Planting trees to establish a lasting legacy

Carlson Wagonlit Travel was tasked with designing an incentive travel program to specifically reflect the core values of its client, global corporation 3M. Working with PRA and a host of local partners on the Hawaii island of Maui, Carlson Wagonlit identified an agroforestry initiative whose mission to engage the community with regenerative natural farming practices matched 3M’s desire to leave a lasting legacy and benefit to the local community long after the completion of its incentive travel program.

Team incentives: 7 do’s and 2 don’ts

Do you avoid team incentives because you are worried about being fair? Are you concerned about rewarding free riders when only a few strong dogs pull the sled?

Prototype Marketing

Talk about old school. Today’s traditional, linear model of building brands is actually a manifestation of the manufacturing assembly line used to build Ford’s Model T. One department at a time working a piece of the production, handing off to the next department, and then the next.

Why your qualified leads aren’t converting

It’s the bane of every hard-charging sales team: they follow the process, but it doesn’t lead to enough deals. There are three common reasons why qualified leads don’t convert, states Jason Stegent, founder and president of Elastic Solutions, which provides webinar-based marketing solutions and lead generation services.

Marketing’s role in customer retention

Customer retention is commonly seen as a sales team’s responsibility, but marketing can play a part as well, says Serena Dorf, a Los Angeles-based content writer. Marketing efforts can’t stop after conversion. Post sale, Dorf recommends “penetration marketing,” which she says relies on digging deeper into the existing customer body and optimizing sales to your current customer body.

‘You’ vs. ‘We’

The concept of you-phrasing as a replacement for we-phrasing, while slightly obscure, has been around for decades in the academic realms of social psychology and behavioral economics. The premise is that you-phrasing does a better job of unconsciously grabbing attention and transferring ownership to your listener, getting a would-be buyer to personally try on the concepts you are sharing — both the problem and the solution.

Gift card suppliers offer surprising benefits and value

If you are spending $100,000, $200,000 or more on gift cards for your company’s marketing and sales campaigns, you are in good company. The Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC) sponsored a study by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) that showed customer and channel audiences have the largest budgets of gift card spending: $490,000 average annual budgets for customer programs at large companies and $360,000 average annual budgets for channel programs at medium-sized companies.

Converting webinar leads into sales

Research from InsideSales.com shows that 73 percent of sales leaders say webinars are one of the best ways to generate high-quality leads. The trick is making the most of them and not letting them languish in post-webinar purgatory. Here are four steps to convert more webinar leads into sales from Amber Tiffany, a content marketing manager at LogMeIn, which provides cloud-based remote connectivity services for collaboration.

Manage in good times and bad

The adage that employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers, is supported by research. Gallup reports that half of employees who quit cite their direct manager as the reason why, while more than half of employees say they would turn down a pay increase to stay with a boss they like.

When a check-in is really checking out

If a rep’s attempt to get a meeting with a prospect is a single quarterly call followed by her disappearing for 90 days, she is training that prospect that ignoring her causes her to go away for a long time, says sales coach Anthony Iannarino. Too many salespeople undervalue persistence.

3 must-have skills for hiring reps

Hiring new sales reps is not among most managers’ favorite tasks, largely because they see it as a guessing game and the stakes are high.

Cost-cutting as a call to innovate

Innovation and cost-cutting — so often considered magnetic opposites — can be a powerful duo, capable of reshaping markets and creating long-term competitive advantages, say Stephen Wunker and Jennifer Luo Law, co-authors of “Costovation: Innovation That Gives Your Customers Exactly What They Want – and Nothing More.”

High performance requires a common cause

Nothing motivates people like concern for the cause, says executive coach Art Petty. The right leadership is important to achieve remarkable results, but even more important is assembling a group of people that see the value in a common goal.

Stop selling and start helping your customers

One of the fastest ways for B2B sales reps to build trust is by focusing on helping their prospects rather than just selling to them, says Blake Morgan, a Forbes.com contributor. Morgan reports that a LinkedIn survey found that B2B buyers are five times more likely to engage with a sales­person who provides new insights about their business or industry.

Developing trust in an age in which we have little

The internet has nearly 3.58 billion users. It has changed the way people work, learn, share and even date. The internet has allowed for entirely new kinds of relationships and communities in which trust is negotiated.

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