Failure is an option, but not when it’s due to self-imposed barriers

The nature of leadership is such that leaders are going to take risks and fail. An effective leader learns from failure and moves forward. But there are failures in leadership not associated with risk taking that can undermine and paralyze an organization.

What to do when you don’t know what to do

In a world where you can no longer plan or predict your way to success, what is the best way to achieve your goals?
Ask 1,001 headstrong managers that question and you might get 999 different answers. (There’s always a couple “what he said” types in the room.)

Smarketing starts with improved communication

Brian Whalley, SEO Manager of inbound marketing software specialist HubSpot, says “smarketing” is one of the biggest trends in business organization for 2012.
A key part of sales and marketing alignment is building strong communication between the two groups. His tips for improving communication include:

Soft skills can be hard to come by

If you’re a salesperson, and you are hungry for greater success, it’s important that you improve your soft skills to a point where they are equal to or greater than your product knowledge, says Jeffrey Gitomer (gitomer.com). Soft sales skills can be taught one of three ways:

What would Confucius do?

“It continues to amaze me how relevant Confucius’ sayings are,” says Philip Lund, a New Zealand-born economist turned sales consultant who was educated at Harvard College and the London Business School.  “I was searching fo

Five rings of customer insight

“Know the customer,” is a mantra that many sales and marketing managers teach. It’s what the cover story in this issue is all about (page 42). It’s something near and dear to marketing consultant Adele Revella’s heart.

Are your reps lying to you?

Inc.writer Geoffrey James has news for sales managers: some of your reps lie to you.
If your reps are spinning any of these stories, they either can’t or won’t do their jobs well, James says.

Who you know does count

Good salespeople have always intuitively known that leveraging contacts to generate leads and close deals is a highly effective approach.

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Bad data = a big problem

Given the complexity of B2B data, it’s a big job to manage it effectively. The fact that so much data is stale, duplicate, or incomplete has a significant effect on the bottom line, state bloggers at SetLogik (setlogik.com), a provider of software solutions for precision target marketing. To give you an idea about how much of an impact, consider these facts:

Why gift cards trump cash as a motivator

While it’s true that managers and HR professionals like recognizing stellar performance with gift cards because they are easy to administer, they would be shooting themselves in the foot if the gift cards weren’t desired by the employees they recognize.

The plastic they can use with pride

It’s every trainer’s worst fear: a roomful of disinterested, “tell me something I don’t know” participants staring blankly at you, or worse yet, not even feigning interest.

Misunderstood Marketing

There’s much discussion these days about sales and marketing alignment, reflecting perhaps the sometimes uneasy relationship that exists between them, particularly in the business-to-business space. Numerous books have been and continue to be written on the “art” of selling, but marketing is a “science,” and should be treated as such.

Avoid the doublespeak trap

If you’ve been in the corporate world for any amount of time, you’ve no doubt heard something like this:

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