Merger Provides Global Enterprise Software and Technology Companies with Deeply Integrated, Quality Pipeline Generation Services
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (Marketwire – May 4, 2011) – Today, at the SiriusDecisions Summit, Green Leads announced the acquisition of Target 250 to form the fastest-growing pay-for-performance demand generation company in the industry. The companies are combining to provide global enterprise software and technology companies with deeply integrated quality pipeline generation programs in both North America and Europe.
"We've focused laser-like on developing robust, repeatable processes which we think are best practices in the industry. We've doubled in size three years in a row and Green Leads has been able to break the mold on integrating with our customers’ go-to-market and pipeline generation initiatives to deliver material top line results,” said Green Leads CEO, Michael Damphousse. “Our clients are demanding that we expand our delivery to the EMEA theater, which triggered the acquisition of Target 250.
“Target 250 has both the core expertise and an exceptional client roster to create an immediate value for our joint customers as well as new prospects looking for an integrated extension to their sales and marketing channels,” Damphousse said.
Green Leads and London based Target 250 focus exclusively on software and technology companies that sell strategic b2b enterprise products and services in North America and Europe. Green Leads now will be able to provide its sales and marketing clients with a single source of investment for appointment setting, lead nurturing, market research and other demand gen best practices.
"Green Leads is an important extension to the Coverity marketing and sales channel and consistently delivers high-value meetings with the targets of our major pipeline and strategic campaigns,” said Dave Peterson, CMO of Coverity, a mutual client of both Green Leads and Target 250. "When we sourced our lead generation partner in Europe we selected Target 250 because they were very similar to Green Leads in the way they integrated with our sales and marketing campaigns. We are excited to see how this acquisition allows us to combine our best practices for sales targeting and marketing across the U.S and Europe.”
About Green Leads
Andover, MA based Green Leads delivers pay-for-performance demand generation services that drive greater revenue for enterprise-level b2b software and technology companies in North America and Europe. Clients receive the highest level of introductory or qualified b2b appointment setting, lead nurturing, market surveys and list builds. All programs are pay-for-performance and backed by guaranteed service-level agreements. www.greenleads.com +1 978 910 0261 Lisa Flagg firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest Post from Gareth Morfill, Inside Sales Blackbelt at Green Leads.
If you were talking to a prospect face to face, do you think that would make you pitch any differently? More confidently? We feel that it absolutely does. The simple act of having a real person to look at while you are having the conversation makes the building of rapport much easier.
If they have a photo in their LinkedIn profile, look at it. You may even be able to click on it and enlarge it.
Science backs this up. Physiological studies show interesting correlations between perceiving and responding to eye contact, a salient social signal of interest and readiness for interaction. And although the response to a picture is less than to a live face, there may be an impact. Our reps have been practicing it and the general consensus is, Put a Face to a Name:
- Improves the ability to quickly build rapport
- Personalizes the conversation
- Humanizes the typical "cold call"
- Make dialing all day a bit less mechanical
- Looking at the photo means you have to look at their LinkedIn profile first -- scan it
...ps: If you're an Inside Sales Blackbelt, we're hiring.
Ever wonder if your enterprise sales team should be on the road heading to an introductory first meeting with a prospect? I was recently in the UK for business and saw sales reps investing a half day or more traveling for 30-60 minute meetings. Do the results differ if they were to have taken those introductory meetings by phone? Many would say yes, but the data begs to differ.
Green Leads measures the sales outcome of our client's b2b appointment setting programs. We do this to gain an immediate measure of the program as opposed to waiting out long sales cycles to show true ROI. By measuring this immediate outcome, it brings short term metrics to the program.
We measure sales outcome of the meetings in three ways:
A) Immediate Sales Activity: the meeting results in immediate sales activity (proposal, trial, second meeting, addition of other decision makers to the process, etc.)
B) Nurturable Activity: the meeting was with a prospect that had the right decision maker profile, and it has potential, but needs nurturing over time. A portion of these will convert to sales activity over time.
C) Not a Fit: the meeting was with a prospect that had the right decision maker profile, but one or both parties decided there was not a fit, the lead is closed out.
