Interesting Infographics: The Difference Between Lead Generation and Pipeline Marketing


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Which would you say is better, quantity or quality? Whether we’re talking about food, clothing, or leads, I’m going to come down on the side of quality. I’d rather have one high-quality bespoke suit than half-a-dozen cheap, polyester ones – and it’s better to have a handful of highly-qualified leads to nurture than hundreds of junk leads that are highly unlikely to convert. This infographic from Bizable explains the different between lead generation and pipeline marketing, and how connecting marketing and sales data can help you generate real revenue, instead of just contacts. Simply generating a high volume of leads doesn’t necessarily put you any closer to getting the conversions that you need. Your marketing team could come up with a list of thousands of potential customers for your sales team to cold-contact, but the chances of getting to yes rely less on the number of contacts than on how qualified those contacts are. By combining the data of your sales and marketing teams, you can track these efforts, identify which leads are impacting the business’s bottom line, and target your efforts more effectively.

Lead Generation v. Pipeline Marketing

Top-of-funnel lead generation which pursues quantity over quality doesn’t take into account which leads tend to convert to customers. Since the focus for marketing is on quantity, this means that your sales teams will have to waste valuable time slogging through scores of unqualified leads. Pipeline marketing always keeps the end-goal of revenue in mind, and generates fewer (but more qualified) leads, resulting in faster sales and less wasted time.

Not only is pipeline marketing more focused on generating higher quality leads, but it’s also more dedicated to nurturing those leads. Unlike traditional lead generation, pipeline marketing includes conversion marketing techniques such as retargeting, nurturing, emails, and reviews – the marketing activities extend beyond the creation of the lead, up until the opportunity closes.

In order to know how well your efforts are working, you need to be keeping track of the right metrics. Lead generation has traditionally been concerned with vanity metrics such as lead volume, pageviews, or site traffic. Pipeline marketing, on the other hand, is more focused on the type of metrics tied directly to revenue, such as sales by websource or revenue by channel. These metrics are far more powerful for figuring out whether your marketing tactics are translating to real dollars. For all of the above reasons, pipeline marketing is a far more efficient use of your marketing budget.

The Difference Between Lead Generation and Pipeline Marketing

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.


  1. “Lead Generation” means a great deal more to me than it does to you . . .

    Lead Generation (to me) includes all of the processes needed to deliver a Qualified Lead that is Accepted by Sales.

    The top of my funnel typically includes:

    – The Initial ‘state’ is “Suspect”;
    – “Suspects” get converted to “Prospects”;
    – “Prospects” get converted to “Leads”.
    – “Leads” gets converted to a “Marketing Qualified Leads” (or MQL’s) — which triggers the assignment & notification to Sales.

    – Sales has a prescribed amount of time to both contact the MQL, and either accept it — in which case it’s converted to a “Sales Accepted Lead” (or SAL) — or reject it — in which case it’s returned to Marketing as a “Rejected Marketing Lead” (or RML).

    To me, Lead Generation is a subset of Pipeline Marketing — the part of the “Pipe” that is focused on what are perhaps two of the most expensive & difficult jobs — Identifying & Engaging with Qualified Leads.

    For what it’s worth . . .



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