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October 2010

September 2010

5 Justifications for Marketing Automation

It’s becoming significantly more obvious to all businesses – B2B or B2C that buying behavior has changed and is continuing to change.  The Internet and the volume of information available at a buyer’s finger tips has changed the sales cycle to be driven by the buy cycle. It has taken the leverage of the sale away from the company and sales person and it has put that into the hands of the buyer. This change in the buy cycle is the number one justification for marketing automation. If you aren’t selling based on where a buyer is in their cycle, you won’t sell them at all. And if you can’t identify and stay in touch with the buyer, who is only interacting with your company digitally, then you won’t sell them at all either.  So you ask, what other dynamics are affecting businesses today that are driving the use of marketing automation?

The second most common justification is the dwindling marketing budget.  Marketing has to justify their budget. The time when large budgets were available for everything from branding to advertisement is gone.  Marketing budgets continue to be scrutinized and put under constant pressure.  Marketers are struggling to apply their limited budgets effectively.  To help accomplish this, Marketers must be given the tools they need, and marketing automation provides for this support.  

Lack of resources is the third most common justification for marketing automation. Companies should leverage the many service organizations and/or vendors that provide resource help for implementing marketing automation.  Once the initial work is done, the huge leverage (and of course benefits) that companies can get from marketing automation should not be overlooked.

Is your company changing the way it measures marketing effectiveness – are you trying to really understand your impact on revenue and measure campaign ROI?  The fourth justification for marketing automation is about measuring ROI. Marketing managers and departments are becoming more responsible for not just generating a volume of “leads” for sales, but now are being measured for the quality of those leads. How much of their marketing budget has impacted revenue?  Marketing automation systems help companies improve the quality of leads passed to sales and enable marketers to track this effectiveness. 

The fifth and probably the most costly justification for marketing automation is the cost of sales.  Between the time sales spends trying to contact leads that aren’t ”sales-ready” or leads that aren’t ready to buy, they are wasting a significant amount of time.  This wasted time translates into significant costs and into potential lost revenue opportunity (sales not spending their time on real opportunities). 

With the change in buying behavior, lack of marketing budget and resources, it’s hard not to understand how to justify marketing automation today.

About the Author
Lisa Cramer is president and co-founder of LeadLife Solutions, a provider of on-demand lead management software with embedded best practices that generates, scores, and nurtures leads for B2B marketers. In 2009, Lisa was recognized as one of the top five “Most Influential People” in sales lead management. For more information on lead management or best practices call 1-800-680-6292 or email

SLMA Launches Webinar Series with: Avoid these 4 Common Catastrophic CRM Mistakes

The SLMA is launching its educational series with this first of six programs for the coming year.  Some webinars will be 100% SLMA programs, others will be co-sponsored.  Members and non-members may attend these at no cost.

Practical and Actionable Lessons Learned in the Trenches

Webinar Sponsored by the Sales Lead Management Association and the Velos Group.

When: October 7, 2010 11:00 PST

Register now .

CRM Expert, Mark L. Friedman has conducted over 20 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) implementations over the past two years with different types of markets - including Automotive Aftermarket Product and Underwater Welding Manufacturers to Commercial Landscape Maintenance and Security Product Distribution and Installation companies; very different companies attempting to implement a new CRM system or optimize an existing system. Mark has identified and successfully addressed 4 key areas that contribute to a great ROI-driven CRM implementations. Friedman will share these to with you.

Learn from an expert actually in the trenches and create or optimize a CRM system for your company:

1. Straight talk, no nonsense, skip the BS and get to the point of why companies fail miserably. 

2.  Avoid the biggest management mistakes made before, during and after the implementation.

3. Use a proven systems approach to identify and optimize the closed loop systems required to successfully manage sales leads  and the Customer Service process.   

