Sales & Marketing Tech

Category Compare: Lead Generation vs. Lead Nurturing

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In this report, we define and compare lead generation and lead nurturing software to help you decide which one suits your business needs.

Both lead generation software and lead nurturing software are part of the marketing and sales category. The two tools are often confused due to their overlapping features, but their use cases are distinct. This report will identify the similarities and differences between the two software tools to help identify which one is better suited for your requirements.

What is lead generation software?

Lead generation software assists organizations in attracting and capturing leads from multiple channels, such as web forms, social media, and landing pages. Its key features include contact management, sales prospecting, lead segmentation, form customization, surveys, social media marketing, lead assignment, and post-sale follow-up.

The software helps not only generate new leads but also identify high-quality prospects to increase the chances of conversion. These tools also integrate with applications such as customer relationship management (CRM) and customer service software to facilitate effective sales pipeline management.

What is lead nurturing software?

Lead nurturing software, a subset of lead management software, helps build strong relationships with leads at every stage of the sales funnel. It allows sales and marketing professionals to set up a series of trigger-based communications via email, SMS, social media, or phone calls throughout a buyer’s journey.

A lead nurturing tool helps understand the buyer persona, score and filter leads, track leads through the sales process, and monitor their response to an organization’s sales and marketing campaigns. Some of its other features include sales automation, marketing automation, and nurturing strategy.

What do they have in common?

Both lead generation and lead nurturing tools are essential parts of a lead management system. The two are often used together with a CRM tool to qualify and manage prospective customers. Lead generation starts off the lead management process and focuses on capturing new leads and engaging and attracting potential customers. Lead nurturing software, on the other hand, focuses on turning prospective leads into customers.

Lead generation software features

Lead nurturing software features

Which tool is right for you?

Since lead generation and lead nurturing are correlated, consider investing in either one tool that offers both features or two different tools, one from each category. If your marketing team needs a tool to capture new leads, consider investing in lead generation software. The software will also help with contact management and lead segmentation.

On the other hand, if your sales team needs assistance turning captured leads into customers, opt for lead nurturing software. The software will also support other aspects such as lead scoring, lead engagement, pipeline management, multichannel marketing, and personalization.

To land more leads and turn them into sales, you will need both lead generation and lead nurturing tools.

Once you decide which software to use, head to our lead generation software and lead nurturing software category pages where you can find a sortable list of products, software reviews from verified users, and comprehensive buyers guides.

If you wish to narrow down your search to only the most popular and highest-rated solutions, visit Capterra’s Shortlist reports for the top lead generation software and lead nurturing software tools—our reports are based on an analysis of thousands of user reviews.

3 top-rated lead generation and lead nurturing software

These three products, listed in alphabetical order, are among the top rated in both software categories.

Note: Reviews and ratings data in the product cards is as of Jan. 28, 2022. New reviews may have been added since the publication of this article, so the reviews data in this piece may not reflect current conditions.
The products in the category comparison images are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations by Capterra. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.


To be included in the top-rated list, the products must:

  1. Be listed under Capterra’s 2022 Shortlist report for lead generation and lead nurturing software. Learn more about the Capterra Shortlist methodology here.
  2. Meet our software market definition for lead generation and lead nurturing software:
    • Lead generation: “Lead generation software helps businesses automate lead generation activities such as contact management, lead segmentation, form customization, surveys, social media marketing, lead assignment, and post-sale follow-up.”
    • Lead nurturing: “Lead nurturing software is a subset of lead management software that has many similar features and functionalities. However, lead nurturing software is designed specifically for building a relationship with the lead through every stage of the sales funnel.”

Looking for Lead Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Lead Management software solutions.

About the Author

Barkha Bali

Barkha Bali

Writer @ Capterra with a focus on small business market trends, software requirements, and all things tech. M.A. in English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia. Has a keen interest in learning new Content and SEO techniques. A meaningful conversation over a good cup of coffee can propagate great ideas, is what she believes.

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