Stories Feed

And People in Hell also want Ice Water: A Cowboy Sales Manager Whines about Salespeople

Some say it is the best story I have told. I told it to Dan McDade's readers on Viewpoint,  The Truth About Lead Generation.   


IStock_000008703366SmallHe stands 6’5” in custom-made cowboy boots and wears a wide-brimmed cowboy hat that cost as much as the boots. Likeable and direct, he pointed a lot and pointing makes me uncomfortable. Jabbing the air seemed like jabbing me in the chest, and as my mother would say, that’s impolite. But I know he is just western, real western, and he didn’t mean anything personal.

It was in answer to my questions about lead follow-up by salespeople that he grumbled, “And people in hell also want ice water.“

“If they just do their damn job and stop whining we’d all be better off,” he said with an interesting whine in his voice. He was frustrated; angry that the marketing spend wasn’t showing the ROI expected, and he blamed salespeople.

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Abbott and Costello on Sales Lead Follow-up

Of the enduing skits and comedy routines by Abbott and Costello Who's on First continues to amuse. And yet in many ways the misunderstanding, confusion and frustration is not unlike sales and marketing's discussions about sales lead follow-up or lack of it and the results which plague the bottom line of most companies.  For instance:  

AbbottCostelloWhosOnFirstCOSTELLO:  I’d like to talk about sales lead follow-up by salespeople.

ABBOTT:  Good subject; terrible times.  It’s less than 10%.

COSTELLO:  But I understand that 45% of all the leads are buyers.
 
ABBOTT:  That’s right; 45% will eventually buy something.  
 
COSTELLO:  You said follow-up is only 10%.
 
ABBOTT:  Yes that’s right, follow-up averages 10%, but 45% of all leads are buyers.   

COSTELLO:  So what happens to the other 35% who want to buy? 
 
234x60-join-slma-21careerbenefitsABBOTT:  It’s more than 35%, because unless the salespeople talk to 100% of the sales lead inquirers, they won’t know who the 45% are.  So they’ll only talk to 5% who are buyers, which are half of the 10% they followed-up.

 

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A Story: How a Marketing Manager Learned to Build a Demand Creation Plan Based on Sales Quotas

IStock_000018180137Small“How do you know,” I asked the marketing manager, “how much money to spend on marketing, and how many inquiries and leads to produce?”

“I do what we generally did last year, and create as much demand as I can,”   was her reply.

“We have a marketing plan,” she continued with some obvious pride. “And we list what we have to do for the year and stick with it.”

“When do you consult with the sales manager about quotas?” I asked.

“We don’t really…well kind of, because we know the forecast he has to hit,” she said with some doubt in her voice.  “Why do you ask?”

“The issue is if you know the sales forecast for the whole year, you also have access to quarterly and monthly forecasts, as well as the salespeople’s individual forecasts.  Armed with this information, you’ll know how many inquiries and leads you have to create per salesperson based on the average closing rate per product.”

“Umm, so what you’re implying is that I should create the number of inquiries each rep will need to make quota based on their closing ratio?”

Why its important?

“Umm, so what you’re implying is that I should create the number of inquiries each rep will need to make quota based on their closing ratio?”

Sales Lead Management Association

 

“Yes, but you needn’t go all the way to the rep level on their closing ratio,” I said.  “You can take the average closing rate of the

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