Sales Lead Management 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.


Sales Managers That Do Not Insist on Sales Lead Follow-Up Must be Fired

I Healthcare-head-ache-concept-profile-side-view-photo-of-tired-woman-picture-id1059104222t is time to take the gloves off and focus on the national tragedy that has plagued B2B sales for 50 years; and it is all the making of sales management's failure. The tragedy and failure lie squarely at the doorstep of sales managers that are given inquiries and leads and do not make it a policy that their salespeople follow them up.  Policy, however, unless sternly implemented will also fail without a sales engagement platform.

It is a tragedy for the sales manager that is too stubborn or unwitting to know when he or she has been given a gift for making quota; a tragedy for the salespeople who are not led and taught and convinced that their future lies in the leads given to them by marketing; a tragedy for the stockholders that suffer as 2-20% of every revenue dollar is spent on marketing and 90% of that is wasted.

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Sales Lead Management Software Versus CRM - Ani Chiuzan from Pipedrive

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There has been a steady drum-beat of an emerging category of software to manage sales leads.  The category is Sales Lead Management.   While Sales Lead Management is a big tent that encompasses many different disciplines and tools, if you search for the category of sales lead management software there are new entrants that say they aren’t CRM. Or are they?  Are these “entrants” just CRM companies that separate themselves from a crowded field? 

 

Our guest today is Ani Chiuzan head of customer marketing at Pipedrive.  Ani discusses the basics of a CRM system that salespeople like and what separates CRM from Sales Lead Management Software.

 We discussed:

  1.  Why CRM abandoned its original purpose to serve the sales representatives' needs.
  2. What makes a great CRM system
  3. What salespeople dislike most about CRM systems
  4. Is Sales Lead Management Software really separated from CRM?
  5. What is the difference between CRM and SLMS, or is there a difference?

 About our Guest Ani Chiuzan

Ani Chiuzan is Head of Customer Marketing at Pipedrive, a global sales CRM with more than 90,000 customers worldwide. Ani is a strategic leader and marketer with deep expertise in designing and executing insight-driven marketing strategies supported by rigorous financial expertise.  Her 18-years’ experience includes working with B2C, B2B and SaaS organizations across the globe in sectors such as Telecommunications, IT, Retail, Finance across Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa, US and the Caribbean. Prior company experience includes EE Telecommunications, Velti and Barclaycards.

 About Pipedrive

Founded in 2010, Pipedrive is the first CRM platform developed from the salesperson's point of view. Today, Pipedrive is used by sales teams at more than 90,000 companies worldwide. Pipedrive is the top-rated CRM and has offices in Dublin; Lisbon; London; New York; Prague; Tampa/St. Pete; Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia; and, with the acquisition of Mailigen, Riga, Latvia. Learn more at Pipedrive.com.

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SLMA Radio is hosted by James Obermayer of Funnel Media Group which is a program on the Funnel Radio Channel.  Funnel Media Group is the sponsor of SLMA Radio

Funnel Media Group, LLC   


Nothing will spoil a manager’s life like too much truth!

IStock-639045058Actually, Will Rogers said, "Nothing will spoil a big man’s life like too much truth."  Big or small, man or woman, the truth can cause all kinds of issues, especially when it comes to sales lead management.   When the truth about sales lead management policies and procedures are revealed for most companies, it is painful. 

"Just because sales lead management is common sense doesn’t mean it’s common practice."

James Obermayer, author of  "Managing Sales Leads"

To be fair, it’s only right to say that many people don’t know what the truth is when we speak of sales lead management.  I don’t think there is such a thing as too much truth in sales lead management, so I guess it’s time we talked about it. 

I believe there are 14 truths in B2B sales lead management (no doubt more, but I stopped at 14,  you can add some):

  1. Prospects lie. Do not assume they are telling you the truth about anything but “I have issued a Purchase Order in your name.”   Only then, with these words, can you believe that what they are saying.
  2. There is a difference between an inquiry and a lead. Leads are qualified inquiries.  I don't care if Sales Force calls all prospects leads.  They are wrong. 
  3. 45% of all inquiries turn into a sale for someone within one year.  This is known as the Rule of 45 from the book “Managing Sales Leads.”
  4. The time-frame for conversion may be shorter or longer than a year, but the conversion rate stays constant.
  5. Companies that follow-up 100% of their sales leads sell more than those who don’t.
  6. Companies that prove the ROI, or lack of it, for its sales inquiries will spend money on promotions that work and let their competitors spend money on everything else.
  7. A marketing manager who cannot prove the ROI for the lead generating dollars they spend are threatened with extinction.  See item #13.
  8. Marketing management says it isn’t their job to report on the sales lead dispositions.   They’re wrong. When they say this it is a cop-out and an excuse.
  9. Having a CRM system and/or a Marketing Automation system is no guarantee that a company is managing its sales leads.   People manage leads with the tools given to them, software and AI are tools.  
  10. A marketing automation system with follow-up and content delivery can increase sales from inquiries between 300-400%.  Ok, maybe now that Marketing Automation is more common, it is only a 200% increase.
  11. Any follow-up by sales and marketing people increases the sales results.  The greater the follow-up, the greater the sales return.
  12. The vast majority of all inquiries are never followed-up by a salesperson.
  13. Sales managers who won’t hold their salespeople 100% accountable for the sales inquiries and leads given to them will join the marketing managers on the threatened species list.   See item #7.
  14. Inside salespeople have a higher sales lead follow-up rate than “outside” salespeople.  This occurs mainly because of programs such as VanillaSoft which is a sales engagement program.   It forces engagement. 

