LucidEra, an on-demand provider of business analytics, announced today its latest product, LucidEra Lead Insight. The solution intends to address the age-old disconnect between marketing and sales by giving both departments a better view of the entire sales process and the lifecycle of leads, from initial acquisition all the way to conversion.
Traditionally, explains Ken Rudin, chief executive officer of LucidEra, leads have merely been treated as a game of Who’s the hungriest hippo? "A marketer gets a thousand leads, but they’re all junk -- wrong industry, wrong size, not well-qualified," Rudin says. "That's just measuring activities, not results." With Lead Insight, he says, LucidEra assists business users in addressing three main issues:
Prior to Lead Insight, LucidEra had developed solutions for pipeline analysis and then order management, understanding what happens after deals close -- and this latest release extends the pattern of the company's product-release philosophy, one that responds to the demands of its users. "It's a natural progression," says Jeff Kaplan, managing director of ThinkStrategies, adding that, aside from the development and management perspective, it’s important to deliver point products incrementally -- that way, users aren't overwhelmed.
- Lead Conversion: What percentage of my leads sorted by lead source? By customer title? Am I converting more "director" leads? More "VP" leads?
- Lead Aging: How long am I taking to convert? How much time am I spending trying to qualify this lead?
- Sales Rep Performance: Who’s calling their leads immediately? Who’s letting them sit there and get stale? Which reps are doing a better job at conversion?
The demand for Lead Insight, according to Rudin, grew louder about six months ago. "Especially given the economy, what's important isn't 'What's managing order process better?' but 'How [do we] keep the pipeline going?' " he says. In fact, Rudin anticipates sales of Lead Insight will outperform LucidEra's old products simply because the science of leads has yet to be conquered. "Nobody feels they have a handle on leads," Rudin laments. "There's too many of them: 'Where are they coming from? What's happening to them?' Sales and marketing are arguing over it."
Another feature in this release is LucidEra’s Pipeline Healthcheck. "Think of it as a physical," Rudin says. Most of the time, businesses don’t know what they don’t know. Potential LucidEra customers now have the opportunity to get a "healthcheck" to see what’s really going on under their own hoods -- and what can be done to improve performance. After customers have signed on, Rudin recommends quarterly checkups to help put analyses in place and track positive and negative trends.
"The evolutionary step in the overall [software-as-a-service] market is predicated on self-provisioning and almost taking the human element out of the sales transaction," Kaplan says. However, he adds, "LucidEra is finding that many companies, even if they have the tools, aren't quite sure what they're looking for."