4. Identify underperforming marketing programs and avoid wasteful spending on them. 

5. Get Sales and Marketing singing from the same song sheet and talking the same language. 

6. Tame the data Tower of Babel and ensure a successful CRM implementation.


1. How the best companies provide the required leadership to ensure a successful CRM implementation. 

2.  Learn how to develop a successful systems approach to turbo-charge sales results and productivity and track ROI for all your marketing programs.

3. How to successfully address the issue of dirty data – what works and what doesn’t.

Reserve Your Space Now!

Who should attend

  • Executive-level Management
  • Executive VPs of Sales and Marketing
  • VPs of Sales or VPs of Marketing...looking to either implement a new CRM system or to optimize an existing system in support of their critical   business objectives.

Limited Attendance: This program is limited to 100 people.

When we reach that number we will turn away attendees and invite you to a future program. Yep, this is an association; we are too poor to host more than 100 people. Come back at another time. We will have 5 more of these programs in the coming 12 months.

About the Presenter

CRM expert Mark Friedman is a co-author of the book, "Find Lost Revenue".   He is an experienced, results - oriented executive with over 25 years of proven success in managing Sales, Sales Lead Management, Telemarketing, Marketing and Customer Service. Notably, world-renown consulting giant Accenture and the Distribution Research and Education Foundation have recognized one of his programs as a Wholesale Distribution Industry Sales "Best Practice"; the program overview was published in "Maximum Sales Velocity: How to Build a World-Class Sales Organization" by David P. Woodrow.

The Velos Group Inc., a CRM consulting firm dedicated to helping companies use software to manage sales leads and customer service more effectively and drive more consistent and predictable sales and profits. He is the co-founder of the Sales Lead Management Association and his articles on Sales Lead Management have appeared in Network World, Sales and Marketing Excellence, Sales and Service Excellence magazines, the PMMI Newsletter and MHEDA Journal.

Mark has spoken at national events, such as the PMMI (Packaging Machinery Manufacturer’s Institute) Marketrends conference about Sales Lead Management and at the annual MHEDA (Material Handling Equipment and Distributor’s Association) conference.

Free Books:  Three attendees will get a copy of Mark L. Friedman’s book, "Find Lost Revenue"

Cost: Priceless. Free to the first 100, everyone else is turned away. If you’re not serious, don’t bother.

When:  October 7, 2010 11:00 PST       Register Now

Sept 16th SLMA Radio – Interviews Acadia’s CEO Marge Murphy and The Velos Group’s President Mark Friedman

The top of the program is dedicated to news events that pertain to sales lead management.   During the following 45 minutes radio host Will Crist interviews Marge Murphy CEO of Acadia Lead Management and Mark Friedman the president of the Velos Group and the EVP of the Sales Lead Management Association.

Past guests include Joe Payne, CEO of Eloqua, Mac McIntosh the sales lead expert, Gary Slack CEO of Slack Barshinger, Phil Fernandez, CEO of Marketo, Dan McDade CEO of PointClear, Dan Rogers, CEO of AdTrack, Mari Anne Vanella CEO of The Vanella Group, Fred Yee CEO of ActiveConverion, Andy Brownell CMO of LeadMaster and Marge Bieler President of Rare Agent.

Questions for Marge Murphy include:

1. What are the biggest marketing mistakes a typical marketing manager makes in B2B?
2. If you could give one piece of advice to a company president with failing sales what would it be?
3. You mention on your web site, "Optimizing the sales channel," what do you mean by that?
4. What is your definition of a sales lead?

We will ask Mark Friedman about:

1. Last year you sponsored some research with the SLMA, what was your biggest surprise in the research?
2. What is the single biggest error companies make in choosing a CRM system?
3. Who makes the error?  Sales managers, marketing managers or the company president?
4. There are always a lot of questions about what people are doing wrong, tell me about some of the results of one your clients who have done it right in CRM?

Tune in tonight at SLMA Radio , click on Listen Live.


How Can We Get Sales Management On-Board with the Program?

