Sales Lead Leakage Feed

Urgent Need: Sales Lead Management Process Definition

Why it Matters

"Failure to have a sales lead management process mapped out will send salespeople on fools errands and waste marketing dollars "

James Obermayer    Tweet This  

Do you have a sales lead management process defined to track follow-up of leads and marketing productivity?

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Go Figure: 98% of Exhibit Money is Spent on Showing Up, Only 2% on Lead Acquisition

IStock_000028410392LargeBefore I start, let me preface my remarks by saying that exhibit management, pound for pound, produces more wealth for their firm than anyone else in the company.  My belief is they create more qualified leads that close with fewer touches than most other lead sources.  But they can do more; 300% more with little effort or money!

That said, “Why” I ask, “does an exhibits manager who chooses the best space, builds terrific exhibits, selects the best freight lines, understands booth traffic flow, writes  signage that stops people in their tracks, creates theaters and entertainment, negotiates the best hotel rates, sets up exhibits in record time, deals with unions, creates special events surrounding the trade show, all to attract the best prospects, and then breaks it all down in 24 hours, fail so miserably when it comes to trade show lead acquisition?” 

We have to ask, "What is an exhibit all about if not to talk to and get the names of prospects to increase revenue for the company?” Hey exhibits manager, it’s all about leads.  Of course the manager says, “Well, I ordered the trade show lead acquisition system that will read the badges, what more do you want?” 

“I’d like the most qualified leads the exhibits manager can create, but frankly, most rental systems available from show organizers don’t cut it.”  A $300-$500 system that provides nothing but name, company, address, maybe a phone number, and maybe an email address (20% of this information likely wrong anyway) isn’t enough.

Why it’s important:

“Why do exhibit managers always go cheap on the sales lead acquisition system?

It’s a costly mistake that reduces the return on show investment by 200-300%.”

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Sales lead follow-up is the single greatest contributor to a corporation’s growth.

Corporate growth, good or bad, can be traced to sales lead follow-up!  It counts more than product quality, brand name, or money spent on marketing.  Once you achieve critical mass on follow-up (90%), it is within your power to accurately control your future by spending on marketing programs with predictable outcomes and growing the sales force.  When you achieve this follow-up, a stunning cascade of events occurs:

1.  Sales forecasts are met. 

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BuyerZone and LeadsCouncil: The State of B2B Lead Generation 2012 Results

BuyerZone and the LeadsCouncil recently published "The State of B2B Lead Generation 2012." We are impressed with the 19-page survey results, available in depth by clicking here or accessing the survey on the SLMA website in the research section (requires login for B2B Articles and Whitepapers).

We show some results here, with our editorial remarks, which are not part of the finished survey results.

Who’s using CRM and what are they using?

• 56% of survey respondents are using some sort of CRM system. SLMA: This number appears low, unless respondents are more representative of small business (which appears to be the case).
• 78%, with three or more marketing people on their team, report using a CRM system. SLMA: Marketing often drives CRM implementation.
• 24% of respondents don’t know the definition of CRM. SLMA: This is scary!
• Of the systems being used, SalesForce leads the pack with a 21% usage number. SLMA: Surprisingly low, but BuyerZone also quoted Forbes’ report as saying that SalesForce had only 15% of the market.
• Other systems in use include ACT! with 16%, Goldmine, Tigerpaw, and in-house systems.
• 31% are still using Excel. SLMA: this doesn’t surprise us, but it shows that after 25 years of CRM (or lesser versions) and we’ve still got nearly a third of businesses using Excel. Go figure! The cost of a web-based CRM system today is a rounding error for most companies.

Marketing Automation?

 • 87% of those surveyed don’t use a marketing automation system. SLMA: this is in line with what the MA companies report.

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Sales Lead Leakage #66: Sales Lead Blackouts produce sales dips within three months!

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How to avoid losing your Lead Generation Budget i

When management, for whatever reason, decides to cut the lead generation budget the consequences have both long and short-term penalties for the company and its salespeople.

First some definitions, and then a practical story:
    A Sales Lead Blackout occurs when all lead generation activities cease.  
    A Sales Lead Brownout out occurs when there is a partial sales lead generation cut-off.

A True Story

The President of the small public medical instrumentation company called in the VP of Marketing and immediately launched into his problem. 

“We are half-way through the year, our forecast is off a bit, expenses are up.   I made promises on earnings per share and I need to cut the marketing budget for the last quarter of the year.  Go look at your budget and give me the best news you can.”

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Sales Lead Leakage #1: You fail to sell to 100% of the sales leads you don’t follow-up.

IStock_000014596001Small Lack of follow-up by sales reps is the number one failure for lead generation campaigns.   If salespeople can’t do it, get a marketing automation program.  

Unless the potential customer is willing to over-look the lack of follow-up and buy without hearing from a salesperson (usually B2C sales leads) your company has a huge sales lead leakage issue and you're failing.

Industry stats, articles, research and pundits report a 75-90% failure in sales lead follow-up by most companies.   This isn't a minor leakage issue it is a massive problem because it says that the marketing failure is in direct portion to the lack of sales lead follow-up. 

The stats people keep quoting are 45% of the salespeople give up after the first phone call.  Here are a few things I teach sales reps:

-Nearly half of all sales leads turn into a sale for someone.

-75-90% of all inquiries and leads are not followed-up by anyone in sales.

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