Sales Models, Metrics, and Motions Blog

Who Should Own Lead Generation? And Who Should Run It?

by Trish Bertuzzi on Thu, Feb 05, 2009

On a regular basis, we are asked:

  • Where should lead generation Reps report - Sales or Marketing?
  • What level of management should I consider for my team?

We took these questions to the market in our 2009 Lead Generation Metrics & Compensation Report and the answers are below.  Note: The report is based on surveys of 125 North American technology companies.

Do lead generation groups report to Sales or Marketing?

2009 Findings: 74% of groups report to Sales

Organizations are increasingly putting the Lead Generation function under the Sales umbrella. 

We believe this transition is occurring as the role evolves:

  • From qualifying inbound leads & setting meetings
  • To taking more ownership of the front end of the sales process                          

This includes:

  • account research
  • account mapping
  • preliminary needs analysis
  • preliminary interest development


What is the title of the group's direct manager?

Here are some rules of thumb to employ when thinking about what level of management to add to your organization:

  • Team Leader
    Never. This is a losing proposition.

    A Team Leader is someone who has two (2) full time jobs and has been set up to fail.
    They can't do both roles well so which one suffers? In actuality, both do.

  • Manager
    Works great for a small group. No more than 6 Reps.

    You should hire a Manager when you have an effective process in place and you are looking for someone to "manage" it and the Reps for you.
    Managers do not have the experience to design process, evolve strategy and messaging or think about ways to reduce expense and increase productivity.

  • Director
    If you have a group of 6+ Reps, you may want to consider a Director. Directors can also manage up to 3 Managers.

    Directors do have the experience to create process, evolve strategy and messaging and think about ways to reduce expense and increase productivity.

  • VP of Inside Sales
    If you have an organization of 20+ Reps, you should hire at the VP level. This is especially true if the Reps are quota carrying.

    The basis for hiring at the VP Inside Sales level is no different than it would be for Field Sales.  You need a person who can think strategically and execute tactically.

These are just rules of thumb. There are many variables that can impact your decision.
The good news is that Inside Sales is a great career and there is much talent in the market.  You just have to find the person who is right for your organization!

Topics: lead generation, best practices

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