Lead generation has become a vital part of the business over the last few years.
It has gained so much attention that businesses are putting more and more of their budget towards lead generation. According to this study, 53% of businesses are investing at least half of their marketing budget towards this.
However, a debate has risen on whether generating leads is pure marketing or whether it is more specifically focused on sales.
Marketing vs. sales. Which umbrella does lead generation fall under?
This article will help break it down.
What Is Lead Generation?
Before we can dive into the marketing vs. sales debate for lead generation, you need to understand exactly what this is. Lead generation is when a business comes up with a list of leads to target for their product or service.
Depending on what type of product or service you are offering, this list can be full of individual people or other businesses. However, even if the list is other businesses, they will likely have a rep or two that will speak on the business’s behalf with you.
Lead generation involves finding potential clients in various ways. It can be an email list of people in the industry that you are targeting. This can be people that visited your business’ website, people that have certain subscriptions with you, people that have large engagement on your social media pages, and more.
The point is that lead generation is not limited to one area. The goal of it is to give businesses an idea of how people could become future customers for them in any way possible.
Marketing vs. Sales
These two things can technically intertwine. Marketing and sales must work together to achieve your customer acquisition plan. When these departments work together, this leads to much greater success advancing the company’s goals and building predictable revenue.
Marketing is the starting point. They identify markets to pursue and put a brand out in the marketplace. Their goal is to encourage someone to seek out more information. This becomes a prospect.
Sales builds relationships with prospects. Their goal is to educate prospects on a product’s value. Through a multi-touch process, they seek to close a deal.
So, this leads us back to the question of which term lead generation can fall under. Well, there is a case for both.
The Case for Marketing
So, what argument is there for lead generation to be marketing? Well, the biggest argument for this is that it takes marketing tools to come up with the lead.
Part of lead generation is having an idea of what your target audience is. A lot of the time, this gets decided before a business puts its product or advertising tools out there.
However, sometimes, a business may get its target audience wrong. Data analytics and lead generation can get a business to conclude that it had the wrong target audience. Lead generation can help determine what the new target audience is.
On top of this, lead generation can come from content and advertising that is already out there for your company. This includes any content and engagement from your business website, along with any pictures and videos that people engage with on your social media platforms.
You can argue that lead generation is another form of data collecting for the marketing department. However, there is one very important step that we are leaving out of this process.
The Case for Sales
When it comes to sales, lead generation can be vital for that team. The reason is that when businesses use lead generation efficiently, they almost give the sales team a cheat code for whom to target.
These are leads that have been pre-screened for the sales team and are people that are more likely to accept their business. Customers being pre-qualified can be a major asset to a business.
Just how beneficial can this be? About 67% of lost sales are because customers were not properly qualified. Essentially, these customers may not be able to handle the product you give them or turn out not to need the service that you offer.
Also, 40% of salespeople admit that gaining prospects is the hardest part of their job. That is because if you have to generate leads from scratch, that can end up taking a lot of man-hours to get a decent list together.
On top of this, even if you have a solid list of leads, the vast majority of them will likely end up rejecting you. Business growth takes using time efficiently. Lead generation helps the entire sales team operate more efficiently.
Grow Your Marketing and Sales
So, marketing vs. sales. What does lead generation fall under? The truth is that lead generation falls under both categories.
It can be marketing because it is a part of collecting data and knowing who your target audience is.
However, you cannot forget the sales aspect of lead generation. In the end, the goal of it is to have a solid list of leads for the sales team to sell your product or service.
Do you want to improve your marketing and sales? Get a free consultation from us to see how we can help.