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Friday, January 20, 2006

Over the years, as a Sales Manager and Director, I've used nearly every form of lead generation possible. From advertising and email promotion to one-to-one methods such as telemarketing.

I remember the shock of calculating the cost of a trade show at £2000 GBP per lead. A year later, when none of the team had converted a single lead, it kind of sticks in your mind.

I've known business owners who have spent 100's hours a year attending networking events, and never got a single sale from them.

Sure, Pay-per-click campaigns are very cost-effective per lead...but they don't suit every product or service. For a start, your potential customer needs to be out there actively looking for you. If there's already two or three suppliers on his radar, he's very unlikely to be looking elsewhere. You need to reach out directly to him.

Response rates on Direct Marketing campaigns rarely exceed 2%. What if there are only 100 potential companies that are right for your product?

Two leads are unlikely to be enough to guarantee success. So the real cost to consider here is the cost of missing opportunities.

In new technology markets where it is critical to get traction before you are locked out, this is the real cost to consider.

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Posted by: David Regler @ 8:44 am |  1 comments  | Links to this post  

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Just a quick heads-up on a great book covering Sales Outsourcing. It's called "Outsourcing the Sales Function - the real costs of field sales" by Erin Anderson and Bob Trinkle.

The book is packed with examples of where companies have successfully outsourced its sales function, as well as a CD with a spreadsheet that helps you calculate just how much your sales team is costing you - ouch!

But, best of all, I found the quote "Nothing happens til somebody sells something!"

That one's pure gold :-)


Posted by: David Regler @ 11:44 pm |  0 comments  | Links to this post  

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Anyone who's been following the recent bust-up between Linkedin's Management and it's "Power Networkers" will perhaps be wondering why the Friday 13th date has been and gone without any noticeable change (to me anyway)

For some background, check out For a New Etiquette of LinkedIn and, in particular, the comments by Konstantin Guericke, Linkedin's co-founder.

In essence, Linkedin's management are upset that some members are using the tools they provided (ability to upload thousands of email addresses and send mass invitations to connect) to SPAM thousands of people who are not interested in connecting on Linkedin. This obviously gives Linkedin a bad name and discourages people who would otherwise join and only invite the people they know and trust (as the founders of Linkedin intended).

Much of the revolt is happening because Linkedin have announced measures to curb this abuse by putting a limit on how many people you can invite. The figure of 3000 has been mentioned. At present it seems unclear if that's a total lifetime cap, or simply a cap of how many can be sent out at any one time.

For many of the "Power Networkers", who have upward of 3,000 connections on Linkedin, they will have certainly exceeded this limit already and therefore face the possibility that they can no longer invite anyone to connect with them. To a "Power Networker" this is basically stopping them from functioning.

I understand exactly where Linkedin are coming from in terms of stopping SPAM (and agree with them). However, I would say that they did create the tools to use the site for this purpose, whereas other networking platforms, such as Ecademy and openBC, actually have some inbuilt daily limits that stop this approach.

Anyway, this was all supposed to happen on Friday 13th (I think Konstantin has a great sense of humour) along with a few other changes but, as I say, I haven't noticed any major change on the platform.

But then, Konstantin did say that the people who were actually abusing the system (and had received complaints against them) were a small number and that "they know who they are" as they will have already received a warning by Linkedin's Privacy Policy Department.


Posted by: David Regler @ 10:55 pm |  0 comments  | Links to this post  

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