Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Topics - doha

Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7
61

Hire for attitude. Train for aptitude

When approached with the decision of hiring a young professional in their 20s and 30s, what are you looking for? Education? Experience? Skills? Certifications? Or are you looking further to what they can bring to your organization based on each of those elements?

It is no secret that job hopping is the new normal for Millennials. In fact, most have already changed careers since their college graduation and expect to only stay in a position fewer than three years. As a Hiring Manager, Human Resources Director, and even an Executive, you have a valid case for your wariness of a résumé filled with 1-2 year stints. You have the right to question an applicant’s motivation, skill level, engagement and even their ability to get along with other colleagues, but the real question to consider is, ‘How can I effectively utilize him/her on our team?’

Most are quick to judge simply based on a résumé and tend to avoid hiring these young professionals for their lack of experience or job instability. With Millennials on track to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025 your avoidance strategy will soon come to an end. In the past we placed too much emphasis on what a job candidate has done rather than what they could do.

While some industries have already transformed their hiring practices, many aging industries continue to struggle with the idea of ‘hiring for attitude.’ Their mindset is to surround themselves with like-minded industry veterans who tend to be stuck in their ways which leads to you untraining them and then retraining them for a simple task. It’s like teaching an old dog new tricks, it just doesn't work. According to an article in Fast Company, the most common and fatal hiring mistake is to find someone with the right skills but the wrong mind-set and hire them on the theory, “We can change ‘em.”

Yes, hiring young professionals is a risk, but they contain a skill that most industry veterans don’t have, learning agility. Those who are learning agile know what to do when they don’t know what to do. They know the questions to ask, where to find the answers they need and they are comfortable being uncomfortable. It is their ability to recognize a learning opportunity, adapt themselves to the new situation and enhance their marketability by developing the skills needed to achieve the new task at hand.

    Millennials want their ideas to be heard in a workplace that is flexible and whose company's values match their own.

So, before dismissing a hit-and-miss résumé, consider the circumstance; it demonstrates ambition, motivation and the desire to learn more skills more than it shows flakiness. You need to realize that this is the new normal, come around to appreciate its advantages.

Source: Jacob Wayman
Employee Benefits Strategist | Proud Rotarian | Relationship Builder | Golfer | Wellness Enthusiast | Paul Harris Fellow

62
How to deliver bad news

Delivering bad news can be the worst part of the job for any manager. In this article I provide suggestions for how to do it in way that maximizes your chances of keeping your team engaged, and achieving a successful long-term outcome.

Different types of bad news.

When people think of bad news, they often think of the type of news that impacts the whole company, such as industry downturns, layoffs and cost-cutting.

On a smaller scale, but often just as traumatizing, is the tough job of letting specific individuals go, particularly if they are well-liked. However, as Peter Drucker advised, “Leaders owe it to the organization and their fellow workers, not to tolerate non-performing people in important jobs”.

No matter how friendly and likable someone is, if you have provided them the appropriate training, mentoring and support and they still cannot achieve the required performance standard within an agreed time frame, then they should be moved on. You are not doing them or your team (or your customers for that matter) any favors by carrying poor performers.

Trickier decisions involve letting people go who can achieve the performance standard, but who are not a good fit for your culture. This is where it is important to have a set of Core Values that provide clear and explicit “rules for how we do things around here”, so your people know exactly where they stand, and can see for themselves whether or not they are a good fit for your culture. If a person cannot demonstrate your Core Values consistently, they are actually undermining the culture you are trying to build, and they should move on.

Another form of bad news includes the shelving of major projects because they failed to deliver the results that were expected in the allotted time frame. As I often say to clients, “You have to prune the rosebush if you want to create beautiful blooms”.

Effective management calls for continual pruning and weeding. Unless a strategic project has been an outright failure, it can be difficult to convince managers that activities they are involved in should be abandoned. Vested interests and egos tend to perpetuate the status quo.

These are tough decisions to make, because it runs counter to what most managers have been judged on throughout their careers, which is to fix and grow things. How many resumes brag about projects they pulled the plug on? Purposeful abandonment is the most overlooked aspect of leadership. The ability to have a long-term strategic viewpoint and make the tough calls on these “zombie” projects defines whether you are truly ready for a senior leadership role

Delivering the bad news.

