I came across Mike Damphousse's interview on Craig's Funneloholic blog (which has a lot of great reads!) and thought this answer of Mike was right on - something we educate our customers on all the time.
5. What will you prescribe to marketers to carry out effective lead generation? Don’t spend the budget on every idea you know. Diversify, but stay focused. Pick a handful of effective programs as opposed to all of them. Use experts, use technology, but DON’T use your sales team. Serve the leads to them in a quality package that’s ready to be sold to. Don’t inundate them with names, numbers and email addresses. They shouldn’t be doing the marketer’s job. They should be face to face with prospects that have real issues to solve.This answer has a lot of different dimension to it but the central theme is how marketers can serve their sales team with leads that may result in conversations - so sales can focus on identifying opportunities than on identifying decision maker contacts, gathering account intelligence or finding email addresses. Leads that are ready to be sold to are critical and it's important for marketers to focus on
- The quality of leads being passed over to sales. Make sure the leads are the accurate role-based decision maker or influencer contacts.
- Completeness of leads sent to sales. Make sure the leads are complete with director one-hop numbers (Don't just pick a company number you get from the website or Hoovers) and email addresses.
- Qualification of accounts done specifically for every campaign so that sales understands the account intelligence before they pitch.