Archive for February 2010

Is there a void between sales and marketing in your company?

February 17, 2010


Marketing thinks the leads are good.  Sales thinks they stink unless the prospects are ready to buy now.

Sound familiar? LeadMaster has the answer. Don’t give the Sales team leads, until those leads are ‘sales ready’. Sales people don’t want to ‘waste’ their time talking with prospects who aren’t ready to buy. They want to do quotes and configurations, presentations and contract negotiations. They don’t make money by nurturing customers through long term sales cycles.  They make money by closing sales now.

Marketing Program Management, Lead Management, Marketing Management, ROI, Sales Management, Lead Quality, LeadMaster

This diagram illustrates how LeadMaster can be the ‘glue’ between sales and marketing. LeadMaster can nurture leads until they’re ready to buy. You’ve spent good money on lead generation, don’t let those leads go to waste. Don’t let those leads get marked as dead, just because they’re going to buy next quarter or next year. Those leads are going to buy from someone, at some point, in the future. They’ve already expressed a need. It might as well be your product or service that fulfills that need.

 

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.

New LeadMaster Feature – More Info

February 12, 2010

LeadMaster users suggested that we could make better use of the ‘More Info’ button by giving you access to additional pop-up windows.  You asked for it and now you’ve got it.  The “More Info” image seen from the search results and accounts page now displays a dropdown menu with the following links:

  1. Campaign information
  2. Add notes
  3. Add callback / events
  4. Any weblinks defined for the workgroup (eg. LinkedIn, Spoke, Google Search & Maps)
LeadMaster Accounts page

LeadMaster Accounts Page

The ability to add notes, appointments and callbacks will make it faster and easier to call and update a large number of contacts.  If you’re using one of our click-to-dial solutions you’re productivity will improve even more.

 

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.

LeadMaster Celebrates Twelfth Year of Business

February 11, 2010

ROSWELL, Georgia — February 10, 2010 LeadMaster, a leading provider of cloud computing solutions for Sales Lead Management, Lead Tracking, Online CRM tools and Sales Force Automation solutions celebrates twelve years in business.

Founded in 1998, LeadMaster is a true pioneer in the provision of online sales and marketing tools long before the terms customer relationship management and software-as-a-service became common parlance. Today the company has thousands of users spanning the globe.  LeadMaster users come from a wide variety of industries and all size companies, from Fortune 50 to small business.  LeadMaster continues to expand worldwide thanks to multiple language support.

During 2009 LeadMaster’s commitment to continually enhancing their product offering has brought a number of improvements to the flagship CRM product.  Some of the highlights include

  • A user-friendly Landing Page Mapping Tool that allows non-programmers to have the data from landing pages flow into the LeadMaster system automatically.
  • QuickBooks Integration so users don’t need to key in data twice.
  • Further improvements with Outlook integration.
  • A new Quote Generating System to provide users with a quick and convenient way to produce quotes for customers.  It also conveniently generates an opportunity if required.
  • Enhanced E-mail Marketing features including Lead Nurturing, Reporting and Bounce Management.
  • New interface enhancements for Logon Management
  • Integration with enterprise level Call Center Solutions like Connect First.
  • New Charting Features for the home page / information center / dashboard.
  • New pre-configured Security Levels to make it easier to standardize security settings.
  • New lead distribution methodology including Round Robin distribution.
  • Additional features and functions in the Workflow & Automation Management features.
  • New products like Lead-Extreme, which provides Website “Caller ID” and LeadMaster Voice a new digital phone service.

For 2010 LeadMaster is looking forward to expanding the business with the launch of their new global partner program.

