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January 31, 2014 01:00 AM
People working in marketing and communications have long understood that good results require more than just good luck. As a leader in these functions, if you’re failing to call the ball and be predictive about outcomes and impacts, you are behind the curve and your executives will see it. There may be something else you could invest in that yields more return – the opportunity cost of marketing and communications investment -- and you don’t want to make the wrong choice.
January 28, 2014 05:15 PM
Based on observation and feedback from working with hundreds of executives and sales training participants within client organizations, Marketing Nous (marketingnous.com), an Australian-based sales training provider for technical and professional teams, identified five main causes of ineffective sales training:   1. Management is not committed to change 2. The training is not relevant for the team
January 28, 2014 05:38 PM
In his latest book, “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants,” author Malcom Gladwell argues that a reexamination of the Biblical boy-slays-giant story is the ideal metaphor for the advantages that so-called underdogs often have over larger, stronger competition.
January 28, 2014 05:28 PM
Success is a learnable skill, says Brian Tracy, a guy who has taught a thing or two on the topic. It would be terrible for your sales reps to be held back in life because they lack one easily learnable skill that can enable them to multiply their results and possi-bili-ties. The key to success is effective time management and continuous learning, Tracy says.
January 28, 2014 05:11 PM
January 28, 2014 04:51 PM
Consumer marketers have taken the lead designing websites with the mobile experience in mind, but B2B companies would be wise to follow suit, says Matt Heinz, president of Seattle-based Heinz Marketing (HeinzMarketing.com).
January 28, 2014 05:48 PM
Employee engagement — it’s often iterated, but rarely initiated. Review any organization that has earned a “best place to work” designation and you’ll discover a common thread: employees who are highly engaged.
January 28, 2014 04:53 PM
Becoming a new sales manager is similar in key respects to becoming a new parent, says Laney Pilpel, director of customer success at AG Salesworks (AGSalesWorks.com), a B2B teleprospecting and marketing services firm. (Laney was eight months pregnant with her first child, a boy, when she blogged about these similarities in December.)
January 28, 2014 05:36 PM
The great thing about your existing customers is that they can bring you more customers. “Happy customers have the power to influence your potential customers,” says Maureen McCabe, head of McCabe Marketing, a small-business marketing consultant based in Toronto.
January 28, 2014 06:25 PM
Regular readers of Sales & Marketing Management know that we’re big fans of the “Corner Office” column in the New York Times. Adam Bryant interviews CEOs, corporate presidents and other business leaders on their leadership style, lessons learned on the way up and other insights.
January 28, 2014 05:02 PM
“He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk,” state John C. Maxwell and Steven R. Covey in “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.” Dan Rockwell, who blogs under the nickname “Leadership Freak” (leadershipfreak.wordpress.com) recalls mentoring a young leader who was recognized for his work. “Why did you receive this award?” Rockwell asked. “I have no idea,” was the reply. “Go find the reason,” Rockwell said.
January 28, 2014 06:01 PM
Someone or some team in your organization needs to own the content initiative or it may be doomed to fail before it even starts. Existing titles include chief content officer (CCO), content marketing director, vice president of content strategy or, most common, the content marketing manager (CMM).
January 28, 2014 05:43 PM
Six out of 10 companies offer travel rewards to top performers and nine out of 10 conduct offsite business meetings. Since the economic collapse of 2008, interest in combining business meetings with incentive group travel programs has accelerated.
January 28, 2014 06:12 PM
According to a report from CEB (formerly known as the Corporate Executive Board), $118 billion was loaded on gift cards last year, an increase of nearly 8 percent over 2012. That means that U.S. consumption of gift cards exceeds the GDP of 136 countries.
January 28, 2014 04:43 PM
For B2B marketers, reducing website bounce rates may be the equivalent of a new year’s resolution to lose weight.
January 28, 2014 05:04 PM
Sometimes the best way to close a deal is to close your mouth.
January 28, 2014 05:41 PM
Increased optimism in the overall economy is expected to have a positive impact on companies’ ability to plan and implement incentive travel programs in 2014, according to the latest Pulse Survey conducted by the Incentive Research Foundation (TheIRF.org).
January 28, 2014 05:00 PM
If you have a teen-ager in the house, they’ve probably told you that Facebook is the new Myspace. The exodus of millions of teens from Facebook since 2011 has coincided with the social networking site’s emergence as fertile ground for B2B marketers to generate leads and establish potentially beneficial profes-sional relationships, says Mark Lerner of Oktopost, a B2B content marketing management provider.
January 28, 2014 05:55 PM
It goes by many names: custom publishing, custom media, private media, branded content, brand journalism and inbound marketing to name a few. Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, defines it this way: 
January 28, 2014 04:58 PM
Salespeople ignore this rule on a regular basis, says Joe McGonigal, co-founder of SCC Partners, a coaching and consulting firm. They start with the product. They talk to anyone who will listen about features, benefits and ROIs, and then they wonder why they have so many stalled sales or missed opportunities.
January 28, 2014 04:54 PM
Kathy Caprino, a contributor to Forbes.com, recently spoke with Tim Elmore, founder and president of Growing Leaders (growingleaders.com) about parenting behaviors that prevent children from growing into leaders. Some of the same mistakes may be made by managers when guiding their teams.
January 28, 2014 06:23 PM
An assortment of new incentive ideas and marketing tools from our advertisers “Innovation” is a word that gets tossed around a lot in business circles these days. For better or worse, there are numerous ways to define it and limited ways to measure it. Without question, we are in an era of heightened innovation. Your team members who embrace it should be rewarded. The non-cash recognition ideas from our business partners featured here are a great place to start.  
January 28, 2014 05:50 PM
In the middle of Jim Dougherty’s first week as CEO of Intralinks, a company that provides secure Web-based electronic deal rooms, one of the company’s original investors called. “So, what’s your plan?” he asked. Dougherty told him he needed to spend a few weeks learning.
January 28, 2014 06:03 PM
Two methods work the best when it comes to getting buy-in for new content marketing projects or additional budget. The Pilot
January 28, 2014 05:59 PM
One of the most compelling benefits of content marketing is the flexibility it provides organizations to connect with audiences in a variety of different ways. There’s no shortage of content formats to choose from depending on your needs: blog posts, webinars, social shares, eBooks, infographics, podcasts — the list goes on and on.