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January 2012

Sales Lead Mgmt. Assn. Opens Nominations for “20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management - 2012"

James W. Obermayer, CEO of the Sales Lead Management Association announced that the SLMA is accepting nominations for this year’s “SLMA 20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management for 2012.”

IStock_000018132761SmallWinners, chosen by a panel of independent judges, will be announced on April 2nd at 10 a.m. PST.

“The women we would like to recognize,” said Susan Campanale, SLMA’s vice president, “are most likely in CRM, marketing automation, or lead generation firms; or in telemarketing, lead management software, exhibits management, or lead management service companies and agencies (direct, brand, public relations and internet).”

(Image from iStock Photo)

Nominees are judged on the candidate’s contributions to marketing, sales and sales lead management efforts. Additional qualifications, such as board positions, book and article authorships, and speaking on behalf of the subject of sales lead management and marketing ROI, are taken into account. This program is not based on popularity.

The sponsors for this year’s program are HubSpot, PointClear, Marketo and Event Technology. HubSpot's Inbound Marketing Software gives you all the tools you need to make marketing that people will actually love - earning quality leads and loyal customers in return. PointClear is a prospect development company helping B2B companies fulfill their forecasts, not just their pipelines. Marketo’s powerful yet easy-to-use marketing automation and sales effectiveness solutions transform how marketing and sales teams of all sizes work. Event Technologies is a full-service provider of lead management solutions for trade show exhibitors.

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Lead Management in Five Words

Knipp%20HS%20Fall2011%20BorderWebMost marketing execs I meet are working with inbound lead flows in the hundreds or thousands.  Despite the fact that they really need to work on increasing that lead flow, they have a big focus on how to manage those inbound leads.  Many are amazed that here at HubSpot, a B2B software company, we generate upwards of 45,000 leads per month (and I mean net new conversions).  They always ask me how WE manage such massive lead flow?  What systems, tools and processes are in place to get the most value out of all that lead generation activity!?

First, let me remind you that when I started about 2 and a half years ago, we were generating closer to 10-15K per month ... just about doubling each year since then due to the unfailing efforts of a pretty stellar team, led by CMO Mike Volpe, that does everything from prolific blogging, to frequent educational webinars and ebooks. 

Signs that you have too many leads to handle:

Your sales team is complaining about quality more than they are about volume of leads.

Your prospects complain that your sales team is too aggressive.

Both symptoms of a marketing team sending all leads, regardless of quality or readiness to buy to the sales team.

It’s time to learn the Five Ss of Lead Management: Set, Scrub, Score, Segment & Synthesize

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Top Ten B2B PR Tips for 2012

by Christel K. Hall, APR CBC

ChristelHallB (3)1 – Do remember that actions speak louder than words.  After the most recent Herman Cain and Penn State crisis communications news, need we say more?

2 – Do get into how mobile messaging can work in your business, if you aren’t already there.  It’s where technology will continue to move.

3 – Do maintain at least a semi-annual face-to-face with your top customers, even if you’re on email with them every day.

4 – Do use the search features of Twitter to find new, targeted prospects for your products and services…but don’t spam them.  Follow and get to know them, then look for the right opportunity to start a relevant conversation.

5 – Do join at least 1-3 targeted industry forums on Linked In.  It’s the top social network for B2B.

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Is your marketing plan based on a sales lead forecast?

“Sales leads create sales in direct proportion to follow-up.”

James Obermayer - Sales Lead Management Association

Starting January 3rd, if you have a calendar business year, you should have a new marketing plan with SWOT, Goals, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics. The plan must be based on a sales forecast by product. It should state how many inquiries by product will be essential to make forecast and the sales quotas.

IStock_000018337527XSmallEach tactic should clearly state how many raw inquiries and qualified leads you will create to make forecast (if the tactic is lead gen based).

Budgets should reflect two approaches:

1. A branding budget (no forecast of sales leads).

2. A lead generation budget with a forecast for the number of inquires (by tactic) and the raw cost of an inquiry, qualified lead and closed lead.

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The forecast should include a calendar with the number of inquiries you expect to generate by month with an increasing number of inquiries preceding the expected increases in sales by at least three months (the inquiry count should be an upward slope preceding the expected upward slope in sales).


Eight Steps for successful creation of a marketing plan from the Sales Lead Management Association:

1. Forecast Sales by product, by month and quarter.

2. Forecast inquiries or qualified leads to achieve quota (quota is often different than a sales forecast).

3. Create a professional marketing plan: SWOT, Goals, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics (detailed lead generation forecast).

3. Measure each lead generation tactic for quantity and cost: raw inquiries, qualified leads, closed leads (sales) and sales lead follow-up.

4. Repeat what works!

5. Scrap what doesn’t result in sales unless there is a good branding strategy for the decision.

6. Review the plan monthly.

7. Have the courage to change, delete and add tactics.

8. Plan your work and work your plan. Monthly plan reviews are mandatory.

Remember Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke said "No plan survives contact with the enemy.” Your plan won't either in its entirety, but without a plan you have not given your business any forethought; you are just responding emotionally to everyday demands with no thought of the future.

And lastly, remember, "A high percentage of sales leads followed-up by you will buy from you, what isn’t followed-up buys from your competitor."