IDC Announces the Sales and Marketing Automation Framework and Roadmap ; New research will guide sales and marketing departments on process improvement

FRAMINGHAM, MA – August 2, 2010 – The International Data Corporation (IDC) Executive Advisory Group recently published a new framework for sales and marketing automation. The framework maps out the key processes that large sales and marketing organizations must coordinate in order to get the most from their automation investments.

IDC research on sales and marketing operations has shown numerous areas where processes can be improved and costs can be saved. As an example, as much as 80% of the content that marketing generates is not used by sales, even though a lot of it is specifically created for sales and channel enablement. As a result of so many inefficiencies and waste, organizations must prioritize their automation efforts around the critical set of processes identified in the report. IDC recommends that these automation efforts be coordinated across sales and marketing organizations from the top down, with cross-functional teams assigned to continuously review and improve process performance.

Rich Vancil, vice president of IDC's Executive Advisory Group, noted: "More than ever, process improvement is the path forward to better alignment between sales and marketing. This year, large technology companies are seeing sales and marketing expenses grow faster than revenues. We believe that as much as 20% of total sales and marketing expenses can be saved by streamlining and automating key sales and marketing processes."

"Automating these processes is an opportunity to achieve better operational and cultural alignment between marketing and sales," said Gerry Murray, research manager of IDC's CMO Advisory Service. "Successful implementation will require executives to: institute standard definitions for lead qualification and escalation; establish joint teams to drive sales enablement; coordinate metrics across the two groups; and increase transparency and reporting. The end result should be a shared set of objectives and tools to help both organizations optimize the customer experience."

Four Factors for Success in Sales and Marketing Automation

IDC's framework for sales and marketing automation is focused on the tight alignment of key sales and marketing processes. This framework represents processes that must be coordinated and potentially integrated between the two organizations. Each high level process in sales that has a counterpart in marketing must share:

* A common set of definitions for inputs and outputs (e.g. suspects, responses, leads, sales qualified leads, opportunities, and wins)

* Proportional allocation of budget and resources based on overall business objectives

* Phase-appropriate performance metrics

* An integrated IT ecosystem

IDC recommends that sales and marketing automation efforts be tightly coordinated across both organizations so that the customer experience and lead management processes are handled seamlessly by all parts of the infrastructure. Even if a marketing implementation will have no sales users and vice versa, the data definitions must be consistent and lead flows must have a closed-loop reporting capability.

IDC recommends:

* Sales operations and marketing operations must be directly accountable for developing, executing, and governing the organization's sales and marketing automation strategies.

* Sales and marketing automation strategies must be conceived and executed with respect to one another.

* The people, process, and technology issues inherent in the automation effort should be used to more closely knit the two organizations together.

* Marketing operations and sales enablement teams are especially critical – they should have representatives from both organizations with senior level sponsorship.

The IDC Framework for Sales and Marketing Automation (Doc #224215) provides a framework that identifies the shared processes that sales and marketing organizations should automate in conjunction with one another. It is intended for use by sales and marketing executives who are embarking on automation efforts so that they can get the best performance from their teams and technology.

The report is available for free for a limited time on IDC's Technology Marketing blog (http://techmarketingblog.blogspot.com/ [http://techmarketingblog.blogspot.com/]).

About IDC's Executive Advisory Group

The Executive Advisory Group provide IT marketing & sales executives and their operations counterparts critical insights and fact-based information to plan program and people investments, prepare marketing and sales operations, launch initiatives, and measure results. Both the CMO and Sales Advisory Services offer an annual subscription service, targeted multi-client studies, and custom engagements. As part of each subscription service, a peer-to-peer leadership board meets three times per year, where senior executives collectively problem-solve on difficult marketing and sales operations issues and processes. For more information on IDC’s Executive Advisory Group, contact Michelle Blondin at 508-988-7579 and mblondin@idc.com.

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps business executives, IT professionals, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on business strategy and technology purchases. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 45 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events Company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com [http://www.idc.com].

###