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June 2012

SLMA Diving Into Pinterest Because it Works

By Susan Finch, Director, Sales Lead Management Association, Susan Finch Solutions.

Pinterest-iconPerhaps you've noticed this icon at the top of our site, perhaps not. Perhaps you did and wondered why would the SLMA bother with Pinterest. For several of our sponsors, they understand the importance of sharing images and having them indexed immediately in the search engines. Pinterest is a highly-effective microblog, as Twitter is a mircroblog. The difference is that people are visual by nature. Pinterest is all about sharing an image that grabs the attention of your existing or potential audience and driving them to want to learn more.

We have just started, so we don't have many followers, nor do we have many pins.  We want to build our following both ways. If you have a Pinterest account related to Sales Lead Management and all of its branches, and would like us to follow you, please comment with your link at the end of this post.

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SLMA Radio Guest 6/28: Anderson Crosby of Relecom, Inc.

Anderson-crosbySLMA Radio interviewed Anderson Crosby president of Relecom, Inc.   Host James Obermayer asks Anderson why he developed a reporting tool when so many are available within CRM and Marketing Automation programs.  

  • Who uses the tool more, advertisers, agencies or publishers? 
  • How easy is to use? 
  • What is the cost? 
  • What is the benefit of the benefit when using Relecom reporting?
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ViewPoint | The Truth About Lead Generation by Dan McDade Video Interview - SLMA’s Jim Obermayer

Dan McDades PowerViews is on it’s eight episode. Dan has interviewed Ginger Conlon, Andrew Gaffney, Christopher Hosford, Jonathan Farrington, Paul Gillin, Trip Kucera, and Jeff Ernest. 

The highlights from Dan’s discussion with SLMA’s Jim Obermayer are: 

2012: Companies Lifting Off with Higher Budgets for Marketing & Lead Generation

  • There has been a significant increase in marketing and sales alignment becoming subject matter for conferences.
  • There have been more comments from marketing automation vendors that cold calling and other traditional ways of generating sales leads are going away.
  • Based on SLMA Radio interviews with 120 marketing and sales leaders and other conversations, a big change is the way companies are spending more dollars on marketing and lead generation. Jim is seeing a lot of companies lifting off as a result.
  • Increased budgets of this nature are including outbound telemarketing and lead generation companies.
  • Budgets seem to be there for marketing and sales initiatives that can measure the return on investment.

We Can’t Get Away from Basic Integrated Marketing: Outbound vs. Inbound:

Commenting on the outbound marketing and inbound marketing mix, Jim says we can’t get away from basic integrated marketing. While everyone wants less expensive leads in the form of prospects who identify themselves via company websites, traditional direct marketing is still needed to educate prospects and drive them to websites.

Research indicates that prospects are completing 70% of the decision making process before they want to talk to a salesperson, but information sources for this self-education still needs to include direct mail pieces, emails and trade show participation.

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Golfing Wisdom from the Sales Lead Management Association

“A good drive on the 18th hole has stopped many a golfer from giving up the game.” IStock_000014196913Medium

The same can be said for salespeople and sales leads. Salespeople have to be taught to play through when all of the hot leads turn cold; when the prospect says, “Call me,” and then disappears for weeks; and when a sure-fire-guaranteed client says, “We love your proposal,” and then doesn’t return your calls (and you were stupid enough to brag about the “done deal” to the sales manager).

Stuff happens in golf and sales. You can shank it, hit into all the traps, and miss every green but that one sweet under-par hole can change the game for you. Just like that one sweet sale can change your outlook on sales.

A friend of mine, Phil Nasser from the Sales Productivity Institute said, “The most important 5 inches in golf are the ones between your ears (not that short putt).”

This is true for all of us in our sales and lead management roles. Our perceptions, expectations and approach dictate the outcomes we receive equally as much as does the situation in which we find ourselves. I have a client who says he never quits…anything. When met with rejection or rebuff in any of his business dealings (or other life situations), he just finds another way to make it work. He knows in advance that he may be required to “flex” and come up with other, creative solutions. He builds this into his approach. Like Thomas Edison, he doesn’t view failure as failure but rather as “learning one way that won’t work.” Cleaning up our perceptions, setting proper expectations and being flexible in our approach are game-winners for us all.

