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September 2013

Taking the Mystery out of Pricing Telemarketing Services

Photo_marianne2SLMA Radio host Jim Obermayer asks Mari Anne Vanella to tackle the tough subject of navigating what should be paid for the different levels of telemarketing services.   Mari Anne is the president of the Vanella Group and is a featured speaker at the annual Dreamforce meeting.


In this 40 minute interview Obermayer will work with Mari Anne to separate fact from fiction about telemarketing pricing and the different levels of compensation based on the project scope.  Should database clean-up be different from lead generation which could be different from appointment setting, which could be different from pure sales, which is different from lead nurturing?  What about a flat hourly fee verses those companies that charge for per calling hour, management and reporting?


Continue reading "Taking the Mystery out of Pricing Telemarketing Services" »

SLMA RADIO: Is the traditional sales compensation program for B2B dead?

SLMA Radio Host Jim Obermayer will ask Daniel Perry of Sales Benchmark Index the tough questions.  

Some of what they will be covering includes:

  • Is the traditional sales compensation program of salary plus commission obsolete?
  • Are commissions dead as a motivator?
  • How much should the base salary be as a percentage of the whole package?
  • Is it time to change commissioned sales reps to just a salary?
  • Are draws again commission still used?
  • Are companies paying for sales lead follow-up? 
About Daniel Perry
Dan Perry is an industry thought leader with more than 25 years of experience in B2B field sales, sales management, and sales operations. Dan has delivered domestic and international results for companies such as: 
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Yahoo!
  • Epicor 
  • Terremark Worldwide
  • Dow Jones
  • Kronos
  • Intuit
  • CDS Global 
  • Ceridian 

Prior to joining Sales Benchmark Index, Dan held executive sales leadership positions 'making the number' at Aramark, Corporate Express, Lavi Industries and 3 Day Blinds. In these roles, he held global responsibility for sales strategy, market segmentation, demand creation, sales process, channel design, organizational structure, sales force capacity planning, and served as a member of the executive management committees.

Dan is an is adjunct professor at Pepperdine University for their MBA program specializing in Sales Management. He earned a BA in Economics from Illinois Wesleyan University.
Sales Benchmark Index 
Sales Benchmark Index provides sales consulting services to leading organizations across the private and public sectors. These companies are seeking to increase their rate of revenue growth. Unlike traditional sales improvement approaches, such as software implementations or skills training, SBI offers superior value because it relies on the benchmarking method to deliver results. This method of sales consulting allows for results to be delivered quickly with little organizational disruption and it is accomplished through the use of best-in-class diagnostic tools and solutions that are supported with verifiable truth. Each project is executed by the most experienced team of advisors in the industry.

Solve a fourth-quarter sales slump by calling back ‘older’ inquirers: A Story.

A majority of companies entering their fourth quarter in sales crisis mode can solve revenue and profit shortfalls by mining sales inquiries generated in the previous 12 months. If there is no database of these prospects, the company gets what it deserves. Fortunately, most companies have a list of inquiries and leads, regardless of their qualification level. And most companies can sort their lead list into a group worth calling.

First Decision: whom to call?

If there are only a few hundred inquirers, call them all; if several thousand, then it’s time to segment the list. It can be segmented by:

1. Product: most likely to be bought, most profitable, shortest sell cycle, etc.

2. Inquirers who are qualified.

3. Inquirers who filled out the product information form (not just, “I wanna see that video”).

4. Inquirers who visited your website more than once.

5. Inquirers from that hot trade show.

6. Inquirers who identified themselves as buyers.

7. Inquirers who have a time frame to buy (immediate need), etc. Give it some thought, and call only the most qualified.

Second Decision: who will call?

Assign this to your salespeople and they will probably give you lip service. After all, they didn’t sell the people the first time around, or didn’t call them at all. Either way, it’s a losing proposition to have your people call them. The answer: have a telemarketing outfit call them.

Third Decision: the offer!

Don’t think you can call people without an offer. Or, at the very least, have something new to say. “Thank you for your previous inquiry; we have something special for you!” No reputable direct marketing firm will take on the job without an offer; a good offer. Don’t be cheap. Remember, you’re in a crisis and you can be generous to the people who pull you out of it.

Does it work?

A friend of mine, Wes, recently had a sales slump. He turned to the list of inquiries received in the last six months (those who filled out a form). He segmented them into those who had visited his website at least three times; he did this by product. He screened out dead leads; those who had bought, and those on a quote list. Then, he had a telemarketing firm call the remainder. Ten percent of those they reached immediately wanted to talk to the rep again. The reps were delighted. The program was launched six weeks ago, so the jury is still out on final results. Wes used Sales Overlays, an advanced direct marketing company, to make the calls. Telemarketing isn’t their specialty, but is part of their mix.

Of course Mark Alarik, their president, set up an email response and soliciting system to make sure all the bases were covered (I have permission to give out Mark’s name and company).

