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Sales and Marketing Alignment / Lead Management Programs

The age old rivalry between marketing and sales is never more contested than in the context of leads. We have all seen it. Marketing complains that sales can’t convert quality leads and sales complains that marketing provides poor quality leads.
In an ever more internet-connected world, companies feel compelled to spend an increasing amount of their budgets on Internet marketing and lead generation programs so the it begs the question: Are these programs working and resulting in more closed business? There seems to be mountains of data on how to generate exposure and leads, but limited information on organizational success in developing and closing the leads.

Enter Dr. James Oldroyd from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He has studied organizations to see which appraoches to lead development are resulting success and why. To continue reading this article, click here >>

In his fascinating report Kellogg Lead Response Management Survey, he studied several key questions:

1.What are the antecedents that drive the highest qualification and close rates?
2.How frequently should a sales or lead qualification representative call a web lead to drive the highest qualification and close rates?
3.How do industries differ regarding the response times to web leads to drive highest qualification and close rates?
4.What time frame is best to call web leads to drive the highest qualification and close rates?

There are some great insights about the way most companies respond to new leads. For example:

  • the most common timeframe for a first attempt to contact a new lead was found to be within 8 hours, long after the best time to reach the prospect
  • it usually requires 2-3 calls to a prospect before making first contact (so no one should be giving up after the first call)
  • the majority of companies don’t keep metrics on lead development programs and have no idea what happens once to leads get turned over from the marketing to sales organization

There is also a great interview with Dr. Oldroyd over at the Sales Machine blog with insight on outside sales and cold calling:

GJ: How is outside sales changing?

JO: Outside sales responsibilities are becoming more and more like inside sales jobs. An average of 41% of outside sales activities are done over the phone. Companies need to provide similar tools to support both kinds of groups.

GJ: How can I apply this research to sell more?

JO: Always give priority to your newest leads. If you have a lead that is two hours old and one that just came in, focus on the on the one that just came in. If you do the opposite, you’ll always be fighting an uphill battle trying to reactivate leads that are already dead.

Further reading:

>> Kellogg Lead Response Management Survey

>> See the The Mad Scientist of Cold Calling

Eliot Burdett

CEO at Peak Sales Recruiting

Before Peak, Eliot spent more than 20 years building and leading companies, where he took the lead in recruiting and managing high performance sales teams. He co-founded Ventrada Systems (mobile applications) and GlobalX (e-commerce software). He was also Vice President of Sales for PointShot Wireless. Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner. He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.