PowerViews with James Obermayer: Sales Managers To Blame For Lost Leads


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My longtime friend and colleague James Obermayer has strong feelings about who is responsible for lost leads among salespeople. Jim, who is principal of a California-based sales and marketing consulting firm Sales Leakage Consulting, lays the blame squarely at the feet of sales managers, who aren’t putting the necessary pressure on their sales force to follow up on leads, he said.

Jim is also head of the Sales Lead Management Association, which regularly names the 50 most influential people in lead generation. During our discussion, he pulled no punches about how to plug the leaks in sales leads.

Here is a link to our entire conversation, followed by some highlights.

Sales Managers Are to Blame for Lost Leads

Click to start video at this pointI asked Jim who was responsible for lost leads and he said it’s sales managers, not salespeople (which I didn’t wholeheartedly agree with). He made the point that 75-90 percent of sales leads are not followed up on, which wastes billions of dollars in marketing. It’s the responsibility of managers to make sure that leads are followed up on 100 percent of the time, he said.

They Think Sales Skills are Going to Win the Day

Click to start video at this pointJim said too many salespeople are overconfident in their traditional sales skills, and fail to recognize the central role of following up. He said he can take a mediocre salesperson and beat most of the competition simply by getting that salesperson to follow up 100 percent of the time.

What is Effective Follow Up?

Click to start video at this pointJim said he sees statistics that say 45 percent of salespeople give up after one contact with a leadand that’s counting email. I asked him what he would define as effective follow up. He said it varies per case, but in general he demands at least three phone calls and two to three emails. More importantly, these touches need to be spread out over more than a week.

Do You Organize a Dinner Date with Friends in One Email?

Click to start video at this pointI mentioned to Jim how many emails and phone calls it takes to set up a dinner date among friendly couples. In my experience, it’s six to seven in total. Why then, I asked, should it come as a shock when a stranger doesn’t get back to you after first contact? Jim mentioned that it’s all a process, and that typically you need to have 8-10 touches with a prospect over time, adding value with each communication.

You can connect with Jim and learn more about the Sales Lead Management Association via the following resources:

James Obermayer

Website: www.theslma.com

Email: jobermayer at salesleadmgmtassn dot com

Stay tuned for my next PowerViews

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dan McDade
Dan McDade founded PointClear in 1997 with the mission to be the first and best company providing prospect development services to business-to-business companies with complex sales processes. He has been instrumental in developing the innovative strategies that drive revenue for PointClear clients nationwide.


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