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September 30, 2013 04:18 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 30, 2013 11:00 PM
“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 26, 2013 11:00 PM
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 23, 2013 11:00 PM
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 22, 2013 11:00 PM
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 15, 2013 11:00 PM
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 12, 2013 11:00 PM
September 10, 2013 01:17 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 (eMarketer.com), Quiring cited four immediate challenges faced by B2B companies that are looking to better manage their leads.     
September 10, 2013 01:22 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 11:51 AM
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 01:46 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 01:25 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 11:55 AM
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 TheSalesBlog.com. Iannarino offers three ways that managers can help change their sales force.
September 10, 2013 12:04 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 Forbes.com. 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 01:27 PM
September 10, 2013 02:18 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 01:35 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 11:52 AM
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 (marcwayshak.com), 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.
September 10, 2013 01:20 PM
September 10, 2013 12:11 PM
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 10, 2013 02:15 PM
If you’re going to invest in an incentive travel program, build in a budget for the little extras that enhance memorability, says Min Choi of Mercury Insurance Group, which takes about 100 top sales reps and their significant others on a recognition trip each year. “Participants are blown away by the little things,” he says.
September 10, 2013 12:02 PM
I’m disturbed by the increasing amount of misinformation that’s available on the Internet around the subject of business-to-business selling. I’m not suggesting it is disinformation, which intentionally deceives. It’s just that so much of what is available — what you and your people are reading to gain insight and knowledge — is simply wrong.
September 10, 2013 11:59 AM
Decades of research shows that women behave differently than men as shoppers in consumer settings, bringing an open mind to the purchasing process whereas males tend to be mission-and-task-oriented. But does the different approach carry over to how senior women make business-to-business decisions? Deloitte LLP executives Cathy Benko and Bill Pelster were surprised to discover there wasn’t much research to answer that question, so they conducted some.
September 10, 2013 12:16 PM
How many times have you sent staff on, or have been sent on, training courses? How many times did the learning last beyond the initial “enthusiastic implementation” period — and make a direct contribution back in the workplace? Experience tells us that this is hugely variable and that training remains a big part of training budgets globally. Yet there are real alternatives that can deepen learning insights for long-lasting behaviors — and that can make an immediate and direct impact in the workplace.
September 8, 2013 11:00 PM
I frequently ask sales managers, “How often do you coach your sales reps?” And the response that I most often receive is, “I talk to my reps all the time.” Well of course you do. You talk to your reps all of the time, but is that the same as coaching them?