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Month: June 2010

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 . . . .

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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 . . . .

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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 . . . .

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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 . . . .

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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 . . . .

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