The program I am referring to is the CRM program.  More than one of my clients has a sales manager that wants his salespeople to use the system, but he or she won’t use it themselves.   They can’t coach salespeople to use it and most just wink at salespeople when marketing people plead for them to close out the leads so marketing can put an ROI figure on campaigns. 
Hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars are spend on a CRM program that has high hopes, but no support from the most important potential sponsor and user, the sales manager.  Without a buy-in from sales management, many CRM programs fail miserably and coincidentally so do the sales managers.

I have my own ideas, but can someone give our membership some of your own wisdom on how you over-came the resistance of the sales manager?   Tell us a story of the circumstance and what you did to succeed.

The Silence of the Lambs, Marketing Management that Can’t or Won’t Prove Marketing’s ROI.

Sometimes marketing management would like to prove the ROI for the money they spend, but they face:

1. No CRM system.  (Spreadsheet lead management is a failure).

2. Sales Management isn’t behind the CRM system.  There is a CRM system, but sales management doesn’t enforce its use.

3. Salespeople don’t cooperate.  No cooperation from salespeople to close out the inquiries and leads.

4.Company presidents don’t want to “upset” sales management so they remain silent on the subject of follow-up and reporting while beating marketing over the head for ROI numbers.

What’s a lamb to do?                                                                                                                        

To avoid being a lamb taken to the slaughter don’t launch a lead generation campaign without a plan to show the ROI. It’s time to educate yourself and standup and not take it anymore.  You have to stop taking it from sales managers who refuse to cooperate, IT manager’s who don’t  know or understand the importance of the system, CFOs who won’t back you in CRM system use or expansion, and company presidents who’d rather not get into a fuss between sales and marketing.   Push the timid managers out of the way or ignore them.

Start Small and work up!

It starts with proving the ROI with the smallest campaign and expanding from there.  Prove the ROI for an easy lead generation programs such as a trade show.    Show the numbers and the thirst for more will grow in the C Suite.  They’ll ask, “Why can’t we get these numbers more often?” To which you reply, “I can if I only had a little more cooperation.”  After that statement, shut up, smile and wait for the follow-on question.    It will come. 

I vote for lambs that change into wolves in lead generation and ROI reporting.   The moral is, if you’re silent (a lamb) you’re on the menu, if you speak up and get a backbone, you’ll set the table and be respected.

Sept 2nd SLMA Radio – Interviews AdTrack’s CEO Dan Rogers and The Vanella Group’s CEO Mari Anne Vanella

SLMA Radio host Will Crist, on Sept 2nd  at 5 PM PST, provides news coverage on sales lead management and interviews. 

Past guests include Joe Payne, CEO of Eloqua, Mac McIntosh the sales lead expert, Gary Slack of Slack Barshinger, Phil Fernandez, CEO of Marketo, and Dan McDade CEO of PointClear.  

The top of the program is dedicated to recent news events that pertain specifically to sales lead management.   During the following 45 minutes the radio host will interview Dan Rogers and Mari Anne Vanella.  Some questions for them include:

Dan Rogers: SmartLead by AdTrack

1. What is your opinion of the biggest challenges facing a CMO today and how do they solve the issues?
2. How do you integrate your services with SalesForce?
3. Why should a sales manager care about what lead management system is used?
4. You had a study last year that showed that only two nurturing touches is the optimal number of times to communicate with a prospect to persuade them to buy.  Tell me more about this.
5. Why do you call a sales inquiry a declining asset?

Mari Anne Vanella: Vanella Group

1. You use the term on your site, Rich Sales Intelligence for large opportunities, what do you mean by that?
2. You say on your site that you deliver strategic, powerful sales development solutions rather than just leads.  Can you explain what you mean by that?
3. I assume you use social media. What has been most effective for you and why?  
4. What social media tactics do you recommend for your clients?
5. Tell me how you solved a recent big issue for a client?

To listen live, visit and click on the "LISTEN LIVE/ON AIR " banner while the show airs.