August 6, 2014 12:00 AM
Not long ago, I was conducting a leadership conference with a number of managers and sales executives. At the meeting, one of the managers shared with the group the following story about one of his tenured salespeople. During a typical field day, they were doing “rounds” to catch up with some of their existing customers, as well as trying to connect with some potential customers that they were unable to get time with to discuss their products.
August 4, 2014 12:00 AM
The Picture Superiority Effect says concepts are much more likely to be remembered if they are presented as pictures rather than as words. In fact, research has discovered that visuals are recalled six times better than words alone. But what kind of visual support works best? Is there a superior picture approach that maximizes the Picture Superiority Effect?
August 1, 2014 12:00 AM
When the term “innovation” is used, it is often mixed up with “invention.” While an invention is typically linked to research and development, the term “innovation” is about marketing and sales. It goes back to Joseph Schumpeter in the 1930s. He distinguished innovation from invention: The core of an innovation is the commercial use of an invention. Hence, adding the “commercial” to innovation may sound like a tautology. However, it underlines that it is about new ways of bringing existing products and services to the market.
July 30, 2014 12:00 AM
In today’s rapidly changing and exceedingly competitive business environment, it is imperative to continually uncover new and innovative ways to stay ahead of the curve and, most importantly, not get left behind. To outperform the competition, breakthrough thinking is mission critical – the kind of out-of-the-box ideation that expands horizons and provokes epiphanies. It is about the kind of thinking that can take a company from good to great, or from failing to wildly successful.
July 28, 2014 05:15 AM
It’s a far too common scenario: You build the capability of your marketing department by hiring agency support, but then find yourself buckling under the weight of managing the agency. Rather than focusing on strategy, leading and promoting your department, you begin spending considerable time ensuring the agency gets what it needs to succeed.
July 26, 2014 12:00 AM
We are often asked, “What are the biggest changes in the sales arena over the last several years?” The answer is simple: the rise of Procurement, which, in many organizations, has moved into a much more powerful and visible role.
July 25, 2014 12:00 AM
Energy efficiency, as a driver in commercial architecture and construction, isn’t going away any time soon. Green construction and LEED Certification for commercial property are becoming more and more standard as energy costs rise and owners emphasize environmental responsibility as a marketable feature of their brands.
Finding customers for energy-efficient windows for high-rise buildings is easy in the more environmentally conscious construction arena. But marketing, selling and making money on these opportunities is where it gets tougher.
July 23, 2014 12:00 AM
SnapRetail, a marketing automation solution provider for independent store owners, struggled with what many companies face – a sales and marketing disconnect. While marketing was producing a lot of high-quality content to support sales conversations, sales had no way of easily knowing what content was at their disposal to use for lead nurturing and educating prospective buyers.
July 23, 2014 12:00 AM
Creating high-quality content in one language is challenging enough, but today, many businesses need to create content in multiple languages in order to reach their global customers online. How can you ensure the best possible translation quality, so that your company appears favorably in search results to customers all over the world?
Here are some important tips for boosting your global SEO by working with professional human translation providers:
July 21, 2014 12:00 AM
It’s not always easy to reach a consensus with your team. It can be even more difficult if everyone is trying to agree on a decision using information laid out in an Excel spreadsheet, with line after line of numbers failing to fully illustrate the pros and cons of a decision.
July 18, 2014 05:44 AM
The US Army trains its best fighting brigades by pitting them in war games against an elite unit called OPFOR (stands for “opposing force). The brigades-in-training get every advantage: better intelligence, better technology, more manpower. Yet OPFOR almost always wins. Why? Because OPFOR systematically employs a powerful learning tool: the After Action Review – or AAR.
It’s the same with sales. The best way to get better at your craft is to conduct consistent and thorough debriefs of your action.
July 16, 2014 12:00 AM
Sales numbers are down and you’re starting to sweat. As a sales manager, you must act quickly to turn things around when you first see the numbers dip. You need to diagnose the problems and make changes immediately so your team doesn’t fall short of the sales goal for the quarter or year.
