December 16

Lead Generation meets the Bermuda Triangle

Lead Management


Leadgenerationtriangle_1 I read that B2B companies are expected to increase lead generation spending in 2005.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of their budget spend won’t help increase revenue. Why?  Their sales leads are disappearing in what I call the, Bermuda Triangle of Lead Generation; Sales, Marketing and IT.

In the U.S. roughly 80% of leads are typically ignored or discarded – lost in this Bermuda Triangle of lead generation – never to be seen again. 

A report by the CMO Council and Business Performance Management Forum found that companies could boost their bottom line if marketing and sales could just work together. 

Out of 800 senior marketing and C-level executives… 7% of respondents said their sales and marketing departments work together effectively.

Typical answer – we need a new CRM – wrong!

One of my client’s (before they engaged us) invested over a million dollars in a shiny new CRM and as you might guess… less than a year later it was billed as complete failure by their CEO – another unsuspecting victim of the Bermuda Triangle. 

Good collaboration must exist before you implement any technology – like CRM software – I’ve never seen collaboration suddenly develop as a result of it – especially between sales, marketing and IT.  Now our client is starting the process again.   

This time, I’ve been told, their CEO is personally involved to help them create a, "more a collaborative culture."  It started with this question, "how can we help our sales people sell?"  Unfortunately, it took a multi-million dollar mistake to motivate change. 

A report by Aberdeen Group, “Sales Effectiveness: Helping Sales Sell” concludes, “70% of companies have misdirected their spending on sales/marketing technology and need to align their investment towards the goal of helping sales sell.” 

To this end, CEO’s need to take an active role to develop a culture of collaboration between marketing, sales and IT.  At the same time, it is critical that everyone understands that ROI measurement is more than just numbers.  I wrote a post a while back, "Why IT Must Help Marketing and Sales Collaborate with Lead Generation." 

About the author 

Brian Carroll

Brian Carroll is the CEO and founder of markempa, helping companies to convert more customers with empathy-based marketing. He is the author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and founded B2B Lead Roundtable LinkedIn Group with 20,301+ members.

  1. Most CRM implementers answer the question by focusing on usability…”we’ll make the system really simple for the salespeople to use”. It’s part of the answer.

    The “deeper issues” as you explain are the more important ones…creating the collaborative environment is critical.

  2. CRMs, or any software, is not the only solution to a problem. There are too many people, as you say, that believe that a specific problem is solved by throwing new software or a new process at it without spending time to discover what the root cause of a particular problem is.

    All that having been said, chosing the RIGHT CRM is certainly important when the discussion is completed and the decision is made. From a telemarketing standpoint, most CRMs fall short., Act!, and Goldmine all have failure points, though they are excellent CRMs .. they are not focused on telemarketing. Interestingly enough, I actually just finished writing about this particular topic in my blog — has some details on software that works very well for telemarketing and solves many of the CRM problems.

    With the right consideration and weighing, having the right CRM can certainly be a positive impact — but make sure that your processes and collaboration is in place first.

  3. The #1 problem with lead generation and converting leads to sales today is follow-through. If you have an inquiry that has been generated through the web, telemarketing, direct mail, whatever… and you do not respond to that person within 48 hours, you might as well kiss it goodbye. The key to converting leads to sales is trust. There is no greater destroyer of trust than being non-responsive. Conversely, if you are responsive, you can achieve spectacular results. So you’re right, the solution is not CRM. The solution is developing the organizational discipline to be consistently responsive.

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