Sales Pipeline - Funnel 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.


How to Crush Q1 – Guaranteed

Dial leadsThe first month and the first quarter of a new year are the most important month and quarter for any company.   I mention this now because now is the time to guarantee Q1 of 2019. 

Start the year with a below-forecast first sales month and the pressure is dramatically increased for the quarter.  If sales fail in the second month, achieving the Q1 forecast just got darn-near impossible. 

Why it Matters

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Led Zeppelin’s B2B lessons with Chandar Pattabhiram: Your Marketing Stairway to Heaven

Episode-card-640x640_guest-Chandar_v2

On this episode Chandar Pattabhiram, CMO at Coupa Software joins us as we talk about bringing start-up agility to enterprise marketing.

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B2B has not Adapted & Buyers are PO'd - Dave Gerhardt with Matt Heinz

Read the full transcription of this episode on the Heinz Marketing blog 

OK, so the PO'd part is our literary license.  

Highlights:

  • We discuss how the buying experience is broken and why the only way to fix it is to enable more conversations
  • Here's an example of how this plays out:
    • It's important to make it easy for your customers to buy
    • B2B businesses have not adapted yet.
    • Customers are still often required through a labyrinth of funnels and forms so they can talk to a sales rep
    • What can B2B do about this?
    • A sale doesn't happen without a conversation
    • Is this because of "the Amazon effect" - customers are used to getting what they want on demand, with one click. Whether it's a taxi, a meal, a piece of furniture, etc.
    • These buying expectations are carrying over to B2B purchases as well
    • You need to make it easier for your prospects to have a conversation with you - whether that's through chat or on the phone
    • And whoever gets closest to the customer wins (Netflix vs Blockbuster)
    • Reps need to get closer to prospects, faster - and organizations need tools in place to enable that, while avoiding the clatter of non-sales related conversations

Are you leaving 💰 on the table?

Related

Your Marketing Stairway to Heaven: Led Zeppelin’s B2B lessons with Chandar Pattabhiram

How to Manage Remotely - Best Practices for Leading from a Distance

 

More from our guest:

Hey, I'm Dave Gerhardt

I'm VP of Marketing at Drift and I've spent the last 7 years learning at SaaS marketing companies in Boston, including HubSpot and Constant Contact.

During that time, I've launched products that have made it to the top of Product Hunt, created a top five business podcast on Apple Podcasts, landed multiple features in the New York Times, created a deck that Andy Raskin called "The Greatest Sales Pitch I've Seen All Year," and helped create the category of Conversational Marketing.

I love building an audience and getting the right people to pay attention.


You can Build A High Performing Sales/MarketingTeam - Patrick Morrissey with Matt Heinz

Matt Heinz asked Patrick, "What are some of the keys you find to building really high performance marketing teams that can deliver results?

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Dan McDade - Answers Who Owns the Pipeline and Why

Listen while you walk the canary iTunes

 Pipeline Ownership is a Growing Question - Dan McDade


Of course, the salespeople own the pipeline, right?  Maybe yes and maybe no.   With the advent of more sophisticated CRM systems, certainly marketing automation programs and now AI, marketing is getting involved in almost every step of the pipeline.  And with involvement comes a responsibility.   In this program DAN McDade, CEO of PointClear talks about pipeline ownership and how technology isn’t always the answer if the basics aren’t being addressed:
  • Marketing automation doesn’t seem to eat its own dogfood!

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When a New CMO Meets the Sales Manager, Sparks Fly

IStock_000008113130Small“What can I do for you today?” Cyndi asked the new CMO as he settled into the chair facing her.

“It isn’t what you can do for me,” Tom said. “It’s what can I do for you.  While I’ve only been on the job for a few weeks, maybe there is something Marketing needs to do for you,” he said with a bemused smile.

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