Let’s face it. If you have a heart, it’s tough to deliver bad news to the people who are directly affected. There is also the potential for collateral damage, where the motivation and engagement of other people in the company can be negatively impacted if you handle the process poorly.

If you need to deliver the type of bad news that impacts large numbers of people, most research recommends that you address the issue quickly. If you don't, rumors will run rampant, and your people will be living in an unproductive state of anxiety, wondering what it means for them personally.

Regardless of the scale, here is a suggested process to control how the bad news is delivered, and maximize your potential for a successful long-term outcome.

    1. Get out in front of any rumors so employees are not left stewing and speculating
    2. Describe the current reality
    3. Be open and honest. Deliver the bad news.
    4. Keep your comments short and on point. Don’t waffle or sugarcoat your message.
    5. Describe how people will be affected
    6. Be empathetic to their concerns. Show them that you care.
    7. Describe the options that were considered
    8. Clearly state the decision that was made, and the reasons for the decision
    9. Allow a moment for the news to sink in
    10. Switch emphasis to describing a “better future”. But don’t make promises you can’t keep
    11. Provide an overview of your plan going forward (you do have a plan right?)
    12. Assign accountability to high-status individuals to implement the plan
    13. Specify what actions will be taken right now. Get people focused on taking action.
    14. Allow time for questions and feedback
    15. Ensure follow through on the plan. Provide regular weekly updates on progress

Being the bearer of bad news is never fun, but by following this process you can increase your likelihood of a successful long-term outcome; one that maximizes the engagement of your team.

Source- Stephen Lynch, Strategy Consultant and Author

63
7 Management Principles that have worked for me
July 23, 2014
[/b]


When thinking about what to write for my first post on LinkedIn, I quickly figured that I'm unlikely to conceive deep analytical essays or ground-breaking theories. Instead, I will share 7 simple principles that I've acquired over a number of years; from other managers, peers, people I admire and those that taught me what not to do.

1. Here to make new mistakes and learn from the old ones
This is the quintessence of allowing for (fast) failure in an organization and establishing a spirit of continuous improvement. Leaders that encourage methods like Lean Six Sigma and trust their teams to learn from previous mistakes will see more innovative ideas and sustained gains over time.

2. Family & health first, always
Trust is important in any relationship, be it at work or elsewhere. I believe that everyone wants to do a good job and allowing people to spend time with their kids at soccer practice or to help a family member with a medical appointment is essential in balancing the 'always on, always mobile' expectation we have on our people. And looking after one's health should always be a priority.
   
3. Bring the data
I've learnt this from two business leaders that I value deeply for their approach to data when making decisions. Firstly, if you have no data at all, you can't quantify the problem or opportunity. How will you know if it's worth spending your time on this topic? Secondly, don't just compare yourself to prior periods; always compare yourself to the goal/budget as well as industry leaders. This works in a competitive business environment best; in operational areas it is more complex to develop the right external benchmark.

4. C-H-D (Concept – Headline – Details)

This is something I first heard from Peak Teams and now guides my communication, especially in emails. Too often we use one liners or long stories when communicating. One liners are better suited for instant messages and stories belong to meetings or hallway conversations. In emails, C-H-D guides me to provide context of what I'm trying to communicate (the concept), to give simple headlines (every word counts) and only then to go into the details.

5. Take the initiative
I often tell my teams, "don't wait (for the HQ, for me, for our boss)". This goes along with empowerment to take measured risks. Large, matrixed organizations lose their ability to move forward with speed when 10 people can say no and nobody says yes. I believe that viewing the decisions at hand through a customer-centric lens will reveal the right answer.

6. Hard on the process, soft on the people

This principle comes from a prior manager and mentor - it resonates with my belief that people generally try to do the best job they can, but often are hindered by inefficient processes and tools. Focusing on continuous improvement instead of blaming individuals or organizations will create a better workplace, higher employee engagement and a better business outcome.

7. Let’s Win
Last but not least - if you don't aim to win, why play in the first place? Winning begets more winning and everyone wants to be on a team with a winning streak. It's important to celebrate milestones and achievements to create momentum.

