March 2, 2015 05:58 AM
I think the greatest challenge we face in the learning & development (L&D) world is whether the audience we design and deliver content for actually use the learning in the field. In my experience the content is generally good, and improves year after year. Trends such as mobile technology and gamification can extend the life of a learning initiative, increasing the impact that L&D budgets have on their target audience. Even with new delivery methods for learning design, are you certain that your people are applying the content? Who knows?
February 27, 2015 12:00 AM
At a recent conference, I noticed an industry shift that is about to become a movement: Some Value-Added Resellers (VARs) are choosing to become a new breed of “consultants.” These born-in-the-cloud progenies have shifted allegiance from the vendor with the highest sales incentive program to the end-user client who is willing to pay for their unbiased expertise. This simple shift in the reseller’s role is going to change the future of channel incentives for these VARs.
February 25, 2015 12:00 AM
While it is commonly understood that physically sending an item out of the country is an export transaction, under U.S. export controls laws the actual scope of what constitutes an “export” is much broader. The effects of this broad concept of exporting upon businesses – including their sales and marketing activities – are significant.
February 23, 2015 12:00 AM
Zig Ziglar said that every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, and no trust. I’d propose a sixth: no insight.
February 20, 2015 12:00 AM
Most likely, what your boss, peers and team members expect you to do is exactly the opposite of what you need to do to be truly successful in your role. And, even more harmful, if it’s what others expect from you, it’s likely what you expect from yourself.
When you signed up for this job, you were told that you were in charge of the sales results for your company. The variables that you use to achieve those results are known as the 9 Ps of marketing.
February 16, 2015 08:06 AM
There’s a reason why 30 percent of American companies are spending upward of $10 million on apps and mobile web this year, according to the Adobe Mobile Marketing Survey. Deals aren’t going down exactly like they used to, and while an effective sales rep still needs to make interpersonal connections to win a prospect’s trust and inspire purchases and contracts, even the most gifted sales team won’t be able to reach KPIs without adopting the new way of closing deals.
February 13, 2015 12:00 AM
Every so often, in our attempt to align and find common ground with an individual, we unknowingly take over the conversation. Think of the last time you were in a discussion about a vacation destination. As the other person told you about his trip to a place that you also had visited, did you become eager to share your story too? It is okay in a social setting, but not in the world of sales.
February 9, 2015 12:00 AM
Sales teams are the lifeblood of every organization as they are tasked with acquiring market share and growing revenues and profits. Ensuring that sales teams are equipped with the right sales content and tools, at the right time and location, is critical in order to realize the highest yield out of a sales opportunity pipeline in the shortest period of time. As the use of mobile devices by sales teams continues to increase, organizations are finding that they are improving sales engagement at the point of customer/prospect conversation.
February 6, 2015 12:00 AM
February 2, 2015 12:00 AM
The right time to expand internationally is before your sales in local markets start to flatten. International expansion should be viewed as a pre-emptive strategy and not as a maneuver of last resort.
January 30, 2015 12:00 AM
Are you in sales? If so, are you the one making commitments or is it the buyer?
Who should be making commitments in the sales process?
If you already follow a sales process you may know the right answer to this question. Or you may be very surprised – without commitments and a sales process, you are not in control. In fact, you’re very much out of control.
January 26, 2015 12:00 AM
Spreadsheets have been around for hundreds of years. Pre-dating the electronic spreadsheet made popular by Lotus 1-2-3 and Microsoft Excel in the 80s and 90s, spreadsheets were a computerized program used to summarize information from many sources in one place and present the information in a format to help a decision maker see the financial “big picture” for a company.
January 19, 2015 06:51 PM
So, do you want to live your life like a boss, calling the shots and living on top? Consider living life like a boss. We’ve taken six top tips from the business world that can improve your personal life too.
January 16, 2015 12:00 AM
If you pursue the deals that make sense, do everything right in the selling and negotiating process, and deliver the promised value to the client, then winning is wonderful. But what happens when one of these three components is neglected? Each has margin erosion and unhappy clients lurking at every step so let’s look closer to understand the potential problems and how to avoid catastrophe.
