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Mike DamphousseMike
Damphousse

Green Leads' Founder, CEO and CMO, Mike Damphousse, writes frequently about b2b marketing, demand generation, appointment setting, lead gen, and marketing in general.


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Setting Appointments For Santa's Kids At Green Leads

  
  
  

Appointment Setting TipsAppointment Setting for Santa

A few weeks ago, one of my BDRs, Peter, came to us and explained that he and his wife were organizing a drive to raise money to provide gifts and a holiday party for homeless/displaced families that live in a local Extended Stay Hotel.  There are 36 kids there that were going to have to spend Christmas in a hotel.

Green Leads offered to match any money that the employees donated and we also ran a contest where we added another $5 for every appointment set by our BDRs over two days.

Peter was able to provide gifts, pizza and read The Polar Express to them last week.

Thanks to all that contributed...

Great Job Santa...ahem, "Peter"!


 

Inside Sales Blogs From AA-ISP Speakers

  
  
  

Inside Sales BlogsI'm at the AA-ISP conference in Boston today (American Association of Inside Sales Professionals).  There are ideas and tips flowing faster than the coffee and ice water.

Everytime I visit a conference I like to check out the speakers' blogs.  I figured you may find value in a compilation of the speaker blogs from today (or the blog of their company):

Trish Bertuzzi, The Bridge Group, Inside Sales Experts 

Tom Scontras, Glance Networks, The Upside: Killer Sales Tips

Steve Richard, Vorsight, Inside Sales Tips

Gary Ambrosino, TimeTrade, The TimeTrade Blog

Koka Sexton, InsideView, B2B Sales Productivity

Cliff Pollan, VisibleGains, Visible Gains Blog

Dan Hughes, Broadlook Technology, The Official Broadlook Blog

Antarctic Mike, Selling at 90 Below Zero, Antarctic Mike's Blog

Lori Richardson, Score More Sales, Score More Sales

Patrick O'Mally, 617-PATRICK, Social Media Super Blog

Mark Ruthfield, Zoominfo, Zoominfo Blog

Ken Krogue, InsideSales.com, Ken Krogue

John Baker, The Asking Formula, The Asking Formula

Sam Richter, SBR Worldwide, Know More Blog

Todd McCormick, PGI, PGI Blog

Ken Jisser, ConnectAndSell, Sales Singularity Blog 

Mark Roberge, HubSpot, Inbound Internet Marketing Blog

 

  and then shameless self promotion (I am one of the speakers)...

Mike Damphousse, Green Leads, Smashmouth B2B Blog: Sales & Marketing Demand Gen 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Things To Be Thankful For In B2B Lead Generation - Demand Gen Gravy

  
  
  

b2b lead generation gravyTurkey and B2B Lead Generation?  What is the gravy that makes your demand gen programs sing?

Even companies such as Green Leads do our own lead gen.  Here's a quick list of what I'm thankful for this year as it pertains to b2b lead generation in hopes that you might find an idea or two that you could implement:

  1. Alumni - Our largest source of leads.  After 5 years of 2x plus growth year after year, the tribe is huge.  Nurture your alumni, don't just let them move on. Deliver quality service and stay in touch with your clients.  They will come back if you did a good job. LinkedIn is your tool. 
  2. Expand - In one day we acquired a company that overlapped 90% with Green Leads' offerings, delivered the market a one stop shop for Americas/EMEA b2b marketing, and doubled our size again.  We were able to expand many of their European clients to the US and many of our US clients to Europe. Look at your existing client base and ask "how can we expand?"
  3. Inbound - Yet again, our inbound leads consistently came in and our SEO was kept fresh by using HubSpot.  Our blog subscriber list doubled, and our rankings improved. The two key elements we find to a successful inbound program is content and social activity. Keep the visitors interacting and coming back and SEO will follow.  
  4. SiriusDecisions Summit - By far the best place to be if you are into b2b sales and marketing.  We sponsored both Scottsdale and London and in both cases walked away with tons of valuable information and new network contacts. Always be learning.
  5. Technology - No inside sales/outbound lead gen team should be without VoIP, Click to Dial, and some sort of power dialing system (we use 8x8, Skype, Salesforce CTI adapter and ConnectAndSell). Selling doesn't start until a conversation starts with the prospect. Do what you can to have more conversations.
What are you thankful for?  What filled your pipeline this year?