With 5 years of data, the overall distribution of meetings is roughly a third, a third and a third:
It's marginal, but the resulting outcome between phone meetings and face to face shows that phone actually has a higher percentage of immediate sales activity.
Don't get me wrong, the value of face time is huge, but isn't the value of having an active sales process more important? Things to consider:
- Sales reps can conduct more meetings if using phone, and more meetings converting at an similar rate to face to face means more efficiency.
- Reduced travel costs impacts the budget with phone meetings.
- With the advent of technology, web meeting capabilities, and trends in time management, more prospects are inclined to take introductory meetings by phone (poll results). This may result in sales reps being able to have more conversations with prospects they might otherwise not have been able to.
One drawback to phone meetings, they are more likely to blow you off. It's easy to miss a phone call, it's harder to say no to someone sitting in your lobby. Our data shows that phone meetings reschedule/cancel 20% more than face to face.
Me? I would much rather have a sales rep prove to me in a 20 minute phone call why he should come visit and use my face time. You?
Green Leads is pleased to announce that we will be a Gold Sponsor at the SiriusDecisions 2011 Summit--B2B Sales and Marketing: Forging a New Alliance. The event is scheduled May 4-6 at the Fairmont Scottsdale Resort. This event is considered the premiere B2B Sales and Marketing event of the year and if you are into Sales, Marketing, Demand Gen, and any discipline that surrounds it, this is the event to attend.
The Summit is a unique three-day conference where SiriusDecisions analysts and top sales and marketing leaders from companies of all sizes share how b2b organizations are solving critical issues that hinder predictable growth. Each year, the theme focuses on aspects of how sales and marketing can, and should, intersect. Green Leads' interest in the event is the continued focus SiriusDecisions has placed on the topic of demand generation as it pertains to building and converting quality pipeline.
"There will be a great deal of discussion around quality vs. quantity as it pertains to pipeline," explained analyst Jim Ninivaggi of SiriusDecisions’ Sales Optimization Strategies advisory service. "Our recent study shows that marketing/sales organizations that focused on the quality of leads — and not just quantity — out produce their peers with reduced lead waste.”
Demand gen specialists have long debated the topic of Sales Ready Leads--Quality vs. Quantity. I'm looking forward to hearing SiriusDecisions' findings and discuss them with my clients and peers how quality can impact the pipeline. If you had a choice of Quality vs. Quantity as it pertains to high value sales ready leads, which way would you lean? Come to the Summit and find out what the experts think about the topic. I hope to see you there.
I can’t be at the Sales & Marketing Leadership Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, on April 11, but I encourage you to check it out. The event features keynotes from John Grosshans of SAP Americas and Justin Shriber of Oracle (the latter will be reprising his presentation from the recent Sales 2.0 Conference, which sparked a debate a pretty good debate about the future of predictive analytics and CRM.)
There will be a big emphasis on how the many ways sales & marketing can (and should) work together to shorten sales cycles and optimize lead gen. Conference host Gerhard Gschwandtner explains:
"A recent Aberdeen survey showed that 47 percent of the sales forecasts at successful companies were generated by marketing, as compared to an average 5 percent among other companies. Yet few opportunities exist for today's sales and marketing leaders to come up with a joint definition of success. The Sales & Marketing Leadership Conference will allow both groups to collaborate under one roof and walk away with tons of ideas that will give everyone a chance to advance to best-in-class status."
I also highly recommend you check out the session with Steve Richard of Vorsight. He is an inside sales/appointment setting genius and shares his expertise on stage--sometimes doing live calls to demonstrate his tips.
Register for the event using discount code SPONL2 and save $75 off the current rate.
There are a lot of great sources for telemarketing and teleprospecting calling tips out there, and just several weeks ago we brought you some great outbound calling tips from the best BDR's our management team has ever worked with. That being said, there are some bad tips out there that need to be put to rest. They just don't work any longer and they're not helping anybody succeed at generating quality b2b leads. Top of the list:
Stick to the script - There was a time when it was imperative that you stick to your prospecting script. It had everything you needed to pass a lead or book an appointment with your targeted prospecting base. If you're dialing consumers selling widgets, maybe, but if you are dialing high level b2b audience, no way. They can read through a script all day long. Create three guidelines for conversations. Then don't use them verbatim, use them in your own words.
