Lead Qualification Feed

Sales Lead Manager Job Description: The 2nd Most Important Job In Marketing after Marketing Operations


Updated on Feb 7, 2017

SLMA suggests you use this as a basis for the job description of one of the most important jobs in the marketing department. 

Job Summary

The Sales Lead Manager is responsible for managing the incoming demand and reporting on the ROI for all lead generation programs.

Essential Functions

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Beyond Alignment: 5 Ways to Integrate Sales and Marketing Teams

LisaCannon_headshot-2014Getting sales and marketing teams into alignment is a hot topic lately, and for good reason. According to a study from the Aberdeen Group, highly aligned marketing and sales organizations achieved an average of 32% year over year revenue growth, while their less-aligned competitors saw a seven percent decrease in revenue. And MarketingProfs has found that organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing functions enjoyed 36% higher customer retention rates. So if we all agree that alignment is critical, and the data proves that it provides tangible business benefits, why isn’t everyone doing it?

It’s simple. Making fundamental changes to the way we work can be extremely difficult. But maybe the problem isn’t that sales and marketing aren’t aligned. Maybe the problem is that alignment just isn’t enough.

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Create four qualified prospects for each product you have to sell.

IStock_000000692331Small (1)Qualified leads are best. Qualified leads are what every sales rep dreams about. But to find qualified leads in less sophisticated companies you'll have to kiss 8-12 frogs (unqualified prospects). In more experienced companies, with sophisticated qualification techniques, they'll create fewer unqualified inquiries to find a qualified prospect with need, desire to buy,and time frame. Qualified sales leads (whether self-qualified or post-inquiry qualified):

  1. Reduce prospecting time.
  2. Reduce the sales cycle.
  3. Increase revenue as qualified lead count surges.
  4. Increase the percentage of salespeople making quota.
  5. Reduce sales territory turnover (as more people make quota).

To create qualified leads and be a revenue marketer you have to:

  1. Constantly measure how many self-qualified versus unqualified leads you are creating.
  2. Create as many self-qualified leads as possible (get questions answered by the prospects so you know if they are potential buyers and how soon they will buy).
  3. Decide if you can send the self-qualified leads (once they have qualified themselves) to your salespeople directly without first nurturing, etc.
  4. Qualify the unqualified leads via emails, calls, and nurturing prior to sending the qualified leads to sales representatives.
  5. Measure the closed sales that result from the qualified and unqualified leads.
  6. Repeat what works; delete what fails.

Why it Matters:

Qualified leads reduce the cost of sales and increase

revenue while reducing the sales cycle.

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Don’t Be Short-Sighted with your Website Marketing Strategy:The Value of Multiple POAs

Guest Blogger:  Scott Buresh Buresh-high-res

Many website owners now realize that actively steering visitors toward a clear POA (point-of-action) on their site is critical for increasing the website

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REVTalks: The Revenue Marketing Summit: The Journey Begins January 27, 2014

What is REVTalks? Slma-recommended-125x125

The SLMA Management strongly recommends that every CMO should attend this program.  The cost is pocket change, the expected results on attendees is immense.  

Revenue Marketing is the strategy that transforms marketing from a cost center to a revenue center.

 On January 27, 20134, four hundred marketing executives will gather to discuss, listen to and share the innovative, inventive and transformational ideas affecting Revenue Marketing today – all in a Ted Talks style.

Register Now

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Top 3 Ways to Determine if a Database Provider is Legitimate

By Tim Slevin, President & CEO of Healthcare Data Solutions

20818610_500There are a lot of database companies out there, and most of them are legitimate businesses that want to develop lasting customer relationships by providing quality data and service. But a small percentage of these companies are definitely not reputable, and if you’re not careful, you can lose money on a bad deal.

To help you determine if a database provider is legitimate, I’ve compiled a list of the top 3 things that you should do before signing any contracts or paying any money.

  1. Look up their physical address.
    Chances are a company run out of somebody’s garage isn’t going to have good quality data. Make sure the address on Google is an actual business, and not a residential home on Zillow or a fast food restaurant.
  2. Research them on LinkedIn.
    Every reputable, legitimate company these days either has a page of their own on LinkedIn, or at the very least, their employees have profiles there. I would be very leery of a company – database or otherwise – that didn’t appear there at all.
  3. Set the specs for a sample.
    If you ask a data company to give you a sample of their data, you can bet they’re going to give you the most pristine, clean, perfect records they have available. But you can also bet that these records will not be representative of the actual quality of their data as a whole. Give them a set of criteria that allows for companies that you know to come up in their sample. If those companies are not in the sample, or if the data they have on them is outdated, that’s a red flag.

Listen Now:
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BANT is not dead…And not Bunk!

BANT is not dead…

Some say that BANT is dead. BANT, if you remember, is the acronym for qualification criteria for a lead which represents:

1. Budget
2. Authority
3. Need
4. Timeframe IStock_000017286981Small

Some marketers will attempt to get a rise out of others by declaring that these criteria are wrong, and then they proceed to add other qualification criteria and still include some form of BANT.

The reasoning for declaring BANT dead is misleading; and it is usually a marketer that is making the declaration. Not a salesperson.

If you ask a salesperson what their qualification criteria for an inquiry, sales lead, suspect or prospect is (pick you poison), they will always say,

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There’s no such thing as an old sales lead!

Salespeople are known for:

1. Following up only 10-25% of the inquiries given to them.

2. ‘Downgrading’ a lead after about four weeks if they haven’t yet called the prospect. At that point, reps consider the lead old and would rather follow up with “fresh” leads. Translated this means: “I haven’t followed up and I am embarrassed to do it now; so I will say I did, but I won’t, and I’ll look for fresh, new, urgent leads. I will send an email instead.”

3. ‘Downgrading’ a lead that doesn’t have an immediate (plans to buy within 3 months) need. Once the lead finds its way into the sales funnel, reps most likely forget about it and look for a new, better, fresh lead. Then they think an email is follow-up.

4. Dumping a lead if the person inquired before and didn’t buy. Maybe the rep will send an email.

5. Ignoring an inquiry if there is no phone number; the rep instantly knows this person isn’t serious. Maybe an email will fulfill their obligation.

6. Considering an inquiry DOA, dead on arrival, if there is a “Gmail” or “Hotmail” email address. By sending an email, maybe a real person will surface. If that person is serious, the rep will follow up.

Want another six reasons for lack of follow-up? It’d be easy to give them to you. Same result.

This is why, in spite of research indicating a 45% buying rate of even unqualified inquiries, reps only follow up 10-25%.

I am amazed how they know which exact 25% to follow up, and how they identify the deadbeats. (Of course, even with a 25% follow-up they’re still only talking to half the buyers, if they guessed right. Not likely.) So the rep who follows up 25% will only statistically talk to 25% of the buyers. What a waste!

"The only way I know to fix the issue is to make sales lead follow-up a condition of employment for all sales representatives" IStock_000017061397Small employ

Oh, by the way, research not only says that 45% of the inquiries will buy in one year. Another 10-15% will buy in three months, and another 26% in six months.

So, if the majority of sales leads are ignored by the majority of salespeople, the rep who follows up older leads will have a 3-to-1 advantage. The rep who follows up all leads until the lead buys or dies, will reap a better return on their time with less stress

How do you fix this?

The only way I know to fix the issue is to make sales lead follow-up a condition of employment for all sales representatives. Inquiries, whether qualified or unqualified, need to be contacted. Their status makes no difference: 100% follow-up is the only answer and you give salespeople no choice. You make them do what they don’t want to do, but are glad afterward that they did.