SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

October 03, 2007 13:55 ET

Demand Generation "Leads" to Big Results

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - October 3, 2007) - Companies that devote resources to lead generation marketing practices demonstrate yearly improvements in key performance indicators, such as lead-to-sales conversion rates, lead qualification rates and lead-to-sales revenue. A recent survey conducted by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks company (NYSE: HHS), found that the Best-in-Class companies utilizing a lead management solution improved lead-to-sales conversion rates by over 26% compared to Laggards, none of whom saw an increase in this metric despite having a lead management solution. Compared to the Industry Average and Laggards, Best-in-Class companies are 9 times more likely to achieve greater than 100% improvement in their cost-per-lead upon implementing a lead management solution.

The need to improve the return on marketing investments was identified by 47% of leading companies as the primary reason for focusing resources on lead generation. Since top performing organizations have already implemented formalized lead management processes to alleviate this pressure, resources are dedicated to supporting, maintaining and improving lead generation activities. Email Marketing Applications (87%), CRM (77%), Customer Survey Tools (64%) and Content/Knowledge Management Tools (63%) are the most common tools used by the Best-in-Class to manage demand generation.

"The proliferation of marketing channels, particularly with the advent of the internet, is both a blessing and a curse. New channels allow marketers to continue to touch prospects in innovative new ways," says Ian Michiels, a research analyst at Aberdeen. "However, finite marketing budgets are making it difficult for Average companies and Laggards to make decisions about the allocation of resources among these prospective channels." Best-in-Class companies are outperforming all others because they have developed a robust foundation of organizational capabilities to support the technologies.

Best-in-Class marketing departments are significantly more likely to qualify leads before passing them to sales, 86% vs. 58% respectively. Recognizing that lead qualification is an essential component to superior performance, Best-in-Class companies are 1.5 times more likely than Laggards to align their sales and marketing departments. Organizations can achieve sales and marketing alignment by setting up formalized cross-functional groups to develop and identify best practices. By working together to formalize new processes, sales and marketing can gain a deeper understanding about the complexities of both roles.

The research educates readers on how to increase both the quality and quantity of leads that enter the pipeline. It also provides results that Best-in-Class companies achieve over key metrics after integrating lead management solutions and compares these companies to the Industry Average and Laggards who have not yet pursued a similar strategy. A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: JL Halsey (Lyris), Got Corp (Campaigner) and TargusInfo. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4178.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

© 2007 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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