Everybody working with sales knows the importance of strategies, segmentation, go-to-market etc. Once you have your segmentation ready you need to start generating leads.

Leads that later can convert to opportunities, that can convert to won deals. Like much in sales, it is just a numbers game more leads will lead to more won deals, it’s just that simple.

Knowing these things in real time also shortens the time to action. A short time to action can sometime be the difference between the winner and all the losers. How can we get more leads in real time and share this information wherever we are then?

Lead generation is based on various types of information channels.

  • Cold calls, new customers without relation
  • Warm calls, existing customers with relation
  • Incoming transactions from partners
  • Hints from colleagues
  • Hints from customers
  • Incoming requests and calls
  • Market Campaigns

Historically the lead generation has come from meetings and phone calls with clients. The meetings have been performed at different places like the customer premises or e.g. exhibits.

The important thing has been to meet the customer and listen to the needs and identify problems that need to be solved in near time, which the own company can solve. Calling the clients and speaking to them has also been a good way to create leads. Now there are alternatives to complement with.

Some even say that the old school lead generation is dead, we don’t agree, its still alive and kicking but you need to use alternative ways as well. One important and upcoming way of generating leads is marketing automation.


Marketing automation is an important way of working to remember, it’s not just another buzzword, it’s a new way of working that has been made possible because of the digitalization of information and communication that has taken place the last years.

The spread of social media as a way of communicating has also changed how we behave. If you work with sales you need to adapt and take advantage of this. It’s just new arenas to face your customer on.

Many studies show that customers have applied a different purchase pattern the last years, with all the necessary information available on the web. Earlier you as a sales person was a key stake holder regarding information.

The customer needed to speak to you to get the needed information. Now customers don’t need or even want you, to gain that information. The information is available live on the web.

The actual purchase pattern hasn’t changed though its just how successful sales people work that has changed. The studies we refer to points out that buyers have made up their mind to 50 – 70 percent before they want to take contact with a sales rep.

That is because they are not ready to apply their mental purchase process before that point. It was the same before as well. A friend of order would than point out that buyers did contact a sales rep. much earlier in the process before.

That in itself is true, very true, it was just for a different reason they contacted a sales person, namely to get information they couldn’t get anywhere else. It was the sales person that you went to to get product or service information.

Does this mean you shouldn’t speak to customers before they take contact with you?

Absolutely not, it is as vital to influence a buyer today as it was before. The human mind and psychology hasn’t changed just because we have different tools and information access these days.

However, sales do need to adapt to these new patterns and realize that you don’t just win the deal by informing the client. You need to influence, perhaps more today than before, because of the fact that we live in a more global world with more competitors than ever before.

Anyway, back to the topic, modern lead generation in a digital and social world.

First of all what is market automation? According to Wikipedia it is: “Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.  Marketing departments, consultants and part-time marketing employees benefit by specifying criteria and outcomes for tasks and processes which are then interpreted, stored and executed by software, which increases efficiency and reduces human error.

”SOCIAL MEDIA ARE TOOLS, REAL TIME IS A MINDSET” – David Meerman Scott, Marketing Strategist

Originally focused on email marketing automation, marketing automation refers to a broad range of automation and analytic tools for marketing, especially inbound marketing.

Marketing Automation platforms are used as a hosted or web-based solution, and no software installation is required by a customer. The use of a marketing automation platform is to streamline sales and marketing organizations by replacing high-touch, repetitive manual processes with automated solutions.

What does this mean in reality? Well, first of all it means that marketing and sales closing in on each other and overlap each over. That means that in smaller companies you need to work with both.

The marketing role also shifts focus, to focus more on lead generation than brand awareness. So how can skilled market automation generate leads? What we recommend is that you first of all need to get yourself a CRM that has marketing automation capabilities built in as standard.

That means being able to easily set up campaigns and receiver lists.

In the same logic you can read here our article about marketing and sales working together to improve your lead generation


Campaigns are an effective way to generate leads. With a well performed multi channel campaign it is possible to identify which customers that are interested in an offer, probably also interested in the near future.

The purpose of a campaign is to be an alternative to the traditional method “cold calls” because most of the potential customers have a lot to do and must prioritize their time. With the campaign approach it is possible to create a practical opportunity to connect with the right decision maker at the right time, probably also much earlier in their evaluation process.

In order to conduct a campaign the following prerequisites must be met:

  • There is a definite and known problem to solve
  • There must be a solution to the problem
  • It is also preferred to have some kind of reference from the problem area


Even if you implement the things we have gone through previously it won’t make a difference if the information you get is not fresh! Therefore you need to make sure both you and all your colleagues are updated on the shared information at the same time as it is created.

On top of getting that sharing capability it is also vital to get that fresh update wherever you are, on a subway, back home, in the office, in the car, while waiting in a line etc. You got it, we are coming back to mobile again.   To get into you customers evaluation process as early as possible and preferably before the competition you need to get your self.

  • A combined CRM and marketing automation tool
  • That this tool allows you to collaborate and share information in real time
  • That this tool allows you to easily get access and work from anywhere, i.e. mobile