Customer reference management has moved from the sidelines to the
mainstream of corporate marketing activity. This is good news for the
dozens of customer reference management professionals who attended the February Customer Reference Forum in Berkeley, CA and
participated in the 2009 survey. Why? Because authentic customer
references help sales close business and marketing persuade analysts,
press, and investors that corporate positioning and product claims are
If you have never been confronted by a sales person over lead quality, you can stop reading this blog post now:
The primary source of tension between marketing and sales is
this: Marketing wants to know what sales does with all the leads they
generate. In response to the question, sales says, “What leads? Those
leads were awful; send us better leads.” Sound familiar?
The basic problem is that marketing and sales don’t agree on what
constitutes a lead. The deeper issue is that many marketers are still
learning what it takes to develop truly qualified demand and pass the
right information to sales in a way that helps sales to progress an
opportunity quickly and consistently.