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June2010


Sales Best Practices – Seth Godin Vs. The “Faceless Factory”


Seth Godin is a pretty smart guy. I own several of his books, and I typically enjoy reading his blog to get interesting snippets of marketing conversation.

His posts are usually short and aren’t always earth shattering, but they always have a clear underlying message, and they almost always get me thinking.

Today’s blog entry was no different, but I wanted to add a small corollary to his post.

As he has stated on many, many other occasions, Seth’s message was once again that the company that “wins the battle” is the one that creates new and unique ways to interact his/her vendors and customers, the one who doesn’t act like a “faceless factory.”

Here’s my addendum: You need to be a “faceless factory” before you can be anything else.

Let me explain what I mean . . . .

Promoting Power Dialer Love (and Predictive Dialer Hate)


As a vendor that specializes in dialer technology and software for sales teams, we get asked this question a lot—”Why won’t you sell / why are you biased against predictive dialers?”

The honest answer is that we don’t want to be part of the telemarketing crowd that calls you at dinner time and makes you say, “No, I don’t want that!” seven times before they finally hang up.

We want to work with professional inside sales people who happen to sell remotely, not telemarketers. It’s a specific choice we made.

Our biggest source of clients is those who come to us looking for a predictive dialer to call their business to consumer (B2C) leads. The first question we ask them is, “How much are you paying for your leads and can you afford to burn many of them?”

They always say “I pay a lot. And no, of course not – I don’t want to burn them… what do you mean?”

Then we point them to the FCC web pages with legislation against predictive dialers and the high annoyance they have caused over the years that have resulted in laws being passed. We show them that Predictive Dialers annoy and burn as many as 3% of their leads EVERY TIME THEY ARE CALLED. If you multiply that by the 7 to 12 times it takes to call a lead before you make contact, they are probably annoying about 1/3 to 1/2 of their list over time . . . .

Customer Management – A PC-to-Mac Finder’s Tale


Happy Camper Customer?Have you ever lost an account suddenly, unexpectedly? As in, one month they were “happy campers,” and the next they just disappeared?

I hate to admit it, but we haven’t been immune to this syndrome. The root causes were varied; sometimes it was just change in the organization, sometimes it was a change in strategy, but sometimes it was because we simply weren’t addressing a key need or pain, and the client decided to look elsewhere.

These are the worst types of lost accounts, because the simple fact is, we weren’t doing our jobs.

I bring this question up because at work I have recently been shifted from using a PC to using a Mac (I can hear all of the Mac disciples out there now shouting, “Hallelujah! A new convert about to enter the fold!”).

And sure, the 24″ iMac screen is a dream. It’s dual-core, plenty fast, big hard drive.

Except there’s one small problem: without fail, at least once a day, there’s something about MacOS that irritates me to no end: the file manager.

The simple fact is that relative to its competition . . . .

Aligning Lead Management and Sales Management


Stumbled across this blog entry recently on Glance Networks, and having done exactly what Tom Scontras is talking about for three or four years now, I related completely.

He nails #4 on the head—it’s a constant game in both sales and marketing to not outsmart ourselves. Don’t toss away something that works pretty well in hope of chasing the “home run” without really, really researching it out first.

We’ve wasted a lot of dollars over the years because we forgot to split test everything. When it comes to your lead generation efforts, don’t make decisions based on your gut . . . .

Missing Some Sales Leads Lately? Blame the World Cup


Image Courtesy of José Goulão

Has your supply of Web-generated leads been trickling down a bit lately?

Don’t worry, it may not have anything to do with your marketing strategy, SEO content, or pay-per-click ads. It may be something entirely benign:

World Cup Soccer.

Jed Smith, Vice-President of Operations at Internet marketing firm, Orange Soda, says the World Cup may be acting as a “work productivity depressant,” similar to the NCAA Basketball Tournament’s “March Madness.”

The difference, he says, is that the World Cup isn’t just capturing American audiences, it’s world-wide . . . .

4 Quick Tips for Creating a Good B2B Marketing Email


A few months ago, I talked a little bit about the question, “Is leaving a voice message an effective marketing or sales strategy?”

Obviously the answer is yes, it’s very effective, especially when it’s combined with other modes of contact—email, calling, faxing.

I wanted to follow-up those tips with another small set for creating good B2B marketing and sales emails . . . .

Sales Motivation – You Are Your Cubicle


Photo Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Take a look around your office. No seriously, take a look around your office right now.

Go ahead. Stand up, walk around if you need to, then come back.

You’re still sitting here. Go look around your office.

So, what did you discover during your sojourn around the room/cubicle/hallway?

(If you work from home/telecommute, it probably told you that wearing your pajamas to work is the coolest thing ever, but I digress.)

Lead Generation and SEO – No Such Thing as Perfect Content?


insidergraphic-no-perfect

I came across a great article by Stoney deGeyter that states when it comes to SEO Web content, there’s really no such thing as “perfect.”

There’s no “perfect” content page, no “perfect” landing page, no “perfect” fix for a Web site that turns it from a bland SEO performer into a conversion gem.

Other than split testing, “targeted tinkering,” and adapting a site as new technologies, audiences, and ideas show up, there’s no perfect way to do SEO.

And being what I consider to be a fairly proficient writer, I was both intrigued and disturbed by the proposition . . . .

Bridge Group’s Inside Sales 2010 – Inside Sales Continues Growth Trend


First of all, let me be up front and say that Trish Bertuzzi is a colleague and a friend of mine, so take that for what it’s worth. That being said, her company, The Bridge Group, Inc., recently released a fascinating research study on the state of inside sales organizations in 2010. Even the shortened, [...]

The Tale of Two Franchises – A Parable of Sales Management


With the Lakers having recently (and lamentably) completed their 16th NBA title run, it’s really easy to forget that Los Angeles actually has two NBA franchises located within it.

Of course, it should be easy to forget a franchise (the Clippers) that has repeatedly shown zero innovation, foresight, strategic planning, or leadership.

Consider this:

Though it was “officially” created in 1948, the NBA as we now know it entered what most would consider its truest formative “stage” during the 1954-55 season, when the league contracted to its original eight, continuous member franchises, and instituted the 24-second shot clock.

1955 until 2010 is a total of 55 years. And in those 55 years, two franchises—the Lakers and the Celtics—have won 33 of the 55 total possible championships. Throw in three more titles by the Pistons, six by the Bulls, and another four by the San Antonio Spurs, and a combined 46 of the last 55 NBA championships have been won by exactly five teams.

And in sales and marketing, just like in sports, winners generally keep on winning. Success simply breeds more success.

Think of every historically great sports franchise or entity. The Cowboys. The 49 . . . .