shutterstock_107177438v2.jpg To see CRM as a market made up of one single type of technology would be a mistake. There are many different technologies in the CRM mix and the technology that is really driving growth, according to Gartner, is lead management.

Lead Management

In its recently released Magic Quadrant for Lead Management, Gartner identifies it as the major contributor to revenue growth in the CRM space as well as satisfaction with CRM technologies.

Lead management, Gartner says, closes the gap between marketing and direct, or indirect, sales channels through the integration of business processes and technologies.

It also includes the processes for taking and using unqualified contacts from numerous sources including Web registration pages and campaigns, direct mail campaigns, email marketing and database marketing among others.

CRM lead management's contribution to revenue growth fuels investment and overall satisfaction levels. Ultimately, though, the goal here is to create and manage sales leads in such a way that the potential to turn those leads into monetary gain for the enterprise is maximized.

Lead Management Market Overview

The value of this cannot be overestimated with the result that successful lead management technologies are effectively driving the CRM space in an economic climate that makes selling difficult.

Overall, Gartner estimates that investments in CRM marketing automation applications and services, which includes lead management, grew by 20% in 2011 and 2012 and by 2016 will be worth in the region of US$ 4.2 billion.

This is the largest growth of any segment in the CRM space with momentum expected to continue at the same pace over the coming years as enterprises push to make sales and grow business.

But if lead management is pushing growth in the CRM space, then lead management is also benefiting from the growth of the CRM market generally. Lead Management, Gartner says, also builds on sales force automation, social channels and established marketing channels.

We have seen in the past that CRM, and information and data management technologies overlap in particular with big data and cloud technologies. Gartner says that both these technologies impact on the speed at which lead management applications can be deployed.

Digital marketing technologies and processes have also had a major impact by offering business-to-business professionals a wide set of tools with a wider set of functionality while creating new integration points for lead management processes.

CRM Lead Management

There are three main characteristics that define CRM Lead Management:

  1. Business and marketing focus
  2. Focus on products that require sizable investments on business or consumer
  3. The hand off of leads to a sales person of channel.

In this Magic Quadrant all the usual suspects in the CRM space are populate all four Quadrants, unlike Magic Quadrants for other technologies where there is a tight focus on one or two of the quadrants.

To make it into the Leaders Quadrant here was difficult. Technologies need to display functionality that supports business-to-business, business-to-business-to-customer, and business-to-customer lead management processes.