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October 2012

What is the chain of Custody in Lead Generation and Management?


IStock_000016302989Small BagIn law enforcement and medical fields, there are things called “chain of Evidence” and/or  “chain of custody.”   The chain of custody begins when evidence is collected, and the chain is maintained until the evidence is disposed of. The chain of custody assures continuous accountability. This accountability is important because, if not properly maintained, an item may be inadmissible. If not admissible the case is lost.

Unfortunately, in the fields of lead generation and management there is an unspoken agreement that sales leads should be “in a chain of custody” to be sure there is a 100% accountability (follow-up); but no one takes the chain of custody mandate seriously.   Marketing looks at this issue as a "hand-off" compliance problem.  

When the chain of custody is broken no one is well served; the lead generation people don’t know what happened, the salesperson fails, and marketing can’t say that the money they spent on lead generation is measurable. If this were a court of law, the judge would rule that in most companies the chain of custody is broken when:

1. Follow-up fails
2. Salespeople fail to record the results.

In legal and medical circles there are forms created that go with the “evidence” and each person that takes possession signs the form which proves that no one lost or tainted the evidence.  In our industry, the CRM system is used as the “Chain of Custody” recording device. The recording device doesn’t fail, the people with the responsibility of contacting the prospect and recording the results fail. What is supposed to be a straight pathway turns into a people-dependent sloppily-recorded process fraught with failure.

• The prospects ask for information about the company’s product.
• The need is recorded in the CRM System.
• Maybe the inquiry or lead is given to the sales person. Maybe not.
• The CRM system may be connected to a marketing automation system that delivers content to the prospect. This may also include a telemarketing call.
• Marketing automation follows up and makes up for salespeople who fail to contact the prospect.
• Marketing automation work-flow processes notify the salesperson when the prospect is interested (sales ready?).
• The sales rep down-loads the lead and 75% of the time ignores the prospect (many reasons given, none justified unless the prospect has died in the meantime). Excuses include:
    o No phone number.
    o No email address.
    o gmail or Hotmail or similar free email address.
    o Sales Rep doesn’t have a quota on the product.
    o Prospect inquired before and didn’t buy.
    o Prospect is not geographically desirable to the sales rep.
• The sales rep may or may not record the sales in the CRM (chain of evidence recording device).
• Marketing cannot measure the ROI to C-Level managers.
• Marketing cannot decide on evidence which lead generation program worked or didn’t work.

IStock_000015969477Small Tracking
We have heard for years that sales inquiries and leads are not followed-up. The “chain of evidence” is broken. Unless of course you insist that there are no breaks. This is an enforceable decision.

• Sales management enforces a rule for 100% follow-up of all inquiries and sales leads.
• Marketing starts the “chain of custody” by capturing the inquirer, putting the name and qualifying information into a CRM system plus, manage nurturing.
• Sales reps close out all inquirers as won or lost.
• Marketing runs reports showing the ROI of all leads generated.
Those who keep the chain of custody win. Those who break the chain of custody fail 75% of the time.

Nominations close at 5 PM PDT Oct 29 for the 50 Most Influential PPl in Sales Lead Management

IStock_000015174589SmallThe Sales Lead Management Association said  that nominations are open until 5 PM PDT on October 29th for its annual election of the ‘50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management’ – 2012.  Only members of the SLMA may nominate people they think deserve recognition (membership in the SLMA is free), followed by a voting period from November 1st through November 30th (also members only). On December 5th, the ‘Top 50’ winners will be announced in the order of highest votes received. The complete rules for nominations, as well as nomination forms, are available on the SLMA site. www.theslma.com

Free membership 


The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it.”

Yes, it is Lou Holtz, week and I love his wisdom. Especially this quote. 

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When it comes to sales lead management, there are two groups of people who complain about the way the ball bounces.

1. Salespeople complain that they don’t get enough qualified leads, and yet stats say they don’t  follow-up 75% of the inquiries and leads given them.

Continue reading "The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it.”" »


"When all is said and done, more is said than done!”

Yes, Lou Holtz, the legendary football coach said this,* and how true it is in the sales lead management industry. In spite of all of the software tools available and the lip service given to proving the ROI for sales leads, I see few marketing managers step forward to actually prove lead gen ROI. It’s discussed and hammered on in webinars, seminars and workshops, and by keynote speakers and vendors. It’s included in most proposals by CRM and marketing automation companies. So why is it talked about more than it is done? IStock_000013867169Small

I have learned that there are basically two reasons people don’t do something: they don’t know how or they don’t want to. Often, these issues are interconnected. When it comes to lead management and marketing ROI, there are subsets of these two thoughts:

• They don’t know how to measure the ROI.

• Being held accountable is not their first choice.

• They don’t want to measure the ROI for lead generation.