Now it's time to turn it over to you - what #8 would you add or what has worked for you? I'm looking forward to the dialogue. Thanks!


64
15 Signs You Have a Bad Boss
July 22, 2014
BY: Heather Huhman
Gen Y Career Expert | Content Marketing & Digital PR | HR Tech Writer


Have you been feeling overwhelmed at work lately? Your boss could be the source of the problem.

Seventy-five percent of employees believe their boss is the worst, and most stressful, part of their job. Unfortunately, there are a number of things a bad boss can do to hurt the morale and productivity of their employees.

If you’re beginning to wonder if your boss is the source of your unhappiness at work, you know you have a bad boss when:

1. Your boss damages your self-esteem.

Does your boss bring you down at work? Unfortunately, you’re not alone. Sixty percent of employees say their boss at some point or another damaged their self-esteem.

2. Your boss isn’t good at their job.

Research shows 34 percent of workers believe their boss is not effective at his or her job. Not only that, but more than half believe they could do a better job than their boss.

3. Your boss doesn’t motivate you.

Bosses are meant to be an employee’s No. 1 advocate and motivator in the workplace. However, 39 percent of employees either feel only sometimes or never motivated by their bosses.

4. Your boss doesn’t listen.


Transparent communication is key in the workplace, but one-third of employees say their boss sometimes or never listens to their work-related concerns.

5. Your boss ignores you.

According to Gallup, 57 percent of employees who feel ignored by their bosses are not engaged at work.

6. Your boss plays favorites.

Does it feel like there’s always one employee who gets more opportunities than you, even though you are equally or more capable of performing? Research shows 34 percent of bosses are guilty of playing favorites in the workplace.

7. Your boss makes you dread work.

Research shows employees dread difficult conversations with their boss (20.4 percent) and returning to work after vacation (16.6 percent).

8. Your boss doesn’t ask for your feedback.

Two-way communication is essential in the workplace. However, 49 percent of employees say their boss only sometimes or never asks for their ideas when solving problems.

9. Your boss doesn’t inspire you.


According to research, one of the top five characteristics of a bad boss is they don’t inspire their employees.

10. Your boss doesn’t have a clear vision.

If the leader in the workplace lacks a clear vision, how are you supposed to perform well on the job?

11. Your boss makes you want to hide.


Do you try to avoid all encounters with your boss as often as possible? Twenty-seven percent of employees say they purposefully hide from their bosses.

12. Your boss lacks integrity.


Does your boss seem to lack honesty or accountability? Nearly 20 percent of employees say their boss has little or no integrity.

13. Your boss is a slacker.


What’s the point of doing your job when your boss fails to do their own? Forty-two percent of employees say their boss doesn’t work hard enough.

14. Your boss can’t keep his or her cool.

When things get stressful at work, a shocking 47 percent of bosses cannot stay calm during the situation. Isn’t your boss supposed to be someone you can go to when you’re feeling overwhelmed at work?

15. Your boss makes you wish you had a better one.


If you spend every day wishing you had a new boss, you’re not alone. Sixty-five percent of employees would take a better boss over a pay raise.

What do you believe are the warning signs of a bad boss?

65
Career Tips / 8 Steps That Will Get You Hired
« on: July 09, 2014, 08:35:06 AM »

The Job Seeker’s Success Formula

Success is a process

Athletes will likely agree with me that developing skill, building technique, taking care of their body and mind requires daily care. Proper routine becomes a critical factor in their success. Professional musicians are no different and each one can relate unique stories about the development of their technique as well as their musicianship. They develop individual regimens that become a trusted part of every day.

Just like athletes and musicians, jobseekers develop routines and processes. Some good, others…not so much. The list of activities include attending jobseeker support groups, networking appointments, presentations at libraries, daily activity on LinkedIn, finding and applying for posted positions, reading and learning more about their professions, and possible classes and certifications. Did I mention cover letters and résumés? Thank you notes and interview preparation?
Did you make this common mistake?

