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Sales Lead Management Association Radio

Jun 2014

Sales Managers Suck at Taking Responsibility

June 9, 2014

In This 25 minute discussion, Jim Obermayer gets Velocify CEO Nick Hedges opinion as to why sales lead follow-up is so dismal, and why sales manager’s appear to not take responsibility in making it happen. 

Jim says, "The premise is that millions of dollars are spend on lead generation and 75-90% of all inquiries are not followed-up. This means 75-90% of the marketing dollars are wasted and there are huge opportunity loses when sales fails to talk to potential buyers

We have traditionally blamed salespeople, but to follow-up or not is a strategic decision and part of every manager’s responsibility when his/her people fail in this most basic skill."

1:08 Whose responsibility is it. We have to start holding sales managers responsible for not performing.

1:30 Sales Managers haven't had the tools to figure out who's doing what and when.

1:52 Focused on win rate

2:13 Focus on qualification rate in the first place from marketing qualified lead to sales qualified lead. It's been really neglected and ready for change.

2:57 Is it more tool oriented? Jim wants to know.

3:15 Sales doesn't use the tools.

3;27 Velocify the tool: Sales acceleration software. Helps inside sales teams - makes them more effective at taking a lead that is marketing qualified and turning it into a sales qualified lead.

4:03 Distributing leads to sales team based on historical sales performance.

4:20 Guided workflow

5:42 Velocify includes the pieces left as optional in most CRM tools. This is not a CRM tool.

6:00 The problem is, more people going into inside sales teams because of lead marketing leads explosion. This leads to poorly trained team.

7:00 Sales 2.0, Jim said the speakers said the only sales forces growing in following year will be inside sales teams. Nick Hedges agrees.

7:45 Bring field teams inside - that may be the answer.

8:45 Nick's advice to sales managers, "Have to move to something over time. If you start off with highly prescriptive, it tends to get rejected by the sales people. Kind of tie things up over time. 

9:40 Reporting and visibility systems about people's relative performances is a really good way to drive the right behaviors.

10:10 Best clue is boards on the wall showing the top performers. That's how you know they some some good systems in place.

10:51 Everything should go over to sales, according to Nick Hedges.

11:25 Marketing automation systems are good for drip emails and content until the lead qualifies as a sales qualified lead.

12:15 Most transformational thing about marketing automation is that it created a catalyst for sales leaders and marketing leaders to agree on what is a viable qualified marketing lead. If that doesn't happen, you're back in that cycle of rejecting leads and having leads rejected.

12:55 Qualified lead is clear for Velocify: based on bad framework, size of prospect, clear intention to purchase our software. There is no such thing as a standard definition. Make your marketing qualified lead definition as less-exacting as you possibly can. 

13:20 There is no substitute for human conversation.

14:00 Jim told a story about a company who was in deep trouble closing deals and meeting quota: "Criteria was so tight that they were not making quota, but 2500 leads were stuck in lead qualification portion of the system." Had to kick it loose.

15:25 Nick Hedges does not stand by BANT framework. He feels you'll lose too many potential sales qualified sales leads staying strict to BANT.

On Velocify's Ideal Customer:

16:50 B2C customers include banks, mortgage companies, insurance companies, higher education. They tend to orient toward medium and large size companies.

17:30 B2B is fastest growing in their portfolio, tends to be pretty vertically agnostic. Medium and large size companies with a common characteristic: they are trying to scale their sales efforts at a very fast pace.

About Nick Hedges: 
Nick Hedges is president and CEO at Velocify and a 15 year veteran of the Internet and software as a service (SaaS) industry. Nick joined Velocify in 2008 as SVP of business development and then held various roles at the company, including head of sales and chief revenue officer, prior to becoming CEO in 2011. 
Prior to Velocify, Nick was a case team leader at Bain and Company, where he led strategic assessments in the technology, consumer products, media, and private equity industries. Prior to Bain, he was the CEO of an online marketplace for the global soft commodity industry that provided trading and logistics services to companies across Africa, Asia and Europe. The company was one of the few early dot-coms to generate healthy revenue and was a forerunner of SaaS technology. Earlier in his career, Nick worked at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) on Internet and process-reengineering projects and at Ogilvy and Mather Advertising as an account manager for big brands, such as Kodak and Ford Motor Company.