Lead Generation Feed

Story: Building a Lead Gen Plan Based on Individual Quotas

Never Give UpHow do you know,” I asked the marketing manager, “how much money to spend on marketing, and how many inquiries and leads to produce?”

 “I do what we generally did last year, and create as much demand as I can,” was her reply.

“We have a marketing plan,” she continued with some obvious pride. “And we list what we have to do for the year and stick with it.”

“When do you consult with the sales manager about quotas?” I asked.

"Well, kind of...eh, we don’t really I guess.  We know the forecast she has to hit,” she said with some doubt in her voice.  “Why do you ask?”

“The issue is if you know the sales forecast for the whole year, you also have access to quarterly and monthly forecasts, as well as the salespeople’s individual forecasts.  Armed with this information, you’ll know how many inquiries and leads you must create per salesperson based on the average closing rate per product.”

“Umm, so what you’re implying is that I should create the number of inquiries each rep will need to make quota based on their closing ratio?”

Why it's important?

“Umm, so what you’re implying is that I should create the number of inquiries each rep will need to make quota based on their closing ratio?”

“Yes, but you needn’t go all the way to the rep level on their closing ratio,” I said.  “You can take the average closing rate of the company as a start.  If the company closes 25% of the leads you give them, you’ll have to give them 3-4 times the number of leads as a minimum to make quota.  Doing it by rep is possible but that is the next step when you’ve mastered the first step.” 

“But,” she stammered with obvious frustration.  “I don’t control follow-up; these guys don’t follow-up what I give them anyway.”

“So, do you give up,” I asked?  “The initial follow-up can be done with your marketing automation system.  Then you have to convince the salespeople by reporting from the CRM system that it is in their best interest to follow up every lead.”  

“But…but, the sales manager isn’t any better than the reps,” she sputtered with a biting, angry tone to her voice.

“You’re justified in being upset,” I said. “But you can’t give up.  Meet with the sales manager and explain that you’ll be creating gross demand based on his forecasted sales and the closing rate of the sales leads.  100% follow-up is in his and their best interest.  As they get better at follow-up, you’ll get better in generating superior-quality sales leads.”

“Do they respond?  Will they do it? Does this work?  How long does it take?” She asked in quick succession. 

“What do you have to lose?” I asked.  “Your salespeople aren’t making quota now.  Give them more qualified leads and increase follow-up and sales will increase.  It won’t take longer than a quarter or two for them to understand the connection.”

And she did.  Shifting to a marketing plan projection of sales inquiries based on average closing ratios gave her a number to shoot for in the plan.  Follow-up started with the marketing automation system and finished with a campaign of follow-up improvement by salespeople.

It worked. 

 Always does.


When Marketing Creates Demand Based on Quotas, Wonderful Things Happen - A Story

IStock_000000796755Small“Do you know,” I asked the marketing manager, “how much money to spend on demand generation, and how many leads to create for salespeople to make quota?”

With a shrug, she said, “I do what we did last year.  We have a marketing plan,” she continued. “We review last year's spend and make adjustments, usually on a budget the CFO gives us.”

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How to Treat Gas, Bloat, Wrinkles and high Blood Pressure Caused by Salespeople

  IStock-1015296318Note: This is one of our most popular posts and brought back for your amusement. To see the how much the woman in the photo has changed since the first post, click here

It’s a proven fact that salespeople can cause premature aging in marketing people.  Wrinkles are the most visible indication that salespeople are stressing out the marketing department.

Doctors tell me that another symptom of premature aging in marketing people is increased blood pressure (usually within 25 feet of anyone from Sales, including sales management).   Other health issues may be gas and bloating; severe snoring and lack of sleep; heart palpitations and migraine headaches between the eyes.  Stomach ailments are also reported when salespeople fail to make quota and complain to Marketing.

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When Management Calls for Cuts in the Marketing Budget - A True Story

IIStock-585614264t was early September, late in the afternoon on a Friday as I remember, when the company president called me into his office.  It was a medical device company, which had gone public in the previous year.  Sales were going well, so far.

He started off quickly and got to the point.

“I need a favor,” he said.  “We have to cut the budget substantially in this upcoming last quarter; I need $400,000 from Marketing.  Please get back to me on Monday and let me know where you can cut.”

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7 Simple Rules to Create Market Share for B2B Products, Even for Mediocre Products

20121126-flipchartA mediocre product can market its way to success, but you have to spend enough money creating and managing demand. Create enough sales leads and me-too products have a place (if your product is superior, you’lldo even better).

Of course price is a consideration for me-too products, but not always if the marketer is good enough

My advice - 7 Simple Rules to create market share:

1. Spend at least 10% of annual company revenues on marketing; less than that and you will have mediocre success. Software companies and  will aggressive companies spend upwards of 20%+.

2. Hire the best lead generation marketers you can find. Nothing else will do.  

3. Use the 4-to-1 Rule. Create at least 4 qualified inquirers for every product you must sell.

4. Make CRM use a requirement by your salespeople.

5. Require marketing automation to manage demand when you get above 200 inquiries a month.

6. Make 100% follow-up of all sales inquiries by someone (salespeople or via the marketing automation program) mandatory.

7. Every lead generation project needs an ROI estimate.  Go to the lead generation calculator on the SLMA site to come up with a quick estimate for the sales results.

If you do these six simple rules you will get the market share you deserve, and even some market share you don’t deserve.

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"Well done is better than well said."

Benjamin Franklin said "Well done is better than well said." about 229 years ago and it is still fresh today.

Ben FranklinsWith the talk we have heard about CRM and the progress marketing automation has made for the last ten years, most marketing managers are still not walking the talk when it comes to measuring ROI for lead generation. I just didn’t realize how much insight Ben had into marketing.

James Lenskold the author of Marketing ROI certainly nailed it when he taught marketers how to stop talking about marketing ROI and start proving it. I am sure every marketer would like to hear “Well done" instead of just well said.

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How Many Leads You Need Is the Root of Marketing's Existence - Ryan Answers the Question

 Listen and Learn while You Work

Ask a few dozen CMO's how they determine how many leads he or she needs to create for the forecast and the answers vary from a guess to science based on formulas.  In this program with Chris Ryan we ask a proven CMO, author and lead generation expert how he determines how many leads are enough for his clients. 

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Clint Eastwood said it best in the movie, Sudden Impact, “It’s just a question of results"

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Why it’s Important

"Sales Performance is tied to sales lead performance, which is tied to your marketing budget. Period." 

James Obermayer

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Clint Eastwood said it best in the movie, Sudden Impact, “It’s just a question of results.  Everyone wants results, but nobody wants to do what it takes to get it done!”  

Continue reading "Clint Eastwood said it best in the movie, Sudden Impact, “It’s just a question of results"" »