Often, after being laid off, jobseekers may panic and rush to put together a résumé and apply for any number of opportunities. However, today’s job market is constantly changing. An industry has evolved to support the hiring process. To be successful in today’s market, a jobseeker must become an expert in the advancements in his or her industry to be credible. Next, he or she must understand the new hiring processes.

Why jobseekers quit


The quality of the activity determines the quality of the result. So if the action was of high quality, then the result brings high value.
When the results are deemed poor by the jobseeker, then that person is more likely to give up. They quit.
When an activity doesn’t bring in any results or when the results only have a negative impact, then it’s reasonable to stop that process.

Jobseekers spend a lot of energy on the job search. They give it their very best and when they get calls for jobs that are a poor fit and don’t bring even a consideration of a living wage, they give up. That’s reasonable.

Further, when a jobseeker gets nothing back from all their effort—nothing; why should they continue that process. That’s reasonable.

Lastly, when jobseekers are treated poorly by the hiring community (this is my biggest “beef”!!!!), when they receive contracts that evaporate, interviews for positions that disappear or didn’t exist to start with, promised calls that never happen— It’s no wonder they give up. That’s reasonable.

Finding a job is a marathon rather than a sprint.
Don’t quit. Do this instead.


Jobseekers might consider a different approach:
If the result was undesirable, then change the process that created it.
Realize that every response has valuable information IF the jobseeker asks the right questions.

Source:
To read more and learn the 8 steps to getting hired, you can find the full blog here: http://forwardmotioncareers.com/blog/8-steps-that-will-get-you-hired/

66
While most marketers know that producing adequate sales leads requires thorough data collection and analysis, they must also be mindful of each target account ‘s current business situation (which can change almost daily).

Information about business circumstances comes in many forms — press releases, earnings reports, news items, analyst reports, and much more. When added to what we already know about our territories and target accounts, this new information can turn a pile of routine marketing findings into powerful sales knowledge that borders on intellectual property (IP).

If you view IP as the sum of a company’s research, knowledge, patents, processes and the like, then you really should add sales knowledge to your list. The knowledge you can develop about your markets and target customers, in relation to your business’ other knowledge, designs, and plans, is unique. You own it and no one else has it – and that’s a competitive weapon in sales.

A Marketing Revenue Revelation

Based on salespeople’s demand for better leads and pressure on marketers to generate revenue, marketers have discovered that the type of data they collect is as important as its volume.

Even a few years ago, salespeople were happy with basic demographics (name, title, phone number), and with that they’d schedule a prospect meeting to capture the really important information (business need, budget, decision maker identities, etc.). But with today’s high quotas, salespeople don’t have time to invest in basic data gathering and managers are steering salespeople away from qualifying prospects during valuable meeting time. And managers have earmarked sales meetings for conversations that advance the sales process.

Marketers need to provide their sales counterparts with rich prospect profiles that answer salespeople’s most important questions, including:

    Does our product/service match the prospect’s business needs?
    Does the prospect have budget to spend?
    Is an executive sponsor tied to the deal?

Buying a target list will not answer the above questions – and qualifying a lead before a sales call also requires more effort than collecting a small set of demographic data.

Starting with a generic prospect list and applying lead nurturing campaigns, marketers aim to cultivate information that salespeople can use. For instance, they engage with prospects via social media, and in the process, build a knowledge-base and share content. With the help of lead nurturing programs and enhanced data collection that feeds into analytics, the refined leads that marketers are delivering to sales are nearly sales-ready – but that’s not enough.

Marketing is starting to re-think its lead capturing processes to meet sales’ demands. Using various data collection techniques and lead enriching, they are able to weed out leads that might look good on paper but will never close. They’re starting to curate leads that border on intellectual property.

Intellectual Property’s Competitive Advantage

But just like filing a patent, there’s a long process involved in bringing knowledge (read: intellectual property) together so that it can be used effectively. Until fairly recently, marketers didn’t have the tools needed to find the disparate data scattered across the Internet that could complete the picture of a prospect’s need. There is an advantage to being a first-mover in the race to capture and collate market knowledge before your competition.

That’s why savvy vendors are increasingly relying on sales and marketing intelligence tools to scour the Internet for those bits of information that can complete a marketing profile and turn it into a hot lead. Every day, businesses give off data about their aims, ambitions, results, and shortcomings. These insights are moments of truth and are incredibly useful for vendors selling targeted solutions.

