January 2, 2014 12:00 AM
Starting at an early age, the accepted standard, both of teaching and learning, focuses on what to think. In some cases, this approach proves sufficient and even appropriate. But it can fail spectacularly in the complex environments of today’s business world. In these complex systems, learning how to think – how the pieces fit together – is as important as (or more important than) the pieces themselves.
December 31, 2013 12:00 AM
At the end of the year, you have two options – you can look back at what you’ve done (accomplishments, as well as mistakes) or you can begin planning for the year ahead. This is a pivotal moment and one that should be accomplished before diving into your holiday feast. To make sure your teams are prepped for the New Year, here are three trends I believe will impact marketing and sales in 2014.
December 23, 2013 12:00 AM
A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that 35 percent of U.S. adults have attempted to self-diagnose their medical problems through online research. It’s natural – the Internet is a vast resource with an abundance of great, free information. That’s why self-diagnosis isn’t limited to personal health. It extends to the business world, too.
December 16, 2013 10:02 PM
When you peel the onion back on why your marketing team is failing you, what you find is that the issues are focused primarily on four categories of marketing content:
December 16, 2013 12:00 AM
Sales professionals serve as your company’s ear to the ground. As your teams interact with customers and prospects, they gain invaluable insights into the dynamics of the marketplace: Where are new opportunities arising? What is the competitive landscape? How confident are they that the deal will close?
December 10, 2013 12:00 AM
December 9, 2013 12:00 AM
The harsh reality of the customer service world is that customer service teams tend to do more harm than good. Research by the authors of “The Effortless Experience” shows that any customer service interaction is four times more likely to drive disloyalty than to drive loyalty.
December 4, 2013 12:00 AM
Sales and marketing professionals often rely heavily on a variety of third parties to help them meet their forecasted revenue targets and other objectives. These independent sales representatives, distributors, resellers and consultants are often a critical and indispensable cog in the indirect sales channels that exist in many industries, particularly with respect to international sales markets.
December 2, 2013 12:00 AM
If it were up to me, we would update school curriculums to include the art of speaking, the skill of writing and the science of how to engage and connect with people. Organizations and companies would have at least one-half of their training budgets devoted to leadership, networking, building relationships and communication. The result would be less stress, more engaged students and employees, and, most importantly, hard, tangible and positive results.
November 28, 2013 12:00 AM
Whether 2013 was a banner year for your sales and marketing organization or one preferably forgotten, it’s winding down. As we look toward 2014, it’s important to plan ahead to sidestep the past mistakes and build upon the triumphs. Mark Donnolo, Managing Partner of SalesGlobe, a sales effectiveness consulting firm, offers the following real-life 2013 bests and worsts.
November 26, 2013 12:00 AM
Tips for Time Management
Managing time can become an ingrained habit that can produce amazing sales results. In order to boost productivity, different methods can help sales teams best manage their time.
November 25, 2013 12:00 AM
This is the golden age of customer service. In a world of commoditization, many companies place an emphasis on customer service as a key means of creating a competitive advantage.
With companies such as online retailer Zappos enjoying exponential growth while touting a founding principle of “delivering happiness,” it’s no wonder that the conventional wisdom in business is that superlative customer service leads directly to loyalty.
November 23, 2013 12:00 AM
Everyone is talking about how salespeople must learn how to deliver insights to their customers, because the Internet has changed how people buy. By the time a customer engages a salesperson, they’re 60 percent of the way through their buying cycle and have done most of their research online. They don’t need more information from a salesperson; what they need is insight into what the information means.
But what is insight? Why is it important? And how do you deliver it?
November 18, 2013 12:00 AM
I spend a lot of time doing post-mortems on failed sales training initiatives. On one hand, it’s always upsetting to see a company waste its time and money. On the other, companies that experience failure are looking for answers, and that’s a positive thing. Here are some predominant reasons why sales training fails. And yes, it’s a long list.
November 15, 2013 12:00 AM
November 12, 2013 05:53 AM
It’s holiday event time for businesses, and as an early holiday present, Cassie Brown, Chief Experience Officer at TCG Events, shares the top five words you should hear from your event planner:
November 11, 2013 12:00 AM
“How can I get in the door?”
The question has to rank among the top five most commonly asked questions from business development professionals. No matter whether I am doing a keynote, workshop or one-on-one coaching, if I am speaking about business development the question of how to “get in the door” always comes up.
November 4, 2013 12:00 AM
Marketing puts a lot of work into generating leads, but despite the effort, lead conversion rates often disappoint. That’s because, providing the sales team with quality leads is only one piece of the equation. Marketers also have to provide sales with the knowledge to help them convert those leads into customers.
October 31, 2013 09:39 AM
When you ask most people how they differentiate sales and marketing roles, they often tell you that sales is quantitative (with performance measured by quotas hit and revenue generated) while marketing is qualitative (with performance based on reach, impressions and brand awareness).
October 31, 2013 09:43 AM
Money is viewed as the most important motivator by many managers, especially in sales. Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter says three other “M” words are more important drivers of workplace performance: mastery, membership and meaning.
October 31, 2013 09:55 AM
October 31, 2013 09:07 AM
As the blathering bozos in Congress say (when they’re not reading from Dr. Seuss books), I yield my column this month to the distinguished gentleman Michael Chasen, who helped build the education software startup Blackboard into a booming business that sold for $1.64 billion in 2011.
Chasen summarized five brilliant rules for authentic B2B brand communications recently, and I didn’t have room for it in our special section on the topic, which begins on page 30. I share it here with you.
October 31, 2013 09:52 AM
Founded in 1891 and based in Fort Worth, Texas, Acme Brick is a manufacturer of bricks that are sold largely through the building trade. A good portion of their $1.5 million marketing communications budget goes into image building and strongly branded tactics including partnerships with professional sports celebrities and teams, PR, charity events and outdoor boards.
October 31, 2013 09:30 AM
I felt like I was in a war zone. The slides were bombs and the presenters were firing in every direction, but nobody was getting hit. It was just a bunch of loud bangs.”
– A business development manager at the eastern region of a large networking firm
October 31, 2013 10:17 AM
“We can’t all be Zappos or work somewhere supercool like Google. And I’m glad that we can’t, because if we were all the same, we’d all be perfectly ordinary,” states Scott Stratten in “The Book of Business Awesome/The Book of Business UnAwsome.”