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October 18, 2013 12:00 AM
A new study conducted by the Incentive Federation confirms that the non-cash incentives market is thriving with 74 percent of U.S. businesses spending $76.9 billion annually on incentive travel, merchandise and gift cards. The study also reveals that half of this market is driven by smaller businesses (between $1 million and $10 million in annual revenue), whose budgets may be tighter, but whose total volume generates $39 billion annually.
October 15, 2013 12:00 AM
October 13, 2013 12:00 AM
B2B marketers are facing an inevitable transition to mobile platforms. This is both a challenge and an opportunity. But the opportunities inherent in mobile solutions dwarf the challenges. Some of these opportunities include: Mobile applications allow for always-available, up-to-date product information. These devices are highly interactive, touch-based platforms. As with most digital environments, real-time analytics are available
October 11, 2013 12:00 AM
Most companies recognize their direct competition but frequently underestimate the indirect competition and completely overlook the invisible competition. Invisible competitors don’t look or feel like competition and, by definition, are not obvious at first.
October 7, 2013 12:00 AM
In many spheres of life, timing is everything – and nowhere is this truism more relevant than in B2B sales. Sometimes an executive decision maker can be ready to pull the trigger on a purchase, while at other times, the sales cycle can take months or even years. For this reason, arming your sales reps with as much timely and accurate sales intelligence as possible can spell the difference between success and failure, between closing and walking. 
October 4, 2013 12:00 AM
One of the mainstays of group incentive travel programs is the theory that they are excellent camaraderie builders for high performers. What’s more, they provide an opportunity for participants to rub shoulders with corporate executives, and allow those at the top to express their gratitude for a job well done.
October 1, 2013 12:00 AM
“Breaking Bad,” the popular cable TV show about a high school chemistry teacher turned meth king, completes its run this fall. Given the fact that books were written about the leadership lessons of fictional mob boss Tony Soprano at the height of that show’s popularity, it’s no surprise that similar analyses are popping up about what can be learned from Walter White, the meth magnate played by Bryan Cranston.
October 1, 2013 12:00 AM
“We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip take us,” wrote John Steinbeck. I thought of this sentiment while putting together this issue’s cover story on incentive travel. It’s encouraging that this timeless mode of rewarding top performers has rebounded slightly after being felled by the double whammy of an economic collapse in 2007-2008 and an all-out hammering in the media.
September 30, 2013 05:18 AM
The old adage, “people love to buy, but hate to be sold” is rephrased from the seller side to “salespeople love to win, but hate to lose.” Sales management might say “I want to help salespeople win, but win the right business.” The key is the hot pursuit of a win can backfire if salespeople are going after deals that aren’t profitable. So how can salespeople, sales managers and organizations increase win rates and reduce no-decision rates? The short answer: discipline.
September 27, 2013 12:00 AM
In “Outliers,” a fascinating look at what separates high achievers from the rest of us, author Malcolm Gladwell cites a study that suggests it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to develop expert-level performance. Who’s got 10,000 hours to spare?
September 24, 2013 12:00 AM
Marketing a business online has never been more important or difficult. Changes are happening at the speed of light and chief marketing officers need to stay current with the latest trends. Here are some facts from a survey of 3,000 marketers done by Michael A. Stelzner in the May 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report sponsored by the Social Media Examiner:
September 23, 2013 12:00 AM
Profitable growth is the top goal of every company. What will a marketer say if you ask, “What is the most important contribution you make to driving profitable growth?” What if you ask a salesperson the exact same question about marketing’s role? Will the answers be the same? Nope. But, you probably already guessed that. A recent survey conducted by Sales & Marketing Management magazine sheds new light on the specific gaps and agreements between the two teams.
September 16, 2013 12:00 AM
Whose brand are your clients in a long-term relationship with, your firm’s or your salesperson's? This is a question that many enterprise sales organizations face and, at times, struggle with. Why the struggle? Unfortunately there is no clear-cut answer. If your enterprise relies on relationship marketing – that is, you emphasize retention and upselling over the purely transactional in your communications – you need to mesh the enterprise brand and the sales professional’s personal brand.
September 13, 2013 12:00 AM
September 10, 2013 02:17 PM
One benefit of the bottoming out of the economy in 2008 and the subsequent slow rebound is that businesses have placed renewed emphasis on their lead management systems, which in good times are all but ignored, says Kevin Quiring, Managing Director of Sales and Customer Service, North America at Accenture. In a recent interview with eMarketer (, Quiring cited four immediate challenges faced by B2B companies that are looking to better manage their leads.     
September 10, 2013 02:22 PM
Thirty-five percent of workers and 30 percent of chief financial officers in an Accountemps poll cited frequent recognition of accomplishments as the most effective nonmonetary reward. Thanking people for their hard work and commitment is the key to making them feel appreciated.
September 10, 2013 12:51 PM
Events and content marketing are a natural pair, since content creation and promotion can help you make the most of the time and effort that goes into producing an event. Event content —  blog posts, social media updates, email marketing, etc. — should start well before your event begins.
September 10, 2013 02:46 PM
The Incentive Research Foundation’s 2012 Pulse Survey (conducted in September 2012) indicates that spending trends stabilized compared to the previous four survey periods. •  A whopping 63% state they have a negative perception of the current air transportation environment and its impact on their incentive travel plans. (The sliver of hope is that number is down from 71% who expressed a negative perception of the state of air transportation in a March 2012 survey.)
September 10, 2013 02:25 PM
Searching for that elusive means to increase results from your middle performers? How about cutting an album of inspirational songs? Or, if you’re not a dot-com millionaire with your own sound studio, you can lean on Andrew Mason. This summer, the founder and former CEO of Groupon released “Hardly Workin’,” a seven-song album that he says is intended to be “motivational business music targeted at people newly entering the workforce.”
September 10, 2013 12:55 PM
Sales managers complain that their salespeople don’t read, don’t study and don’t work on improving themselves as sales professionals. It’s valid criticism, says S. Anthony Iannarino, President of Solutions Staffing and a regular blogger at Iannarino offers three ways that managers can help change their sales force.
September 10, 2013 01:04 PM
As massive open online courses (MOOCs) storm the academic world, the discussion of their impact is ignoring what could become their most valuable application, says workplace futurist Jeanne Meister, writing on The new learning style’s most important legacy could be its impact on the world of corporate training, which is a $150 billion industry. Two MOOC elements that Meister says are particularly well-suited to corporate learning and development:
September 10, 2013 02:27 PM
September 10, 2013 03:18 PM
Former New York Times foreign correspondent Elizabeth Becker circled the world to report on the global impact of travel as a product. Her book, “Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism,” was published earlier this year.
September 10, 2013 02:35 PM
It’s that time of year of again — time for corporate holiday gift planning. Yes, planning — is the optimal word. For too many, the word is panicking, because most people don’t actually plan their corporate gifts. If you intend to provide memorable corporate gifts to employees, clients, partners, vendors or anyone else, here are a few things you should be thinking about:
September 10, 2013 12:52 PM
The term “coach up” has become trendy in athletic circles, as in, “We’ve got some kids with raw skills, now we just have to coach them up.” Business has never been bashful about applying sports jargon to the management role. Sales coach Marc Wayshak (, author of “Game Plan Selling: The Definitive Rulebook for Closing the Sale in the 21st Century,” offers a three-point plan for coaching up underperforming salespeople.