Developing customer knowledge really is like developing any other form of intellectual property in a company. It lessens the randomness from selling. It’s why so many forward-thinking businesses see sales and marketing intelligence tools as vital to their continued success. By identifying moments of truth and being able to suggest specific solutions, a vendor can move from a position of hawking a product to becoming a trusted partner. And all of a sudden, the vendor has a competitive advantage.

Source: Inside view blog

67

Lead management is the systematic method that a marketing team uses to acquire (by importing, creating manually, or automatically capturing from a website), evaluate, nurture and hand off leads. Lead management is about moving quality leads through the stages of the marketing funnel, from an anonymous visitor to a sales-ready lead.


Why Create a Lead Management Process?


Successful lead management ensures that your sales team gains immediate access to leads and that leads are never dropped.

Only 25% of leads in a given sales pipeline are legitimate prospects.* The challenge is cleaning your database, locating the leads that make up the 25%, and enriching other leads to increase the percentage of true prospects.

*Source: Gleanster Research

Defining your lead management process allows your marketing team to:

    Automatically route leads from your website
    Prevent dropped leads
    Utilize advanced lead segmentation and targeted campaigns
    Increase efficiency of marketing operations

Sound good? Read on — and follow this lead management blog series.

Step 1 - Prospect Intelligence

Prospect intelligence allows you to immediately react when ideal prospects (who represent target companies) visit your site. Tracking software gives you info about anonymous visitors, like IP address (identifying the company that hosts the visitor’s computer) so you can better understand who’s visiting, and points to data like popular landing pages on your site. With these tools in place, you can determine which content pieces to prioritize on your site and which types of companies are likely to convert. By optimizing your site content and immediately reacting to top prospects, you can quickly push inbound leads into your lead management cycle, and decrease time spent prospecting.


Step 2 – Lead Intelligence

Lead intelligence helps to determine where your prospect is in the buying cycle—kicking the tires or intent to buy. A prospect
 converts to a
 lead when they provide contact information and begin to actively engage with the content on your site (i.e. attending a webinar, downloading a product sheet). Lead intelligence is
 data that ‘s captured in places like web forms and interactions — it reveals behavioral activity on your site and is an indicator of purchase intent.

Combined with prospect intelligence, lead intelligence is what enables you to send relevant, targeted content tailored to your lead’s needs and pain points.

Lead Intelligence Sources: Please see the attachment

 
Next Up: “Step 3  - Lead Scoring”

In the next segment, we’ll cover the basics of lead scoring, how prospect and lead intelligence data plays into your scoring system, and where to go from there.

Source: Inside Viewblog

68

Does The World Cup Distract From Sales Productivity?
[/b][/u]

Ahh, the World Cup. It only comes around every four years. While we don’t stream local sports on the big screen here at InsideView, these few-and-far-between events are certainly front and center — 1) because we have a lot of avid futbol fans here, 2) because we’d rather let people watch the matches here in the office than have them fake sick to do it at home, and 3) it’s an opportunity to boost morale and camaraderie among the team.

We argue that while gigantic special events like the World Cup are distracting at most companies, there are ways to get around it. Like providing a little extra incentive for your team to come in — tuning in for a couple hours during the important matches, bringing in some extra snacks, and basically agreeing that what’s important to your employees is important to your company.  Yeah, there will still be a bit of lost productivity lingering around, but who’s to say that doesn’t happen without an event?

To bring it all together, we’ve updated our 2010 World Cup infographic. Check out InsideView’s 2014 edition of “Economic & Sales Productivity During the World Cup” [Infographic]. Discover worldwide World Cup viewing statistics, review lost productivity estimates based on recent surveys, and then decide to take the high road and protect your team’s productivity without halting the fun.

Source: InsideView’s 2014

69
I hear voices in my head. Well, not voices, plural. Just a voice, singular. As far as I know, I'm not schizophrenic or mentally ill (in a clinically diagnosable way). I would be completely adrift without this voice to guide me. I've ignored her before but I've learned to listen. You see, unlike me, she's never been wrong.