See previous releases

LeadMaster Celebrates:

5 Years in Business

8th Year in Business

9th Year of Growth

10 Year Anniversary

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About LeadMaster

LeadMaster, a leader in sales and lead management, delivers tangible benefits to sales, marketing and call center teams through its web-based solutions and call center services.  LeadMaster’s flagship cloud computing application closes the loop between marketing and sales by tracking leads in real time throughout the sales cycle, from demand generation to lead closure. Combining sales lead management, lead tracking, sales force automation tools (SFA), customer relationship management features (CRM) and call center capabilities, this powerful web-based application helps companies pinpoint where leads are converting into revenue to quickly increase close ratios and maximize return on investment (ROI) for marketing campaigns. LeadMaster’s products and services are available directly from its corporate headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia and also through a global network of value-added resellers, consultants and system integrators.   For more information, please visit the LeadMaster at http://www.LeadMaster.com and http://blog.LeadMaster.com

©2010 LeadMaster, Inc. All rights reserved. The product names used in this press release are for identification purposes only. All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.

Best Practices in Lead Generation and Lead Management

February 10, 2010
Every minute of every day there is someone, somewhere, who wants to buy a product or service that’s a good match for your company’s offering. The question is, ‘Will they buy it from you?’ Thus, the key to successful lead generation is not necessarily doing the most lead generation activities. It’s finding that person who wants your solution. But what’s the best way to find the prospects who are ready to sign on the dotted line?There are many different solutions for generating and locating your next lead.Radio & TV advertising are very popular with companies ready to spend millions for a 60 second Super Bowl spot. Some of those commercials may be memorable (Doritos), but the ROI of those multi-million dollar investments can be difficult to track. Moreover, while they may be good for generating business long-term and building brand equity, they are usually not the most effective in selling more now.Direct mail was an oft-seen but now decreasingly used marketing medium, perhaps with the rise of the Internet.  While some may argue that the decline in competition makes direct mail more effective, for many companies, it’s still tough to justify a 20 page color brochure when 98% of recipients will immediately put it in the recycling bin. A less expensive alternative may be to send a postcard with a link to a 20-page online brochure. It would also be easier on the environment.The popularity of print advertising is also on the decline thanks to the Internet. Back in March 2009, The Wall Street Journal had an article about the 10 most endangered newspapers in America. They suggested that 8 of the nation’s 50 largest daily newspapers would stop printing in the next 18 months. They included The Philadelphia Daily News, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Miami Herald, the Detroit News and the Boston Globe, to name a few. Why? As we all know, plummeting readership rates. So, not only is the effectiveness of this medium falling, but, as with radio and TV ads, it’s difficult to measure its true impact on sales. It’s like Henry Procter of Procter & Gamble said, “I know I waste half of my advertising dollars… I just wish I knew which half.”Trade shows have always been a staple of lead generation. The people who attend are generally already looking for a solution in your market space. In fact, that’s why they’re there. But is it effective for creating new leads? The fact is, eighty percent of trade show leads are never followed up on. It seems that trade shows produce more sore feet, aching backs and hoarse voices than actual new business sales leads. While it may be a great way to see what the competition has to offer and catch up with old industry friends, creating qualified leads that turns into business is not a common feature of trade shows.
For some, the answer is cold-calling, good, old-fashioned knocking-on-doors and handing out business cards. In the early 80’s, I was a sales manager for a computer reseller in Chicago. We’d have cold-calling days. Each rep would be assigned a high-rise building in Chicago, and we’d start at the top of the building, visiting each office as we worked our way down. We had a short script, “Hi, my name is Andy. I work for Systems Source just down the block. We sell computers and office products. I’d like to leave you my card.” Sometimes we’d strike up a conversation that would lead to new business but most times not. Was that the most effective use of our time? Maybe back then, without the advances in modern technology, but by today’s standards, probably not. In fact, given that on average ten percent of cold calls actually create opportunities, most of that time prospecting is spent sifting through dead or inactive leads.Corporate America spends a fortune on generating leads. Unfortunately, most is wasted or not able to be tracked. According to a recent survey by the Yankee Group, up to 80% of all leads are lost as they travel through the average company’s marketing/sales loop. Why is that?The truth is, sales is about selling something today. Most sales people are focused on this quarter because if they don’t make their number this quarter they might not have a chance to close that deal next quarter. So if prospects aren’t ready to buy now, they often just collect dust in some faraway place in your database.So how do you really generate ROI on your marketing activities? How do you make the most of your marketing investments? By utilizing best practices in lead generation. This usually consists of the following three-step process.First, you’ll want to focus your sales energy on prospects who have demonstrated a need for your product instead of shooting randomly into the dark. Think what this could do for your business. Your sales team could interact only with qualified prospects, the ones who come to you looking for your product or service. They’d spend more time consulting with prospects to better understand their needs and even upselling. Moreover, they would have more time for presentations and demos, instead of spending time on sifting through uninterested or dead leads; in fact, they would have more presentations and demos, period. In short, instead of wearing out shoe leather looking for prospects they’d be closing deals with qualified prospects.Sounds pretty good, right? But how do you provide your sales team with such great leads?

