I am a frequent reader of Brian Carroll's B2B lead generation blog. As an employee at a small business looking to make the leap to medium business, I have been focused mainly on our lead generation activities over the past couple of months.
This is what I have learned. B2B lead generation and marketing automation are hot topics these days. With the coming of age of social media and several other web based services and tracking software, the iron is hot for marketing automation. I cannot tell you how many calls I get a week from someone working for some type of metrics/automation company trying to sell me their services. Being that our lead generation program is still in its infancy, I listen to all of their pitches but am reluctant to jump in.
Brian's post today is great because it briefly outlines most of the things a B2B marketer needs to think about when beginning a lead generation program. Further, he links to Manoj Jasra, who lists several software vendors in his post that help with analytics. The question for me remains: With so many companies, how do I know which one is best suited for ReadyTalk?
For us, the most critical stage is the beginning stages. I think the most important thing to do is to outline the objectives of your lead generation program and the process. Once the process is formulated, it would be appropriate to source software vendors to see where software can add value and automate the process.
The one worry I have is to get a year down the road and realize that a chosen vendor is not a great fit. Or, even worse, discover that the process you outlined is not scalable. I would love to hear from some of you who have started lead generation programs. How did you get the process started?
[tags] B2B, lead generation, Brian Carroll, marketing automation [/tags]