Blog Archives

The Three Word Job Description

The following is from an actual job ad.

As the Account Executive, primary responsibilities will include outbound calling and selling, structuring, negotiating, and implementing contracts with eCommerce companies, Internet companies, and other relationships by performing the following duties:

  • Generate new leads and sources for leads to expand and grow specific partner programs
  • Seek out, research and qualify prospects
  • Close sales to attain and exceed quota goals
  • Collaborate with marketing department to develop strategies for establishing partnerships and business relationships
  • Customize solutions to fit client needs
  • Manage relationships and contracts with various prospects, clients, and partners in the eCommerce environment
  • Provide input to the management team on new product or service features, quality issues, and customer needs and demandsSales Activities

There’s nothing wrong with that description. It details some specific activities that the salesperson will perform
but does this job description really get to the essence of what the job is all about?
Here is an exercise I learned many years ago. The idea is to take any occupation and describe the primary objective Read the rest of this entry
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I Don’t Have Time To Get Organized

I made this sign a while back and I have it hanging on the wall right above my monitor.  It is front of me – eye level – whenever I am working in my office.  I stare it while I am working.  I’m staring at it right now.  Since I am aware that in my business model, these are the core things I have to do in order to keep growing my business, how come this is the first post I’ve written on this blog in a little over two weeks?

How come I’ve  only had one cup of Starbucks’ Green tea in the last 10 days?  How come that other than a flurry of Tweets over the last few days, have I pretty much been invisible on Twitter for some time?

Oh I have a good answer – one that allows me not to feel guilty.  I have too much to do!  Between working on actual paying projects, working intensely on some long-term marketing stuff and a plethora of family things to get done, I simply haven’t had time to work on my sphere of influence communication.

If a coaching client told me those were his reasons for ignoring these basic yet vital activities, I suspect he’d see my dark side. I’d tell him that there are only two solutions, based on the truth of his excuses. The first is acknowledging that Read the rest of this entry

Marketing Is Worthless If You Don’t Convert Leads

There are many different types of marketing, each having a specific goal. At a high level though all marketing has the same goal – To generate interest in your product. It is about getting people to raise their hands and acknowledge that they are aware of what you sell, and there is a possibility that they are interested in making a purchase.

There a soft value to putting your name in front of as many people as you can. Brand awareness can be critical to a company’s success. While it’s not a bad thing to increase awareness of your product or service the question becomes that in terms of ROI, marketing programs are often measured using circumstantial evidence.

The bottom line goal of every company is to increase profit.  That’s why profit is on “the bottom line” of a financial analysis.  There are only two ways to improve profitability – increase revenue or decrease expenses.  The prime revenue source for a company is sales.

Take a look at this sales results graph from a hypothetical company that launched a new marketing campaign in January and ended it in May.  “Sales Results” is typically defined as orders that are delivered and invoiced.

With complete certainty we can state that the marketing program was PROBABLY a driving factor in the sales increase that began in February, continued to rise until about 30 days after the program ended. We deem the marketing program a success.Are there other factors that could be the root cause of the increase in sales?  Of course there are.  Better inventory management, improved shipping measures, better invoicing procedures – just to name a few.

So how do you actually measure the success of a marketing plan if not on sales results. It depends on the objective of the  program.  The most common type of program for small and medium businesses generally has the objective of increasing the number of “Leads”, “Inquiries” or “Requests for information.”

So at the end of the day if the number of leads received during the run of a program went up, the program can be declared a success regardless of the sales results.   Sort of like a surgery that is deemed successful regardless of whether the patient lives or dies.

What exactly is the value of a lead?  I would submit that if you don’t do anything with the lead, it has absolutely no value.  Another way of putting it is this: “A Lead and $2.25 will get buy you a ride on the subway.”

Soooooo – acquiring the lead is important, but selling to the prospect is equally important.  If you don’t have a specific plan to follow-up and close as many of the leads as possible, the money you spend on marketing could be wasted.

As Jerry Seinfeld might say “You know how to GET the lead, you just don’t know how to SELL to the lead.”