Cowboy Wisdom & Dirt Farmers Values Feed

Tossin' your rope before buildin' a loop don't ketch the calf!

Whether you’re roping a calf or roping a prospect, if the rope doesn’t have a loop on it or you don’t have a sales lead management system in place the results will be the same, no calf, no prospect, no beef, no sale. IStock_000016437512Small

There are a lot of companies and solutions that say they are complete sales lead management systems. Most of them address a portion of the process but not the whole process.

In fact, no one solution addresses all aspects of sales lead management; there are too many departments, people and functions, regardless of the hysterical claims by some that they are a complete solution.

It takes a singular leader with a cradle to grave vision of managing prospects to have an impact on a company’s sales lead management process.

CRM, marketing automation, and telemarketing companies, are all part of the solution, but efforts can be futile without sales and marketing management coming to an agreement on the final vision and expectations from both parties. It takes leadership to close the loop.

There is an article on the SLMA website, 1 accessible by members (free membership), that discusses the people, departments and vendors who must work together.

It is important to understand what must happen for a team to put in place a competitive sales lead

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"Eat Oatmeal and live where it is warm.”

When asked to share her tips for a long life, 102 year old Edith Ribordy said, “Eat Oatmeal and live where it is warm.” *

Edith lived about a year after she spoke to the Orange County Register Newspaper (California) but her wisdom and grace live on.  

I like to show this quote at the end of some of my speeches.  It keeps things in perspective.   

Jim Obermayer

 *“102 years of Memories,” Orange County Register, Jan 13, 2008. 


Why do some people have to pee on an electric fence before they learn?


Will Rogers said, “There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading, the few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”

So I ask, why do marketers, in spite of irrefutable evidence have to learn in the most painful way that there is a predictable return on investment for lead generation programs?

Some marketers run marketing programs without an attempt at an ROI and get burned when management wakes up and asks for them to prove the return on investment. And yet there is a plethora of information on how to prove the ROI.

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Click here and see what Silverpop has to say in their white paper entitled: Show How Marketing Makes Money: A 5-Step Plan for Proving ROI.

Not enough proof for you? Try reading “Ways to Prove the ROI for Sales Inquiries” from Go-To-Market Strategies. 

Want something about social media? Try these case studies: “10 case studies that prove the ROI of Social Media” from Lauren Fisher of Simply Zesty.

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A faint heart never filled a Royal Flush

IStock_000009828222Small (2)MimeSeems like every time I turn around there is somebody talking about sales and marketing alignment, but the people doing the talking know what to do and the people doing the listening are faint of heart. The faint of heart never go for the royal flush.

It’s usually the marketing managers doing the listening but something happens when they close out the webinar or get back home from the seminar. They’ve been told that if they can only reach alignment with the sales department life will be grand. They’ve been told they can overcome being overhead if they start acting like they’re holding a royal flush and sit down with the sales manager and work on common problems. They been told they’ll win the “Alignment” hand if only they’ll do this, or if only they do that.

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Life is simpler when you plough around the stump!

IStock_000011340093Small The problem is the stump is still there.   Maybe you can avoid it for a while, but sooner or later you have to figure out how to take the stump out.  The biggest stump most marketing managers have is the lack of follow-up of the sales inquiries and leads by the salespeople.  In most organizations it is a pretty big obstacle.  Let me tell you a story.

It starts with a sales manager who isn’t a team player, except within his own team and a marketing manager who isn’t strong enough to do what’s right in the face of  institutional laziness or fear of upsetting the salespeople. 

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How’s that lead generation working for you?

MP900437208[1] You can’t ask that question without also asking, “How is the Marketing Automation and CRM working for you?”  Both valid questions.  Both entwined with each other.  Both dependent on each other in a performance oriented dance that is more easily measured than most people let on. 

Of course, everyone declares that lead generation can be measured and tracked and refined and repeated, but does it happen in the common everyday B2B company?  It is happening in the largest B2B companies and it may be happening more than some admit, because who wants to admit it openly and let their competitors know that they have figured out the secret sauce for growth? 

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You Can’t Sprinkle Sugar on Bull and Call it Candy!

Sometimes it doesn’t make any difference how much sugar you add to something it won’t change the outcome.   Sprinkle a little or a lot of sugar on bull and it won’t change the taste; you can’t make it into candy.   You have to start with meaningful ingredients.  Let’s take sales lead management (yeah, I know it’s a stretch, but read a bit more). DSCN0401

 C-level managers want to spend only enough on marketing to make forecast.  That’s it.  Anything more from their perspective and the money is wasted.   CFOs and CEOs only have a hint of an idea on branding.  To them branding is just another way for marketing to spend money without being held accountable.

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Nothing will spoil a man’s life like too much truth!

Actually Will Rogers said, "Nothing will spoil a big man’s life like too much truth."  Big or small, man or woman, the truth can cause all kinds of issues, especially when it comes to sales lead management.  

To be fair, it’s only right to say that many people don’t know what the truth is when we speak of sales lead management.  I don’t think there is such as thing as too much truth in sales lead management, so  I guess it’s time we talked about it. 

It’s said the truth will set you free; maybe it will work with you or more precisely management.  

I believe there are 12 truths in B2B sales lead management (no doubt more, but I stopped at 12; you can add some):

1.  There is a difference between an inquiry and a lead.  Leads are qualified inquiries.

2.  45% of all inquiries turn into a sale for someone within one year.  This is known as the Rule of 45.

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Stop Cussing the Mule and Start loading the Wagon!

6a0147e05adc32970b014e86d575e6970d-800wi We can always take time to point to someone else not doing their job, but I think it’s time that we stop cussing someone else and start tending to the work at hand that will increase sales.    Its time sales started loading the wagon.

We’re heard comments such as, "Salespeople aren’t following up the sales leads" "Marketing doesn’t give us any leads" "Salespeople aren’t using the CRM system" " Marketing isn’t giving us qualified sales leads" "That trade show sure was slow" "We’re not getting leads on the stuff I have a quota for."

 Now I’m not saying that these statements don’t have some truth in them, and good managers are open to hearing the truth and doing something about the complaints, but we can also let these truths stop us from loading the wagon.  Let’s take the issue of sales lead follow-up:

If salespeople aren’t following up leads marketers have four choices:

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