Ask the Experts Feed

Your contact page shouldn't be trendy; it should be CLEAR.

After visiting some company sites for radio guests and the like, I was stunned at how trendy their contact pages and team pages were. Trendy is NOT GOOD; it's confusing, irritating and will cause people to not trust you. Be clear. How can they REACH YOU? Email, address, phone, and contact form on that same page to give them EVERY OPTION. Phones should be answered by a HUMAN. Team pages - just a bunch of photos? Really? No names, no links nothing but random photos that could be from Aaron Brothers sample photos in the frames or some stock site. Be proud of your folks and build trust. Give us a name, title/role in your company, link to their LINKEDIN profile at minimum, email link that has YOUR domain in it, rather than their personal email, in the case of virtual teams. Stop being cheap with your email plans and put on your big boy/girl pants .



Need help with this? ask Jim or Susan or ANY POTENTIAL customer. WE HATE digging for your links to your contact page and vague info for your team. Start 2017 right with everyone being able to reach you. Sure, you get some junk calls and emails. But one good lead can make up for that time you spent with the spam marketer.

Tips for Transitions in Jobs: Change is constant.

Some of my strongest memories of my K-12 education were during middle school. Our children attend a K-8 and have had the same beloved principal for six years. He has been promoted and will be leaving a legacy, memories and broken hearts. It brought me back to memories of my own transition from Jr. High to High School. They were across the street from each other and the tradition on the last day of ninth grade was to make the symbolic cross to the other side of the street.


My year was different. The district had just changed Jr. High to seventh and eighth only and some teachers had to cross with us. So a large group of future ninth and tenth graders with a couple of

Continue reading "Tips for Transitions in Jobs: Change is constant." »

7 of Brian Carroll’s 31 Tips for Improving Sales and Marketing Lead Generation Alignment

I have been asked to speak on the topic of Sales and Marketing Alignment a number of times.  Gerhard Gschwandtner’s recent opening at Sales 2.0 in Las Vegas addressed the same topic, and I spoke up to say, “Alignment starts and ends with leadership from senior sales and marketing management.”  And yet, obviously, there is more to it than leadership. 

 Why it matters!

Without alignment of sales and marketing a company has no team.  No team, no winners.  Just a high sales territory turn-over and outrageous marketing spending. 

Brian Carroll, in his B2BLeadBlog yesterday, summed it up in a list of 31 actions (he said ‘tips’) that have to be considered in order to get alignment between Sales and Marketing.  Here are 7 of Brian Carroll’s 31 ideas; crucial ones you can use to improve alignment and collaboration:

  1. Train your salespeople to optimize your lead generation investment and to give you feedback.

Continue reading "7 of Brian Carroll’s 31 Tips for Improving Sales and Marketing Lead Generation Alignment " »

11 Email Marketing Basics: Drop a note to those who opened your newsletter

This post may be "101" for many of you who have full marketing departments, large automated systems that process subscribers, send out auto-responders, and automatically create newsletters from your hashtagged posts on social media. This is for the rest of you. There are so many types of email marketing systems. Some are so complex and auto-piloted you barely know what is being sent out or who is engaging until you read the monthly reports. This is a very hands-off approach. Although it is helpful for tracking and saving time, you can lose touch with those who are actually

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Velocify study shows that how salespeople spend their time can increase sales 29-49%

In July, Velocify published a dramatic report that demonstrates the power of prioritizing a salespereson's time in the follow-up of sales leads.   You can listen now by clicking below to the SLMA Radio Interview.


How salespeople spend their time (spend is the operative word) can make a staggering  difference in productivity (code word for ROI) of a sales rep.  Jorge Jeffery of Velocify shared the results of data collected from 400 companies and one million sales leads in this interview and his report.  He tells the SLMA Radio host Jim Obermayer how to double conversion rates, (close more deals) and how to call leads more quickly. All of this comes from their recently released study: The Power of Prioritization. 
Why it matters
Sales prioritization of lead follow-up increases sales
dramatically and reduces sales expenses

Continue reading "Velocify study shows that how salespeople spend their time can increase sales 29-49%" »

Growing Your Biz Presence on #GooglePlus, aka Google+

This is a recap of a Hangout on Air featuring Those4Girls, Stephan Hovnanian, owner of Shovi Websites and SLMA Online Marketing Director, Susan Finch. The discussion covered these points:

  • Why is it important to have a presence specifically on G+?
  • What are the most efficient best practices for your Business Page?
  • What resources are out there to help me build a solid reputation on G+?
  • How do I set myself apart from the crowd in a busy, content filled platform?

NINJA TIP: On all social media venues that have taglines, statements - if you are preparing to attend an event - mention it there, if you are speaking, have a booth - mention it so that when people connect with you ahead of time they know they have the right "YOU."

Stephan has a weekly show: Google+ Business Spotlight - how businesses are using Google+. He's written a couple of books on various topics on Google. Time to make it a bigger part of your web footprint.

 Google+ is one more tool to increase your reach, your authority, your reputation through true engagement. This is a more collaborative environment.

Why is a presence on Google+ important?

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Taking the Mystery out of Pricing Telemarketing Services

Photo_marianne2SLMA Radio host Jim Obermayer asks Mari Anne Vanella to tackle the tough subject of navigating what should be paid for the different levels of telemarketing services.   Mari Anne is the president of the Vanella Group and is a featured speaker at the annual Dreamforce meeting.


In this 40 minute interview Obermayer will work with Mari Anne to separate fact from fiction about telemarketing pricing and the different levels of compensation based on the project scope.  Should database clean-up be different from lead generation which could be different from appointment setting, which could be different from pure sales, which is different from lead nurturing?  What about a flat hourly fee verses those companies that charge for per calling hour, management and reporting?


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SLMA Webinar: Generating Hyper Growth with Data Driven Decisions

Robert IsrachAUGUST 22: 12pm - 1pm Pacific Time
Robert Israch - VP Global Marketing Programs


thought leadership webinar series

Robert Israch is responsible for developing and managing NetSuite's worldwide demand generation programs, using marketing ROI to inform and guide all marketing decisions. Robert will present how NetSuite uses marketing technology, data reporting and analytics to build a scalable marketing organization that can accommodate exponential worldwide sales growth. Robert's presentation will include how NetSuite tracks sales leads from generation through conversion, making key decisions based on data analysis and marketing ROI instead of opinion. 

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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?

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 |



  • 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