Marketing Without an SLM Process Isn’t Marketing

IStock-500365609Of course, marketing has many facets, from product management to lead generation, digital marketing, content marketing, PR, event marketing, and marketing operations; every discipline is important for the entire marketing machine.  But the one discipline, above all others, that makes it all work is the sales lead management process.

Without a defined sales lead management process companies either fail outright or fail to be profitable and competitive.  A defined SLM process is necessary because the working parts of the SLM process are cross-departmental, cross-software applications, and cross-vendor driven, which is a recipe for confusion and chaos if there is no defined process. 

Why It’s Important

“Without a defined sales lead management process companies either fail outright or fail to be profitable and competitive.”

James W. Obermayer

Sales departments need a sales process and a company’s failure is often tracked back to the lack of a sales process.  Manufacturing, finance, purchasing and quality departments must also have a process or they fail.   For some reason, however, marketing has gotten away without a sales lead process document describing in detail how a sales lead is processed, the tools used to process it, and the departments that cooperate with each other in order to fulfill the needs of the prospect.

Without an SLM process, outside vendors do one-off programs to improve the qualification of the inquirer, but their actions need to be understood within the framework of an SLM process.  Content management is a vital part of the process in supplying the right information to the prospect at the right time.  Marketing operations departments are becoming common to overcome the chaos that results from everyone’s best intentions carried out with little forethought. 

Chart it Out

Identify the players, inside and out, the software, inside and out, and the rules for engagement; then chart out the process.  Codify it in the various CRM, marketing automation and marketing intelligence applications.  Test it, get stakeholder buy-in (sales management and salespeople come to mind), and continually review and refine the process as new digital lead generation applications and opportunities arise. 

Why it Matters

“Without a sales lead management process, you have well-intentioned marketing people haphazardly managing sales leads, which are the most valuable company assets (aside from its products), while salespeople wander about on a self-imposed pursuit of unqualified buyers.”

James W. Obermayer

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Ruth P. Stevens’ article:   It's all about process: the company with the best lead management process wins!

 CMO Salary Update

56 Reasons Revenue Collapses and What to Do About It - Obermayer

‘How to Turn Around Failing Sales’ - Ebook

56reasons-coverAuthor and publisher James Obermayer discusses 56 reasons companies fail  to reach sales forecasts and what to do about them.

The Funnel Media Group (FMG) has released an ebook entitled How to Turn Around Failing Sales: Fifty-six reasons companies fail to reach revenue forecasts and what to do about them.  The author, Funnel Media Group Publisher James W. Obermayer, draws on 20 years of experience as the principal of Sales Leakage Consulting, which is owned by FMG.  He is also the producer for the Funnel Radio Channel programming and founder of the Sales Lead Management Association, all of which are part of FMG.   The ebook, released through the Sales Lead Management Association ( a FMG company) is free, not gated and can be accessed here.

Why it’s Important:

 "Of course, there are many reasons why sales dump at mid-year.  But I have found these 56 to be the main causes of failure. Some have are easy fixes, some are things to avoid, some are long-term fixes, some cost money, and some simply require policy or rule changes and common sense. Most can have immediate impact."

James  W. Obermayer


This ebook is unique.  It not only lists 56 ways to turn around failing sales, but also grades each tactic with ascending dollars signs from one to five to indicate the ROI that can be expected by addressing the issue.   Offered as a PDF form, the ebook allows the reader can fill in spaces to assign a specific problem area to a named individual, with a place to enter the date by which the reader wants the issue fixed.

How to Turn Around Failing  Sales, also references books and white papers that can assist the reader.  Those referenced did not pay to be a part of the work. 

The work is divided into five sections:

Continue reading "56 Reasons Revenue Collapses and What to Do About It - Obermayer" »

The Four Most Important Marketing Tools: Market, Media, Message, Metrics - Dan McDade

Jim Obermeyer invited me on to the SLMA radio show last week and we talked about the four critical technology solutions that every marketer needs to be aware of for lead qualification and nurturing.

When I was first invited I pushed back explaining to Jim that I have a contrarian view when it comes to new marketing and sales enablement technology. In fact, I said to Jim on the telephone – and on the show – that “marketing and sales enablement have made it possible to send more poor quality leads to sales faster than ever before.”

It is not that I am techno-phobic. It is just that I have seen tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted on black box solutions that don’t work.

Instead of recommending specific technologies I suggested to Jim that we break down marketing’s role into four areas and discuss what is important in each area: Market, Media, Message and Metrics.