This brings us to our second point, which is to incorporate a response mechanism into your marketing campaigns. Then you can easily find those who approach you for your goods or services. Now, all of the aforementioned methods of lead generation can incorporate a response mechanism, but the easiest way to generate response is through the Internet.

Everyday Google receives more than 91 million search requests. The top 5 search engines receive more than 200 million requests daily. Yes, some will be looking for what happened on last week’s Lost, but a significant number is searching for a solution just like yours. Plus, if you’re in the #1 spot of the search results page there’s a 56% chance that the reader will click on your link. And chances are, with a specific enough request, you’ll get a new prospect opportunity as well. For example, let’s say you sell hydraulic pumps and you spend enough on SEO that you land the #1 spot on search results. Most people aren’t googling hydraulic pumps to see what it wore to the Emmy’s last night; they’re there to buy. Users click to your s ite because they need a hydraulic pump, and you got it. But, you’ve also got yourself a HOT new lead.

And you don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to use Google Adwords. You can advertise a specific solution in a specific geographic area at a very reasonable cost with amazing results. With the Google content network you can get massive impressions for a fraction of traditional advertising. I’m running a campaign right now that in January had 451,863 impressions and 262 clicks for a total cost of $73.96. Not a bad deal.  You’ll also want to use tools like Lead-Extreme so you’ll know who is visiting your website and landing pages even if they don’t fill out the registration form.

Okay, so now, let’s say you’ve got all your marketing media integrated with response mechanisms. You’ve done your search engine optimization so that you’re getting qualified leads via the internet. You’re in great shape, right? Now you’re only interacting with prospects who are interested in your solution.

But not so fast. What if some of your leads don’t want to buy for 6, 12 or 18 months? It’s easy enough for your sales guys to qualify them to find out when they plan to buy so you can focus your efforts on those who are ready to buy now. But what do you do with lead that need some time on the burner? How do you stay in touch with people on a regular basis without spending all of your time staying in touch?

So there is one final step in best practices lead generation – lead nurturing. It’s fast, it’s easy and more importantly, it WORKS.

Start by sorting your contacts into groups (market segmentation). For example, you might sort by solution, industry, company size, interest group or some other category. Once you’ve got them in groups you can communicate relevant information to them as a group. Using lead nurturing software you can personalize the message without having to craft each individual email. You’ll want to touch base regularly but not so often that your contact sees your communication as annoying.

Also, your message must be relevant and be meaningful. Do your research. Think carefully about what you’re going to say. After all, this message might be going to 50 or 100 people who may become 50 or 100 hot new leads. Isn’t it worth the effort to take some time doing it right? Once you’ve crafted the message, you can send personalized emails to all one hundred with a single click of the mouse (with a decent marketing automation software).

So, come time to buy, you’ll already be in your prospects’ thoughts. You can even include surveys in your lead nurturing track to provide additional information about your prospects’ needs and purchase timeframe. Then just keep nurturing those cold leads until they’re sales ready.

Of course, you can’t do it all with technology. Tweeting and texting are no replacement for the personal touch. You still need to pick up the phone and speak with your prospects. And you can make your conversation with them even more effective with a cloud-computing CRM solution that records your organization’s complete prior communication with the prospect. But the point is you still need to personally stay in touch with your prospects. Even if it’s only a brief phone call once a month, talk to your prospects.

