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PointClear(TM) Study Shows Companies are Shifting Their Marketing Mix in 2005 to Improve Lead Generation and Qualification

More executives are outsourcing direct marketing activities to better track, manage and qualify sales opportunities throughout the lead life cycle

ATLANTA, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- PointClear, LLC, the leading provider of outsourced Sales Opportunity Management(TM) (SOM) solutions for companies with high-value solutions and complex sales, today announced the results of a perception study conducted during Q3 which revealed that medium- to large- sized high-tech and service organizations are shifting their marketing mix in 2005. Many of the VP- and director-level sales and marketing executives surveyed have begun outsourcing more of their marketing and lead generation activities, including outbound calling programs. Respondents also indicated that lead qualification, tracking and management represent some of their toughest challenges.

The top priority for most executives surveyed was finding the best way to identify qualified leads. Over 75 percent of respondents reported that some or all of the people in their marketing organization have performance ratings and compensation tied to the delivery of qualified leads.

While participants cited quality lead generation as critical, the survey also revealed that less than 30 percent of the companies surveyed have a formal system in place to track sales opportunities throughout the lead life cycle. Less than 50 percent know what ultimately happens to the leads they generate. Less than 30 percent of respondents felt that their sales and marketing organizations were tightly integrated.

"No one who becomes seriously ill would go to the corner drug store, buy the lowest-priced pain reliever, and just hope for the best," said Dan McDade, president, PointClear. "So why do sales and marketing organizations rely on cost per lead as the key metric for increasing revenue and market share? The way to identify and close both short- and long-term sales opportunities is by developing the right message, targeted to the right people at the right time."

Respondents stated that direct marketing was one of the most pervasive means of lead generation. Eighty- six percent of companies surveyed participated in direct marketing programs that included outbound calling, email marketing, and online marketing. The majority of participants are also using direct mail, and about half reported that they would increase the use of direct mail in 2005.

Seventy percent of organizations surveyed used outbound calling for lead qualification, and 80 percent planned to use it in 2005. The study also found that 80 percent of respondents would consider outsourcing lead generation, data mining and maintenance. Outsourcing was defined as any outside company, not necessarily those that are located outside the U.S.

Most executives who were considering outsourcing direct marketing activities, such as outbound calling and prospecting, cited the desire to "increase their bandwidth" or extend their resources as primary drivers for the decision. Participants also strongly valued the specialized expertise that an outside vendor could offer.

"PointClear helps eliminate the gap between the way most companies manage sales and marketing programs and proven best practices," said McDade. "We target only the best prospects and implement a customized mix of media - phone calls, direct marketing, and more - to ensure that key messages resonate. We also employ experienced analysts to contact our clients' targets peer-to-peer. It is this deliberate, integrated approach that has allowed us to provide such successful results for our customers and help them to overcome some of the sales and marketing hurdles many organizations face."

The blind surveys conducted earlier this year examined: how leads are generated, current and projected sales and marketing activity, budget increases or decreases, and current and future priorities. Respondents (vice presidents and directors with direct marketing responsibilities) worked for companies with more than 100 employees (64 percent) or more than 500 employees (30 percent).

About PointClear, LLC

Headquartered in Norcross, GA, PointClear, LLC ( ) is a leading provider of outsourced Sales Opportunity Management (SOM) solutions for companies such as Arrow, Cognos, Dell, Indus, Inovis and Sun. PointClear's expert team of sales and marketing professionals provide detailed intelligence that: helps companies understand their markets, identifies the most qualified sales opportunities, provides sales teams with ready buyers, and verifies results. PointClear's comprehensive portfolio of outcome-based marketing services includes: building/optimizing marketing databases, multi-channel prospecting programs, in-depth prospect profiling, fulfillment and e-fulfillment, list segmentation, target market intelligence, closed-loop Sales Opportunity Management, ROI analysis, and much more.

Source: PointClear, LLC

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