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CMO Advisory Service Best Practices Series: Realizing the Vision of 21st Century Lead Management

  • Published:
  • 38 Pages
  • IDC

This IDC study presents a newer, smarter way to conduct lead and opportunity management that is better adapted to the reality of how customers buy today: IDC's 21st Century Pipeline Management Model. A full description of this new model is included, as well as best-in-class insight based on interviews with marketing executives in major technology companies including Avaya, CA Technologies, CSC, Datacore, Dell, Fairchild Semiconductor, HP, Juniper Networks, MathWorks, NetApp, PerkinElmer, Rackspace, Red Hat, Taleo, and VMware. Insights are also based on IDC's Marketing and Sales Operations Leadership Board Meetings, IDC surveys, and the collective experience of IDC's Executive Advisory Group.

"The Internet has revolutionized B2B buyer's behavior, knowledge, and expectations," says Kathleen Schaub, vice president of research, IDC's CMO Advisory Service. "Only those companies that aggressively invest in lead management as a fundamental enterprise process grounded in management science will be able to meet today's market demands and outpace their competition. IDC's new pipeline management model will best enable companies to abandon the dusty, 100+ year-old funnel and move into the 21st century."

Table of Contents


IDC Opinion


In This Study


  • Methodology

Situation Overview

  • Lead Management and the New Buyer Dialog

    • Long-Term Success Requires a New Approach to Lead Management

    • The IDC Customer Creation Framework

    • The State of Lead Management in Technology Marketing Today

  • 21st Century Lead Management Basics

    • IDC Pipeline Management Workflow

    • Basic Pipeline Management Workflow Tasks

  • Pipeline Management Task 1: Strategic Planning

    • Strategic Planning Definition

    • Best Practice: Define Standards

      • How to Increase Standardization

    • Best Practice: Create an "Inventory" Model

      • Inventory Planning Maturity

    • Best Practice: Cross-Functional Teams

    • Strategic Planning Danger Zones

  • Pipeline Management Task 2: Capture

    • Capture Definition

    • Best Practice: Accommodate Multiple Capture Methods

    • Best Practice: Good Data Habits Right from the Beginning

  • The Main Pipeline Building Block: Assessing, Advancing, and Developing

  • Pipeline Management Task 3: Assess (Qualify)

    • Assess (Qualify) Definition

    • Best Practice: Combine Automation with Human Qualification

    • Best Practice: Clear Entrance and Exit Criteria

      • The Role of Scoring

    • Best Practice: Buyer-Centric Qualification Criteria

    • Assessment Danger Zones

  • Pipeline Management Task 4: Advance (Route)

    • Advance (Route) Definition

    • Best Practice: Clear Routing Rules

    • Best Practice: Service-Level Agreements

    • Best Practice: Understand How to Handle Exceptions

    • Advance Danger Zones

  • Pipeline Management Task 5: Develop (Nurture)

    • Develop (Nurture) Definition

    • Best Practice: Buyer-Centric Nurturing

    • Develop Danger Zone

  • Repeat as Needed: Creating a Multistep Workflow with Building Blocks

    • A Simple Lead Management Workflow

    • A More Sophisticated Lead Management Workflow

    • Source: IDC, 2012Where Can Lead Management Workflow Go?

  • Pipeline Management Task 6: Close

    • Close Definition

    • Best Practice: No Lead Left Behind

    • Best Practice: Think Total Lifetime Value

  • Pipeline Management Task 7: Monitor, Measure, and Analyze

    • Monitor, Measure, and Analyze Definition

    • Best Practice: Single Version of the Truth

      • What's on the Executive Dashboard

    • Best Practice: Provide Data Assistance to Practitioners

      • What's on the Practitioner's Dashboard?

    Lead Management People

    • Who Does What?

    • Who Are the Right People?

    • Finding the Right People

Future Outlook

Essential Guidance


  • Best Practice Is More than a Checked Box

Learn More

  • Related Research

  • Appendix

    • Definitions

    • Lead Management Stages

    • RACI Explanation

  • Synopsis

Table: Executive Dashboard Metrics

Table: Who Does What in Lead Management: An Outline


Table: Typical Lead Management Stages


Figure: IDC's Customer Creation Framework


Figure: IDC's 21st Century Pipeline Management Model


Figure: Pipeline Management Task 1: Strategic Planning


Figure: Pipeline Management Task 2: Capture


Figure: Main Pipeline Management Workflow Building Block


Figure: Pipeline Management Task 3 Assess


Figure: Pipeline Management Task 4: Advance


Figure: Pipeline Management Task 5: Develop


Figure: Example of Simple Pipeline Management Workflow


Figure: Example of Multistep Pipeline Management Workflow


Figure: Pipeline Management Task 6: Close


Figure: Pipeline Management Task 7: Monitor, Measure, and Analyze


Figure: RACI Responsibility Assignment Matrix Example


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