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If the mediocre are always at their best, who are “the mediocre?”

At the end of another blog entry (one of the best read)  titled “All know the way; few actually walk it. ~Bodhidharma,” I quoted Giraudoux’s famous saying, “Only the mediocre are always at their best.”  

As typically happens when we read something like this, we assume “the mediocre” is always someone else.  It’s certainly not us.

 Now maybe that’s true in your case, or maybe it isn’t; maybe there are many mediocre managers, or just some with mediocre traits and results.   Maybe its just someone who continually cuts corners. 

IStock_000000796755SmallI offer the following thoughts on what a mediocre sales or marketing manager can be accused of as it pertains to sales leads and marketing planning.   I think “the mediocre” marketing and sales managers (as regards to sales leads) possess these traits:

Marketing Managers

  1.  They do not have a yearly marketing plan (Goals, Objective, Strategies and Tactics). 
  2. They do not project and create enough inquiries to substantially support the sales quotas carried by the salespeople.
  3. They do not prove the ROI for lead generation programs
  4. They do not track the inquiry count by product and compare this to the required sales quotas.
  5. They do not insist on 100% follow-up of the sales inquiries and leads.
  6. They do not nurture (some torture) the inquiries they have created until the inquirer is sales ready.
  7. They do not spread their lead generation investment across the most likely media (they think the web should do it all).
  8. They do not properly SEO their website (using words that are the most searched isn’t SEO).
  9. The do not have a website that is accessible by mobile users (57% of website traffic is now from mobile devices).

 Sales Managers

  1. They do not insist that their salespeople follow-up on 100% of sales inquiries and leads.
  2. They do not insist that lead follow-up occur the same day the inquiry is received (in B2C this is measured in minutes from web leads).
  3. They do not insist that all inquiries and leads are closed out on the CRM system.                                     
  4. They fail to insist that marketing support the sales quotas with lead generation (there are formulas for this). 
  5. They do not have a sales plan (most think issuing quotas is sufficient). 
  6. They do not take an active role in marketing planning meetings.  
  7. They fail to insist on CRM compliance. 

 Is this harsh? No not really; it’s nothing new.  I’ve talked about this in a hundred blog entries and several hundred speeches and workshops.    So while you contemplate who in your organization is “mediocre,” remember what I’ve said in other blog entries or recent speeches:   pound for pound, marketers are the largest creators of wealth in their organization.  The only trick is…they have to prove it.  

When marketing management proves the ROI they are no longer mediocre. 

When sales management insists on 100% follow-up of sales inquiries (and leads), they are no longer mediocre. 

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