The Trifecta or: How Marketing Automation, Lead Management, and CRM Are Related


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I found an article on a Marketing Automation blog asking the question “What Is Lead Management?” It is a question that is eagerly addressed week after week in this blog and elsewhere. This question is great to see in print because it is an excuse to write about Lead Management and Leads360. But the reason this particular article inspired an entry here is because this article appears on the blog of a marketing automation firm. It is always encouraging to see specialists in marketing automation educating their readers about lead management.

Lead Management Software is designed around the task of turning prospects into customers. It is built around three fundamental drivers of lead conversion; speed, process, and persistence. Intelligent lead distribution puts the right lead in the hands of the right sales person right away. Performance metrics and ROI reporting let you course correct when lead sources or sales agents are underperforming. Good Lead Management software even has some marketing automation features that take the guesswork out of staying engaged with prospects until they convert into customers. Ultimately it is differs from Marketing Automation and CRM by virtue of the task that that it undertakes to accomplish, i.e., turning prospects into customers.

Here’s the difference.

• Marketing Automation generates leads
• Lead Management Software turns leads into customers
• Customer Relationship Management Software manages customer relationships

If a company were using all three of these types of software, Lead Management would sit in the middle. It holds all the real estate between Marketing Automation and CRM, equipping companies to navigate the delicate transition between prospect and customer. Without LMS, MA and CRM are missing the piece that turns prospects into customers; and that is the task upon which the whole enterprise depends.

The aim of each of these software types are as follows:
Marketing Automation core strengths – Marketing Automation turns strangers into prospects, i.e., it generates leads.

Lead Management core strengths – Lead Management Software turns leads into customers. Quick, Configurable lead distribution turbo charges speed to contact rates; being the first on the phone with a lead is critical. Automated lead follow up ensures that leads never fall through the cracks and each is followed up with according to configurable best practices. Performance Metrics and ROI reporting give companies data that illustrates which of their marketing efforts are working and which are underperforming.

Customer Relationship Management core strengths – Keep complete records of all interactions with existing customers, i.e., it retains customers.

If your goal is to grow your business by acquiring new customers, and you have to bet on only one, Lead Management will give you the best results. But if you bet the trifecta, choose Lead Management to win, Marketing Automation to place, and CRM to show.


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