2013 Winner: Carrie Surprenant, PointClear
Years In Business: 15
Brief Description of Nominee's Achievements:
Carrie has more than 15 years of experience working in sales and marketing environments, applying her database management, technology and operational skills to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of lead generation, qualification and nurturing programs.
Carrie has spent her career enabling effective sales lead management. She’s been an early adopter over the past 15 years of technologies that make the sales process more efficient, that empower individual contributors, and that instill accountability. She’s embraced marketing innovations ahead of the curve, including SEO, marketing automation, drip marketing and social media. And she’s known for her work applying best practices for the benefit of co-workers, clients and the organizations she serves. Carrie is a sales lead management leader who inspires those around her—including our industry’s next generation of leaders.
In her role as senior vice president of marketing and technology strategy at PointClear, Carrie plays a vital role in the publication of valuable thought leadership, including the sales lead management blog ViewPoint; video interview series PowerViews and the book The Truth About Leads authored by CEO Dan McDade. Carrie is also responsible for the company’s operational technology—from decision-making to execution.
Carrie worked with software providers Broadbase and Servicesoft before moving to Atlanta to join PointClear in 2001. Previously she worked for Verizon Wireless, TECHMAR and Harte-Hanks. She is active in industry events and organizations.
Nominee's Achievements In Sales Lead Management:
- Carrie has more than 15 years experience enabling effective sales lead management, with expertise in identifying new best practices and applying them for the benefit of the organizations she works for—as well as the clients they serve.
- She’s risen through the ranks with her current employer, Atlanta-based prospect development firm PointClear. She joined the company in 2001 as operations manager and now serves a senior vice president of marketing and technology strategy.
- In her current role, she is responsible for all marketing programs, including branding, public relations, publicity, digital media, direct marketing and content management.
- She plays a vital role in the publication of thought leadership materials on behalf of PointClear, including the sales lead management blog ViewPoint; the video interview series PowerViews and the book The Truth About Leads authored by PointClear CEO Dan McDade. Carrie’s understanding of the importance of content to the sales lead management process—along with her marketing expertise and operational/technology savvy—has enabled a mid-sized company to be a prolific publisher of valuable information that contributes not only to the success of PointClear, but to the industry’s advancement as well.
- Carrie is also responsible for PointClear’s operational technology. She is the primary visionary, decision maker and person in charge of execution. From marketing automation, to virtualizing the server environment; from enabling a remote workforce, to search engine optimization; from leveraging hosted IT services, to social media management, Carrie keeps her finger on the pulse of the technology trends and best practices that help PointClear best serve its clients—and applies them accordingly.
- She has been an early adopter over the past 15 years of technologies that make the sales process more efficient, such as database and reporting systems, sales force automation and customer relationship management solutions. These technologies empower the sales team and make them more productive, and instill accountability throughout the sales process.
- A key example: Carrie is responsible for PinPoint™, PointClear's proprietary prospect development application that allows for the precise targeting of decision makers in more than 10,000 North American companies. This robust application represents a significant contribution Carrie has made to the company. When she joined 12 years ago, a majority of processes were paper-based and manual. Carrie immediately recognized the benefits automation would bring. She set out to enable more rapid access to meaningful information that would help the company’s lead generation professionals do their job better. In addition, she realized that development of this technology would enable the analytics needed to keep sales lead management programs on track, and provide the reporting necessary to keep clients informed. Within 2 months of embarking on this program, her processes eliminated redundant data entry; within six months a programmer was developing an application scoped by Carrie; and today development continues. With Carrie’s ongoing guidance, enhancements to this important intellectual property are being made continuously.
- Without PinPoint, PointClear’s ability to conduct analytics and relational segmentation—and to quickly adapt programs based on data-based findings—would not be possible. CEO Dan McDade credits Carrie’s vision, tenacity—as well as her technology skills—for the existence of this tool, and its ability to help PointClear be a leader in delivering exceptional sales lead management services to B2B clients nationwide.
