Customers do not become customers by chance.
Every act of purchase, even the most insignificant, is the result of an elaborate process which takes place over a period of time ranging from a few minutes (“It’s raining, I’ll just pop in and buy an umbrella”) to several years (“All old-generation nuclear power plants need to be replaced”).
Save for a few exceptions, this process is always the same.
A brand needs to build awareness among potential customers and, in turn, ensure it has the means to get to know (and recognise) them in order to be able to reach them. That is where leads come into play. Much like gold prospectors, the marketing teams must sift through all this information to extract the gold nuggets (lead generation), which the sales teams must then work on to convert leads into customers (customer generation).
We are stating the obvious by affirming that lead generation is an essential component of CRM in general, yet less than a quarter of CRM projects actually address this issue and integrate the tools, data and indicators required to formalise and automate it. What assets are available and what does this entail from a CRM perspective?