To help managers get to the root of their sales troubles, I’ve identified 12 common problems that can lead to a sales slump. By pivoting quickly and making a few key changes to your team and its process, you’ll see a boost to your sales.
July 14, 2014 12:00 AM
More than 15 million businesses and organizations are now part of Facebook. Many corporations also have company Twitter pages. In the financial world, these pages are typically followed or liked by customers and employees. Major financial institutions with large customer bases and thousands of employees might have impressive numbers of likes or follows, but all too often, posts or tweets are stagnant, void of real interaction and results.
July 10, 2014 02:36 PM
By Andrea Driessen
Meetings can become boring when attendees feel their time is disrespected and their contributions are underappreciated. Let’s look at five common ways meetings suck our time — and what to do instead.
1. Meetings without end goals
July 10, 2014 05:05 PM
As we enter the era of the data-driven, data dominated business, one of the major issues companies will face is the speed with which things occur. Driven by hypercompetition, market transparency and customer expectations, companies will need to learn how to act before their customers need them. They need to anticipate customer needs and proactively sell solutions in a just-in-time fashion.
July 10, 2014 04:55 PM
The more things change, the more they stay the same when it comes to popular categories of workplace incentives. Employees loved cameras and consumer electronics as incentives 20 years ago, and they love them today. Some of the names have changed and some of the stalwarts are still around. If this review of new goodies only whets your appetite, call the contacts listed and they’ll have plenty of other new products to show you.
July 10, 2014 01:16 PM
In a world where more people own cell phones than toothbrushes, one risks being labeled a luddite if you push back at all against technological advancements. I listened with great interest as I spoke with a number of sources for this issue’s cover feature on the race to turn smartphones into multipurpose corporate HQs.
The capabilities of these pocket-sized computers are astounding and the software platforms that are being developed for business and personal use only enhance their utility.
July 10, 2014 05:25 PM
In her book, “Game Time: Learn to Talk Sports In 5 Minutes a Day for Business,” Seattle sports broadcaster Jen Mueller states that a lack of sports knowledge can cost you money. You don’t need to be able to break down Phil Jackson’s triangle offense, but knowing enough to realize that a fast break isn’t referencing a quick trip to the locker room is a good start.
July 10, 2014 02:06 PM
The pace of change has never been faster in the sales profession, but some challenges never disappear. Getting past gatekeepers was tough 50 years ago and it’s even tougher today. Nick Kane, managing partner at sales consultant and training provider Janek Performance Group (janek.com), offers these tips for getting in front of the right decision maker when working the phones:
July 10, 2014 02:02 PM
David Novak, Chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands stressed the importance of recognition in a keynote address for the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual conference in Orlando, Florida, in June. “There is no way you can get something done without taking people with you,” he said. Novak shared lessons that he teaches in a leadership course he leads eight times per year:
Put people first. “If you get your people capability right first and continue to make it your first priority, I guarantee you the results will follow.”
July 10, 2014 04:50 PM
Good questions further careers, says Scott Anthony, managing partner of the innovation and growth consulting firm Innosight (innosight.com). Innovators ask a lot of questions, like Peter Drucker’s, “If we weren’t already doing it this way, is this the way we would start?” And Ted Levitt’s, “What business are we really in?”
July 10, 2014 04:39 PM
Leadership advice is plentiful — in books, online at seminars and in person. A lot of it is worth taking in, but some of it…Well, let’s just say, not so much, says Dan McCarthy, Director of Executive Development Programs at the University of New Hampshire, and head of the Management & Leadership channel at About.com.
July 10, 2014 04:44 PM
The Washington Post has an excellent regular feature as part of its business coverage called “On Leadership.” It should be bookmarked by every manager. Recently, the Post talked with Biz Stone, the co-creator of Twitter.
Asked for his definition of leadership in 140 characters, Stone replied, “Leadership can be defined as good communication plus confidence without ego.”
July 10, 2014 02:41 PM
Airbnb gets a foothold in business travel
Airbnb, which lets people rent out their homes to travelers, is finding its way onto business expense reports, says Tim MacDonald, an executive vice president at Concur, which operates a travel and expense system with more than 22 million users globally.