Nurturing isn’t just for sales leads anymore.

September 30th, 2014

DiggingIf you work in this industry (or any industry, for that matter) for any length of time, you make all kinds of contacts… clients, vendors, people you meet at conferences, ‘friends’ on social media and so on. And for the most part, the people you meet are nestled in your CRM database or in your LinkedIn connections. You might also run into them in the fall during conference season and maybe they receive your e-newsletter every once in a while. And that’s about it.

But I received a reminder last week of the power of staying in touch – in a personalized way – to maintain and enhance relationships.

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Stop cold calling… follow-up on warm sales leads instead.

September 24th, 2014

show-me-the-moneyI met with a client a few weeks ago that had one sales rep… an experienced and, by all accounts, pretty good rep. Over coffee, I talked with this rep about his day-to-day activities. I expected to hear about his calling on existing clients, responding to inquiries, following up on leads from conferences, etc. And while he did do some of that, he spent the majority of his time (the vast majority) digging through directories for new names, sending out letters of introduction (along with sales collateral) and then following-up by phone. Yup… he was cold-calling.

For a sales rep, nothing is more difficult, induces more fear or is less productive than cold-calling. If you are having your sales rep cold call more than 5-10% of his/her time… STOP IT! It is not the responsibility of sales reps to find leads… their job is to follow-up on leads and close deals. It is the responsibility of your marketing to generate those leads.

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Churn baby churn! The loss of clients.

September 17th, 2014

Churn2I was talking with a long-time industry friend of mine this week and he made a really interesting comment. He said, “For every new client we pick up, we’re losing one or two.” He called it their ‘churn rate.’

Yikes! With those kinds of odds, it won’t take long before they’re in really serious trouble.

It’s a good lesson for all of us… What’s your churn rate?

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Your sales rep not working out? Maybe it’s not their fault… look in the mirror!

September 10th, 2014

NUP_101558_1371I’ve worked with a number of firms in the market research industry where the one (or first) sales rep they hired didn’t work out… didn’t hit their goals… didn’t meet the expectations of the firm’s owner(s) – and so was let go.

It happens… sometime the rep is just not the right fit with the organization.

But just as often (or maybe more often), the inability of the company to effectively manage that sales rep is just as much to blame. It works something like this…

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Has marketing become too complex? [chart]

September 3rd, 2014

marketing_technology_2Click on this link (

I came across this chart recently and my jaw just dropped… hundreds and hundreds of technology products and services – each focused on a particular niche within the continuum of marketing activities. And I am unfamiliar with a large percentage of them… and that’s saying something for an old marketing dog like me.

I think there are two big problems caused by the proliferation of all of this marketing technology…

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