- Talking points - 4 or 5 high level statements you can work into your conversations.
- Open ended questions - Questions that bring value to the prospect by getting them to talk and participate in the conversation.
- Objection handling - As it states. How to handle the most common "no thank you" statements.
Then keep it natural. Have conversations.
What other outbound calling tips have you encountered that just need to go?
Photo Credit: sindesign
You'd think that in today's economy, a steady paycheck would be enough motivation to get the best out of people, right? Not always the case, nor should it be. Part of any manager's role is to make the people around them better. Whether it's mentoring someone to take over your role when you ascend the corporate ladder, or taking a rep with just enough potential under your wing, ultimately, the job of a manager is to improve his or her team. The Sales Manager is always looking for better performance from a team, and in order to get that, you've got to give a little. Here are four things you, as a Sales Manager, need to give your team if you want to get more production out of them:
1. Give them goals that aren't impossible to reach - You remember what it felt like at 12 years old, when you realized that "dunking" a basketball was an offensive point scoring option, yet you couldn't do it? That's what having impossible sales goals are like. CSO Insights, in their 2010 Telemarketing/Inside Sales Optimization report, cites that 47% of inside reps did not meet their quota last year, yet during a webinar with Gerhard Gschwandtner, Jim Dickie (Managing Partner at CSO Insights), shared that 86% of companies are raising their sales quotas. If we have reps that aren't hitting their current goals, and management is continually raising them, at some point something has to give. Putting goals that make our reps stretch, not snap, is one way Sales Manager can motivate their teams. They'll feel supported, and a supported rep is a productive rep.
2. Give them constructive criticism - There's a difference between criticism and constructive criticism. If you're a sales manager and you want to motivate your team, make sure that when you're correcting behavior or when you're giving feedback, you do so out of good intentions. All too often people, who are not skilled at giving constructive criticism, do more damage than good. You don't want to lose sales reps that may have great potential because they aren't there now, and you've just torn them a new one because of x, y, and z. Give feedback constructively so that reps can learn, move on, and produce more. Start with something they're doing right, what they're lacking or where they need improvement, and something else that they do right, like a criticism sandwhich. Believe me, it works!
3. Give them opportunities to improve their skills - Whether it's training or seminars, or bringing speakers to them, if you give your sales reps a chance to improve their skills, they're going to be more motivated. On top of that, if you can put them in front of someone they respect, that's even better. Again, you're giving something to get something. You're giving your team valuable insight and a chance to hone their craft, and from that you're going to gain more effective sales reps. This is an area that many sales managers can improve upon. Even if all you do is put together a lunch-and-learn series, do something for your team in terms of skills development.
4. Give them SPIFF's they're excited about - Remember, not every one of your reps is motivated by money. Sure, we all need it, but when it comes to a SPIFF, sometimes it's good to make the prizes different. Whether it's time off, a trip, or a Nintendo Wii, put the effort in to figure out what it is that gets your reps excited. If you can dial in to what your reps hold dear, and then put that in front of them on top of their commission, the team is going to have fun and perform.
What are some ways that you keep your teams motivated?
Photo Credit: Brother O'Mara via Flickr
Two weeks ago I hosted participated in Focus.com's Demand Gen Freestyle (replay here) discussions. Focus.com makes the world's best business expertise available to everyone, and they often run roundtable discussions several times a week. Craig Rosenberg hosted the Demand Gen centered discussion, with a panel of Adam Needles of Left Brain Marketing, Cody Young of Reach Force, and Tom Scearce of Scearce Market Development and myself. It was a great discussion. We talked a lot about what isn't working in b2b demand generation, and shared some stories about things that are working.
At the end of the discussion, Craig asked us for our final advice; what advice can we leave the listener's with as they continue on their journey of marketing to their target audience. Here's what was said, and how I interpreted it as I heard it:
Cody Young: "Let's get it started!" I think what Cody was getting at was pretty simple. Let's get beyond just talking about improving our demand gen efforts, and just get started. Put some actual movement and effort behind the sentiment.
