Starting a Sales Career at a Large Corporation vs. Small Business

posted on Sep 22, 2014 by in News

Thinking about what to do

“Would you rather be a small fish in a big pond, or a big fish in a small pond?” It’s a pressing question pondered by salespeople at some point in the beginning of a career. Both ponds can teach us about ourselves and each of the ponds can give us a chance to expand our skills indefinitely, as each pond has its own set of challenges. When you consider this from a sales perspective there are even more challenges to consider.

In a small company you wonder if the company has invested in things like a lead management solution, good leads, or if the product is mature enough to even be sold. However, the upside can be huge as the company hits a stride. I know personally that startup companies in the right sectors are way more generous with commission for many reasons. They want the best talent, they want top-line growth, and they know in order to get it they have to be generous with commission. If you time it right you can essentially win the career lottery. However, if you stay too long with a company that is not hitting a stride, you are going to waste a few years of blood, sweat, and tears.
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The Golden Rules of Lead Management

posted on Sep 09, 2014 by in Lead Management

A conversation today reminded me that not all lead buyers know exactly what to do to be a successful lead buyer. Pretty obvious statement really. We all have questions revolving around how to improve the lead management process and there are very few that have it perfected. The reality is that most companies have very different and unique processes that must be taken into account when applying best practices. Nevertheless, there is a core set of rules that every company should follow to be successful with managing their leads.

4 Golden Rules of Lead Management

Be Fast:

Keeping these 4 rules in mind throughout the lead management process will insure your success in the area of lead purchasing. We know that being successful with leads does not depend solely on the quality of each lead, but is equally dependent on how the leads are worked. The first rule has been preached by lead management companies for many years now and is backed up by a number of independent studies. The quicker you contact the lead, the higher likelihood you will have of closing the sale. The studies are out there and it has been drilled into our heads, but many buyers still overlook this extremely important factor. The dramatic effects that speed-to-lead has on the success of converting the lead is why I have it ranked as the most important factor for being successful with leads. You MUST be fast!

Be Smart:

Secondly, you need to be smart. What do you do after you receive the lead? What distribution rules do you have in place once the lead enters your system? Does it go to a call center? Depending on the criteria of the lead, will it go to a specific sales group? Simply receiving the lead and distributing it to a sales rep quickly should not be the only consideration you have in your lead management process. Think about what individuals or groups will best handle the type of lead arriving in your system. Be smart!

Be Nurturing:

Many companies fall into the trap of simply calling and qualifying leads, and not properly following up and nurturing the leads throughout the complete sales process. Unfortunately, some lead buyers rely on the return policies of their lead partner to excuse themselves of properly nurturing their leads. However, buyers should understand that not all leads are going to provide a quick answer and in many situations will initially be undecided. Don’t forget, the individuals that typically complete an online form are shopping. These prospects will require consistent follow-up prior to converting into a sale. I recently spoke with a buyer at a large national bank that told me a story about leads he converts over a year after receiving them. He does this through a simple, but long-term nurturing strategy. He doesn’t give up! He nurtures.

Be Analytical:

When it comes to lead buying, you can be as fast, smart and nurturing as you would like, but if you are not properly analyzing your KPI’s it will all mean nothing. I am surprised how some lead buyers continue to assume that they are doing everything right. Some place the blinders over their eyes and believe there is no room for improvement. Some of these buyers have chosen to hire employees to dial out on leads as soon as they come in and then transfer the leads to the “closers”. They have a makeshift lead management system that they created in-house that they believe is perfect. Unfortunately, they really are not sure how many times their leads have been called or if their leads are even being called. Additionally, they simply are not reporting their lead conversion data in real-time. The individuals that are managing the lead buying process are not provided with the right reporting options that are necessary to catch spikes in poor lead quality and/or they are not able to determine which leads are actually providing the highest return.

One could argue that having the proper set of reports IS the most important factor to lead buying success. What reports are essential you ask? Reports must be available on a daily basis. This does not mean, however, that you are looking at reports that only count daily conversion numbers. Reports that display conversions on a daily basis are typically not actionable. Month-to-date, weekly, specified data range reports should be available on a daily basis and are extremely actionable. Analyzing is important.

