Closers

Forecasting, it is said, is the art of saying what will happen, and then explaining why it didn’t. It may be a fool’s errand to predict what B2B marketing strategies will emerge in 2019, but trendwatching is an important skill for business leaders across all industries.

Bill Catlette and Richard Hadden emerged on the employee engagement scene in 1998 as the “cow guys” after the publication of their book, “Contented Cows Give Better Milk: The Plain Truth About Employee Relations and Your Bottom Line.” Fourteen years later, they’re still crusading for building better workplaces. Now, the duo has published “Contented Cows STILL Give Better Milk,” in which they share new stories, showcase new companies and provide new evidence that creating a focused, engaged and capably led workforce is one of the best things any organization can do for its bottom line. We spoke with Catlette shortly before the book’s July 3 publication.

If you’re business as usual, a lot of the methodologies and training that worked in sales 10 years ago just aren’t enough today. The position of sales is more demanding, you need to be more sophisticated, and analytics can help drive that. But this is an incredible time to be in sales.

Before he became a world-renowned depicter of the banality of corporate America with his “Dilbert” comic strip, Scott Adams was rejected for an arts school, and instead earned an undergraduate degree in economics from Hartwick College and an MBA in economics and management from the University of California-Berkeley. In 1997, at the invitation of Logitech CEO Pierluigi Zappacosta, Adams, wearing a wig and false mustache, successfully impersonated a management consultant and tricked Logitech managers into adopting a mission statement that he described as “so impossibly complicated that it has no real content whatsoever.”

Matthew Dixon is Managing Director of the Corporate Executive Board’s Sales and Service Practice. Brent Adamson is Senior Director of the Sales Executive Council, a division of the Sales and Service Practice. Their book “The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation” was published in November 2011 by Portfolio/Penguin.

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