In a post to from the Sales Lead management Association John Obermayer makes an interesting and timely point:
While most C-level managers realize that build-and-ship schedules are tied to sales performance, few understand that sales performance ultimately is tied to sales lead performance and the marketing budget.
Reduce your lead generating marketing funds and within 30 days inquiries will slow down in proportion to how much you have cut the budget. The frightening subsequent sales failure happens within 60-90 days when sales plummet because the pipeline of prospects has slowed to a trickle. Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is a prime example of cause and effect.
In difficult times many companies make cuts without thinking through the consequences of their actions. I have seen this time and time again ... sometimes with disastrous results. In difficult times it's precisely the investments you make in lead generation, lead nurturing and lead qualification efforts that will keep you in the game.