BtoB Online partnered with InterCall to reveal new insight into one online marketing tactic that is gaining ground: lead generation. Lead generation is becoming more mainstream as businesses are seeing potential and then success with this type of marketing tactic. According to this study, 74% of the B2B marketing professionals that responded are at least moderate participants in lead-gen practices (tweet this!), while 48% are "very" or "fully" involved. If your business wants to be more successful with lead generation programs, consider improving these three areas of your business. Marketing-Sales Alignment Lead generation efforts are the most successful when sales and marketing teams can work together effectively. On average, 66% of marketers are working relatively closely with sales. There is, however, a gap between those who are the most effective with lead generation and those who are not. 80% of highly effective marketers work closely with sales in the process of lead generation. Among the least-effective marketers, 57% work intimately with sales in developing lead-gen programs. Marketers and sales employees need to work together effectively, especially when it comes to lead generation. A lead can be more accurately scored when input is drawn from the different departments and both are able to create and deliver the right content at the right time. This brings us to the next point. Lead Nurturing Lead generation isn't a one-step process. Leads need to be nurtured from the initial touch point up until they make a purchase. If you want that purchase to be with your business, become a thought leader and trusted resource. 74% of highly effective respondents from the study indicate that they use lead nurturing, compared with just 26% of low-effectiveness marketers. Among high-achievers, webcasts, email newsletters, white papers, thought leadership and videos are considered more valuable. With the low achievers, by contrast, sales calls, tele-prospecting, blogging and advertorial material are valued more highly. Different businesses and marketers will see different successes with the types of tactics they choose to use. If you're unsure about what will yield the greatest ROI for your business, test different types of content and times to reconnect with each lead to develop the most effective lead nurturing strategy possible. Overcoming LeadGen Obstacles As with nearly every business process, there's obstacles to overcome with the launch of a new program or the revamp of one that is failing. 67% of the BtoB survey cited a lack of resources as the biggest obstacle overall. This is followed by depth and accuracy of their customer database (40%). Without an accurate, unified database of prospects, it is very difficult to present compelling, personalized and timely content and offers, much less understand the meaning of responses and score prospects as leads. In order for a lead generation campaign to be successful, the entire company must be behind the process and participating in optimizing their lead generation and nurturing strategies with the best outreach, content, pitches and more. 55% of marketers who describe themselves as highly effective said they have "full participation" in lead-gen practices within their companies (tweet this!). Lead generation programs offer small and large businesses the opportunity to connect with a new audience and prospects. However, in order for these types of campaigns to be successful, marketers need to work with sale to nurture leads effectively and efficiently. Not only that, as obstacles arise, marketers and sales professionals working on lead generation programs need to be able to count on their colleagues and be confident that they can reach out to the rest of the company for insight into how the business as a whole can be more successful with a lead generation campaign.