to 5% of B2B firms have invested in full LMA functionality to date. 

It’s not for a lack of capability.  In fact, the current recession makes technical solutions for pumping up the sales pipeline even more attractive. I see software and services vendors from various backgrounds elbowing their way into this space to snatch a share of the demand. As you can see in the figure, complementary technology offerings surround and dwarf the LMA space, and make it difficult for emergent competitors to grow beyond their foothold in departmental or SMB installations when many customers believe they already get LMA features from a current vendor.

Similar-sounding claims can confuse potential B2B buyers.

Similar-sounding claims can confuse potential B2B buyers.

To make lead management efforts succeed, look for capability that strikes a balance between ease of use and proven implementation. Keep these three steps in mind as well:

1) Assess your lead management maturity. Resist the temptation to buy technology first. Instead, map out current lead management processes and assess gaps. Assessing and documenting current lead management processes let marketers focus on the capabilities needed and avoid being overwhelmed by demo’ed features.

2) Create a marketing technology strategy. Lead management affects both marketing and sales. Create an automation blueprint that accounts for the business, process, organizational, and technology changes needed to deliver better-qualified demand to sales and close the loop between marketing campaigns and sales wins.

3) Prioritize expertise over usability and simplicity. While speedy implementation and attractive user interfaces are important, select automation technology that will evolve your best practices over time. Pick solutions backed by proven vendor expertise, a vibrant community of marketing peers, and demonstrated know-how. Expertise, not features, helps you to solve complex issues related to campaign execution, results diagnosis, and audience segmentation.

Stay tuned for more on this market overview in later blog posts…

11 Responses to “Lead Management Market Overview Published!”

  1. Marketing automation software vendors leading the LMA pack? Says:

    […] The LMA landscape and place of marketing automation software via Laura Ramos […]

  2. Lead Management Automation: Challenges and Opportunities Says:

    […] see the comments of researcher Laura Ramos on her blog, click here. Lead Management Market 2009 0printvar dd_offset_from_content=60;var […]

  3. Lead Generation: How Some Marketing SW Vendors Stretch the Truth « B2B Marketing POSTs by Laura Ramos Says:

    […] an analyst at Forrester, I reviewed Hubspot’s technology — among others — for my Lead Management Automation market overview. I also know Brian Halligan – he spoke at one of my B2B marketing seminars a few years ago. I think […]

  4. Most CEOs Think Marketers Lack Credibility – Focus on Revenue to Change That « B2B Marketing POSTs by Laura Ramos Says:

    […] leads to a lack of visibility and open-loop activity that leaves revenue on the table. Instead, put tooling and process in place to help both sales and marketing generate new business opportunities, manage volumes of business […]

  5. Content: The Dirty Underbelly of B2B Marketing Automation | Demand Generation Blog Says:

    […] to nurture leads and manage the marketing-to-sales handoff with B2B buyers. Laura Ramos echoes this on her blog: “[T]the benefits of adopting lead management automation are clear — successful […]

  6. Loopfuse Offers A “Free”-View Marketing Automation Solution « B2B Marketing POSTs by Laura Ramos Says:

    […] July 15, 2010 — Laura Ramos I have long wondered about the contradictions I see in the marketing automation space. Look at lead management in particular. On the one hand, demand management technology produces […]

  7. Mike Rogers Says:

    Great research. Have you done any research on how marketing automation tools can benefit small and midsized businesses? We work with both big brands and smaller companies. We find that the activities of the big brands focus more on the traditional marketing automation space like print automation, direct mail tracking and print advertising, while smaller firms are more interested and savvy with digital marketing techniques.

  8. A Conversation With LoopFuse About The Marketing Automation Market « B2B Marketing POSTs by Laura Ramos Says:

    […] The Marketing Automation Market February 24, 2010 — Laura Ramos Since publishing the market overview for the lead management automation space, I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of current and emerging vendors who got in […]

  9. Sales Enablement Tools: All The Rage In 2009 « B2B Marketing POSTs by Laura Ramos Says:

    […] I have covered eTrigue in the Lead Management Automation market for a couple of years now.  In my market overview, I highlighted how they have a robust, continuous lead scoring and segmentation/list building […]

  10. andrew sanderson Says:

    Hallo Laura – great Post!
    over here in Europe, this type of thinking is still very rare. I did a load of this sort of work at global level for a major international software corporation and gained insights which I’ve been able to cosolidate into best practice strategies… right now (4Q2009) the EU B2B market is just beginning to get grips with these ideas … the reaction I’m experiencing is that it’s still a concept sell (“how does that work, then?”), rather than “how soon can you deliver?”. I’m looking forward to the market maturing ;-)
    ps – can I refer to you in my best practice blog (blog.ansaco.de) ?

  11. Sharing Lead Management Market Insights with the DemandGen Report « B2B Marketing POSTs by Laura Ramos Says:

    […] asked me a few questions that honed in on aspects of the market that I did not make central to my two main themes, namely: 1) that the market is far from mature and subject to change that represent some risk to […]

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