December 30, 2014 11:09 AM
Emergencies will occur during off-site events. Proper preparation goes a long way toward keeping your attendees safe and reconciling the situation. Distribute an emergency preparedness kit to all attendees well in advance of the event that includes emergency contact information and common sense tips. These planning tips from Group Travel Consultants (GroupTravelConsultants.com) are a good start.
December 30, 2014 10:43 AM
No matter what business you are in, you know things about your customers that they don’t know and can’t find out on their own — but that they would value immensely if you would share them. You have access to the big picture and can see different things in the marketplace than what your customers can. You can see problems that are likely to arise, because they have arisen elsewhere; you can see solutions to problems that plague a particular customer or subgroup of customers, because you have seen solutions successfully implemented there.
December 30, 2014 11:24 AM
Before we go any further, it is important to agree on one key fact:
December 30, 2014 11:15 AM
Ubiquity and intangibles such as free Wi-Fi, along with consistent quality of food, are key drivers in getting business travelers to select the restaurants they do, says Robert Neveu, chief executive of expense account processing company Certify. The 10 restaurants expensed most often in the third quarter of 2014 and the average receipt according Certify:
1. Starbucks ($10.83)
2. McDonald’s ($7.66)
3. Subway ($14.99)
December 30, 2014 11:52 AM
December 30, 2014 11:16 AM
Meals are typically the third-largest cost on business travel expense accounts after airfare and lodging. The stereotypical image of a business traveler downing a $40 porterhouse with a $100 bottle of wine holds true in some circles, but a spending report by Certify, a company that manages corporate expense account processing, states that business travelers of all ages are more often grabbing a meal between meetings or eating at a familiar chain restaurant at the airport before a flight.
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 30, 2014 11:26 AM
As the term suggests, a considered purchase is a good or service that a customer thinks about and analyzes before acquiring. Evaluation is usually performed from several distinct points of view or roles:
December 30, 2014 10:02 AM
Building a customer-centric company is a wise move financially, but what do you do — more importantly, what do you want your reps to do — when customers have tools online that they can use instantly to devalue and discredit your brand simply because they’re having a bad day? Or worse yet, a miserable life?
Sandi Krakowski, CEO of A Real Change (arealchange.com), an online marketing consultant, offers these tips for dealing with customers who are hot under the collar (right or wrong):
December 30, 2014 10:03 AM
To be management-worthy, you have to stay current on your buzz words. Mark Phillips, an Asia-based writer and the former editor of Australian trade publications, offers these:
Golden retriever: A cash bonus that lures a retired executive back into an active business role.
Mushroom management: A management technique that keeps employees in the dark.
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.
December 5, 2014 06:49 AM
Growing companies often hit a barrier when their established ways of meeting customer needs are no longer sufficient to support their aspirations. The entrepreneurial, get-it-done mindset that enabled them to capture new customers and grow share can become an impediment as a larger sales team leads to a larger variety of ad-hoc sales processes.
December 3, 2014 05:31 AM
In 2010, before reality hit me that I am far more effective as a one-man sales force sitting at a desk with a fountain pen than I ever was out schmoozing and physically courting clients at big New York Stock Exchange firms, I was a field sales rep in banks and investment companies including UBS, Comerica Wealth Management, Wachovia (present-day Wells Fargo Advisors) and, for a brief time, Morgan Stanley.
December 1, 2014 05:55 AM
According to a recent Forrester study, business buyers define a valuable sales meeting as:
November 28, 2014 12:00 AM
November 25, 2014 05:40 AM
Customer relationship management (CRM) software as we know it has evolved because businesses are handling more transactions with customers – and producing more data – than ever before. Yet, according to Ringlead’s analysis of U.S. Department of Labor Statistics,customer data erodes at 5 to 5.5 percent per month. The impact of this deterioration is inefficiency.
November 21, 2014 07:25 AM
Most channel marketers have a dysfunctional relationship with layered incentives. They know that incenting sales-driving behaviors, such as training and product demo, can make a partner feel more personally invested in selling their products. At the same time, they fear what they see as the cumbersome process of providing incentives for anything but straight sales.
In my 25-plus years in the channel, I have seen channel marketers employ a lot of creativity in the name of avoiding layered incentives. Most end up with one of two types of programs.
November 17, 2014 05:17 AM
With the fourth quarter’s arrival, many companies have looked at their numbers and increased the pressure on sales teams to make up for losses earlier in the year. Only 58.2% of sales reps made their quota in 2013 according to a 2014 Sales Performance Optimization Study of over 1,200 B2B companies by CSO Insights. While every company has unique circumstances affecting its sales cycle, there are common threads that can be identified across the majority of organizations in terms of errors that directly correlate to sales losses.
November 15, 2014 12:00 AM
I interviewed a half-dozen or more people for this issue’s cover story on trends in sales incentive programs and workplace motivation. I mentioned to each of them at some point during the discussion that I have been writing on this topic for longer than I care to admit.
November 12, 2014 12:00 AM
Putting the right team on the field is crucial, especially in sales, where differences in individual performance are greater than in other functions. Studies in B2B contexts find that rep performance in similar territories often varies by 300 percent, while in retail stores selling productivity typically varies by a factor of three to four. In other words, there are salesstars in many firms.