Carrie has embraced marketing innovations ahead of the curve, including:
- Search Engine Optimization. Several years ago Carrie anticipated the benefit of incorporating technology that would enable more effective organic searches—and drive more prospects to PointClear. After extensive research of platforms and providers, Carrie selected HubSpot, a premier SaaS solution that helps businesses coordinate online marketing efforts. Carrie creatively leveraged this solution in-house to increase PointClear’s search engine results as follows:
Visits from organic search up 644.81%
Total website visitors up 234.53%
Unique website visitors up 261.53%
Carrie continues to stay abreast of developments to assure ongoing improvement.
- Drip Marketing. Under Carrie’s leadership, PointClear has leveraged the benefits of a sending engine since the technology was introduced in the early 2000s to generate leads, qualify leads and nurture prospects—both for PointClear and on behalf of clients. Drip marketing is a vital part of PointClear’s multi-touch strategy and requires automated processes to succeed. Most recently, she has incorporated Pardot (recently acquired by ExactTarget) as an important tool for efficiently executing nurture flows. Carrie and her team have executed more than 50 campaigns in the past 3 years—including those benefiting professional and charitable organizations.
- Marketing Automation. The importance of inbound marketing to complement PointClear’s outbound focus was recognized by Carrie upon the advent of the concept—and the technology—approximately 5 years ago. She set out to gain thorough understanding of inbound’s success factors—including the principles of scoring website visitors. A marketing automation program is in place, and Carrie and her team have proven the concept: PointClear is benefiting, and soon clients will have the opportunity to access these services as well.
- Social Media. Again, Carrie was early in recognizing social media was good for business too—and that these tools would enable the sales lead management process. Under her leadership, the firm was among the first to leverage LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Facebook and a myriad of other social media to attract prospects—and develop them through the sales cycle.
- Blog. Carrie facilitated the company’s involvement in blogging about sales lead management. She not only set up PointClear’s blog, ViewPoint, but she manages the schedule and writers, including guest bloggers. In addition, she continually solicits guest blog opportunities for PointClear executives in an effort to promote best practices in prospect development.
- Video. In the last year, PointClear has made its foray into internet TV. The company conducts monthly interviews with industry influencers (i.e. Andrew Gaffney; James Obermayer; Ardath Albee; Jonathan Farrington, Paul Gillin, etc.) as part of a series called PowerViews. More than 20 interviews have been conducted and disseminated. This cost-efficient and highly effective sales lead management effort was made possible in part because of Carrie’s ability to manage the back-end, implementing the video, audio, editing and hosting technology needed to make this initiative a reality.
- In addition to embracing “new media,” Carrie has contributed to the sales lead management process through more traditional marketing, including branding, white paper development, events management and public relations.
- In the past year, more than seven case studies have been developed; more than six white papers have been produced, and more than 60 articles have been published.
- Carrie was instrumental in the publication of CEO Dan McDade’s book, The Truth About Leads, an insightful guide for sales lead management executives. She was the project manager of the undertaking, managing the writing, editing, proofing, design and layout. In addition she managed production and distribution through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple iBooks. Carrie’s understanding of marketing, technology and operations all came into place to produce this important thought-leadership piece.
- Carrie is a lifelong learner, driven to stay up on current marketing, technology and operational trends that help PointClear better manage its sales leads; and in turn, help the company better serve its clients. She attends seminars (i.e. Atlanta HubSpot user group); attends events (i.e. annual Pardot user conference); is a member of LinkedIn groups (i.e. Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Network). She is a veracious reader of articles, blogs and other thought leadership; and frequently participates in industry webinars. She will soon obtain her MECLABS professional certification in Value Proposition and Landing Page Optimization.
- Carrie’s early career experience positions her well for her current role. She started her professional life in response management, gaining the frontline experience and understanding of the telesales role that has helped her effectively implement the strategies to support that role.