Top 4 Key Performance Indicators for Lead Buyers:

1. Conversion rate
2. Application or Appointment rate
3. Contact rate
4. Scrub rate – How many leads are being returned or marked as invalid

It is my opinion that all 4 of these KPI’s should be calculated off of the original valid lead count. For example, instead of calculating the conversion rate off of the application rate, lead buyers should calculate the conversion rate off of the total amount of valid leads that were purchased. The reason why I suggest this is because if you are calculating the conversion rate off of the application rate, your conversion rate number will look far more attractive then what it truly is. I see buyers doing this all the time and not communicating the correct conversion numbers to their lead vendors.

To be successful with buying leads, and to fully realize the benefits of using these “Golden Rules”, one must understand that they are not optional. They are mandatory! You can not implement just one rule, or a few rules. Take some time to evaluate your current lead management process and ensure that you are being fast, smart, nurturing, and analytical. Don’t be afraid to ask the industry experts about reporting best practices. Call the lead management experts in your space and request white papers or studies that could help you improve your own processes.

Good luck and be sure to follow the Golden Rules of lead management.

Achieve 122% Lift in Qualified Lead Volume with Lead Management

posted on Aug 04, 2014 by in Lead Generation, News

DirectBusinessLending.com Achieves 589% Lift in ROI, & 122%Lift in Qualified Lead Volume with LeadExec Lead Management and AdWords Integration

Like most lead generation companies, DBL suffered from a significant percentage of unqualified leads. Customers are often entering false or erroneous credentials, or simply not the target customer needed.  LeadExec has long been used to collect and score leads before routing them to the call center CRM, SalesExec. This process includes checking name, email, phone number, address, and other custom criteria to remove unqualified leads, and score remaining qualified leads.

Adwords search is the primary source of leads, but acquiring leads at a good CPL (Cost Per Lead) was not the problem. Achieving the volume of qualified leads in order to scale the business at the right CPL was a different story.  The challenge was to determine the relationship between converting keywords and qualified leads in order to remove wasted marketing spend and focus on keywords that resulted in profitable closed deals.

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Lead nurturing is all about, laying the bricks

posted on Jul 07, 2014 by in Lead Nurturing

RomeRome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour, if you build it they will come, you get the idea. Enough with the Clichés.

Drip email marketing is a feature that is always ever evolving, brilliantly crafted within our SalesExec lead management software solution. SalesExec lead nurturing enables users of our system to implement an easy-to-use method for marketing to their leads. Lead nurturing is a powerful marketing strategy, if implemented correctly. In comparison to other forms of marketing, where you can experience difficulty in tracking your return on investment (ROI), lead nurturing is straightforward, easy to quantify, and low on risk. A well-structured sales lead nurturing campaign develops a relationship between your business and your lead or prospect. It’s one of the many successful features that benefit the users of SalesExec and this ladies and gentlemen is where we separate ourselves from the pack.

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TCPA compliance solution for marketers, call centers, and sales teams

posted on Oct 10, 2013 by in Lead Scoring, News

tcpa-new-3.8ClickPoint Software, an industry leader that provides lead management software to marketers, sales teams and call centers, unveils its solution this week to provide TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) best practices in response to their newest update to existing requirements.  The online lead generation industry, sales industry, and call centers are all affected by these new TCPA compliance requirements. These TCPA compliance requirements go into effect on October 16th, 2013 in ways that will require both time and resource allocation.  Finding solutions that enable compliance, while not degrading operational efficiency, will be of the utmost importance to all companies that provide leads to their sales force and to marketers who supply leads to lead buyers.

ClickPoint has built a patent pending lead certification solution that enables both lead sellers and lead buyers to certify leads that are obtained on websites, web-forms, or by third party lead capture forms.  The solution ensures that consent text is present on a website, and that consent to be called on their mobile device by an automated dialing solution was given by a consumer visiting a website or landing page.  The ClickPoint solution captures analytic data such as time on site, pages visited, IP address, and confirms that a consumer did provide express consent by accepting the consent terms of service shown on a website.

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