SalesQuest Product Review: CRUSH Reports for Snipers and Machine Gunners

  
  
  

Salesquest Account Profiling
I've always had a theory that cold calling experts operate in one of two modes, Snipers and Machine Gunners.  I was discussing this with Nigel Edelshain at Sales 2.0 and it prompted him to write an article about it, Cold Calling: Sniper or Machine Gunner

What tools could be useful for each style of dialer?  Machine Gunners need lists, tons of names.  They strafe the prospects.  Snipers, on the other hand, work smart.  "One shot, one kill," they say. This isn't to say they dial once, but it means they dial smart.  Just like a sniper in the military, they need intelligence to be successful.

A while back we moved into a new building in Andover, the Demand Gen Capital of the World.  On one of the mailboxes downstairs I see the name SalesQuest. I've heard of them...they are the guys that do those dossiers on huge companies called CRUSH Reports.  Small world, we sell to the same people, we are both in the demand gen space, and now we're one floor apart.

Mimi Evans at SalesQuest introduce herself, Linda and I chat them up, and a week later I'm down there getting a demo on all things CRUSH.

If you're an enterprise sales exec and are selling into the biggest companies out there, and your a sniper, CRUSH Reports are your equivalent of an intelligence file on the target company:

  • Accurate contacts and org charts
  • IT systems landscapes, strategies, major initiatives
  • Summaries of active projects and relevant news

Additional to the reports, there is also an online Advanced Search feature.  I have a client trying to identify existing Tivoli users, so we typed in "Tivoli".  Instantly, pages of companies show up.  Behind each company identified is the deep dive CRUSH ReportCRUSH Report Product Review

Don't want to miss out on timely updates or news?  The ultimate Trigger Event,  CRUSH Alerts, acts like specialized agent that is always looking out for you.  By monitoring thousands of sources, when CRUSH Alerts  finds information of relevance, it emails you with a notification.  Unlike Google Alerts or other sales trigger tools, it filters out the noise and provides only information a sales exec would want to receive.

The product is priced for companies of all sizes and can be purchased as one-off reports on their estore, or as a corporate license. Compared to sales execs spending hours and days researching their prospects, it's priceless.

It is heavily focused on IT and Technology intelligence, so if you are selling something outside that area, you should review a sample CRUSH Report.  The ancillary info they provide other than the technology data is still extremely valuable.  If you are selling technology with executive decision makers..it's a must have.

Don't forget, once you identify the perfect target company, you can further your time optimization and ROI by having an appointment setting company knock the doors down for you. ;)

Good Selling! 

SiriusDecisions Bring Sales & Marketing Gurus to London

  
  
  
describe the imageThis past week I attended SiriusDecisions' Boston Executive Roundtable with a focus on Sales & Marketing Planning for 2012. The discussions that were triggered by the fantastic content were the highlight of the event.  Throughout the morning the attendees were sharing ideas openly, to the point where the last agenda item had to be cut short.

Notable points:

  • Social Sign On is bringing high submission rates to websites, but how do we manage missing information and is a Social Sign On considered an opt in?
  • Establishing solid SLAs between Sales and Marketing is critical to any successful demand generation strategy
  • Pipeline efficiencies are greatly improved with Quality leads vs. Quantity of leads
I expect the upcoming SiriusDecisions Summit 2011 Europe in London on October 5 at the Park Plaza Victoria London will encourage even more discussion.  

SiriusDecisions Summit Europe London"The discussion of best practice demand generation will be an active discussion at European Summit. You will hear some from industry peers, our thought leaders at SiriusDecsions, and most of all from those you interact with." John Neeson, Co-Founder, Managing Director of SiriusDecisions.
During the course of the day, the agenda is packed with great topics and also provides for networking time of over 3 hours.  

To see what others thought of this year's Scottsdale event, Jonathan Block posted a great list of SiriusDecisions 2011 recap articles.  

Lead Gen Tip: Think Role Based Lists, Not A List Of Titles

  
  
  

role based list developmentIf you've used an outsourced lead gen company before, you have most likely been asked "What titles within the target companies do you want us to target?" What they are most likely asking, and should ask more clearly, is "What ROLE within the target companies do you want us to identify and target?"

