As one of many tools available to channel marketers, Lead Management is categorized under the the broader umbrella of opportunity management programs (along with deal registration, referral management, and special pricing). Within the context of channel marketing, Lead Management is intended to send leads down from the vendor to the designated partner(s) to assist in or complete the sales transactions. It’s cousin, Referral Management acts as the mirror image by allowing 3rd parties to send leads up to the sponsoring vendor (although effective referrals programs are designed to accept leads from a number of sources including customers, employees, affiliate organizations, in addition to just channel partners). Combine characteristics of each of these into a single program, the result may be labeled as a Bi-directional lead management program. I spent the last couple of days helping one of our clients craft such a program. That process yielded some interesting observations and insights which are the subject of this entry.