Matching Wits with a Sales Lead Guru on Live Radio

Have you listened to what your peers (and bosses) say is keeping them up at night? We did.

Today my company is making a podcast available to the public that captures my live, January 19 radio interview with Jim Obermeyer of the Sales Lead Management Association. We discussed my company’s research on lead-to-revenue strategy in the age of digital disruption, plus our 2017 State of the Industry Report: B2B Marketing and Lead-to-Revenue.

I’ve been a public speaker for decades and have been a guest on numerous national and international programs discussing everything from marketing and sales strategies for SaaS software companies to how my local business association can create more jobs in the region. But I’ve rarely enjoyed a chance to communicate more.

Sales Complains, Marketing Disdains?

Jim and I think about and act upon these topics all day, every day. Some of the topics we discussed were hard to talk about, chiefly because they represent the customer pain points that we see over and over again when dealing with B2B marketers. Our new survey research uncovered why these problems are perennial and, frankly, a little bit exhausting to tackle year over year, quarter over quarter (except, of course, when we get to solve them for our clients). Here are some of the chief issues:

  • Only 41% of respondent companies were somewhat or very satisfied with the amount of leads generated by the marketing teams. Why do sales teams complain so much about both lead quantity and quality? And what is preventing marketers from solving this issue once and for all?
  • Why do marketers have to come up with new and even more compelling KPIs to justify their existence? What can we measure (conversion rates, brand awareness) that will actually get us more budget next year instead of less?
  • What can be done to alleviate the “ineffectiveness of lead management” that so many B2B companies are struggling to overcome? Is the solution more technology, better people or more efficient processes (or perhaps all three)?

We were a little surprised about what our survey said people were spending on marketing in relation to revenue—and that it mostly fell in line with industry standards as outlined by Gartner. We also engaged in a discussion about the “red-flag” warnings that tell marketers when they have lead conversion issues that will drive up their costs to acquire customers (CAC). CAC is a common KPI that most research respondents noted was flat or would only rise slightly in the year to come.

I also shared with Jim what was perhaps most disappointing about our research findings: The fact that (as alluded to above) a majority of companies felt that they are lacking in three huge indicators of B2B success: marketplace awareness, sufficient lead flow and sales and marketing alignment.

I was happy to be a part of a broadcast that challenged and galvanized me about the topics that I have spent a lifetime learning to tackle. Although the survey results were a bit discouraging, my plan for 2017 is to challenge myself, our team and our clients to become better and better at what we do. You can now download the podcast and see for yourself how we did. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed participating. Please download a copy of the survey report and let me know your thoughts.

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Christopher Ryan

Christopher Ryan has 25 years of marketing, technology, and senior management experience. As both a marketing executive and services provider, Chris has created and executed numerous programs that build market awareness, drive lead generation and increase revenue.
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2 comments

  • Corinne Morris January 31, 2017   Reply →

    I was lucky enough to hear that podcast this morning and it really helped me hone in on what I need to do this year to fix our lead generation/nurturing/sales cycle. As a marketer, it behooves me to listen when salespeople are not happy–they are the only revenue center in the company to many leaders– and my job depends on their enablement. This podcast and the accompanying report will help me and my teams ensure our processes and support for the sales teams–and in extension for our customers themselves–are at their best. If they’re not, I now have solid direction to fix them.

  • Christopher Ryan February 8, 2017   Reply →

    Thanks for the great comment Corinne. You are spot-on about listening to salespeople and the importance of sales enablement. Things work better for all concerned when revenue targets are met!

    Chris

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