The difference between lead nurturing and lead generation explained in two minutes

In the process of working with a leading IT networking organization to help them teach their channel partners about lead nurturing, I developed a series of very short videos to make the concept understandable and accessible. They’re about two minutes each, and this is the first one. It responds to a very common question: what’s the difference between lead nurturing and integrated lead generation campaigns?

If you want a crash course on lead nurturing or know of someone who could use one, feel free to bookmark this page, tweet and forward it.

Future posts will look at the following topics:

  • What the key ingredients of lead nurturing are and how they work together to create an effective lead-nurturing campaign.
  • How lead nurturing solves problems by aligning with buying behavior and the goals of sales
  • How lead nurturing accelerates the buying process and results in bigger deals and higher win-rates.
  • Where to find leads to nurture and how lead nurturing keeps prospects from slipping out of the marketing and sales funnel.

If you have any suggestions on how to supplement this series, let me know in the comments below. Stay tuned for more lead-nurturing insights.

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About the author 

J. David Green

J. David Green is the CEO of PipeAlign, a company that helps B2B companies tell a winning story, scale that story across sales and marketing, and measure and improve what matters most. Among other accomplishments, Dave generated a billion dollar sales pipeline in 20 months for Avaya, increased SMB revenue for Symantec from $2MM a year to $25M a year in twelve months, wrote a book on scalable lead generation, and has spoken at the DMA, MarketingSherpa, the BMA, the AMA, and many other events.

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  1. J. David,

    Thanks for posting this video. Lead generation does focus on the key decision maker for the complex selling situation but since others are involved in making the decision, it is also a good idea to include them in the lead gen process.

    It’s simply a matter of developing content that is mapped out to their particular involvement in the buying process that educates (no sales pitch) them about how to resolve problems related to their job function which your, lets say, SaaS automates. For instance, a HR head is frustrated with his existing personnel assessment software, the CFO is complaining about how much overtime is accrued by the department during quarterly employee evaluations, the CTO knows their better solution, and CEO wants productivity improved so that profitability is increased – period.

    Can you see how each of these people can be marketed to during the lead generation process? A direct response copywriter worth his salt could write copy for a direct mail postcard addressed to the HR head with a headline such as: New Personnel Evaluation Software Reduces 1,000 Hour Process to 100 Hours

    Clearly, that headline would be the result of knowing the number of employees an ideal company must have in order for the time reduction to grab the HR head’s attention. Anyway, the copywriter would also write headlines and copy that convey how the others can resolve their problems that resulting from outdated software. It’s possible that the same headline would grab all their attention.

    Now, since the software cost $12,000 the software company would use educational content to nurture the key decision maker and influencers footsteps through the buying journey. In my mind, nurturing is about following up with all parties who showed an interest in a product/service in effort to continually educate them and reveal to them how to solve their problem while elegantly showing why they should invest in our solution.

  2. Awesome points, what a great way of differentiating lead generation and lead nurturing. I couldn’t have defined it better. Actually given me an easy way to explain this to my future clients. Thanks!

  3. Jeff
    Good point. In one sense, lead nurturing is about generating leads. It’s just that you are starting at a different point in the buying cycle: when there is some interest in the solution. Thanks for the comment and the link.

  4. Interesting video and well-executed. Not sure I agree on your definition of lead generation though. I consider lead generation to be the entire program, while lead nurturing is the process of sharing valuable content over time to earn trust. You are right in that lead nurturing is of critical importance today.

    We have a new “cheat sheet” on Lead Nurturing that is free, just for asking. No registration form. Download it from

    Thanks and keep up the great work.

    Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor
    Find New Customers “Lead Generation Made Simple”
    @fearlesscomp on Twitter

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