Archive for June 2010

When comparing costs – don’t forget to add the Admin time

June 23, 2010

Yesterday we had our regular Tuesday webinar (Demonstration) and I was talking about how easy it is to use and administer LeadMaster.  Most sales reps are up and running in an hour or two.  We help with the initial setup so for the most part the system just works.  I compare that to several days of  Siebel training when I worked for Apple Computer – many of the sales reps said that still wasn’t enough.  If it takes several days to learn a product I say it isn’t a sales tool, it is a management tool that actually impedes the sales process because it takes away valuable selling time.

This morning I received my usual junk email and in there was an ad for an administrator for one of our competitor’s products.  I thought to myself.  Wow, that’s something most people probably don’t even consider when they’re thinking about purchasing a Lead Management / Email MarketingCRM system – the cost of the headcount to administer it.

I wanted to figure out the true cost of the license when you have to add a dedicated headcount as an admin.  So I did a bit so searching and found on average most of these companies are small to medium in size.  I’m estimating here but let’s say they have an average of 25 sales reps.  The competitor in this case says their most popular version cost $125 per user per month, but these are small companies so let’s say they they opt for the $65 / month / user version.  So for 25 sales reps that equals $19,500 per year.  That’s not bad when you take into account the company doesn’t have to purchase a server, firewalls, switches, hubs, routers, gateways etc. and they don’t need IT staff to manage all that stuff or a data center to secure it.  All-in-all a fair price.  One of the reasons that SaaS is so popular.

But wait.  What about the cost of that dedicated headcount.  You can see from the image below there are 113 openings for administrators for their system.  I’d say it’s a fair bet that most people who implement their system have either a dedicated headcount or close to it to administer the system.

Our competitor's solution requires full time administrators

Our competitor’s solution requires full time administrators

I didn’t see a salary for the one I looked at but let’s say they pay $25,000 on average (I’m sure the one in Santa Monica is going to be higher than that!).  Perhaps we need to add in the overhead cost of the building (lights, A/C, phone, water, coffee, rent/mortgage/taxes etc) and let’s not forget about benefits – that could easily increase the overall cost of this headcount by 25%.  Again this is an estimate – let’s say the fully burdened cost of this headcount is $38,000 so the math works easily.

So the original cost of the licenses was $65/person/month but when you add the administrator into the mix it turns out the true cost is $195/person/month.  That’s a big difference and one that many people ignore.  Whether it’s a dedicated headcount or not, their system is so complex that it requires a LOT of admin time.

A recent study indicated that 73% of this company’s users do not use 50% of the functionality of the system – put another way they aren’t using what they’ve paid for.  http://www.focus.com/questions/crm/according-salesforcecom-73-crm-users-do-not-use-50-available/

  • It’s like going out to dinner and paying for the whole meal but only eating half.
  • It’s like filling up your car but only getting a half tank worth of driving.
  • It’s like paying for four seats at the ballgame and only using 2.
  • It’s like buying a 50″ big screen TV but shrinking the screen down to 25″ to watch it.

With LeadMaster you don’t need a dedicated headcount to administer the system.  It’s as easy to administer as it is to use.  So you’ll save money with LeadMaster vs. the competition.  It’s no wonder this competitor makes you sign a 1 year contract and makes it almost impossible to get your data out of the system once you’ve got it in.  Not so with LeadMaster – the data flows in and out easily and there are no long term contracts.  Save money – get LeadMaster.

Check out our training video library and see for yourself just how easy it is to use the system.

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

New Feature – Preview Records Before Import

June 14, 2010

Every time I have trouble importing records I’m reminded of the saying ‘Garbage in = Garbage out’.  The problem I have is finding out what’s garbage.  Everything looks fine in Excel but when I go to import it the rows sometimes got goofed up and first name is now in last name and email is where company is supposed to be.

Here’s a new feature that is going to make your life and mine a little easier when it comes to importing records.  Now you can preview the records you are importing.  So if you’ve got an invisible character or something else that is goofing with your records you’ll be able to see it – making it much easier to fix.

Here’s how it works.  Go through the normal import process and when you get to the ‘Import Wizard – Summary’ page you’ll notice a new option – Preview.

