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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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Do you have an Ernestine in your company handling your leads?

#155 Expediting sales leads must be a priority. (1)

Having your lower paid employees (a receptionist or clerk) sort your sales inquiries and take their time to pass them to your highest paid employees (salespeople) is stupid.

Most of the time the inquirers (or leads) sit with the receptionist for days and weeks as they try to get around to it. Get leads into the salespeople's hands as fast as possible.

  • Web leads can be directed into most CRM systems and show up in the salespersons territory immediately.

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Marketing’s Role in Sales

What role do Marketers really play in sales – I mean directly with Sales?  We have found that the answer to this question is quite different for each company. Some Marketers are left to worry about executing campaigns with no particular concern regarding the outcome of the marketing tactics on eventual revenue. It’s hard to believe that this situation still exists, but we’ve seen it time and time again.  It’s the status quo legacy that many companies continue to maintain.  However, we do see a majority of Marketers striving (whether of their own impetus or that of their managers) to have a more direct impact on sales. 

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How To Reduce Your Lead Leakage

As our sales funnels get wider and longer, it’s even more challenging than before to keep leads within our grasp.  One of the most costly sales and marketing issues is lead leakage.  Lead leakage refers to leads entering the funnel as suspects and potentially moving through to leads and possibly opportunities only to be forgotten, if they are not ready to buy. But what does that mean? Are these leads are not worthy of continued attention?  Could these leads buy at some point in the future? Plugging a hole in your sales funnel is critical to successful lead management.  Below are some steps that can be taken to help reduce lead leakage…

  1. 1. Integrate a lead nurturing strategy into your lead management process.
     Sending out emails over a period of time is not an effective lead nurturing strategy.
    - Put some thought towards targeting, relevant content, and evaluating success (sending the right person, the right message at the right time is effective nurturing).
    - Use automation to track digital behavior and automate nurturing programs for leverage, visibility, and scalability.

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SLMA Radio Line-Up Tonight: Jeff Pedowitz, Lisa Cramer and Russell Kern. 5 PM PST

The top of the program tonight has a new feature, a ten minute commentary by an industry leader on a topic of his or her choice.  Tonight we have Jeff Pedowitz, of the Pedowitz Group  as our first commentator.   During the following 45 minutes radio host Will Crist interviews Lisa Cramer CEO of LeadLife Solutions and Russell Kern, president of the Kern Organization.   

Lisa Cramer, is a member of the SLMA Advisory Board.  She came in at number 5 out of 50 on the 50 Most influential List in Sales Lead Management in 2009!   LeadLife Solutions says it doesn't deliver just technology to its customers.  Its  team of Marketing Specialists help clients quickly gain value from marketing automation.

Questions to Lisa tonight include:

1. What is the biggest threat facing B2B marketing Mangers today?
2. What advice can you give these manager’s to avoid this threat and create an opportunity from it?
3. Why is scoring so crucial to the basis of a good inquiry management system/
4. In one of your Blog entries you mention that there are stepping stones to successful lead management.  What are they?
5. Your say you are metrics focused.  What are the most important metrics you recommend tracking?
6. How do marketers take the leap to improve the quality of leads which probably leads to reducing the quantity?
7. What do you mean when you say you can integrate your process with any CRM system ?

Russell Kern is President of The Kern Organization.  In addition, Russell is an original Member of the SLMA Advisory Board and he finished in the Top 15 out of 50 in the Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management in 2009.

Kern's site says it prides itself on Breakthrough ideas and Response Driven Fanaticism.   What makes Kern unique is how it uses data insight and data intelligence to drive strategy to build a clients business.  Kern has more than 100 of the country’s top direct marketing professionals who apply their collective experience in strategic marketing, direct mail marketing, database marketing, online marketing strategies, and sales lead generation to the service of its clients.

1.  What is “Shopping feed management?”
2. You say shopping feed management can add 3-5% in sales for a typical company’s sales?   Is this true?
3. What are the biggest changes in direct marketing in the last five years? 
4.  You have published a guide the 5 Biggest Hurdles in Direct Marketing.  What are they and how does an average marketing tackle them?
5.Scott Levine in your organization recently had a blog post called the Meaning of Life.    He was talking about Customer Life Time Value.  How do YOU define it?
6.  Do You have any favorite CRM or Marketing Automation companies you recommend? 
7. In choosing a Direct Marketing Company, what is the one thing that a marketing manager must ask for and get from the agency, without fail, for the engagement to be successful?

Tune in tonight at
SLMA Radio , click on Listen Live.