Continue reading ""When all is said and done, more is said than done!”" »


Why Marketing Automation Needs Outbound Telemarketing

Ddacosta_DMPDebra Da Costa was recently interviewed on SLMA Radio to discuss the two independent disciplines and how they are becoming interconnected.  Oubound Telemarketing can stand on its own, but can Marketing Automation?  Litsten to hear thoughts on this subject:

Listen Now:   icon for podbean  Standard Podcasts [00:46:48m]: | Download | Embeddable Player |
Outbound Telemarketing is usually called in when Sales and Marketing are scratching their heads of how to handle digital clutter. helps to have someone from telemarketing to follow up on the vast quanities of leads - at least as a prequalifier, otherwise sales force cannot be relied on to call on these leads at the right time.

Continue reading "Why Marketing Automation Needs Outbound Telemarketing" »


Why is marketing aggravated with the sales people?

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During a recent broadcast of SLMA Radio, Jim Obermayer and Will Crist took opposing positions to gain better understanding as to why Sales gets so ticked at Marketing.

Jim took the position of a marketing executive and Will took that as a sales team member.

"A Sales Person should be helping someone who has a problem come to a decision as quickly as possible," according to Will Crist.
A sales lead from a sales person perspective is sales qualified lead - what sales people should expect or gently demand from that lead is that:

Someone that has raised their hands saying they want to talk to someone about the problems they are having.  Or, a company or person who wants to talk to someone to about my problems -- not about the product.

You can here the discussion here:

Listen Now: icon for podbean  Standard Podcasts [00:51:32m]: | Download | Embeddable Player |

 

Disqualifiers:

  • outrageous expectations
  • no money
  • cannot make a decision
  • no time to deal with it.

Qualified lead is a person with a need - ideally an immediate need.

Marketing's feeling is that Sales thinks a lead is someone ready to buy.
If they are not ready to buy, they think it's a waste of effort.
Ideally a PO would be attached to a sales lead; but as we know, that doesn't usually happen.

Sales person is supposed to help the person with the problem come to the decision as quickly as possible.

What do most sales people say are wrong with most leads - what is the biggest complaint.
Will told a story, "I had a client generating 289 leads per month.  They would go to the restaurants, invited people from the companies they wanted, "Come on over!"  From the lunch, marketing would give the cards to the sales folks from the lunch presenting them as 'qualified' leads worthy of follow up.  When sales followed up, the "leads" told them, 'Thank you for the great lunch, but we aren't interested in talking to you..."

Borrowed interest.  Typical - put your card in the bowl - get a free iPad, pens, etc.

Marketing has to watch out that they don't use borrowed interest to raise their hands and create unqualified leads.

What is your tradeshow experience? How many leads do you bring back? How many are QUALIFIED leads?  Who wants to talk about the problems?  Who has a date and time attached to the cards?  Better to bring back 30 of these leads, rather than 400 with borrowed interest as the motivator.

Complicating factor:
Marketing is measured by how many leads they generate - not QUALIFIED leads?
Most companies don't know how to discern that reporting, which causes Marketing to grab any type of lead they can. This leads to sales not trusting or not bothering with the leads passed on from marketing.

You can here the discussion here:

Listen Now: icon for podbean  Standard Podcasts [00:51:32m]: | Download | Embeddable Player
By: +Susan Finch

Sales Lead Management Association Opens Nominations for Annual ‘50 Most Influential Sales Lead Management Professionals’ List

50most_500x100-nominations-open
October 1, 2012--Los Angeles, CA—The Sales Lead Management Association (SLMA) announced today that nominations are open for its annual election of the ‘50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management’ - 2012. James W. Obermayer, CEO of the SLMA, said “Last year there were 7,113 votes cast for 79 nominees, by 4,656 people (each voter may choose up to three nominees).
This year we expect the nominations and votes to double.”

The annual election has a nomination period of October 1st through October 28th, followed by a voting period from November 1st through November 30th. Only members of the SLMA may nominate people they think deserve recognition (membership in the SLMA is free). December 5th, the ‘Top 50’ winners will be announced in the order of highest votes received. The complete rules for nominations, as well as nomination forms, are available on the SLMA site.

Ron Goodman, SLMA VP of Business Development said, “The Top 50 list is created in a two-stage process: nominating and voting.”

  • Nominations: SLMA members may nominate one or more professional individuals for consideration through October 28th, which is a week after Sales Lead Management Week (October 14-18, 2012). Nominations are accepted from SLMA members only. Non-members, however, may nominate someone once they join SLMA, and membership is free.
  • Voting: Any member or non-member may vote for candidates listed on the SLMA site beginning November 1, 2012. The '50 Most Influential Sales Lead Management Professionals’ list will be published on December 5, 2012.

Continue reading "Sales Lead Management Association Opens Nominations for Annual ‘50 Most Influential Sales Lead Management Professionals’ List" »