On the show, we tackled Market and Media. The important take-aways from those areas are:

Market – there is no such thing as a good list. Testing is critical. Companies forgo 65% of the value of most marketing programs by ignoring non-lead outcomes and do a terrible job of nurturing. Listen to the show and see this blog for more on that topic.

Media – We refer to how we approach a market as multi-touch, multi-media and multi-cycle processes that multiply results. The term that covers this in the market today is cadence. Cadence is very important to effectively work a market. Most companies under-invest on outbound touches because their team has been raised on responding to inbound interest. Weaning inside sales staff (or BDRs) off a diet of inbound to being able to conduct outbound programs – is one of the most difficult things to do. For more, listen to the show.

Message and Metrics

Image-1Since we did not have time to cover these areas during the show, Jim asked me to include thoughts about Message and Metrics areas in this blog:

Message –  I find that the use of three silver bullets is the key to success in engaging a prospect in in any sales call (live or on the telephone). Some examples: Silver bullets are challenges, problems or concerns that are likely to be on the minds of executives in any given market. In addition to helping to reach common ground with the prospect during your conversation, you can also make sure that you are not wasting their time or yours on a call. For example, a silver bullet for PointClear is that we prefer to work with prospects who “want to directly and measurably impact the revenue of their company.” Subconsciously, many in marketing don’t relish this level of accountability. Some years ago, I had a CMO/client who said “if my CEO told me my job was to generate leads for sales I would quit.” He didn’t have to. He was terminated within a few months of this discussion (to clarify, I had nothing to do with that). Our associates have three of these messaging nuggets—silver bullets—top of mind every time they make a call to guide their conversations. They are part of the call flow for all of our clients (we don’t use scripts).

Just a few minutes ago I had a conversation with a representative of an agency looking for help generating leads from a list of 4,000 suspects provided by their client (including a competitor list (probably scraped off the internet). When I suggested that she recommend to her client that they segment the list (because they are likely to find that not all 4,000 suspects are worth contacting) and develop differentiating messages for each segment, her response was that the client was too desperate for leads and did not need my company to segment the list and create more effective messaging to create a program that generated more opportunities for less money. Folks, you can’t make this stuff up.

Metrics – Marketing is frequently measured on number of leads and cost per lead. In this video blog, I talk about why this is a bad thing. I go into detail about why  Cost-per-lead is not the correct metric for measuring marketing initiative success:

  • The approach incents volume over quality.
  • Cost-per-lead emphasizes cost over ROI value.
  • CPL doesn’t deliver high quality, high value, more convertible leads.
  • The metric adds cost and creates inaction (and causes much marketing frustration) when sales execs discover the leads don’t meet criteria.
  • This way to measure is not actionable in planning and predicting future investments.

Final advice: before buying and implementing new technology (such as Account based Marketing technology), create an effective manual process and then use technology to scale. Automating bad processes is a very expensive way to go-to-market. Account-based Marketing, as an example does not require new technology and does not need to be complex. See this blog for more.


Sales Lead Response: The Ugly Truth Behind Call, Voicemail and Email Practices - Review

Slma-recommended-187Title:  Sales Lead Response: The Ugly Truth Behind Call, Voicemail and Email Practices

Published by/Authors:  Velocify

Gated: Yes

Download Link   

Sales Lead Response Report image  2_cover_for PRNewswireLength:  18 Pages


The authors say there are four considerations that should be factored into an ideal prospect follow-up strategy:

  1. Communication Channel
  2. Communication Timing
  3. Communication Persistence
  4. Communication Quality

Methodology:  The authors have access to millions of data interactions between interested buyers and sales representatives.  Plus, the company conducted lead response assessments for 20 companies over 22 days using virtual leads split between two lead sources:  Purchased leads and website generated leads.

They found:

  • 33% of leads never received a call
  • 91% of the leads didn’t receive an optional number of calls
  • 95% of the leads didn’t receive an optimal number of voice mails

Some facts they report:

Calling a lead within one minute of an inquiry more than doubles conversion rates, but only 7% of the prospects got a call in one minute. Nice chart here on response times.

They also report on:

  • How many times should you call?
  • How many voice mails should you leave?
    • 80% of calls go to voice mail
    • 90% of first time voicemails are never returned
    • 82% of the voice mails need improvement
  • What makes a good voice mail?
    • Context
    • Clarity
    • Length
    • Personal
    • Tone
  • Most email follow-up is too quick, too slow or not frequent enough.
  • How quickly should you email? Seconds, minutes, hours, days weeks?
  • How many emails should you send? Between four and six
  • Emails speed is not as influential as email quality
  • What makes a good email?
  • 92% of emails need improvement!
  • Conclusion: Inspect What you Expect.

