Posted by Peter O'Neill on January 27, 2014
Peter O’Neill here, to tell you: we’ve finally made it! Yes, our Forrester Wave™ evaluation on lead-to-revenue management (L2RM) platforms is finally published for Forrester clients. In this 75-criteria evaluation, we identified the nine most significant solution providers in the category — Act-On, Adobe, CallidusCloud, IBM, Marketo, Oracle, salesforce.com, Salesfusion, and Silverpop —and researched, analyzed, and scored them. Lori Wizdo and I, ably supported by reviews from colleagues Laura Ramos and Sheryl Pattek, looked in detail at how the vendors support traditional business-to-business (B2B) lead management capabilities — lead capture, lead nurturing, lead scoring, and lead promotion — as well as meet the emerging needs of B2B marketers in cross-channel execution, social campaigns, and real-time, contextual triggers, optimization, and analytics. Note that we sub-titled the report “Due Diligence Required: These Vendors Are Great At Marketing”. This is not our frivolity: buyers really do need to firstly evaluate their own needs and then select the vendor that best fits that specification.
We also elected to produce two Forrester Wave comparisons: one appropriate for large, enterprise-class organizations; and the other reflecting the priorities of smaller marketing teams, whether they reside in small businesses or in departments of larger organizations. Not surprisingly, the two separate analyses show markedly different results. To see how the vendors compare, please read the report. For internal organizational reasons, the Forrester Wave report can be found under the Customer Insights role research, not here under my role coverage.
Initial L2RM automation solutions were developed solely to bridge a gap between lead generation activities (e.g., trade shows, direct mail, telemarketing, and email campaigns) and selling activities managed by a customer relationship management (CRM) system (e.g., closing the deal). The opportunity to calibrate marketing spend to revenue generation was a significant driver of L2RM investment, and, in a recent survey of B2B marketers, we found that slightly more than 50% of marketing organizations had implemented a system to manage the lead-to-revenue process, seeing positive results in both organizational maturity and business impact. Savvy B2B marketing leaders are now going beyond simple automation of their existing demand generation process and revenue performance management. They are re-engineering their lead-to-revenue process to transform marketing — from a top-notch supplier of leads for the load-bearing sales channel to the architect of customer engagement across the entire customer life cycle.
If you are a Forrester client, download your copy of the two Forrester Wave™ models, where you can customize the criteria weightings to your specific needs and obtain more personal results. If you need assistance, both Lori and I would be happy to provide this. If you are a vendor, I would hope that you are now evaluating your position in the analysis and preparing your sales force, plus your business partners, for customer conversations based on the evaluation. If you need more details about how the results came together, just drop me a line. As always, I’d love to hear from you on this and other topics.
Always keeping you informed! Peter