Green Leads' Founder, CEO and CMO, Mike Damphousse, writes frequently about b2b marketing, demand generation, appointment setting, lead gen, and marketing in general.
Over the past four months Green Leads has been starting new reps on the first Monday of each month. Inside sales seems to be like that, growth and replenishment.
In our case, we have pretty stringent criteria for success since we are a performance-based appointment setting company. We have to have our reps deliver. So here is what typically happens if we hire four reps, train them, get them on the floor and keep coaching them. Over the next 4-8 weeks one leaves, one never quite makes it to full production and two are long term performers (keepers).
Our goal: Get to three keepers out of four.
How do you train your inside sales recruits? Us, well, here's our modified training plan. It's focused on skills, performance and retention.
Those of you living in New England know that the past four days have been brutal, with constant rain, the White Mountains melting and all of it heading downhill towards towns like Andover. The Shawsheen River pours right through Andover into the Merrimack, which backs up with each high tide. Combined, the rains, the melt and the tides have caused flooding all over the area.
In Green Leads' case, the Shawsheen River swelled over its banks into our parking lot, seeping through the sandbags, and you can hear the rush of water in the bottom of the elevator shaft.
Needless to say, late yesterday we raised the disaster plan flag and packed all portable computers, headsets and one of the backup drives out of the building. Thanks to our virtual hybrid model, we were able to get all but one person up and running today. In fact, the appointment setting run rate for the morning was 10% higher than yesterday. A flood of leads!
A similar situation occurred last year with the ice storms and power outages in New Hampshire where one of the other lead gen firms went down completely for three days. In our business, time is money. For our sales rep clients, lost production from their lead gen partners means lost opportunity.
Parting shot ... Green Leads' mascot, Louie, taking a sip out of the parking lot.
Last night we were at my favorite local restaurant for my oversized salad (mandated by my wife and doctor), when I observed each of the servers checking in with their customers within 5 minutes of serving their entrées, "How's your steak cooked?", "Is the salmon to your liking?"
How often do demand gen experts ask their sales team, "How are your leads?", "Are your appointments meeting your expectations?" Do you ask for feedback in a timely manner? Do you take the dish back if it's not to sales' liking?
How often are your leads under cooked?
Set your lead gen standards and expectations between sales and marketing, and then formalize them into a Service Level Agreement (SLA). This formal agreement documenting what makes a good lead and what constitutes qualified, or introductory, etc. will keep you all in line. Set goals for your sales team too. They should meet your SLA requirements.
Me, back to my salad...
Join me and Craig Rosenberg, the Funnelholic, Tuesday March 2, at 10AM PST / 1PM EST. You can register here: The 10 Pillars of an Ideal B2B Demand Gen Platform.
I've been participating with Focus.com as one of their contributing Focus Experts. The site is a community destination for business leaders to find and produce industry information, research, whitepapers and webinars. The content value is huge, and the knowledge generated is phenomenal and growing daily. If content syndication and webinars are part of your demand gen mix, you should explore Focus in more detail.
What's' behind the curtain? I'm conducting a webinar for them this week, The 10 Pillars of an Ideal B2B Demand Gen Platform, and having done many webinars -- and being a demand gen marketer myself -- I've been utterly impressed with the process and the team putting the event together.
I've shared webinar tips before in Lead Gen Tips: How To Produce A Successful Webinar, but one thing Focus added to the agenda for preparation was to run through the mechanics of the webinar-hosting software. We did a practice session where each presenter used the platform to push slides to the audience, comment between moderators, and deal with Q&A. I've done enough webinars to have seen most of these functions before, but the simple task of reviewing them for 15 minutes beforehand was helpful.
Also, kudos to the ON24 staff for sharing best practices. My favorite: Use the mute button as a caugh button only; don't stay on mute as you may forget to unmute yourself when it's time to talk. I've fallen victim to that before.
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