SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

June 11, 2008 11:57 ET

Lead Scoring and Prioritization Pave the Road to Higher Conversion

Best-in-Class Companies Are 174% as Likely as the Industry Average to Reduce the Time It Takes to Close a Deal

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - June 11, 2008) - All companies are pressured to maximize sales and marketing effectiveness to increase conversions, lead to sales revenue, and top-line revenue growth. As a result, lead generation and management have become top marketing pains for Chief Marketing Officers (CMO). A recent survey conducted by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), revealed that Best-in-Class are 80% more likely than all others to leverage demand generation or lead management technology. As a result, 77% of Best-in-Class companies experience year-over-year improvement in lead-to-sales revenue, compared to 0% of Laggards.

The top objectives causing all organizations to implement a lead management strategy was to improve the quality of leads that are passed on to sales (78%). The need to optimize conversion or profitablity from various sources of leads was also identified by 64% of respondents as a top objective. Best-in-Class companies indicated that they currently utilize customer databases (96%), lead management/demand generation solutions (92%), customer segmentation and targeting (88%), and scoring and prioritization tools (77%) to automate lead management. These enabling technologies help Best-in-Class companies experience a 192% higher average lead qualification rate than all other organizations.

"Ultimately, Best-in-Class demonstrate a relentless focus on optimizing lead qualification and lead management. Best-in-Class invest heavily in processes and technologies to streamline lead management across all business functions that interact with customers and prospects," explains Ian Michiels, a Senior Research Analyst at Aberdeen. "As a result, Best-in-Class are able to achieve superior sales and marketing effectiveness because they can immediately react to customers and new prospects as these individuals interact with their sales and marketing channels."

The report demonstrates the value of collectively leveraging organizational practices in process, performance measurment, knowledge management and technology to provide a foundation for lead scoring and prioritization. By combining processes to freely pass leads between marketing and sales (81%) and ensure that high priority leads are followed-up on first, Best-in-Class companies are able to approach lead scoring from an organizational perspective and optimize processes holistically across every customer-facing function in the organization.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Eloqua, Magnify 360, and Vtrenz. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4878.

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.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. 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.

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