My theory is that this is my right brain talking to me.

Everyone (most everyone) has both a left brain and a right brain. The left brain is typically characterized as analytical, logical, rational, objective. The right brain is characterized as emotional, subjective, holistic, random, and intuitive. Actual neuroscientists will probably tell you that this is not how the brain works, but I think it's a useful metaphor for this discussion. You can also think of it as the quintessential balance of yin-yang. I particularly love this ad campaign from Mercedes-Benz above to illustrate the point.

In the age of data mining and big data analysis, and certainly in Silicon Valley, there’s a strong bias for so-called left brain thinking. I call it the "tyranny of data." We’ve become so data-driven in so much of what we do these days that we routinely overlook other, more subtle, signals that are essential to making a good decision. Relying on data gives us some comfort but doing so absent an check-in with your gut can lead to more bad decisions than good particularly where people are involved. Human beings are data-exuding machines.

But if you don't believe me, take a page out of the Google hiring textbook.

Perhaps no other company is as famous as Google for their analytical approach to hiring. Google is a very left brain company known for running job candidates through the mental gauntlet during the interview process. The process at Google is extremely data-driven. I worked there and lived it. When I was interviewing there as a candidate I had one engineer apologize to me for having his laptop open while we spoke. He assured me that he wasn’t multi-tasking. Quite the opposite. He needed to take notes in real time because interviewers document quite a lot about their interactions with candidates. Interviewing is so labor-intensive at Google that some people actively avoid doing it. It’s well-known that Google asks about GPAs and SAT scores even for people years out of college and that they place a premium on top-tier university graduates. These are tangible metrics that are thought to predict success - they are things that can be observed, quantified, and correlated.

But even at data-loving Google, they understand and appreciate the value of the human element. Every candidate get rated on how "Googley" they are. To be clear, this is not how much the interviewer *likes* them. It's about Googley-ness. People who work there, know what it is. It's hard to define but you know it when you see it and you especially know when it's not there. Lots of very qualified candidates never get an offer from Google. If you are not Googley, you won't make the cut. Google understands that hiring is as much art as science.

Introducing a right brain veto on hiring can improve your hiring success. The reason it works isn’t all that complicated. Every person is giving off subtle signals that are often overlooked. Everyone one of us has experiences to draw from that we don't even consciously remember.Your “intuition” is catching these signals, tapping into these memories, and processing them for you. This is just your brain working the way it’s supposed to.

As a hiring manager, I vividly recall a handful of times when I tried to ignore my right brain to hire someone who seemed utterly perfect on paper, answered all the questions right, and were generally well-liked by all the interviewers. But the voice nagged. The voice said something was not quite right. I ignored the voice and hired the candidate. In each of these instances, I wound up having to let that person go. The cost of making a bad hiring decision is not insignificant. So I learned the hard way - do not ignore your right brain!

When that voice pops up to warn you that something is amiss, it is. It’s processing the data you can’t see or recognize. Think of it as the softer side of data. So listen to it, it’s there to help you. It might even be smarter than you are. Correction - it IS smarter than you are but you can be thankful that it's on your side.

Source: Leadership & Management, Linkedin

70
Whenever a salesperson asks me about the “best” time to implement a price increase, my quick answer is, “Right now!”
[/u]

Of course, after I say this, the salesperson wants me to back up my response, which is a good opportunity for me to tell them that whenever they take a rate increase, how they do it matters immensely!

When you take a price increase, you must do it with confidence.

Sadly, some salespeople are not even confident about their current pricing, let alone a higher price.  And to compound the matter, the salesperson thinks if they put off taking a price increase, some how the price increase will get easier “down the road” and the customer will respond with fewer objections.

That’s rarely the case.

Sure, you could wait, but ironically what happens is that you begin believing that you can never take the increase (which isn’t realistic at all)!

What happens by waiting is that you just end up losing that much more revenue.

As for when to take an increase, I believe you can do it when any of the following conditions occur:

1.  A competitor has gone up in price.

2.  You’ve incurred an increase in your costs.

3.  Your customers have just raised their prices.

4.  Other key players in the industry are increasing their prices.

These four reasons are “market factors,” and a sales force needs to be aware of them and how they impact pricing and revenue.

