The market of lead management automation (LMA) software vendors has been very active with new tools and services, targeted towards sales and marketing and at the same time better aligning the lead generation and lead management efforts of both. Marketing automation software vendors seem to lead the pack.
Forrester Research recently announced a report on the lead management automation (LMA) market and found that the adoption of these solutions is slowed by multiple vendor choices and ‘confusing claims.’.
One of the challenges is that LMA applications can be found in or around various other business applications such as customer relationship management (CRM), Sales Force Automation (SFA) and marketing automation, Forrester’s Laura Ramos says.
Slow adoption despite benefits of lead management automation
According to the report, vendors and users don’t possess the degree of process maturity that is required by LMA. As a result only 2 to 5% of B2B companies have invested in full LMA functionality.
That’s too bad because Forrester underlines that B2B companies, in fact, have a lot to gain by implementing the right tools and processes for lead management automation. Among these benefits, we find more predictable conversions, faster sales cycles and a real alignment between marketing activity and sales results, one of the essential evolutions where marketing automation software vendors are looking at with an increasing attention for the integration of marketing automation platforms (MAPs) and CRM.
Another issue regarding the adoption of lead management solutions is the fact that LMA solutions are introduced by vendors with different backgrounds whereby, as mentioned above, complementary technology offerings surround the position of LMA in the overall offering of marketing, sales and customer relationship tools and services, with marketing automation software vendors cited most often in Forrester’s overview.
Tips for choosing an LMA solution
Forrester gives some tips for companies that think of choosing a lead management automation solution.
- Look at the ease of use and proven implementation. Ease of use is essentialfor all enterprise business/marketing software, whether it concerns LMA, marketing automation or CRM, to name just a few.
- Make sure that your lead management processes are mature enough before buying a solution.
- As lead management effects sales and marketing, close the loop between both.
- Although ease of use is important, always go for expertise. It’s not the features that count but the way these solutions help you to solve lead management issues.
Leading LMA vendors: marketing automation software vendors rule
Now a word on the vendors. For researcher Laura Ramos Eloqua, Marketo and Silverpop lead the pack. However: no vendor really stands out. One of the vendors that proudly sent a press release was Silverpop that found its Silverpop Engage B2B among the top LMA vendors. The press release states that the report said that “vendor choices narrow quickly.” True that, yet new players will enter the market as it will grow.
In total Forrester evaluated and compared 18 LMA vendors.
To see the comments of researcher Laura Ramos on her blog, click here.