Is Lead Generation a Part of Sales or Marketing?

Written by Kira Grieve

Kira is a Senior Campaign Manager at The Selling Factory. Over the last year and a half, she has used her education (Double Gator from UF) and experiences from traveling to coach and encourage over 100 college/UF students on sales outreach, sales tactics and personal goals. 

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.

Victoria Zamitalo

Campaign Manager

Victoria received a BA in History and Economics from the University of Florida in May 2023. She is a driven sales professional with over 5 years combined experience in customer service, consumer relations and outbound sales, and is deeply passionate about fostering close relationships between consumers and sellers. She aims to train the next generation of sales professionals in not only the tricks of the trade, but also interpersonal skills that make sales the exciting and ever-changing industry that it is.

Mia Semel

Campaign Manager

Before graduating with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies, Mia took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, recruiting, and leading campaigns. She is an active listener and effective communicator, specializing in fostering genuine connections and finding common ground among differing perspectives. She aims to find practical, creative solutions regarding sustainable development, biodiversity and the climate crisis.

Kira Grieve

Senior Campaign Manager

Kira graduated from the University of Florida and received her Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and connecting with new people. Some of her hobbies include traveling and hiking. She hopes to visit all of the National Parks one day!

Jared Glosser

Vice President

After graduating from UF in 2014 with a B.A. in history, Jared started his professional career Fundraising for a non-partisan political lobby in South Florida. In 2016, Jared moved back to Gainesville to work for a non-profit, recruit students for international travel opportunities, and pursue his MBA at UF. Jared has been with The Selling Factory since 2019 focusing on operations, client onboarding, and client success.

Ian Massenburg

Chief Operating Officer

A graduate of University of Florida (B.A. 2001), Ian Massenburg brings over 18 years of sales executive and sales management experience to The Selling Factory. Before coming on-board, Ian worked alongside Brad at Infinite Energy, and then spent his next 3 years as VP of Partnerships selling SaaS products B2B. Ian brings his vast knowledge and experience to the team and to our partner companies served.

Damien Paulk

Campaign Manager

Damien is a University of Florida graduate that recently joined the team full time after working as a Sales Development Intern for one year. As a Campaign Manager, Damien looks forward to contributing to the growth and success of The Selling Factory. When Damien is not at work he enjoys exploring Gainesville with his girlfriend and dog or watching the Gators dominate college football.

Brendan Viehman

Campaign Manager

Brendan graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Project Management. For the past 5 years, he has enjoyed working with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency development. In his free time, he surfs and makes personal finance videos for his YouTube channel.

Savannah Howard

Campaign Manager

A graduate from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, Savannah obtained her Bachelor of Science in public relations with a concentration in French. After almost two years as a sales development intern for The Selling Factory, she joined the leadership team in 2021 taking on the role of Campaign Manager. In her free time, Savannah enjoys going to concerts and festivals and cooking for her friends and family.

Zack Kampf

Campaign Manager

Zack is a creative technologist with experience in advertising, event planning, and game design. He started as an SDR in 2018 and has been with TSF ever since. Upon graduating UF in 2019 he became a campaign manager and is currently seeking a master's degree from NYU. In his spare time, you can find him at the intersection of Art & Technology!

Josiah Blakemore

Growth Manager

Josiah has over 10 years of sales experience, worked with Brad and Ian at Infinite Energy, and also spent time selling SaaS as Director of Partnerships at SharpSpring. He’s always been very competitive and has a love for sports and games. He enjoys solving problems and coaching team members to do the same!

Sue-Ming Frauenhofer

Marketing Manager

Sue-Ming received both her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Management from The University of Florida. As a student, she took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, marketing, and recruiting, eventually leading to her current role as Marketing Manager. She enjoys refining her taste in music and visual art, engaging in mindfulness and meditative practices, and frolicking outside with her sidekick pup.

Adam Grossman

Chief Development Officer

Adam is an ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development. Hired as CEO by a failing non-profit, in over 5 years, his ingenuity saved the organization, which led to recognize it as one of North America’s most innovative Jewish non-profits. His expertise to identify, cultivate, and on-board talent ensures our student teams meet our partners’ needs.

Brad Gamble

Chief Executive Officer

After graduating from UF in 1999 with a B.S.B.A, Brad Gamble has dedicated himself to sales management, branding, coaching, and building companies. He served as the VP of Sales & Marketing for Infinite Energy until 2014, when he founded The Selling Factory. He has dedicated himself to teaching critical skills to tomorrow’s leaders, and helping companies achieve sales success and revenue growth.