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Most Recent Blog Posts

Salesforce finally gets it

Salesforce has been around for a pretty long time. Like me, you probably started using salesforce a number of years ago.  Like me, you are probably frustrated with the lack of certain features. 

I’ve used salesforce on a corporate level and as a business owner.  On the corporate and business owner levels, Salesforce has been used primarily as a database with email sending capability.  When I worked for one Fortune 500 Company, not one manager knew how to use the reporting features of salesforce. Not even the VP’s. 

What was their solution?    Many resorted to compelling their sales teams to submit weekly reports on an excel spreadsheet.  The company was paying millions of dollars a year for the program for its sales teams and they did not have a clue on how to use it.  How crazy is that?  Take a hint you controllers out there.  Google Docs offers a free cloud based database.  Save some money. 

As a savvy manager, I learned quickly how to navigate and use Salesforce to make my job easier and more productive.  I was always light years ahead of my coworkers.  I even installed a third party app to my salesforce account to do drip marketing automation.  The program was not very good, but it was all that Salesforce had to offer. 

Finally, Salesforce got it right when the company acquired Pardot.  Pardot is a leading marketing automation company.  What is marketing automation?  You have not been reading my posts.  Shame on ...

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Why lead generation and diets don’t work?

Most of you have made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight.  You are committed to lose 10, 20, 50 pounds this year.  You’ve got your Atkins, Paleo, South Beach and Juicer diets.  You are stoked.  You are going to do this. 

Really? 

You said that last year, or in 2010.  You lost some weight but gained it back.  Now, let’s relate this to lead generation.  Every year you find a new lead generation company or you go back to an old one to give them a second chance.  You are crossing your fingers that this time these leads will be killer, that this campaign is going to work.  Ahhh.  Like your diet, 3 months, 6 months in, you aren’t succeeding. What the hell? 

I don’t want to start the year off on a downer.  But I see lead generation and dieting success as closely related.  Diets fail because we cheat.  We cut corners.  We think we can get away with that one donut here, and that cake there. 

In lead generation, I see some of the same habits.  I have clients that just go after the low hanging fruit.  They by the way are the ones that have the lowest close ratios.  I wonder why.  

Oh, yes, like dieting, there is a strategy to good lead management.   If you follow the strategy detail by detail, you will maximize your close ratios just like if you adhere to your diet strictly, you will lose weight ...

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Lead Management Fundamentals: How to close more leads? Part II

 How to overcome the marketing-sales gap and how the latest technologies help you close more deals with minimal effort.

From a marketing perspective, we are looking for ways to close or alleviate the marketing-sales gap.  The problem is that we are not making a distinction from a 1 O’clock lead (long term close lead and an 11 O’clock lead (the short term, quick close).  A lead that closes tomorrow or one that closes in six months are both valid leads.  Sales does make the distinction. They want the quick close leads and tend to abandon the long term close leads.     

Studies have shown that 85% to 90% of your prospects do not close immediately.   Many won’t close for 6 months or more.   95% of all sales reps stop contacting a prospect after the 3rd attempt to get the sales process moving forward.  75% of all sales are made after the 4th contact with the prospect.[1]

Large companies with big budgets and long term strategies get this.  They can afford to wait and often times do.   This is one competitive advantage they use over their smaller rivals.  They can collect and nurture leads for long periods of time.

Your average sales agent and sales team are under constant pressure to perform to make their monthly quota.  What usually ends up happening is that the long term leads get dropped in favor of the low hanging fruit.  These turtle leads get called infrequently if at all ...

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Lead Management Fundamentals: How to close more leads? Part 1

“I’ll never buy another lead again,” so says a disgruntled sales person after failing to close quickly a lead he bought from a third party company.    Being in the lead business, I hear this all the time.  Rarely do you hear, “I’ll never advertise again.” Yet, in many cases 99% of the people who see your ad won’t buy your product or your service.   (Advertising serves other purposes like branding, but for most small businesses, advertising is to produce sales.) 

I once did a consulting job for a company that sold uniforms to Fire and Police depts.   Their shtick was to send out catalogs every quarter and hope that 0.25% of those receiving the catalogs bought.  These guys would have been happy with an incremental increase of 0.10%.  Compare that to the Victoria Secret catalog that gets 11% of its catalog receivers to purchase.  Uniforms are not as sexy as lingerie. But there is a huge gap between 11% and .25%.   Even with such a small return on its catalog, this company was profitable.

In the lead business, the standard is raised even higher.  A company will typically pay a higher cost for a lead campaign than an advertising campaign.  Lead Campaigns are a more targeted approach rather than the rapid fire shot gunning of advertising.  Or the lead campaign is the residue or the results of an advertising campaign.  

A good lead campaign should be bringing the buyer and seller together for a discussion ...

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The Mount Everest of Google Ranking is Gone Forever

If your company is spending alot of money on SEO, stop.  It's a waste.  You might as well send that money to Timbuktu.    It's just going down a black whole.  Sean Murray of the Daily Funder wrote an excellent article about one MCA company that finally reached the Keyword summit for merchant cash advance.  Like those that scale Mount Everest, this company didn't stay there too long.  The new release of Google's Penguin 2.1 this past week knocked them from their perch to page 7.  All the way down the SEO Mountain.  Ouch!  (You can read the excerpt below.)   This is not the first time.  This has been happening repeatedly over the past two years.  This trend will continue.    

I speak to MCA companies all the time, and they tell me of their bloated SEO budgets.  I warn them not to it for this very reason.  Only a handful listen.  Everyone wants to get to the top. They think well, if Google knocks off ABC company, then I have my chance.  That's not how it works.  Google doesn't want companies to dominate search.  If you key in flowers, Google does not want the first page to be dominated by FTD and floral shops.  They want a variety of choices like wikepedia, a youtube video, a book on flowers, and your local florists determined by your IP address. 

  "Less than two weeks ago on DailyFunder, someone took to the board to pat themselves on ...

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