Dan McDade – Founder and CEO of PointClear

Dan McDade founded PointClear in 1997 with the mission to be the first and best company providing prospect development services to business-to-business companies with complex sales processes. He has been instrumental in developing the innovative strategies that drive revenue for PointClear clients nationwide.

Before starting PointClear, Dan served as president of UST, The Business Marketing Group, a high-tech B2B marketing services firm. The company grew more than 500 percent during his tenure. Dan and his team provided consulting services to leading technology companies including Sun Microsystems, Texas Instruments, Oracle and SAP.

From 1989 to 1991, Dan was an independent consultant providing direct marketing, telemarketing and new business development consulting services. Clients included Sears, Exxon, Rodale Press, R.J. Reynolds and The Ritz-Carlton. One of Dan’s early assignments was to write the business plan that helped The Ritz-Carlton win the Malcolm Baldridge Award. His background also includes 10 years of experience in the direct mail catalog business. As vice president of marketing with Jackson & Perkins in Medford, Ore., he ran what was at the time the 17th-largest direct mail company in the U.S. Dan spent four years as a European history major at the University of Maryland followed by a more practical study of accounting at North Carolina State.

Dan is chairman of the board of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Education Collaborative, an organization promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in Georgia’s middle and high schools. He is a member of TAG, and also serves on the boards of TechAmerica Southeast (formerly AEA); the Business & Technology Alliance, a TAG society; and TAG Marketing. The Sales Lead Management Association named Dan one of the 50 most influential people in sales lead management in 2009.

Dan is the author of ViewPoint | The Truth About Lead Generation, a blog exploring issues related to B2B sales, marketing and lead generation.

What are you working on?

I am finishing a book called “The Truth About Leads” that will be published in October. I also have worked on a novel since the late 90’s, and I hope to finish it next year. I feel the need to simplify, in every aspect of my life. So, I am working on ways to simplify, which includes eliminating complexifiers from my life.

Three trends that excite you?

While it’s not new, I continue to be excited about LinkedIn. I am confident that every associate of mine here at PointClear uses it multiple times each day.

Over the next twelve months, more companies will outsource response management (including chat) and strive to create fewer, high quality opportunities in front of their sales force or partners rather than low-level, unqualified so-called leads.

Webinars are transforming into more interactive “shows,” and I want to do a call-in show on a weekly basis. I am excited about the medium and feel that creative uses of Web presentations will only get better. Years ago I had a consultant show me an organization process that included a notebook, 8.5 x 11 yellow pad and a calendar. He taught me how to handle paper once (not multiple times), and as old fashioned as that sounds (and Outlook is my calendar), I believe that it helped make me more efficient and effective.

How do you bring ideas to life?

When I was younger, I believed what an old friend used to say, “No one ever built a statue to a committee.” I made a lot of decisions based on my brain and gut. Now, I rarely make decisions without other people’s perspectives. I make better decisions today, probably.

I probably always have too much going on, but there are always lots of pots boiling and lots of irons in the fire. Good ideas catch fire and get done. The ones that create less enthusiasm tend to drop to the bottom of the priority list and eventually die.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by people who give their time and money to causes — regardless of what those causes are. I do work around middle school and high school students and am amazed at the braintrust the next generation represents. Sure, our education system has problems; but there are a lot of smart kids out there, and they know technology, themselves and what is and is not worth fighting for, and that gives me hope for the future and inpires me to do my best.

What is one mistake you’ve made that our readers can learn from?

One mentor told me over and over again to “watch your G&A.” Every time I let G&A get away, I am sorry I did. G&A is an insidious, hidden place to lose money. Watch your G&A.

What is one book and one tool that helps you bring ideas to life?

I really enjoyed “Blue Ocean Strategy,” though I have found it hard to put into practice. Each time we have tried it ends up at the bottom of the to-do list, and now I find myself feeling a little to red ocean … Exercise is the greatest creative tool there is. It helps bring things to life.

What is one idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Test creative.

Segment your markets: Check out

Use multi-touch, multi-media, multi-cycle processes to multipy results in the B2B environment. I enjoy listening to anything Geoffrey Moore has to say. I also like Thomas L. Friedman. He was extremely entertaining to listen to when speaking about things “green.” (Did you know that hybrid cars are an expensive but not very impactful way of affecting CO2 but that shopping center lights are a home run?)

If you were not running your own business, what would you be doing?

I would be a full-time author. I have found that writing pages 1 through 40 of a book are easy, but the more time you are away from your book the longer it takes to get back into it, and as the page count increases the longer it takes. It sometimes takes me two hours to catch up to where I was the last time I sat down to write, and by then I am out of time. I would like to write full-time.

If I had to do it all over again … ?

I would have gone to school through at least a master’s degree. I was in a hurry to leave school and start my career, and I have done alright, but I had so much more potential, could have met life-impacting people, made valuable contacts …


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