However, just because you can take a price increase when one or more of the above variables appears doesn’t mean you always should.  It merely means the marketplace is giving you permission to do so.

The additional factors you need to consider are what I call “value factors.”

The below questions will help you identify the real reasons why you would want to increase your prices. These are all focused upon your customer’s desired outcomes and how what you offer meets those outcomes.

1.     Has your customer experienced added value from using your products and/or services in the past year?

2.     Is your customer going to be experiencing added value from what you provide them in the year to come?

3.     Are there improvements in service or performance you can document that your customer would see value in?

4.     Will you be able to increase your strategic importance to your customer in the year to come?

5.     Can you show your customer how what you provide them will give them a competitive advantage or minimize their risk in the year to come?

These are the real reasons why you can take a price increase.  When you are able to demonstrate added value to your customer, it is easier to present an increase in price.

Yes, there could very well be other strategic or even tactical reasons why you would not want to take the price increase, even though you could take it.  You will be able to discern these reasons only after assessing your overall business plan.

Price increases are a part of the selling industry, as every consumer knows, whether that consumer is in a B2C environment or B2B environment.

My perspective is you should diligently and routinely review your pricing structure to determine when a price increase is wise.  If more companies followed this approach, I believe they would take more price increases (and they would be justified in doing so).

Being proactive not only guards your bottom-line, but also provides you some protection should there be unavoidable price increases on the production or operation side of what you offer.

The more confident and comfortable you become in your pricing – including your price increases – the less likely you will be to devote precious energy to worrying about your pricing.  That energy is better spent when you show how what you offer meets your customer’s needs and desired benefits.

The pricing structure that is best for your company will always be closely tied to the value you bring your customer.

Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

71
Many times the sale is won or lost based on the ability of you, the salesperson, to develop an effective relationship.
[/u]

This applies whether it be B2B or B2C.

Having an effective relationship with the customer can go a long ways to closing the sale and, more importantly, to closing sale after sale through an on-going relationship.

Below are 11 tips you can do right now to help you build better relationships with your prospects and customers.

As you read the list, you’ll see not only does it apply in sales situations, but also in every situation you encounter (professional or personal).  I shared this list with a sales audience recently and a person immediately stated how they realized the list would work with their spouse too.

1. Show respect of the other person when they’re talking.

2. Follow-through on what you say you will do.

3. Compliment the ideas and recommendations shared by the other person.

4. Share with the other person information about yourself.

5. Help the other person achieve their goals and objectives.

6. Be open and honest.

7. Start each conversation by referencing something from a previous meeting.

8. Allow the other person to hold you accountable.

9. Accept responsibility.

10. Never share with another person something shared in confidence with you.

11. Your body language must match what you’re saying.

As you review the list, did you notice one or two you do well and one or two you should work on?

Use the list as a reminder of what it takes to have quality relationships.

In so doing, you’ll quickly realize the people you do have quality relationships with have most likely demonstrated the same 11 characteristics to you also.

Source: Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

72
Articles and Write up / 7 Keys to Successful Negotiating
« on: March 27, 2014, 06:26:09 PM »
7 key things you can start doing right now to improve your negotiating skills:

1. Be prepared to walk away. Have 100% confidence you can and will do it if necessary.

Too many salespeople fall victim to getting chiseled down on price one small step at a time. Ultimately, they agree to an offer that simply doesn’t make sense.  You have to know your walk-away point.

2. Make sure the person you’re negotiating with is the one who can and will make the decision.

Nothing will undermine a negotiation more than thinking you have an agreement, only to hear from the other party they now need to go to someone else to see what they think.

3. Only negotiate when the other party has rejected your offer at least 2 times.

Agreeing to make concessions too quickly only results in one thing — losing credibility and losing profit.  A better approach?  Sell first and negotiate second.

During the selling process is when you uncover the customer’s real needs. Understanding those needs are key if and when you do have to negotiate.

4.  Before you even start negotiating, know how the other party values time and the timeline in which they intend to make a decision.

Time is the ultimate negotiation tool. It’s amazing how powerful it can be when the other party is under pressure to make a deal.  People who aren’t in a rush to make a decision can be the most difficult to negotiate with.