Playing “client golf” teaches great business lessons as well. Instead of concentrating on your game, you focus on the client. This requires you to: help him with your course knowledge (assuming you’ve played the course before; follow the flight of his ball; go into the woods to get his ball if necessary; defer to him whenever necessary; help line up his putts; run to get his sandwich and beer…just generally look after him and take care of his needs. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do in business?

Good thoughts Phil. And this translates into what we are supposed to do for prospects. A sales rep can’t give up on the follow-up. The winner is the one with the best, more persistent follow-through. But that’s a subject for another Golfing Wisdom article from the SLMA.

Golfing Wisdom from the Sales Lead Management Association

“If you really want to get better at golf, go back and take it up at a much earlier age.”

How true this is. But aren’t you glad this isn’t true in marketing? Even if you’re an old duffer you can still learn better ways to create the number one thing all salespeople crave: qualified leads.

IStock_000020483067MediumA friend of mine, Dan McDade of PointClear said, “Most golfers would be very happy if they shot par (.5% do, only 20% of all golfers consistently shoot under 100). So the vast majority of golfers never break 100 – and while they are not very satisfied with that result – it does not stop them from playing.

Measurement of satisfaction around the creation of qualified leads in most companies is just like the average golf scores. A very low percentage would be graded as par while the vast majority of companies would have handicaps over 28. That is because of:

  • A cost per lead mentality
  • Poor conversion from marketing leads to sales leads
  • Poor close rates
  • A total lack of communication between marketing and sales

The result is that the problem isn't fixed. 

The fix is: improve the drive by providing sales with leads that actually meet an agreed upon definition; step-up the approach shot by measuring acceptance and qualification of marketing generated leads; and, cut down on putts per round by measuring the percent of sales qualified leads that close.

In average companies just 2.89% of marketing generated raw leads ever make it to a closed won deal. In optimized companies the results are over five times better. So, do you want to be an

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SLMA Radio: June 14 Show Interviewing Victor Kippes, CEO of Validar

SLMA Radio host Jim Obermayer will ask Victor if the rumors of the   demise in trade shows as a lead generation event is true?  Are trade shows as strong as always?  How can marketing manager make the most of their trade show investment? Kippes

In addition, Victor will give the audience a 15 minute presentation entitled:

 Lead Management Foundation Tenants you need for  Effective Closed Looped Event Lead Capture

 Victor Kippes is CEO of Validar Inc., a B2B lead management company  that specializes in events. Much of Validar’s value proposition is based  upon Victor’s experience as a receiver of leads. He has been in a sales  role for over 20 years both as a direct contributor and as the leader of a large enterprise sales team. He is a recovering sales leader who understands very well the challenges marketing and sales leaders face specific to demand generation and lead management. If you are a marketing leader interested in understanding and articulating your true value, or a sales leader interested in improved conversions and pipeline growth, Validar and Victor are there for you. You can follow Victor on Twitter at @vkippes.

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SLMA Radio Interview with Gil Cargill, Cargill Consulting Group, Inc.

Gil-cargillAfter concluding a spectacular sales and management career at IBM, in which he led his sales team from a dead-last rating among 220 branch offices to first place in less than a year, Gil Cargill launched his own consulting practice in 1978. Cargill Consulting Group, Inc. was built on the same strategies that produced Cargill’s outstanding sales results at IBM.

Gil Cargill has spent the past twenty-nine years as a consultant, speaker and trainer helping thousands of businesses achieve dramatic and permanent improvements in sales productivity. Cargill has taught salespeople across diverse industries the importance of developing sales processes, the advantages of implementing new technology, and the benefits of tracking sales performance.

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Build a Powerful Lead Scoring Program Today

Without lead scoring, you risk your sales team wasting time on prospects not ready to buy, and marketers nurturing opportunities that will never qualify.

VisionEdge Marketing President Laura Patterson shared her tips recently in this two-part video series on crafting an effective scoring system. She outlines how to use “fit” and “behavior” metrics to rate opportunities and how those scores translate to action.



 These videos were recorded and edited by Software Advice