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December 30, 2014 10:45 AM
A new year is always a good time to take stock of where you’re at and where you want to get to. At Sales & Marketing Management,we’re making some changes to the content we will bring you in 2015, beginning with an increased focus on technology and its impact on the roles of our readers — sales and marketing professionals.
December 30, 2014 11:46 AM
No one argues anymore about the value of a well-written, widely read company blog. It establishes your expertise in your industry, allowing you to build your reputation footprint and marketing authority. But there are good and bad ways to express authority and speak about expertise, says Chris Quinn, brand strategist at Insight180 (, a branding agency for advisory businesses. It’s important to build your authority in a way that leads to a real connection with your readers or listeners. Quinn offers these tips on establishing authority the right way:
December 30, 2014 12:17 PM
Pop-up shopping has become a popular feature for group incentive travel events. Attendees don’t actually shop, but rather are rewarded with branded merchandise and fitted on-site by representatives from the supplier. Maui Jim, Seiko and, most recently, Tommy Bahama are among the brands that will come to your event and make your attendees feel like VIPs.
December 30, 2014 11:06 AM
For his book “Bootstrap to Billions,” Dileep Rao interviewed 23 hundred-million dollar and five billion-dollar entrepreneurs and discovered that 50 percent of them succeeded with higher prices by offering more value and knowing how to sell that value. “If your strategy is to succeed by pricing low, think again,” Rao says. He offers these tips for focusing on your differentiating factors and pricing accordingly:
December 30, 2014 12:42 PM
Consumer research and a number of studies on workplace recognition show that gift cards remain one of the most popular methods of rewarding top performers. But the high point this year may very well be the nod to gift cards’ popularity in a “Saturday Night Live” spoof of a drab office Christmas Party gone wild. The shy girl from payroll begins “sort of dancing,” Carol from new media launches into the Christmas tree head-first and, “Oh, Snap! The boss is making it rain gift cards!”
December 30, 2014 11:09 AM
I can score a 250 on Wii bowling fairly regularly, no problem. But get me to a real bowling alley, and I’m lucky to break the century mark.  Sadly, none of us will improve significantly at bowling or tennis or golf from the comfort of a living room sofa, and for obvious reasons: The virtual experience is a far cry from the sport it’s trying to simulate. By the same measure, we can’t expect a salesperson to ace our message in front of customers through training techniques that scarcely resemble the actual arenas where sales conversations take place.
December 30, 2014 12:06 PM
One yardstick for measuring the effectiveness of an incentive travel program is the buzz that is generated when the program is announced. An exciting destination gets the salespeople picturing themselves lounging poolside, which motivates them to make an extra sales call or work doubly hard to upsell an existing client. If you’re the program sponsor, everything is working as planned. Until it’s not.
December 30, 2014 12:09 PM
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 ( are a good start.
December 30, 2014 11:43 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 12:24 PM
Before we go any further, it is important to agree on one key fact:
December 30, 2014 12:15 PM
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 12:52 PM
Atomic clock
December 30, 2014 12:16 PM
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 12:55 PM
At first blush, Laurie Ruettimann is a former corporate human resources director who uses her brassy blog ( 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 12:26 PM
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 11:02 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 (, an online marketing consultant, offers these tips for dealing with customers who are hot under the collar (right or wrong):
December 30, 2014 11:03 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 01:00 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 01:00 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 07:22 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 01:00 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 06:24 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 06:35 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 07:49 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 06:31 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.