The Big Reveal

Open sourcing and Big Data are two business trends that, for all their popularity, don’t seem appropriate for blending.

The Big Ticket

The Winning Number is 3

One of the deadliest sins in most messages and sales presentations today is the tendency to say too much. Everyone in your company with an opinion weighs in on the story and, presto, you have a bloated story that pleases internal powers, but actually confuses and frustrates your customers.

Build Your Sales Stamina

As sales professionals, you know more often than not you are going to have to wait on many of your deals to close. Today’s clients take longer to make a decision, prolonging the sales cycle and increasing our stress. The new economy may have brought new opportunity, but it has also brought a new set of challenges. Why?

How Poor Assumptions Killed a U.S. President

Most people view James Garfield as a mere footnote in history, that is, if they recognize the name of the 20th U.S. president at all. However, there are some valuable lessons to be learned in history’s dusty corners that apply to today’s business world.

Gamification Is Already Part of Your Incentive Program

A speaker featured in a recent webinar asserted that a channel loyalty program should include game theory, because a survey showed that 28 percent of programs now include gamification. Trouble is, game theory and gamification are not the same thing.  For starters, let’s look at the definitions:

Money for nothing

For several years running, this publication and its predecessors have published an annual cover feature extolling the benefits of non-cash incentives as performance boosters. Internally, we refer to it as our “bash cash” issue.

Getting Your Employees to Commit to Customer Service

It’s a business no-brainer that happy employees make happy customers. But how do you get happy employees that deliver the best possible customer service? It requires employees to move beyond simple compliance of workplace rules and become truly committed to the jobs they do. And moving people to commitment requires positive reinforcement in the leadership system.

Speed It Up, Boys!

It has to be one of the funniest sketches ever. A dozen times I’ve watched Lucy in the chocolate factory, and I still laugh. The faster the production line goes, the more chocolates she stuffs in her mouth, blouse, and hat.

The Two Biggest Mistakes of Product and Company Naming

In the last week I came across two examples of inadvertent naming mistakes with harmful consequences. I hope these examples help you avoid repeating these mistakes.
1. Use as few names as possible
MIT graduates raising money on Kickstarter for a compact, lightweight universal power adaptor named their company FINsix and their product Dart. What’s the problem?

Embrace your Negative Nancy

No one likes a naysayer, but sometimes she can be the most valuable person in the room.

Time for Sales Managers to Tip the Boat

Low performers, mid-level performers and even high performers need ongoing management. It does not assume high performance, and once high performing, does not assume it will always continue. Everyone needs to be managed on a consistent basis. In sales, the goal of ongoing management is participation rate. 

The Secret to Channel Success: Quit Excel

A lot of channel programs are still being managed with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. It’s far more common than you’d expect, even in some of the larger companies. There’s nothing wrong with using spreadsheets for managing a small program, incentive or campaign — or even analyzing a set of data.

The Brain Is a Lazy Decision Maker

Do you believe prospective buyers are generally rational? Do you assume that the more information and evidence you pile on them, the better your chances of winning the sale?

Plugging the Brain Drain

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