Adam Needles: "Put the buyer back into your demand gen program." Adam is right - if your buyer is not the center of your demand gen program, make the switch NOW. Talk about wasting your time! The whole point of creating demand, whether it be a product or a service, is to bring people into the funnel. If our potential customers are not in the center of that program, we have no hope at all at filling our funnels (or clouds).
Tom Scearce (channeling Peter Tosh): "Humanize it." I'm fairly confident that Tom's direction was that buyers want to be in control of the buying cycle. They don't want to be sold to. They want to be able to absorb content and let the decision take hold. They want experts. They want people to guide them through the process.
Me: "The sales process doesn't start until a conversation with a prospect does." With all the rage of inbound marketing and marketing automation, or the sexiness of a great creative campaign, marketers can sometimes forget that the ultimate goal of every program is to get a prospect engaged with a sales person. Balance your programs with a good dose of outbound marketing activity (appointment setting, qualified lead gen, traditional telesales).
Demand Gen Freestyle (replay here)
There are so many demand gen vendors out there, and if you are a demand gen professional in sales or marketing, we've probably called you. Outsourcing some or all of your appointment setting or lead generation activity to a third party vendor is a task that shouldn't be undertaken by responding to one cold call.
Words of wisdom from two industry leaders:
Trish Bertuzzi, Inside Sales Expert, @bridgegroupinc: "Hiring a third party lead gen vendor is like dating… the chemistry is either there or it is not. When you are interviewing vendors you have to get a sense that they are smart, interested in the same things that you are and passionate about what the future looks like."
Craig Rosenberg, The Funnelholic, @funnelholic: "If they charge less, be more skeptical – Believe it. I believe this across lead gen: the most important thing to look at is cost per opportunity not cost per lead. Cost per lead is a narrow look at the success of a program. A higher cost lead (if justified) will convert better with sales. Oh and by the way, here is the thing with outsourced lead gen as well: these are leads that go directly to sales guys. My suggestion is to pay whatever price it takes to keep them from hating you."
Below are some questions to ask the vendors you are considering -- and don't forget to ask me.
- What quality controls do you have in place?
- What type of reporting do you do and can I see samples?
- How many reps do you have? How many managers and non-reps? (look for heavy overhead)
- What is your annual attrition rate for reps and managers? (use LinkedIn Company Pages to see for yourself)
- What is the average tenure of your reps?
- What is your reps' experience in general outbound sales?
- What is your reps' experience in your industry ?
- How do you pay your reps?
- Are they incented for Quality or Quantity?
- Can I talk to your newest rep and longest serving rep?
- Can we come for a site visit?
- During the site visit can I just sit on the floor for an hour and listen?
- What technologies do you use? CRM? Autodialers? Power dialers?
- Do your reps use email? If so, how?
- How do you help your clients measure the success of the programs?
- Where do you get your lists?
- Who are your closest competitors?
- Can I have an example of a project that failed, and why?
- Can I have an example of a project that has succeeded?
(After hearing the two examples, ask for references at both companies)
- How do you manage client calendars so that appointments are set during available times?
- What is your pricing model? Pay for performance? Monthly fee?
- What is your lead acceptance criteria, what makes a billable meeting, how do we reject a meeting and why would we?
- How do you manage east coast/west coast time zones
- Do you outsource or offshore any of your work?
- How do you create your messaging? Do you work from scripts?
- What is your startup process?
- When do we see our first leads?
- When we get a lead/meeting, what do we get? Can you provide us a sample?
What would you ask that we missed?
B2B Marketing Experts have an ideal opportunity during the Holiday Season to do some old fashioned "feel good" marketing and help some folks along the way. Green Leads ran two internal contests that resulted in charitable giving.
Toy drive. We ran a contest last week during a one hour ConnectAndSell session. For each appointment booked during the session, Green Leads bought a toy for our local toy drive run by some friends at the Lawrence Police Department.
Kiva Microloans. A second contest we ran allowed our top performer to pick a recipient of a Kiva Microloan to join the Green Leads portfolio. We've been lending on Kiva for quite some time and allow our team to select the recipients on an ongoing basis. This now makes 15 loans.
Fun. And don't forget to have a little fun. The Green Leads management team pulled together this cute B2B Mashup Holiday Greeting video on our youtube channel.
It's all about:
- Branding (internally and externally
- Doing what's right
- Having some fun