Not all titles explicitly tell you what a job function is. So tasks such as building lists from data services aren't as easy as searching for titles and then exporting the names. If you are looking for prospects with a specific function, or role, then that is where you should begin.

For example, the most common mistakes occur when targeting IT departments. There are 86,087 results when "director of IT" is searched for in Jigsaw. I just randomly sampled 5 of them in LinkedIn. These were their roles:

  1. IT Security
  2. Networking
  3. Data Warehousing
  4. IT Security
  5. Desktop Helpdesk

So if you're selling a network security package, who do you target? Obviously, the first, second, and fourth. But you wouldn't have known that by the title alone.

Tips:

  • Use LinkedIn to identify roles. Some LinkedIn lead gen tips here.
  • If you can't get specific roles up front, power dial the list with the goal of identification and research.
  • Consider a role based list development project done internallly or by a third party vendor.
Ask yourself, "do we want to target by machine gun or sniper rifle?"

Sales Ready Leads: Quality vs. Quantity

  
  
  

apples oranges

The topic of Quality vs. Quantity in demand gen has been a constant debate. Whether it's inbound marketing or outbound marketing there are costs associated with a lead, there are costs associated with the time and effort needed to convert that lead to an opportunity, and there are costs tied to the quality of those leads and how that impacts conversion rates.

As David Greenberg, Sr. Director of Marketing at Jive Software shares with us, "With the focus we all have right now on building pipeline that will convert to revenue, quality leads are called for. We just don't have the time to waste managing anything but."

In this example, with b2b appointment setting and pay-for-performance vendors, it is a very straight forward study as the costs per appointment are fairly standard and as SiriusDecisions and IDC have discussed, the rates of production and conversion are uniform over time.

Executive Summary: Lead gen programs that manage to Quality metrics provide sales ready leads that result in an overall higher ROI. Whether an internal team or a third party vendor, if the reps are incentivized to produce Quality appointments, the cost per pipeline opportunity can be as high as 14% more effective. In an appointment setting program, this is due primarily to cancel rates, rejection rates, and the overall quality of the meeting. Other costs to consider are the costs to manage the vendor relationship, and the cost to the sales team for attending low quality meetings.

The Numbers: In order to remain somewhat statistic-neutral, we have asked our clients to provide stats based on their experience with other appointment setting vendors and ourselves (ok, so a bit self-promoting, but stick with it). The percentages used were calculated by evaluating 5 clients' stats comprised of 1100 meetings set by Green Leads and over 2000 set by 3 other appointment setting firms. The numbers showed a significant difference in cancel/reject rates as well as pipeline conversion. The percentages used for calculation were:

  Quantity
Vendor
Quality
Vendor
Cancel/Reject Rate 20% 12%
Conversion to Pipeline Rate 31% 36%

Typical Appointment Setting Program Stats:

  Quantity
Vendor
Quality
Vendor
Meetings Set 100 80
Canceled/Rejected 20 10
Completed/Billable 80 70
Convert to Pipeline

25 25
Cost ($750 per Completed Meeting) $60,000 $52,500
Cost per Opportunity $2,400 $2,100

The Quality Vendor resulted in a 13% better investment per opportunity.

Your Checklist: Your vendor choice is obviously the most important factor in determining how your program is going to play out, so below are some things you can do to screen your vendors and aid in making a good decision. It's not a litmus test, so look for trends and patterns:

  • If they keep talking about LOTS of meetings and production - beware
  • If they won't let you interview their reps - beware
  • If they pay their reps to SET meetings as opposed to COMPLETE meetings - beware
  • If they are squeamish about discussing detailed stats, or if they don't track detailed stats - beware
  • If during a reference check you ask the client about stats and they don't match what the vendor told you, or the client doesn't know - beware
  • If they over-promote their call counts, talk time, or other non-results oriented stats - beware
  • If when you ask them what their confirmation and scheduling procedures are they don't have convincing answers - beware
  • If their rejection policy is too loose or has gray area you don't like, ask for and document specific examples. If they won't do that and you're still not understanding the policy - beware
  • If they have a short period of time by which you have to notify them of a rejection, cancel or reschedule (or the meeting is automatically billed) - beware

Also look at reputation. When asked formerly for a reference, they will probably send you to their friends. So listen when they mention client names off the cuff during conversations. Then you check them out with your network. It's a small world--find out who you or your colleagues know at those companies (use LinkedIn). Then make some of your own inquiries.

