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February 2014

Tired of Trying to Answer the ROI Question?

Yogi Berra said it best when he commented “I wish I had an answer to that, because I'm tired of answering that question.”    His statement reminds me that marketing managers seldom give a good answer to the ROI question.  I guess they wish people would stop asking and maybe things will just get better by themselves.  Not gonna happen.

IStock_000018180137SmallSooner or later Marketing will have to stand up and tell management what the ROI is for the demand generation budget.  Are you sure you want to hear something similar to what Casey Stengel said when counseling a young ball player?  "Son, we'd like to keep you around this season, but we're going to try and win a pennant."

Why It Matters

                                 If you don’t solve the revenue ROI question for demand generation, management will find someone who can!

How can management keep a marketing team on board if they can’t create demand in a predictable way?  A way that creates revenue in a predictable fashion so that they can be number one in their marketplace?

Marketing managers used to say they couldn’t prove the ROI on marketing because:

  1. They didn’t have a CRM system. - This doesn’t pertain any more.  90% of all companies have a CRM system; the ones that don’t can’t use cost as an excuse.  It’s cheap; pocket change.   This excuse no longer applies.
  2. Salespeople don’t report on the disposition of leads. - This is a matter of sales management policy.  Make reporting on lead disposition a matter of policy.  It’s a must-have rule; one not to be broken.  (Those who don’t report are usually the top salesperson in the organization, or those not making quota.) 
  3. Salespeople don’t follow-up leads. - Gee, this is similar to number two.  It’s a matter of sales management policy.  Make lead follow-up a matter of policy; a rule.  Rules are not to be broken. 
  4. Marketing has no control over follow-up. - Marketing is now equipped with CRM and marketing automation tools, making follow-up a part of their job and an easily automated chore.  No excuses any more. 
  5. They don’t work for me! - It doesn’t make any difference if the salespeople work for you or not.   As the marketing manager, create a lead nurturing follow-up system.  Create reports that show who is following up and who isn’t.  If nothing else works, embarrass them. 
  6. They do work for me but they won’t follow-up! - If the salespeople work for you and you can’t get them to follow up leads, time to fire yourself for being a poor leader.

 If your company wants to ‘win the pennant,’ make sure you have the right people and processes in place. Sales managers - do your part and enforce the follow-up rules.  Marketing managers - do your part and perform follow-up of your own using one of the cheap and ready marketing automation tools.  


National Sales Managers Salaries: What do they get paid?

IStock_000016192221SmallAgain, as in my entry about CMO salaries last month, I think you will find this information about sales managers’ salaries to be of interest.  It isn’t that you can’t find this for yourself with a few clicks, but presenting it here makes it a bit easier and brings attention to the salary ranges.

There is slightly conflicting information about salary ranges and median dollars.  Some information further down shows the differences by geographical location. I apologize to our membership outside of the U.S., as information by country is much more difficult to compile and present, and being lazy I took the easy way out.

I did not research bonus payments, overrides, or other forms of compensation, nor benefits packages, which can often impact the total compensation by as much as 100%   (although payscale.com did quote some stats).   Different sources are quoted below:

  • In US Dollars, as of Feb 22, 2014 - National Sales Manager Average:  $69,000 
  • Range:  $43,932 - $118,661   MEDIAN: $74,768

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5 Key Factors for Identifying Your Ideal Prospect

by Stu Heinecke

20140224-awfully-forward-edward

There's a reason why I illustrated this article with a cartoon of a couple on a date, because finding the ideal prospect for your products or services is all about finding the right match.  Just like dating, without that proper fit, the relationship is likely to fizzle, which drains your marketing resources.

 I've been supplying the monthly cartoon to the SLMA site for a long time, so many of you know me merely as a cartoonist.  But you probably didn't know that I have been using cartoons create record-breaking marketing campaigns for more than 30 years.  Cartoons are powerful devices that often lend an unfair advantage to various types of campaigns.  That is particularly true in the e-mail channel, where we see cartoons routinely doubling open rates for new users.  It seems like a no-brainer, then, to offer marketers the opportunity to test our "cartoon device" for free, as a way to build the member base in our e-mail marketer program.  

But not if we aren't connecting to our ideal prospects.

And clearly we're not, at least not in all cases.  My ideal prospect is anyone who is already committed to e-mail marketing and now wants higher opens and greater engagement with their list members.  Simple, but not so simple to find.  So I think it is instructional to share with you some of the pitfalls and lessons we're finding, to see if it can offer some insight for your own lead programs.

Be Specific

Identifying your ideal prospect is easy once you've taken the time to write out the parameters that make a prospect ideal.  I thought I had my own ideal prospect description firmly in mind until I attended a group exercise last week, when we were all asked to tell it to the group.  If you're not able to explain who your ideal prospect is in a single sentence without fumbling for words, you need to get to work on a simple, but very specific definition.  Identifying the right prospects then becomes much simpler, and your follow-up much more efficient.

Be Selective

Even when you're being specific as you define your ideal prospect, it's tempting to worry that you're leaving business on the table if you exclude certain prospect types or sources.  Just as dating is far more shall we say, productive, if you're being selective, leads need to be parsed in the same way.  A person who loves you, loves your product or service and is your biggest fan, but still lacks the ability or authority to buy should never be allowed to waste your marketing resources as a viable prospect.   There may be other ways such a person can benefit your operation, but don't waste time on them trying to generate a direct sale.

 Why it Matters 

Cartoons are powerful devices that often lend

an unfair advantage to various types of campaigns.

It is particularly true in the e-mail channel, 

where cartoons routinely double open rates. 

Be Tough

Being specific and making tough choices demands that you yourself be tough.  I know.  There are always sentimental favorites and they're usually a waste of time.  One of my sources is a fairly large

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