Interview with one of the "50 Most Influential Sales Lead Management Professionals":M. H. (Mac) McIntosh
Company URL http://www.sales-lead-experts.com
Who are your mentors and why?
The late Mike Simon of Inquiry Handling Service was definitely ahead of his time. His company pioneered many of of the lead generation, lead nurturing, lead scoring and qualification tactics just becoming popular now. And that was more than 25 years ago.
What is the most helpful advice you've received to improve your business?
Treat every lead like it was going to be your best customer until you determine otherwise.
What is the most helpful advice you can give to help others improve their businesses?
Marketing automation is a cost-effective and efficient tool for getting your lead generation, lead nurturing and lead scoring/qualification job done right. How did we ever survive without it? (Give me a call if you need help picking the right system or getting it up and running!)
How do you give back to the professional community?
I donate my time and expertise to speak for free for non-profit marketing associations which are the training grounds of many of our next generation of B2B marketers.
What is your favorite business book?
Right now it is "The BuyerSphere Project: How Business Buys from Business" by Gord Hotchkiss, CEO of Enquiro. It really helps B2B marketers understand how prospective customers are using the Web in their buying process, and what to do about it.
Which basic skills or process steps do you recommend in regards to Sales Lead Management?
1. Start by getting agreement with sales on the definition of a qualified, sales-ready lead.
2. Capture all inquiries in a database.
3. Follow up immediately with requested information and to determine if the lead is qualified as being sales-ready.
4. Use multi-touch lead nurturing campaigns to keep in touch with longer-term prospects, spoon-feeding them information about the benefits of your company and its products and services until they are sales-ready. (These longer term leads represent 3 out of four of your sales opportunities.)
In your opinion, the best book on marketing is:
Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind - by Al Ries and Jack Trout
Your reasons for choosing this book are: It helps marketers understand that what your customers and prospects think of your company, product or service is all that really
What would you say to someone who asks what to do first in managing sales leads?
Run! No, seriously, I'd tell them to call two customers or prospects every week. That is a great way to learn more about their needs and thoughts as they relate to your company, its products or services and your marketing-driven lead generation messaging, offers, etc.
Talking directly to customers empowers you to convince your bosses to do the right things by allowing you to say things like "I was talking to our biggest customer, Fred Smith at Framostats, Inc, and he thinks we should do XXXX."
If someone wants to nurture sales inquiries what process would you recommend?
Develop ongoing, multi-touch, multi-media campaigns designed to share relevant information and make offers related to each different stage of the buying process. That requires having a deep understanding of your customers and their needs, developing messaging and content mapped to their buying process stages,
What steps would you suggest to measure the ROI for sales inquiries?
I believe that ROI isn't only measured in terms of sales revenue.
The following are all indicators of ROI from sales lead programs:
� Marketing activities
� Marketing touches
� Inquiries generated
� Marketing Qualified Leads
� Sales Accepted Leads
� Sales Qualified Leads
� Close/won business from leads