Lead generation has come a long way since I was handing out business cards. We’ve gone from walking miles on our feet from one lead to the next to emailing promotions and newsletters to hundreds of prospects instantaneously. We used to be limited to the city we lived in and the radius we could drive; now we have instant access (via email) to individuals and companies from here to Myanmar, whenever and wherever. And while some of us miss the days of person to person contact and face time (myself included), who says we ca n’t have both? Why not use all the advantages that modern technology affords us, but at the same time add our own personal touch by targeted emails, phone calls and touching base from time to time?

The point is this. Don’t sell yourself (and your sales team) short. You can make the best use of your time, resources and efforts, to the effect of dramatically increasing your success and the success of your organization.  Get LeadMaster.

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.

Another reason to consider LeadMaster

February 8, 2010

During difficult economic times it makes sense to conserve capital.  When considering a Sales Focused CRM / Lead Management system you can avoid large capital outlays by adopting a Software as a Service solution like LeadMaster.

There are several advantages:

  • LeadMaster doesn’t require an investment in hardware, software or data center resources.  It runs in your browser.
  • With more sales reps carrying smart phones it makes sense to give them a tool they can use anywhere / anytime from their iPhone, Blackberry or other internet capable smart phone.
  • There are no long term development cycles.  The application is ready to go and in use by companies around the world.
  • You won’t have a long deplopyment cycle.  Many customers are up and running the day after they order the service.
  • You can pay as you grow.  You can start with a small group as a test and grow as you get comfortable with it.
  • LeadMaster doesn’t require long term contracts.  If you have seasonal ups and downs you won’t be locked into paying for something you’re not going to use.

With tight capital budgets it makes sense to give LeadMaster a try.

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.

Email Marketing – Bounce Management – A Lead Management Best Practice

February 5, 2010

Bounce management is a lead management best practice.  There are two very good reasons to manage your bounced emails.

1) Mail servers may block all mail from you if you repeatedly send mail to a bad address on their domain.
2) For response tracking, you need to subtract out the bounces for an accurate report.

Bounce Management is built-in to the email marketing component of LeadMaster CRM.  That means you can manage bounces anytime you send emails from LeadMaster, examples include standard emails, HTML evites, newsletters, lead nurturing etc.

To access the Bounce Manager click on Administration in the top navigation bar, then click on ‘Bounced Email Addresses’.

Bounce Management Menu in Administration

Bounce Management Menu in Administration

This menu takes you to the Bounced Email Addresses page lists all bounced email addresses captured from bounced email messages sent from the workgroup.  Each record in the list contains the following:

  1. Name of the contact associated with the email address
  2. Email address
  3. Soft bounces – the number of soft bounces for this email address
  4. Last soft bounce date – date of the last soft bounce
  5. Hard bounces – the number of hard bounces for this email address
  6. Last hard bounce date – date of the last hard bounce
  7. Send Email Enabled – attribute of the contact that indicates if the email address has been marked as bad
  8. Disable / Enable – link to mark the email address as bad / good
  9. Delete – link to delete the record of bounces for this email address
Bounced Email Addresses Page

Bounced Email Addresses Page

The list sorts by the hard bounce count so that the email addresses with the greatest number of hard bounces show first.

  1. Select page – selects all records in the list
  2. Clear page – de-selects all records in the list
  3. Enable email addresses – marks the selected email addresses as good
  4. Disable email addresses – marks the selected email addresses as bad
  5. Delete bounce records – deletes the selected bounce records
  6. There is a search for a specific email address
Update Primary Contact Information Page

Update Primary Contact Information Page – Bad Email Checkbox

The contact page now includes a checkbox field that indicates if an email address has been marked bad.  The user can mark the email address as good from this page.  Note that this field only displays if the email address has been marked bad.

If you have any suggestions for further improvements for bounce management please let us know.

 

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.