If the rule of 45 holds, nearly half the people who responded to your most recent marketing campaign will buy within a year. But will they buy from you or the competition? If you're doubtful, it's time to audit your lead-management system. If you're mumbling, "What lead-management system?" you need this book.

The American Marketing Association's Managing Sales Leads (NTC Publishing, 800-323-4900, $38) is comprehensive. Its opening one-page checklist, for example, will help clarify whether it's your processing or your reporting of leads that's subpar.

Published this year, Managing Sales Leads examines every aspect of the lead-qualification process, weaving tips, flow charts, case studies, and work sheets with popular research. Perhaps you didn't know that only 5% of inquiries "self-qualify." To wait for "bounce-back" cards is to wait in vain.

For the arithmetically impaired, the book concludes with a section on "lead-planning math."

* * *