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Today’s Marketers – Getting to Sales Ready

Joseph Manos

Executive Vice President

MindFire Inc.


What if there was one area of opportunity for your marketing organization that would fundamentally shift your sales revenue results and drive more marketing ROI for each dollar invested in your marketing programs?

Well believe it or not, there is an area of opportunity that will significantly improve your results and lead to a higher return on marketing investment spent on opportunity development.

If you are like most marketers, the lion share of your marketing budget is being invested in new customer acquisition programs.  Yet, for this critical area of opportunity many marketers continue to focus on leads and conversions when they should be focused on delivering marketing qualified leads (MQL’s) to your organization to be developed to Sales Ready.

The reason for this shift will be discussed in more detail below, but the number one reason is that this process delivers more revenue per lead generated and shortens the overall sales cycle.

This is an important consideration for all marketers because not all leads are created equal.  Many of the leads you deliver today are simply looking for more information to start their assessment of you as a potential provider or they are simply researching information on a potential area of opportunity for the future.

Yet, many marketers are sending these leads directly to the sales team for follow-up.

Does that make sense?  Is that the best approach?

Let’s take a quick look at some of the data that suggests that may not be the best course of action.

According to industry study data there is a huge gap in the quality of leads marketers are delivering to their sales organization.  Henry Bruce, President and Founder of  The Rock Arnard Group said it best., “When I reflect on the state of marketing automation, three stats paint a very ominous picture:

  • 70% of the buy cycle is complete before sales engages with buyers
  • Only 50% of a typical sales team achieves quota
  • Only 10%-15% of new leads are considered sales ready

Think about the data reported above…if 70% of the buy cycle is complete before your sales team engages with potential buyers, your ability to convert those leads drops significantly.  Additionally, if only 10-15% of the new leads are sales ready, we are wasting the sales teams time.  The leads need to be nurtured further before sales engages with these opportunities.  This also negatively impacts your Marketing ROI data and you are probably getting a false read on your marketing results and blaming sales for their inability to convert leads to sales.

Since so much of a prospects time is spent researching online before they ever contact a prospective company, you need to have an engagement program that starts a dialogue with these prospects well before they realize they are ready to invest in your solution.   You also need to leverage all of your marketing response channels in order to offer the prospect a chance to provide you with insight on why they are inquiring and what they want right now.  By taking this step you have an opportunity to provide them with high value content and start the nurturing process for future engagements.

By building their awareness, trust and confidence, in you as a potential provider, as well as providing high-value content to educate them, you start an ongoing engagement that ultimately leads to sales ready status.

The days of one and done programs are gone.  You have to build ongoing nurturing programs that both step your prospects through a cycle of high value opportunities to learn more, and provide you critical insight on their current and future needs.

Once you have built a nurturing and scoring program you will be able to deliver high quality leads (sales ready) to your sales team and you will be on your way to improved marketing and sales results in all areas.

By taking your existing program and leveraging technology and messaging in a more strategic and focused manner you can start to transform your overall program results for the long haul.

If you are looking for more information and insight on how to achieve this approach for your business feel free to contact me at or ask your Rider Dickerson representative for more information.

Blog created by Joseph Manos, Executive Vice President, MindFireInc




Mind Your Ink–Use Drawdowns

Dean Petrulakis     LinkedIn     Twitter

Senior Vice President, Business Development

Rider Dickerson


Would you paint your house without seeing a sample of the paint on your wall?  If yes, you are taking a big risk that the color won’t look as nice on your wall as it does on the paint chip in the store.  When we built our house 5 years ago my wife and I went back and forth about paint colors.  The best thing we did was order small sample jars of the colors we were considering and then paint small swatches on the actual walls to see how they looked—especially once the paint dried.  We loved certain colors in the store, but not so much when we saw them on the walls.  Ultimately we were very happy with the final colors.

Why am I writing about my paint selection process you may be asking?  Simple, the same concept holds true when printing PMS (Pantone Matching System for our non print-junkie readers) colors.  Many designers I work with make the common mistake of trusting their PMS books to select their ink colors assuming that just because the color looks like it does in the book that it will look that way when it’s printed. Big mistake!

Just like paint looks different when it dries on your walls, so do inks when they interact with different papers.  The PMS book, like the paint chip books at your local Home Depot, should be used as a guide for choosing your spot colors.  However, if you really want to see what the ink will look like ask your printer for a drawdown.  A drawdown is a swatch of ink applied to the stock you will be printing on.  By taking this extra step you can confirm your choice of spot color was correct or you may not like what you see and choose a different color.   Either way, it’s an important step, and it’s a step I encourage all of my clients to take when working with spot colors.

In some cases you may end up choosing a different ink color.  In other cases you might like the ink but don’t like how it looks on the paper you chose.  In that case you might choose a different stock, pull another drawdown and then move ahead.  The key thing to note is that inks are not opaque.  They are transparent.  They take on the characteristics of the paper they are printed on.  For example, ink sits up nicely on top of a coated sheet of paper (this is called ink holdout).  The color will look more vibrant.  However, take that same ink and print it on a toothy uncoated sheet and the ink soaks into the sheet like a sponge—killing the vibrancy of the ink.  This is why the PMS books come in coated and uncoated.

We worked on a project recently for a new client where pulling drawdowns helped the designer make a really wise paper selection.  You can read the full story here.  Had we not taken the extra step to pull the drawdowns the project may not have had the same great result.  I work with many designers, both experienced and less experienced.  I have learned over the years that many designers just don’t know a drawdown is even a possibility.  This is why I make it my personal responsibility to make sure my clients are aware of their choices so that in the end we are all happy with the direction of the project and the final result.

Have you had any ink nightmares recently?  Let me know.  I’d love to discuss what happened, why it happened and how it could have been avoided.

In my next post I will discuss the importance of choosing brand papers to ensure consistent color across all of your company’s print materials.