- Carrie has experience on the receiving end of PointClear services. Carrie worked with clients Broadbase and ServiceSoft before moving to Atlanta in 2001 to join PointClear. Previously she worked for Verizon Wireless, TECHMAR and Harte-Hanks. Early on she showed a propensity for enabling the sales lead management process.
- She began her career with Harte-Hanks in Boston, a well known direct-marketing services company. She worked as a telesales professional, fielding 200 calls a day, and learned the ins and outs of response management. It was here that she began envisioning how technology and process could help those in her position be more productive, and better able to serve clients.
- When the president of her division at Harte-Hanks left to start TECHMAR, he tapped a handful of professionals to join him, including Carrie. Here she took on the roll of office manager, managing a team of data entry personnel. She began working with the chief development VP, learning the ins and outs of the back-end of the database. Soon after she was writing queries, and then promoted to data analyst. TECHMAR grew from a start-up to 250 employees in 2.5 years, serving clients in multiple countries.
- Her next position was with Verizon Wireless. It was her job to support the direct sales team, implementing technology and process to make them more efficient—with the bulk of her time spent managing database issues.
- At ServiceSoft (later Broadbase and now KANA), a company that offers customer experience management software, Carrie managed the sales database and developed the reporting tools used by the company. In addition, she was responsible for training sales reps all over the company on the use of the system.
- ServiceSoft and Broadbase were PointClear clients. The company(ies) tapped PointClear to provide strategy, analytics and execution services. The resulting lead generation, qualification and nurturing programs successfully provided the sales opportunities they needed to meet their revenue goals. Carrie’s technology skills and ability to enable sales lead management were recognized by PointClear and she was recruited to join the Atlanta-based firm.
- Carrie is active in organizations that give her opportunity to network, learn, teach and inspire other business professionals and industry peers, including TAG (Technology Association of Georgia); the Technology Association of Georgia Educational Collaborative (TAG-Ed); and the HubSpot users group. In addition, she is active in the PointClear foundation.
- Carrie is known for her work applying best practices for the benefit of co-workers, clients and organizations she serves. Carrie is a sales lead management leader who inspires those around her—including our industry’s next generation of leaders.
Carrie has been a key contributor to numerous newsletters, case studies, white papers, press releases and articles published by, about and on behalf of PointClear, not just on a content basis, but from the standpoint of project management, production, and distribution, including:
- Newsletter: First Friday Report http://www.pointclear.com/resources/first-friday.php
A monthly e-newsletter that contains original articles designed to help sales and marketing executives improve lead management processes from start to finish. Subscribers gain insight into trends and topics that help boost an organization's revenue.
- White Paper: Point C: From Chaos to Kickass http://www.pointclear.com/resources/white-papers/sales-and-marketing-optimization.php
A comprehensive white paper that asks the question: Are your organization’s sales and marketing behaviors, practices and processes reliably and sustainably producing the outcomes you need? Then answers it with ways to achieve a fully optimized state of prospect development and close significantly more deals.
- Case Study: Energy Management Solutions Provider Benefits from 7.5% Lead Rate Equating to $2 Million in Opportunities
A case study of Atlanta-based JouleX’ experience with prospect development firm PointClear, detailing the results of its engagement.
- Book: The Truth About Leads
This book, written by Dan McDade, is a practical, easy-to-read guide revealing little-known secrets that help focus B2B lead-generation efforts, align sales and marketing organizations and drive revenue.
- A Sample of Recent Press Releases:
January 3, 2013 PointClear's eBook Wins Silver Award from Top Sales World:
From Chaos to Kickass Voted Among Best eBook in Sales and Marketing
December 7, 2012 Two PointClear Execs Named "Most Influential" in 2012:
Dan McDade and Karla Blalock Again Make Top 50 SLMA List
November 6, 2012 PointClear Execs Nominated for SLMA's "Top 50 Most Influential":
Dan McDade and Karla Blalock on Ballot for 2012 Honors
September 10, 2012 ViewPoint │ The Truth About Lead Generation Named One of Top 50 Blogs: Top Sales World Selects PointClear's Blog Among Best in Sales and Marketing