Marketing and sales really need to get their acts together. I’m almost hesitant to click on a download for an eBook or White Paper.
It’s not for the inevitable box: Name, eMail, Company. Actually, that’s a fair trade for an eBook. I ask for the same, so I have no problem with that.
Where I have the problem is the Phone Call or the Follow Up eMail—-“I see you are interested in our solutions for…….”
You know what I mean. You can almost guess the automation systems people are using by the timing of the call or email. Some companies, I can always count on the call within 30 minutes–I guess they are attracted by the CEO title in the box I ‘ve filled in. (I should test them next time by filling in my title as Janitor–on Thursdays, I do run the vacuum around the office. Wonder how quickly they’d call me?)
Some linger a few hours, but never more than a day.
I’m not sure I even object to the call, though I know they can nurture me a little longer, to refine their approach. But in so many systems, it seems nurturing has gotten down to one download.
I think what I really object to is the evident lack of research and poorly executed emails or calls.
Let’s take this week as an example. I downloaded two eBooks from different companies. Within a few hours I got nearly identical emails.
“I saw you were researching…….,” “I noticed your interest…..” They went on to say, “….our solutions help your sales organization improve its results……”
What was interesting, was the eBooks I downloaded had nothing to do with what they outlined in their email. One was an eBook on Sales Management, containing 2 articles featuring me. I just hadn’t seen the final version of the eBook, so I was downloading it to look at the final copy. Of course the sales person didn’t know or guess this, he probably hadn’t looked at the eBook. He also hadn’t looked at my LinkedIn profile or our company website.
The second was virtually the same, just a different eBook in which I was featured.
Those were a little unusual because the materials featured things from me. But I experience the same thing with virtually every eBook or white paper I download. Their marketing automation and scoring systems (I know these companies have them) apparently “score” a sales worthy lead as the first eBook or White Paper download. Additionally, they apparently provide the sales person no intelligence other than the raw lead itself. Takes me back to the days when I used to see piles of “bingo cards” on sales people’s desks. I guess now days we face the same thing, only electronically, so it keeps our desks a little cleaner.
Sales people apparently are either poorly trained, so inundated with leads, under pressure to process leads quickly, that they don’t take the time to do basic research: Who is this person, What is the company, Do they represent a good prospect, Are they worthy of a call? So they make the call, wasting their time, my time, and making me wonder about the company as a vendor…..
I actually don’t fault the sales people. They are doing what their managers tell them and measure them on.
I don’t fault them for the lack of coordination between marketing and sales, for not leveraging marketing automation tools properly to gain the greatest benefit. As much as we would like, as much capability as these tools provide, they are dependent on smart implementations and marketing/sales coordinating with each other.
As I wrap this post up, there are a few sales people that get it right.
I had downloaded an eBook, again one in which I was featured. The sales person got my name in his lead list, but his email was different:
“Dave, I noticed you downloaded the eBook. I thought your article was terrific. I know you probably aren’t looking at our products, but I just wanted to thank you for the article an your support of our company….” Guess how quickly I responded.