July 9, 2012 12:00 AM
Confucius taught the future business administrators of China’s emperors and ruling elite. As I read his sayings, I realized I was in fact reading a business book. Topics were recognizably modern business topics and certain individuals in his text consistently spoke in particular ways and on particular themes. One sounds like a finance director, another like a marketing director and so on.
It was a short step, then, to adapt the text to the modern business idiom, yet still retain 98 percent of the original Confucian sayings in their English translation.
July 6, 2012 12:00 AM
Your team is running an optimized PPC campaign. Your efforts on social media are producing leads. Your Google page rank is steadily increasing. You’re on the first page for a variety of pertinent keywords. Because you measure your Web traffic and your phone traffic closely, you know that your Web traffic is up and your marketing is generating phone calls.
By any measure your marketing is working.
July 3, 2012 12:00 AM
Your customers and prospects are crazy busy. The last thing they want to do is change the way they do things. There might be a better way, but what they're doing works. Remember: change is always disruptive.
But your job is to make change happen, either with a new product, a process or an idea. How do you get frazzled people to stop for five minutes to hear about your magic solution?
Here are five strategies you can use to be a change catalyst.
June 25, 2012 12:00 AM
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.
June 22, 2012 12:00 AM
It takes time to develop relationships that lead to sales, but a large percentage of marketers who take the time find great results. For example, 58 percent of marketers who have been using social media for more than three years report it has helped them improve sales. More than half who spend 11 or more hours per week find the same results, and over 65 percent of those who spend 30+ hours earn new business through their efforts.
June 18, 2012 12:00 AM
If you’ve been in the corporate world for any amount of time, you’ve no doubt heard something like this:
“My leadership philosophy is to optimally leverage the passions of my people such that at the end of the day we maximize employee engagement to get them to think outside the box and synergistically drive value-added activities in a profit-maximizing way that is a win-win for our people, our shareholders and our customers.”
June 17, 2012 12:00 AM
In today’s global marketplace, companies are increasingly extending their customer reference programs to target customers worldwide. A globalized customer advocacy program can increase sales and accelerate the sales cycle, but building a global program is not simply a matter of extending domestic efforts. It goes beyond experience in marketing, knowledge of technology and expertise in gathering and creating evidence. It requires a focus on cultural nuances and regional business etiquette.
June 10, 2012 12:00 AM
The problem with having a company stocked with “A” Players, says author and HR consultant Martha Finney, is that you get a cadre of mouthy, talented people who may follow your leadership, and then only if you work hard to deserve it. This is especially true in the case of younger generations of great employees, who weren’t necessarily raised to have automatic respect for their seniors.
June 9, 2012 12:00 AM
These days, the notion that we work to live and not the other way around is generally accepted across generational lines. Even the hardest of hard-charging managers recognize that their workers have a life. (If they don’t, HR will tell them as much.)
The best managers take an interest in the outside pursuits of their subordinates. They celebrate their workers’ important life events and they sympathize when a member of the team’s loved one dies or falls ill. In short, they are engaged in their co-workers’ lives.
June 8, 2012 12:00 AM
Consumer marketing will always be at the bleeding edge — the first to integrate social networks, build mobile applications and create gaming into their campaigns. Some things work, some don’t. And some are very effective for B2B sales and marketing. Fundamentally, we’re all consumers so adapting proven consumer tactics can bring new life to B2B.
Let’s start with the fun stuff.
Engagement for sales teams
June 6, 2012 12:00 AM
News flash: prospects hate taking cold calls as much as sales reps hate making them. There’s got to be a better way to generate sales leads. Tom Searcy (huntingbigsales.com) says opt for these alternatives:
Community and association involvement – Everyone likes to do business with people they know, like and trust. Get involved and “circulate and percolate.”
June 4, 2012 12:00 AM
Good sales leaders don’t need the reality of a bad quarter or a string of bad quarters to know when something is amiss. They sense it before the numbers tell the story for them.
June 4, 2012 12:00 AM
SMM: Your new book takes an in-depth at applying a scientific analysis to sales. Is that truly a new concept?
Martini: Our company is 57 years old and has been working with behavioral assessments since from the beginning. What’s new is applying behavioral science with skills analytics and combining those two to drive sales performance.
June 3, 2012 12:00 AM
The advent of social media marketing has corporate America tweeting, making YouTube videos and monitoring discussions online. Does anyone have time anymore to write up a press release?
May 28, 2012 12:00 AM
Corporations are people, my friend,” presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney famously replied during an Iowa State Fair appearance last summer. The former Massachusetts governor was responding off the cuff to people in the crowd who had shouted about the need for higher taxes on corporations.
We won’t debate the merits of Romney’s reasoning here, but his remark did come to mind as we spoke with marketing experts about why some new and effective consumer marketing tactics have not been adopted by the business-to-business (B2B) world.
May 28, 2012 12:00 AM
Most businesses today consider themselves to be trustworthy, and by yesterday’s standards they are. But by tomorrow’s standards, trustworthy won’t be nearly good enough. Not even close, say Don Peppers and Martha Rogers in their new book, “Extreme Trust: Honesty as a Competitive Advantage.”
May 25, 2012 12:00 AM
It makes little sense to spend the time and money training and developing your sales team when the people in whom you are investing do not have the capability for sustainable improvement.
May 24, 2012 12:00 PM
“Why the heck is that in here?” she asked.
She answered her own question the next time we went grocery shopping when she asked for a box of the same granola bars.
It was a brilliant cross-promotion that assumed that customers who order comforters online are also granola bar eaters. Actually, if I dug deeper into the development of this campaign, I bet I’d find that the crossover audience wasn’t assumed at all, but rather was carefully proven through analysis of customer analytics.
May 21, 2012 12:00 AM
If your brand’s position in the market leaves something to be desired, it’s natural to look at any number of areas for improvement – everything from the effectiveness of your management team to the impact of your marketing dollars and where you’re spending them.
One factor that can have a tremendous impact on your brand’s value is your workforce – specifically, the degree to which your employees are engaged in building your brand’s competitive edge.
May 20, 2012 12:00 AM
Assumptions are full of risk. If your sales team assumes, for example, that they know their clients’ needs, they will direct their actions and resources toward addressing those needs. But what if their assumptions are wrong? Your company risks losing critical business.
May 14, 2012 06:26 AM
Baseball pitchers and salespeople both face the same question over and over: “What have you done for me lately?”
The better question for a sales manager to ask salespeople and for a baseball manager to ask players is, “What have I done to help you lately?”
May 7, 2012 05:52 AM
I’ve been a part of many sales teams in my career, and over and over I’ve noticed five common afflictions that affect them, each of which reduces morale and sales performance. They can be found to some degree in most almost every organization. Smart management teams are aware of these afflictions and work to avoid their potentially destructive impact. Any one occurrence of these problems will not necessary hurt the sales effort, but if allowed to progress to extremes, or if multiple conditions exist at once, they can be extremely harmful.
May 4, 2012 05:50 AM
E-mail is a powerful marketing tool. That said, the full benefits of e-mail marketing are only truly realized when it’s used as part of an overall marketing strategy, as opposed to a vehicle for one-off messages.