The Science of Creating Demand, Upon Demand, When Demand is Needed

Posted by James Obermayer on May 16, 2011 10:05:00 AM

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James Obermayer, Executive Director and CEO of the Sales Lead Management Association and President of Sales Leakage Consulting is a regular guest blogger with ViewPoint.

Not everyone can do it. Not everyone has the talent to do it. But when they do it, they do it exceedingly well. You see there is a science in creating demand and I’m not talking about where to place “Click Here” versus the word “Register,” I am talking about more strategic issues. I will leave the Science of Lead Generation tactics to David Zarrella, Social Media Scientist in his recent HubSpot Webinar. Click Here (I loved it).

Let me tell you a story about a Marketing-Lead-Generation-Wizard*
and How He Created Demand.

James ObermayerThere once was a medical device company with 40 salespeople. They called on medical clinics and doctor’s offices. This was a big challenge with 200,000 doctors in 60,000 offices. They knocked on doors, schmoozed the front desk people and tried to convince the doctor that their product was the easiest to use and that reimbursement would take care of the medical device cost plus deliver a handsome profit. The company was growing, but it had little or no lead generation marketing.

Marketing in this company consisted of product management, the website and literature; until it found a Marketing-Lead-Generation-Wizard* who could methodically approach the marketplace with scientific intent.

This is how the lead generation wizard made a difference. In a step by step by step manner he:

  1. Decided how many of the medical devices were sold each year. An easily available figure.
  2. Got a count of the doctors (by specialty) including clinics and bought a yearly subscription of the lists by zip code.
  3. Compared the count of doctor’s offices by zip code against the fixed sales territories by zip code for each sales person.
  4. Extrapolated the total number of medical devices on average that would be sold in each territory (by zip code). If there were 16,000 of one device sold nationally, that meant that 400 were sold in each territory (33 a month). It wasn’t difficult to do the rest of the math and project a number of inquires needed by each rep to make quota (they knew the closing ratio and they followed-up every inquiry).
  5. Compared the sales quotas each salesperson had for each device category by office.
  6. Created a lead generation program to deliver the number of inquiries and leads each salesperson needed to make quota based on their market share and closing percentage. Each sales territory needed about 25 inquiries a month.
  7. Made up the short-fall. There was a base number of inquires by product coming in from assorted sources such as the web, pay for click, PR, direct mail, trade shows, social media, etc., for each territory. The shortfall, if any, of inquires was made up using direct mail and email program blasts (email addresses are notoriously few for doctors). Some territories got 15 inquiries, some 20 and some 40. Those below 25 got special treatment. If a salesperson was supposed to average 25 inquiries a month for all three products and he or she only had 15 at the 20th of a month, direct mail (personalized using Purls and landing pages) and emails to the existing data based were launched to make up the shortfall.
  8. Created a single page business rules agreement between sales and marketing.i

The Result

In this instance, demand generation was a science, sales and marketing work closely together. The company had a history of outgrowing its competitors and the competitors didn’t know why. Salespeople relied on sales inquiries and the reports showed 75% of the inquiries were being followed-up. Salespeople made quota consistently.

Notice this is in the past tense. The “Wizard” left the company and within months the Scientific Approach declined, along with the inquiries and leads, and soon the company and its sales and marketing departments were back where they started. They attempted to replace quality with quantity which meant they over-spent, on marketing, over-burdened the salespeople with unqualified leads and the closing ratio went down. They replaced science with a hammer and it was expensive.

Today they are no longer in business.

Can the Scientific Approach work in your company? Are you already doing it? Tell us about it!

* Marketing-Lead-Generation-Wizard Job Description is on the Sales Lead Management Association Web Site under Job Descriptions. You must be a member to access it, but membership is free. It is also a blog entry in Sales Lead Management Today.

i Business Rules for Inquiry Management, SLMA Web site, listed under Checklists and Job Descriptions. Membership required but it is FREE.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Demand Generation, Increase Sales

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