Why it’s Important:

”This Velocify report is the most credible and significant study on what to do about sales lead response failures that I have read. Companies that precisely following this roadmap “without deviation” will significantly increase revenue and achieve their forecast, while simultaneously increasing their marketing ROI. This study points up the value of a sales lead management process.”

James Obermayer

                                                    Author of  Managing Sales Leads, Turning Cold Prospects into Hot Customers and co-author of Managing Sales Leads, How to Turn Every Prospect into a Customer

SLMA Comments:   There are a lot of details in this report and it is a must read.  Company presidents will be shocked by the results of the study.  Marketing management will be frustrated and sales management will be more than embarrassed – guilty as charged comes to mind.  

IStock-164431365 (4)This report has been awarded the Sales Lead Management Association "Go to the Bank" stamp of Approval.  Only articles, ebooks, research, podcasts or white papers that directly have an effect on revenue get this stamp. 

Recommended for: 

  • President
  • CSO
  • Sales Management
  • Sales Managers
  • Sales Operations Management

Download Link


This review was conducted independently without the advice or consent of the publisher.    

Note:  If you would like your research or e-book reviewed, you may submit it to:  There is no guarantee it will be reviewed.  You may not be given notice if it is reviewed.  If you would like to submit artwork for the cover of the work along with a copy of the work, you may do so.  Members and non-members, sponsors and non-sponsors are welcomed to submit work for review.  Sponsors are given priority for white paper reviews.

 This blog is supported by the generous sponsorship of  VanillaSoft and Goldmine CRM Software and the  25 additional sponsors of the SLMA

IStock-544131474For priceless but free membership in the Sales Lead Management Association
 go here. 




CMO Salary Update

This is an update from January 2014.  Milage varies.  Lots of sources. 

6a0147e05adc32970b01b7c80fc9b3970b-320wiConsidering the wealth and revenue a CMO creates we are always surprised at the compensation level.  But then again not all CMO's are created equal.  Not all know how to create revenue based on a company's sales forecast.  Not all think their job is to create qualified prospects for the salespeople.  And not all know that sales lead management is a process. 


Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Salary

Average pay for Chief Marketing Officers in the United States is more than reasonable, with annual salaries pushing past the six-figure mark ($160K). Total incomes of Chief Marketing Officers incorporate potential for, in a few cases, more than $83K from bonuses and close to $56K from profit sharing; these performance components cause packages to range between $79K and $306K. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure. Job satisfaction for Chief Marketing Officers is high. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and more than half earn dental coverage. More than half of Chief Marketing Officers (63 percent) survey respondents are men. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

National Salary Data

Salary                          $68,498 - $252,615                                     

Bonus                        $5,000 - $83,059     

Profit Sharing           $98.63 - $55,752     

Commission              $9,863 - $30,965     

Total Pay                   $79,199 - $306,414



CMO Salaries

234 Salaries   Updated Feb 28, 2017  National Avg  $161,467

National Salary Data

Salary                          $68,498 - $252,615                                     

Bonus                        $5,000 - $83,059     

Profit Sharing           $98.63 - $55,752     

Commission              $9,863 - $30,965     

Total Pay                   $79,199 - $306,414


Chief Marketing Officer Salaries in the United States

Salary estimated from 733 employees, users, and past and present job advertisements on Indeed in the past 12 months. Last updated: May 10, 2017

Average salary  $130,032 per year

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Sales Emotional Intelligence isn't an Oxymoron - Jeb (Blount) talk with Matt Heinz

Listen while you work:

Are you fanatical about prospecting? You should be!  

Tweet-image-800x400-jeb-blount2Matt's guest is Jeb Blount. Jeb Blount is a long time sales trainer, prospector and the best-selling author of eight books including Sales EQ, Fanatical Prospecting, People Follow You, People Buy You. 

When Matt asked how the salesforce looks today he surprised us with his answer,

"It looks the same as it did three years ago, five years ago - the things sales people are doing are the same things they did then.  But, there are more ways to fill your pipleline and channels - more opportunities than ever before. Older salespeople are benefitting, but can be overwhelmed with the addition of so many places to interrupt the day of prospects and connect."

Continue reading "Sales Emotional Intelligence isn't an Oxymoron - Jeb (Blount) talk with Matt Heinz" »