Thursday, October 11, 2007

ConstantContact Goes Public and the Changes Begin

Just last week Constant Contact went public and, as suspected, the changes are problems with this are already beginning. The first major fallout seems to be a quick change to their acceptable usage policy which now prohibits using the service for any communications related to gambling. was informed by ConstantContact yesterday that they would no longer be able to use the service. This started a flurry of blog posting from other people that are frustrated because of the number of telemarketing calls they receive from ConstantContact, or believe ConstantContact employees are masquerading themselves as happy customers on blogs. The latter does seem a little crazy to me... I can't image why a company with so much to lose would engage in such bad behavior purposely.

Anyways, for anyone looking for an alternative service to ConstantContact, we run a Canadian email marketing service called that you may want to check out.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

B2B Presentation on B2B Lead Generation

So I just sat through the new webinar from Bulldog Solutions on "The Four Costliest Mistakes Marketers Make in Support of Sales". Presenters included Bill Golder from Miller Heiman, Rob Soloman from bulldog, and Ellis Brooker from

The one thing about these presentations is that it takes so long to develop context for the "meat" of the presentations that sometimes you wish you would have a Coles notes version so you could get the point quicker. This is actually the point of this post - a short version for you...

To achieve stellar sales results, Sales and Marketing need greater integration in their efforts. Companies are focusing so much on lead generation these days - but many of the leads are being wasted for many reasons. Some of these problems can be solved through better communication between sales and marketing.


It was said that typically about half of the leads handed over to the sales department can't be followed up on by sales people. At its worst, this causes sales people to view the marketing department as wasting money on lead generation that is useless, and marketing looks at the the sales department as not following up on leads.

Sales is from Mars, Marketing is from Venus
The reason, it was suggested, that sales and marketing speak different languages. There is no cross accountability, and the hand off is clumsy. The CRM system belongs to the sales department and the marketing department doesn't have access to it. The sales department, on the other hand, has little or nothing to do with the lead generation campaigns. The sales department wants hot leads, and the marketing department wants volume.

A SiriusDecisions report (March 2007) showed that lead generation is the number one marketing priority (and biggest spend) within US companies today. If half of the leads are being wasted - this is a huge problem!

Driving Better Alignment between Marketing and Sales
These are the four solutions presented:

  1. Define organization goals. You should define what is a win for every body. How many leads does sales need? What are the attributes they need? What makes a good prospect? What is the call to action?
  2. Define Measurements. What are the industry groups, the job titles, the problems they have? On the other hand, what geographies can't you support? What industries do not work? What companies are too small? Bill Golder added that this was key to the Miller Heiman strategy. This point helps move part of sales (qualification) more towards marketing. And perhaps most importantly, this allows sales and marketing to develop benchmarks.
  3. Prepare for Sales Engagement. This point deals with the hand off from sales to marketing. One major point was dealing with the timing of the hand-off. In some cases it is taking 4-6 weeks from a new lead to get to the CRM so the sales person can follow up on it! For the poor sales person following up on leads that are this stale, they might as well be making a cold call.
  4. Assess Results and Focus on Improvement. The numbers seldom lie. To me, this step is the most important in almost any marketing process. They discussed "shooting the losers" is as important as keeping the winners.
For the complete details on this webinar, they were nice enough to let us download the PPT file as a PDF. I did it and uploaded it here.

Overall I thought this was an excellent presentation, ideal for heads of sales and marketing departments. For more info on this topic, I have written about these issues before here, and here.