Trish Bertuzzi of The Bridge Group shared, "Mike, what a great checklist for vendor selection. There are literally dozens of vendors in this space both domestically as well as off shore. People need to understand that picking a vendor is picking a PARTNER. We wrote a blog post Third Party Vendors for Lead Qualification on this very topic. Here are some questions your readers may want to add to their list:

  • How many years have you been in business?
  • What is your attrition rate?
  • Who are your 4 largest clients? What is their size? and How many employees do you have dedicated to their project?
  • Do you provide web based reporting?

This is just a sample but you get where I am going...you have to ask the vendor as many questions about their business as they should ask you about yours."

Is Your Inside Sales Team Struggling? Appointment Setting Tips From London

  
  
  
If you've got an inside sales team that is not cutting the mustard with appointment setting, if your internal results aren't there, it's time to think about your department the way a professional appointment setting company does.  I surveyed a couple of our best appointment setting BDRs in London and here are their tips:
  • Work from good lists.  Don't download 5000 names and expect to stay focused.  Pick 500 good names--perfect titles. Then set out for focused activity.
     
  • Sharpen the pitch.  You've probably only got 10 seconds to say hello, then 30 seconds to get permission to keep talking.  Use the next 3 minutes wisely.  Don't over-pitch.  
     
  • Dials = Meetings. It's been said that the average inside sales rep makes 70 dials a day. Well the average Green Leads appointment setting black belt makes 200.  Dials = Meetings. 
     
  • Sell the appointment.  Never forget the purpose of the call--to set appointments.  Don't go for a PO on that first call.  Pitch, qualify, then sell an appointment.
describe the imageThere you have it, or as said in a phrase I learned the other night at our pub across the street, The Windmill (pictured here), "and Bob's your uncle!"

Is Your Inside Sales Team Struggling? Appointment Setting Tips From London

  
  
  
If you've got an inside sales team that is not cutting the mustard with appointment setting, if your internal results aren't there, it's time to think about your department the way a professional appointment setting company does.  I surveyed a couple of our best appointment setting BDRs in London and here are their tips:
  • Work from good lists.  Don't download 5000 names and expect to stay focused.  Pick 500 good names--perfect titles. Then set out for focused activity.
     
  • Sharpen the pitch.  You've probably only got 10 seconds to say hello, then 30 seconds to get permission to keep talking.  Use the next 3 minutes wisely.  Don't over-pitch.  
     
  • Dials = Meetings. It's been said that the average inside sales rep makes 70 dials a day. Well the average Green Leads appointment setting black belt makes 200.  Dials = Meetings. 
     
  • Sell the appointment.  Never forget the purpose of the call--to set appointments.  Don't go for a PO on that first call.  Pitch, qualify, then sell an appointment.
Internal Results Appointment SettingThere you have it, or as said in a phrase I learned the other night at our pub across the street, The Windmill (pictured here), "and Bob's your uncle!"

LinkedIn Lead Gen Tips: Profiles Have URLs, Use Them

  
  
  

We all know LinkedIn is the hidden gem of all sales people, and we're all looking for better LinkedIn Lead Gen Tips.  At Green Leads we have a custom button that can query a person's LinkedIn profile with the click of one button.  It doesn't hit 100% of the time, but I would say 85% isn't bad for an automated task.  We train our reps to not just review the profile, but use it for better selling--especially the public URL.  This allows you to find the record again or share the record with others.  

LinkedIn lead gen tips 2

Save it.  You could bookmark it in a folder called Prospects.  But why not go a step further and save the prospect's public URL in your CRM system.  It's simple enough to do.  We have a field called LinkedIn URL, and we copy and paste it from LinkedIn to the field.  This allows our sales reps never research again, it's one click away.  It also stores it so that the URL is shared with other reps that may be looking at the same prospect.  

Linkedin tips 1

Got any other LinkedIn Lead Gen Tips?  Send em on.

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