Being 'more deliberate' on when to initiate the human touch

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Dan McDade is president-CEO of lead generation company PointClear. McDade, who is author of “The Truth About Leads” (Onsei, 2011), recently spoke with BtoB about the promise—and peril—of adopting marketing automation programs. BtoB: Do you think the adoption rate for marketing automation programs will increase this year? McDade: I would expect it to go up to probably 30%, 40% in the near term. The good news is it forces individuals to look at process and forces some communication between marketing and sales. The bad news is it can be misused, which can really lead to poor results. BtoB: In regard to online marketing tools, are companies putting all of their eggs in the technology basket and not placing enough emphasis on the human component? McDade: When somebody scores enough points in the marketing automation solution, all of sudden they are a prospect and human intervention, at least theoretically, begins at that point. ... The [problem is] most companies have the old 80/20 rule; they have 20% of their target universe that should be considered strategic accounts; [but], in reality, those strategic accounts are being dumped into the marketing automation solution just like all the other accounts and, unfortunately, what that's forcing is companies to lose the opportunity to engage with the most strategic and the most profitable companies. Companies need to be a little bit more deliberate on when to involve a human. BtoB: What are some of the primary steps sales and marketing execs can take to better align themselves in order to enhance lead generation? McDade: There are three things: They need to have a more careful definition of the market; understand what the offer is; agree on a common definition of a lead and metrics. —M.S.
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