By Ed Pierce, Founder, ITA Fleet Communications
Michael Surkan, Group Manager for Better Marketing with Analytics, recently pointed to a study of 1,700 chief marketing officers that found 59% of them have been unable to implement their planned digital marketing strategies and that 82% of CMOs felt unable to deal with the explosion of data that is being thrown at them.
The real problem uncovered in the study, however, is that CMOs are saying that they are now being judged on the revenue their marketing activities generate, NOT on the leads they find.
During my marketing career, a lead was marketing’s goal, and it was the job of sales to convert that lead into revenue. Remember the quote from Glengarry Glen Ross?
“These are the new leads. And to you they’re gold, and you don’t get them. Why? Because to give them to you would be throwing them away. They’re for closers.”
Have we suddenly decided that leads don’t matter anymore? Should companies bother generating leads anymore?
Based on my experience, especially in my work for fleet service providers, the distinction between “lead” and “close” has continuously become more blurred. A big reason is that the growth of sourcing teams requires multiple relationships with all of the decision-makers and influencers.
Closing a fleet-related deal always takes time, but that goal is extended and more complex with a sourcing team. At any point in time, marketing and sales are qualifying one contact, starting a relationship with another, and maintaining a relationship with yet another.
All of this reinforces the need for fleet service providers to recognize the complexity of today’s sales process, the importance of leads within the context of a sourcing process, and the ever-increasing need for an integrated sales and marketing effort to find, nurture, and win more business.
With decades of B2B sales and marketing success, Ed has served fleet product and service providers with strategic plan-related market research and integrated sales & marketing programs that significantly increased market penetration; brand management that markedly improved both awareness and positioning; and B2B sales support that helped sales exceed plan year in and year out. Ed now leads ITA Fleet Communications – a fleet-focused consulting firm helping excellent product and service providers achieve excellent results through innovative and effective integrated sales and marketing.