2012 Winner: Karla Blalock
is known for her
ability to mastermind processes that make sales lead management effective and efficient; for her
ability to apply best-practice analytics to lead generation, qualification and nurturing programs; and for her
understanding of the importance of coaching, mentoring and developing our industry's next generation of leaders.
role as chief operating officer at PointClear
25 years of experience in marketing, sales and operations to help the prospect development firm's B2B clients improve margins and grow sales while keeping costs low.
responsible for all client operations from program planning and management to delivery, from measurement against objectives to reporting.
The Sales Lead Management Association
named Karla one of the 50 Most Influential people in 2010 and 2011.
In 2011 she
was named one of 20 Women to Watch by SLMA; Analytics Marketer of the Year by TAG Marketing
(a society of Technology Association of Georgia, an influential 14,000 member organization); and Woman of the Year honoree by Women in Technology.
been featured in articles and broadcasts, as well as authored many insightful sales lead management documents.
Karla is an expert in the problem, the cause and the best-practice solutions surrounding the misalignment between marketing and sales that prevents companies from realizing their revenue potentials.
As a leader in the field of sales lead management, Karla
is committed to being a role model for the future generation of the industry's leaders.
does this by demonstrating honesty and directness, passion and enthusiasm; by reinforcing mutual respect; and by instilling that sense of empowerment that drives professional growth and success.
was named Analytics Marketer of the Year by TAG Marketing
, a Technology Association of Georgia
society, in November 2011.
Also in November 2011, Karla
was named a Woman of the Year honoree by Women in Technology.
is a two-time winner of the Sales Lead Management Association's 50
Most Influential people in sales lead management (2010, 2011).
was named to the inaugural 20 Women to Watch in 2011 by the SLMA.
Karla is active in several other professional organizations that give her the opportunity to network, learn, teach and inspire other business women and industry peers, including TAG (Technology Association of Georgia), WIT (Women in Technology), and AAISP (American Association of Inside Sales Professionals).
She is a Focus Expert, a status granted by the Focus Expert Network to thought leaders, veteran practitioners and upstart innovators who help thousands of businesses with tough decisions every day by publishing research, answering questions and providing personalized support to the Focus community.
In December 2011, Karla was featured on IntrepidTV with host Todd Schnick for a 30-minute show on analytics and sales lead management best practices.
A frequent contributor to ViewPoint
, a thought leadership blog exploring sales lead management best practice, and an active participant in other industry blogs and forums, LinkedIn groups and other social media, Karla
is an industry influencer, helping others by sharing information and ideas on effective sales lead management.
has pioneered many of our industry's best practices, demonstrating a unique ability to identify areas in the sales lead management process that are broken or could otherwise be improved through a combination of disciplined management, comprehensive planning, enhanced communication, tighter accountability and better analysis, testing, measurement and reporting.
Example 1: In 2011 Karla
team correlated sales lead management success for a particular PointClear client with the use of direct phone numbers.
Data revealed that the lead rate was 4x as high when the PointClear
associate used a direct number vs. a general company or departmental line.
applied this best practice to two client programs to further test, modified its CRM system and implemented training and incentives to increase the capture rate of direct numbers.
The goal to capture 65% of those clients' targets' direct numbers was achieved within six months, and this process and corresponding goals were rolled out across the board in 2012.
believes strongly in the importance of professional development in the success of PointClear's
sales lead management efforts, demonstrated by a key initiative she
drove in 2011.
led efforts to implement a telecommuting program that allows some business development associates to move their eight-hour work days from the office to their homes.
With a vested interest in both the operational efficiency and reward aspects of such arrangements, Karla
crafted a program that allows associates to effectively make calls and otherwise engage clients' prospects and qualify them for hand-off to field sales teams all while ensuring objectives are met around accountability, remote supervisory management, productivity and reporting.
Technology was incorporated, a formal application and selection process developed, and a phased approach created.
Today, 20% of the staff is telecommuting, and both client and employee satisfaction levels are high.
In addition, there is a sense of corporate pride in the environmental benefits these arrangements afford.
A process-oriented professional with a penchant for communications, Karla
is known for her
team's ability to work with both client marketing and sales teams to help close the gap between their organizations and significantly impact results.
In pre-sales conversations, discovery, program development, training and execution, she
educates and models best-practice processes that improve alignment and deliver higher quality leads to client field sales teams.
In addition, in the last two years, Karla
has documented these best practices to further help both sales and marketing be more successful.
is an out-of-the-box thinker, deriving innovative solutions to the challenges that prevent optimum sales lead management, including those that leverage the people, process and technology that drive higher margin, more sales and increased revenue.
From a strategy and guidance standpoint, Karla
team have demonstrated an ability to align programs with business goals:
Example 1: Using data to help refine a company's target market, and the corresponding offer, is a valued ability Karla
brings to the table in her
Recently a new client in the data center services industry decided to target a broad and ambitious market: the Fortune 1000.
Initial analysis indicated that smaller companies in the healthcare vertical would be a more appropriate target for the company.
The smaller-company market valued the client's offering, and the client had numerous successful business relationships in this arena.
team recommended that the client narrow its market and focus on one vertical.
It was agreed to test the recommendation by implementing parallel programs.
The result after four weeks of testing?
The Fortune 1000 efforts yielded virtually no results, even after 18 to 25 touchpoints were made per contact.
By contrast the lead rate within the more targeted audience performed well above the benchmark, with an average of only seven touchpoints.
A comprehensive, targeted list was subsequently developed by PointClear
on behalf of the client and the work continues successfully.
Example 2: Testing segmentation hypothesis in order to identify the top-performing segments is an expertise that Karla
has developed over the years and one that sets her
A client in the security penetration-testing solutions space began working with Karla
team to create meaningful segmentation to assure that marketing and sales efforts were directed towards the highest performing targets.
The client company had been scoring prospects based on company size, industry type and level of seniority.
Under Karla's guidance, PointClear
began by testing these variables, plus others, and measuring the performance of each.
After just four weeks the team learned quantitatively that there was one variable that was more important than any other: title.
Specifically it was proven that if a prospect's title included the word security, then it was a high-value target.
While the test results surprised the client, they were pleased with the ultimate program results: 22% of more than 20,000 raw leads converted to qualified leads; 10% of qualified leads converted to sales opportunities; $23.4 million in new business currently in pipeline; $2.2 million closed as a result of lead development efforts.
was key to defining and implementing the comprehensive, collaborative planning process that PointClear
is known for.
has also played a vital role in the development and continual refinement of PointClear's multi-touch, multi-media, multi-cycle processes.
has worked closely with other PointClear
team members to develop this process, customized for each client depending on the audience and industry, which determines the most effective ways to reach prospects.
It combines the right frequency,