Import Wizard Summary Page Now Includes Preview

Import Wizard Summary Page Now Includes Preview

When you click the Preview button the result is a view of the records you’re about to import so that you can see if there’s a troublemaker that is goofing up your import, and if so, where it’s hiding.

Import Wizard Preview Records

Import Wizard Preview Records

So no more guessing when it comes to trying to find the culprit that has been messing with your data import.  Now you can see it.

One final thought on imports.  Using the  Notepad to view the data prior to import has also proven useful in finding issues before the import.

I hope you enjoy the new feature.

 

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

New Feature – Text Messaging in Workflow Automation

June 11, 2010

Here’s a new feature of LeadMaster that I really like – text messaging.  Here’s how I use it.  We have a variety of landing pages and I like to know when people fill them out.  Until now I’ve always received an email notification but now I can get a text message as well.

Here’s how it works for the landing page being filled out situation.

First I used the LeadMaster Web Form to Custom Form mapping tool to get the data from the landing page into LeadMaster.  It’s a point and click tool that’s easy for a non-programmer to use.

Second, I created a workflow so that anytime a new record was created because of someone filling out a landing page I get both a text message and an email.  Just in case you haven’t used the LeadMaster workflow automation tool it too is point-and-click easy for non-programmers.  Just select what action you want, fill in the details and click ok.

List of Workflow Actions

List of Workflow Actions

But wait, it gets better.  Not only can you send yourself a text message, you can send a text message to the account manager or the partner rep associated with that account.  Here are the details.

  • If you configure the action to send a text message to the account manager associated with the record, the account manager must have a mobile number and mobile provider selected (see Administration / Account Mgrs).
  • If you configure the action to send a text message to the partner rep associated with the record, the partner rep must have a mobile number and mobile provider selected (see Administration / Partner Reps).
  • If you configure the action to send a text message to a phone number, the phone number must be entered and mobile provider selected.

There are a wide variety of uses for text messaging in LeadMaster.  Let me know what you plan to use it for.

 

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

‘Technology User Database Latin America’ Teams with LeadMaster to Provide Data in CRM System

June 10, 2010

TUDLA, the world’s only market intelligence firm specializing in the research of technology and communication usage in Latin America and the Caribbean, announces its partnership with LeadMaster, a leading cloud computing solution for lead management, email marketing, and sales workflow automation. The result is the deployment of TUDLA data in the LeadMaster system to users across the globe.

With a projected 4.1 percent increase in gross domestic product for Latin American countries in 2010*, this market can be both appealing and unnerving due to the lack of data about businesses but especially about decision makers in such locales. Addressing this need, the TUDLA database provides clients data on over 66,000 businesses and 200,000 key contacts from all Latin American countries including Puerto Rico, Brazil, the Caribbean and Mexico. Moreover, to provide such crucial data to clients from all over the world, Technology User Database Latin America (TUDLA), part of the Infonertia family of companies, has partnered with LeadMaster to provide clients with Latin American business contact data on demand.

TUDLA’s highly coveted database of information has been the focal point of its offering to clients. However, by partnering with LeadMaster, TUDLA has taken an extra step in providing a valuable solution for their clients. Instead of delivering lists of data in spreadsheets, hard copies or other media, TUDLA is now able to pass key information directly to clients through a high-performance SaaS-based system. Users can access real-time industry-specific data with a click of the mouse simply via the Internet.

Gary Gorton, CEO of Infonertia observes, “We are seeing that Latin America is not only an emerging market but it is also showing signs of rebounding from the economic slump faster than other regions. This is evidenced by the growth in the new projects that our Research Assistants are noting in our files. Our LeadMaster implementation could not come at a better time; we can finally provide real-time access to this information so that clients can take immediate action based on such valuable data.”

TUDLA’s Research Assistants work directly out of the LeadMaster system, validating information by phone and taking note of in-depth interviews with IT-relevant decision makers for detailed technology and communication infrastructure details. Email addresses with opt-in approval are recorded and automatically validated. By creating one simple powerhouse of information, the TUDLA/LeadMaster partnership provides a unique formula for on-demand success in the Latin American market.

Moreover, access to the data is customized to the unique requirements of each TUDLA client. They receive just the countries, company sizes, types of businesses and contact titles that meet their specific needs. And, they receive it virtually immediately.