January 12, 2015 12:00 AM
The Curse of Knowledge has several manifestations but the one most relevant to sales and marketing people is that becoming steeped in a technical domain causes us to stop recognizing when we use words or ideas less familiar to others. If we are any good at our job, we immerse ourselves in learning about our industry, including what analysts say about it. The best people pretty quickly become experts.
January 9, 2015 07:53 AM
The concept of Big Data" has sales and marketing executives abuzz over its potential, but the approach to date has been inadequate. Earlier Big Data strategies and tools have focused on collecting as much data as possible, and shaking it all up in hopes that something useful would fall out. In that sense, the term "Big Data" is perhaps less useful than would be the term "right data."
January 5, 2015 12:00 AM
A customer or client may sing praises for your product and his firm’s relationship with you. At the same time he may insist that you reduce the pricing of your product or services to maintain that relationship. Some sales teams spend time thinking about where to make cuts and how to reduce prices to satisfy the customer’s demand. The best course, however, would focus on how to maintain the relationship and at the same time not compromise pricing integrity. This may require some good old-fashioned research and analysis of the client’s needs and marketplace alternatives.
January 2, 2015 12:00 AM
Standing on the football field in the fall of 2011, hours before a Baltimore Ravens game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, I reached out to shake the hand of former NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol and introduced myself. “Nice to meet you. I’m Gerry Sandusky.” He snatched his hand back, a flinch reflex as if my hand were on fire.
December 30, 2014 11:55 AM
At first blush, Laurie Ruettimann is a former corporate human resources director who uses her brassy blog (LaurieRuettimann.com) to upbraid the women (yes, they are still predominantly women) who continue to fight the HR fight in cubicles around the world. First impressions aren’t all wrong.
December 29, 2014 12:00 AM
Most sales managers recognize the importance of making a great first impression. They understand that developing and delivering a consistent message that shines the brightest light on the company’s products, services and personnel is essential. Without it, the company would be hard pressed to distinguish itself from the competition. Yet, if you ask the typical sales manager if he has a yardstick or benchmark that identifies what a perfect “10 out of “10” presentation looks like, chances are the answer is no.
December 26, 2014 12:00 AM
Everyone appreciates quick and easy-to-implement ways to improve sales for you or your organization? Here are three ways to improve the sales process:
Prepare, prepare, prepare
While it isn’t sexy, the importance of preparation can’t be overstated. It remains true that those who are best prepared produce the best results. Even Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
December 19, 2014 06:22 AM
I forgot what I was supposed to say.
You're in an important sales meeting or presentation. All eyes are on you. You’re discussing your features and benefits. You highlight your expertise. You showcase your value. You are on top of your game.
Then suddenly, out of right field, you are asked a question about how your services differ from your competition. Then someone else asks why your pricing is higher than others.
December 15, 2014 12:00 AM
Sales reps that understand what buyers know about products and services can respond more quickly and get the competitive edge. Research shows that up to half of sales go to the vendor that responds first.
December 10, 2014 05:24 AM
Today's sales teams are under more pressure than ever; what's surprising is that for the most part, companies aren't supporting their teams by providing more sales training hours. What's more efficient: a large team of half-trained salespeople, or a small, tight team of fully trained and highly effective sellers? That smaller team is likely selling more product, and is probably more cost-effective too, even if you're spending more on training. How well does your training program prepare new sales candidates for success? Ask yourself these questions.
December 8, 2014 05:35 AM
Recently, I answered my door to find a salesperson standing on my porch. While leery about being pitched, I was instantly captivated when he pulled out an iPad and proceeded to show me product information from the device. Wow. Door-to-door selling, one of the oldest selling techniques, the precursor of cold calling, has been catapulted into the mobile era. This speaks volumes as to the impact mobile devices have had on the selling and customer experience in a relatively short time frame.