Regardless of whom you use, if you’re in a sales slump, do something NOW while you still can.  Don’t sit on your rump and take abuse from the company that expects its marketing people to be creative and get them out of a jam.

Top 3 Ways to Determine if a Database Provider is Legitimate

By Tim Slevin, President & CEO of Healthcare Data Solutions

20818610_500There are a lot of database companies out there, and most of them are legitimate businesses that want to develop lasting customer relationships by providing quality data and service. But a small percentage of these companies are definitely not reputable, and if you’re not careful, you can lose money on a bad deal.

To help you determine if a database provider is legitimate, I’ve compiled a list of the top 3 things that you should do before signing any contracts or paying any money.

  1. Look up their physical address.
    Chances are a company run out of somebody’s garage isn’t going to have good quality data. Make sure the address on Google is an actual business, and not a residential home on Zillow or a fast food restaurant.
  2. Research them on LinkedIn.
    Every reputable, legitimate company these days either has a page of their own on LinkedIn, or at the very least, their employees have profiles there. I would be very leery of a company – database or otherwise – that didn’t appear there at all.
  3. Set the specs for a sample.
    If you ask a data company to give you a sample of their data, you can bet they’re going to give you the most pristine, clean, perfect records they have available. But you can also bet that these records will not be representative of the actual quality of their data as a whole. Give them a set of criteria that allows for companies that you know to come up in their sample. If those companies are not in the sample, or if the data they have on them is outdated, that’s a red flag.

Listen Now:
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Isn’t it time marketers take credit for the wealth they create?

ROI Sales Lead Revenue Calculator
Marketers create tremendous wealth for their companies, but seldom do they get credit for it.   To correct this shortcoming, the SLMA has added a sales lead revenue prediction calculator on its website that allows you to predict the sales results for any lead generation program.  Just enter four numbers and *BINGO*; you have a sales prediction of your campaign results.
This calculator will help you forecast a sales result for virtually any campaign or lead generation program. You must enter four pieces of  information.  
1. The number of sales inquiries
2. The sales lead follow-up percent you currently have as reported by the CRM system
3. Your market share percentage
4. The average sales price for the product that generated the inquiry (lead)
Some areas are filled-in for you (qualified buyers, available buyers, sales units) either by a predetermined number, or from the information you enter.  
Print the results, send it to someone, or freak out when you see how much wealth Marketing creates.
For security reasons we are not allowing you to enter your company or product name. When you leave the page the results will disappear, leaving no trace of your visit or forecast - - shhhhh.
Click here to try out your calculator.  Make it a favorite from your home page.
Marketers generate wealth; isn’t it time you take credit for it?

Why It’s Time for Women to Lead in America: September 12: SLMA Radio

Susan Finch will interview Vicki Donlan at 5 PM US Pacific time on Sept 12, 2013. Vicki is a Business & Health Coach, Speaker and Author of HER TURN: Why It’s Time for Women to Lead in America.

DolanSome of the highlights of the show include:

What a lot of women don’t realize is that MEN with daughters are the biggest supporters of women becoming successful. They want to know that anything is possible for their daughters.

Women don’t remember to connect the dots. Men look at every opportunity to connect and grow their business relationships. Women spend more time separating personal from business. Why?

As a young girl, Vicki’s father would take her to work with him. He would introduce her to many important people. But instead of saying, “Vicki, you need to meet so and so..” he would say to the person, “You need to meet my daughter, Vicki.” His support came through in every subtle thing he did to expose her to the business world. She grew up knowing she was important and could do anything. Are you giving that gift to young women, teens and your daughters?

Women are natural nurturers and relationship builders, then why is it that men are the ones who rarely speak negatively about each other - especially in business? Women need to be SUPPORTIVE of other women and bring them up with them through their successes, build them up when other succeed, talk about them as if you are a proud parent or friend.

She challenged women especially to do four things:

1. Become less judgmental. This includes judgmental about women’s looks, career choices -anything they do.

2. Support women every time you can! When one succeeds we all win.

3. Participate and support women’s groups. We get through the obstacles faster when we meet and discuss as s group. There is a different level of collaboration, discussion and support when it is just women with women. Nothing wrong with being in co-ed groups, but don’t forget to set aside time to just be with other professional women.

4. Be a mentor. We are all mentors and all mentees. Reach out early and often and we have an opportunity. This applies to ALL ages!

About Vicki Donlan

Dolan Book
As an entrepreneur, she was founder and publisher of Women’s Business, a 25,000 controlled-circulation newspaper devoted to women in business in the Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island region, founded in 1998, and sold to the Boston Herald in 2004, remaining as publisher through 2007.Her first book HER TURN Why It’s Time for Women To Lead in America was published in September 2007. She is a regular guest discussing women in business on New England Cable News’ Business Day and a well-known speaker.