“The TUDLA LeadMaster combination offers a powerful solution that includes a robust search engine with all the great LeadMaster lead management features and, most importantly, the TUDLA contacts to help find opportunities. The TUDLA LeadMaster solution is an excellent resource for companies that want to increase their business in Latin America,” said Russ King, CEO of LeadMaster.

King continues, “We have always encouraged data and lead providers to offer their customers the option of receiving leads in the LeadMaster system. TUDLA now provides that precise solution for Latin America. This partnership is a natural extension of both the TUDLA and LeadMaster offerings, providing both the leads and the system to manage those leads. Sales and marketing teams using the TUDLA LeadMaster combination will be able to easily automate the analysis and distribution of sales lead information. With LeadMaster’s multi-tier lead management, leads can be distributed to sales reps and partners automatically, or to an inside sales team for further qualification and lead nurturing.”

About TUDLA

TUDLA is part of the Infonertia family of companies that provide market intelligence for Latin America, Asia, Europe and the rest of the world. With over 30 years in the Technology and Communications data-gathering field with an emphasis on Latin America and the Caribbean, TUDLA is known as the expert. Their mission is to bring those with Technology needs together with those who have solutions to those needs. TUDLA represents a consortium of IT Decision-Makers across the region and is in constant phone contact with them completing thousands of phone interviews every month. For more information visit TUDLA at http://www.tudla.com/ or call 619-442- 4445.

About LeadMaster

The LeadMaster Lead Management solution delivers lead management plus email marketing, lead nurturing, workflow automation, sales automation and customer management functionality in a single easy to use online application. The LeadMaster solution automates the capture, distribution and tracking of sales leads. The real time dashboard provides feedback throughout the sales cycle helping companies pinpoint leads that are converting into revenue, how those leads were acquired, and the return on the marketing investment necessary to acquire those leads. LeadMaster Lead Management products and services are available through a global network of value- added resellers, consultants and system integrators. For more information, please visit LeadMaster at http://www.LeadMaster.com or blog http://blog.LeadMaster.com or call 800-699-4164.

*Source: The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

http://www.nmun.org/2010%20downloads/NY10_committee_updates/NY10_ECLAC%20Update.pdf

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

How do you know what happened to the sales leads that were passed to the channel partners?

June 9, 2010

For those of us who do business through channel partners, finding out exactly what happened to leads that were sent to the channel can be a challenge.

  • Lead Tracking – How many leads did your partners follow up?
  • Lead Aging – When did the partners follow up?
  • Lead Analytics – How many turned into sales?   What was sold?
  • ROI Analysis – What’s the ROI for each program that generated those leads?

If  have a channel sales rep helping your partners follow up with and close the leads that you send to the channel, you’re probably doing a better job than most. Still, having a channel rep is expensive and many leads may fall through the cracks.  Why?  Because sales is a numbers game and the prospects/leads that aren’t ready to buy now are on the losing team.  Each partner rep may work with dozens of channel partners and each partner rep may work with a dozen manufacturers/suppliers – each of whom may work hundreds of leads. And when a rep has a hot lead and is working to close a deal, he’s not focused on the long-term leads.

Many people thought that CRM systems were the answer.  But reps frequently enter whatever it takes to get management off their backs about the long-term leads –  things like ‘Called 3 times and couldn’t reach them,’ or ‘No opportunity,’ prematurely marking them dead.  If you’re using one of the big name CRM systems take a good hard look and ask yourself if you’re really getting what you want out of the system.  According to a recent survey 73% of CRM users use less than 50% of the features.  Most people aren’t getting what they pay for out of the big name CRM vendors.

Management might not understand why reps do this, but in the reps’ perspective, it makes sense: they only have so much time, and working on proposals, configurations, presentations and briefings takes time.  They’d much rather be working on an immediate deal than on a lead that might close in 6 months.

So what’s the answer?  From my experience, combining what I call a ‘Lead Driver’ with a quality lead management system can increase the number of A-level leads passed to sales reps, thus increasing the number of deals closed.

First, let’s focus on the lead driver role with leads. The primary role of a lead driver is to manage the leads as they flow through the channel, whether this position is internally filled or outsourced.  Following and managing the leads through the channel has to be the individual’s sole responsibility, so that they have time to update the disposition of the leads as time goes on.