These are the truths as I see ‘em.  People have said to me that these are just plain common sense I guess they’re right. 

It’s said the truth will set you free; in this case it may prompt you to write a sales lead management procedure document to match the sales procedures policy. document. 

P.S.   Whilst we're on the subject of truth, get a copy of Dan McDade's book, "The Truth About Leads" Published by Onsei and available from Amazon.


What Salespeople Obtain too Cheaply, They May Esteem too Lightly! Leads for instance?

Thomas Pain said, "What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly, 'tis dearness only that gives everything its value.”  Until salespeople realize the time, effort and company treasure that goes into lead generation, they seldom value the gifts they are given.  They don't have to work or for the sales leads so they take what’s given very lightly.

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Practice, Practice, Practice is the Essential Factor for Success - McClure

McClureI was at a seminar and Michael Phelps, the world-class Olympic swimmer who has won more medals (14) than anyone else in the world, was being interviewed.  He was asked why he was so successful, so dominant in his sport.  His answer was startling:  he worked out and swam (4-5 hours a day) for EVERY SINGLE DAY of the year (all 365) for 4 years in a row.  That's 1,460 days of working out without a break.  He told the audience that if you take a day off, it takes two days to get back to where you were before.  If you take a week off, it takes two weeks to recover.  So he never took time off!

One of my friends is a professional golfer.  One day, while admiring his swing, I stated that I wished I could have his swing.  He replied, "That's easy.  Just hit 1,000 golf balls a day for the next year and you'll get there." 
 
What's this have to do sales?  Everything!  To achieve peak performance as a sales superstar, you need to practice.  You need to read books and listen to CD's of all of the top sales trainers and authors.

What a concept!  I can't imagine working out every day for 4 years, or attempting to hit 1,000 golf balls a day.  But that's what it took for these peak-performing athletes to reach their goals! 

Why It's Important

"Every single step in your sales process can be practiced, refined, drilled, and practiced again until you have it down with perfection."

Patrick McClure

What's this have to do sales?  Everything!  To achieve peak performance as a sales superstar, you need to practice. 

  • Read books and listen to CD's of all of the top sales trainers and authors.
  • Spend at least an hour a day working on your skills.  You should practice and refine your sales pitch again and again until it's second nature. 
  • Find a partner and practice handling common objections over and over again until you are NEVER thrown off track in a sales call. 
  • Pick up the phone and make 1,000 calls in a month, and every time getting better and better. 

Every single step in your sales process can be practiced, refined, drilled, and practiced again until you have it down with perfection. 
 
To become a sales superstar, you need to practice just like an Olympic athlete.
 
Here's to your Success!

Patrick McClure
Connexia Group
patrick@connexiagroup.com
www.connexiagroup.com

 

 


Ernest Hemingway said "Never mistake motion for action,”

Generating a bunch of inquiries and leads without a consideration for lead follow-up and nurturing …I consider that to be ‘motion.’ ‘Action’ occurs when you have a system in place to ensure 100% follow-up of the results over an extended time (an average sales cycle).

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More:

Without a Sales Lead Management Process, Marketing Plans are Fantasies

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When inquiries are abandoned by sales reps at still alarming rates (75-90% are said to be never followed-up by a sales representative), the marketing department has had to pick up the chore by lead nurturing.   Lead nurturing isn't new, it started in earnest in the early 90's. 

I know for a fact - the companies that nurture and follow-up 100% of their inquiries and turn what is “turn-able” into leads sell more than those that don’t; 200%-400% more is not uncommon.  If you want proof, review any of the marketing automation stats, back by thier research.    If you want to learn more, try Hubspots free training course on sales lead management. 

There is enough research from the marketing automation companies to know that this is no longer just an opinion, but established fact. If you want to get the greatest return on your lead generation ‘spend,’ you have two choices:

1. Salespeople must follow-up 100% of the inquiries and not give up until the inquirer says they have bought or will not be buying.

2. Marketing will nurture the inquiry until it is ready to turn over to Sales, or will nurture it during the salesperson’s follow-up process. The two departments will be co-equals in pursuing the inquiries/leads until the person buys or dies.

Marketing has been increasingly inserting itself deeper into the sales funnel. While both Sales and Marketing are responsible for ‘action,’ Marketing needs to take the lead in determining who will do what and in establishing the timetable.

Have you mistaken motion for action?

More about Marketing and the Sales Funnel

Who Owns the Pipeline? Marketing or Sales? – Matt Heinz on SLMA Live Radio

Marketing’s Role is to “Follow the Money”


Why are sales professionals afraid of the phone?

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The trend toward "Where's Waldo?" websites that hide company contact information has spilled over into email signatures. Let's take a poll: Who still uses email? Ahhhh, many hands go up. It's not going anywhere. Although more professionals, especially younger ones, skip the entire phone number element altogether, "Best, Cameron" isn't enough and that's not a signature.

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