Next, let’s examine how the Lead Driver works with partners.  If a partner hasn’t followed up on a lead within a specified period of time, the lead driver reassigns it to another partner.  Thus, the lead driver follows the lead until it is either closed, lost to the competition or has been determined to never truly have been a lead.  Examining the leads that weren’t really leads can help improve the lead scoring methodology. Moreover, as sales reps focus only on leads that are truly sales ready while the rest are sent to lead nurturing or inside sales, the lead driver helps drive not only leads but also revenue and sales efficiency.

Now let’s examine the second part of the equation – the process.  For the Lead Driver process to go smoothly, all sales leads must be passed through a single quality lead management system like LeadMaster.  This provides management with the real-time status of any and all leads; it helps marketing know the effectiveness and the ROI of their lead generation programs; it minimizes outdated information in your database; and the channel manager can finally track which partners are following up on leads and which aren’t.

Thus, the problem of tracking ROI and channel efficiency is solved with a dedicated “lead driver,” or manager, and a single lead management system that you and your whole channel shares. But this is not the only benefit of maintaining one lead management system throughout the channel. This approach can also benefit your partner sales reps.  Here’s an example.  When a partner rep leaves the company and a new rep is hired, the lead driver gives them a call, tells them about the leads they’ll be working and walks them through the lead management system.  By having up-to-date information about their leads in a system that is easy-to-use, the new rep can come up to speed quickly.

So, consider the possibility of implementing something like this for your own channel. Find someone who is dedicated to work leads through the system, and deliver quality leads to your sales reps. With a small initial investment, you’ll be sure to increase sales and thus, increase revenue.

 

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

New Feature – Claiming Leads

June 8, 2010

LeadMaster is rolling out another new feature – Claiming Leads.

Customers told us that sometimes they’ll load a bunch of leads into the system without assigning them to reps.  In this case our customers want their reps to be able to review the leads and ‘claim’ the ones they want by having a button that will assign the lead to the account manager or partner rep who is logged in and looking at the lead.  That sounded like a good idea to us so here it is.

New Action Available - Assign Record to Account Manager or Partner Rep

New Action Available – Assign Record to Account Manager or Partner Rep

Here’s how it works.  Using Automation and Workflow management we have this new action – Assign Record Action.  You can now configure the action to assign the record to the logged in user as the account manager and/or partner rep.

Point & Click Workflow Automation Programming to Assign Records

Point & Click Workflow Automation Programming to Assign Records

By linking this workflow action to one of the call stats buttons (e.g. call stats are all definable – here I’ve defined it as ‘Claim this Account’ in the lower left hand corner) an account manager or partner rep can click on the ‘Claim this Account’ call stat button and the lead they are currently viewing will be assigned to them.

LeadMaster Call Click Actions - Multiple=

There are many uses for this.  For example, using our LeadXtreme solution, visitors to your website can be added to the LeadMaster Lead Management system.  Whenever reps want they can review the LeadXtreme leads to see if they’d like to add a website visitor to their list of leads.

What happens if someone who isn’t an account manager or partner rep clicks on the ‘Claim this Lead’ call stat?  No problem, the lead will not be assigned.

What happens if the action is executed as a result of a lead coming in from the web through a landing page or web form.  No problem, the lead will not be assigned.

Let us know what you think.

 

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

New Feature – Saved Searches for Contacts

June 4, 2010

LeadMaster is rolling out another new feature – Saved Searches for Contacts.

There are two main categories of searching in LeadMaster – Contacts and Accounts/Records.  You’ve always been able to save your searches for accounts.  Now you can do the same thing for Contacts.

Suppose you want to search for all contacts in North Carolina who have a C-Level title, work in the Finance Department, are on a specific lead nurturing track and have opened the email message for that specific track, have a lead status of HOT, have a sales stage of Proposal Submitted and they are part of the Webinar Marketing Campaign.

That’s a lot of search criteria.  If you need to do this search on a regular basis chances are you wouldn’t want to make all those selections every time.  Use the ‘Save Search’ feature and you’ll save time.

Saved Search for Contacts

Saved Search for Contacts

After saving the search you can use this search again by clicking on ‘My Searches’ from the Search Contacts page.

 

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