5.  Know your list of things on which you may be willing to concede if you get something of equal or more value in return.

Just like when you go grocery shopping… if you have a list, you’ll spend less. Having your list will keep you focused.

6. Know at least 3 critical needs the customer has that you can leverage in your negotiations.

There is no way you can negotiate successfully if you don’t know what the other party values.   Three is the minimum number. Ideally, if you’ve engaged the customer in the selling process, you’ll have a much larger list of needs.

7. Be confident and believe in what you have to offer.

Your outcome is going to be a direct result of the level of confidence you have going into the negotiation process.

Following the above steps will help increase your level of confidence.  In the end, it’s what you choose to believe that will ultimately determine your level of confidence.

Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter

73
A decade ago, “sales-marketing alignment” was not a phrase on the tips of our tongues every time we entered a conversation about lead generation and revenue. But it is now. With the advent of platforms like social media and sales and marketing automation, we often see a blurred line where marketing stops and sales begins.

Traditionally, customer data wasn’t centralized and each organization had a different view into their customers and prospects. But as both sales and marketing organizations recognize a clear need to understand their prospects at a deeper, more analytical level, these teams are starting to employ a holistic data strategy.

Big data (read: expansive data sets that are difficult to navigate at the user level) should be replaced by small data. For the unfamiliar, small data implies data sets that can inform daily business decisions and are appropriate for end-user consumption. While your sales reps might be adept at analyzing data, we know it’s not that common and definitely not a good use of time when meeting quota is massively important to your quarterly revenue goals.

Business analyst Rand Schulman knows the ins and outs of big data — so we asked him to make a case for small data in sales and marketing. In the Q&A session outlined below, we talked with Rand about how the shift from big data to small data calls for precision and accuracy. When the rubber hits the road, it doesn’t matter how many leads you have. Your stellar marketing message or sales introduction won’t even make it to first base if your data is unreliable.

Want to learn more about data, big and small? Check out this helpful article: “Little Data Vs. Big Data – Nine Types of Data and How They Should Be Used.”

For over two decades Rand Schulman’s area of interest and success has been in building organizations and products that disrupt old sectors and forge new ones. He was founder and CEO of one of the first SaaS-based web-analytics companies, Keylime Software (Yahoo!), and he led products and strategy at Webtrends. His trajectory also includes CMO of WebSideStory (Omniture/Adobe) through its IPO, general manager of Unica’s Internet Division (IBM), and founding board member / director emeritus of the DAA. He’s been a trustee of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation and is an executive-in-residence at the University of the Pacific for New Media and Marketing.

Rand is currently board member and advises numerous mobile and social media companies, including Qualcomm and SRI on big data topics, and is a managing partner with Efectyv Digital.

Rand will be speaking on multiple points regarding the value and quality of small data for sales and marketing in a one-hour webinar next month. Stay tuned for details about “Doing Small Data In a BIG Way.”

You recently published an insightful article called “Your Small Data Just Sucks.” Can you share your a bit more about the importance of small data to sales and marketing organizations?

Rand:  Yes, big data has been quite the buzz word out there, but we really need to recognize the value in small data too. That’s where we get the biggest bang – smaller data sets that provide users with more digestible information.

Just a few weeks ago, I was in my office working on a targeted email when I realized something so essential — and it’s a bit embarrassing to admit — as a data-driven marketing guy, you’d think I’d realize the most basic building block of any conversion starts with accurate “top of the funnel” CRM contact data. With garbage in, you only get garbage out.

As salespeople and marketers struggle with all of the new data tools, we need to better understand how the small data we’re using drives sales effectiveness. Without good contact information, these systems are just plain dumb and they cost us more than they help. According to Gartner, contact information ages up to 50 percent in any year, becoming inaccurate and out of date, only serving to compound the issue. The top of the funnel data just has to be solid. And as salespeople and marketers, we have to be agile.

It is important to note that most vendors claim their data is the best. They often toss out words like “comprehensive” or “most.” When we hear this, we are highly skeptical and instead tell clients that they need to understand the specific claims and look at the numbers that support the claims. Remember the shape of the lead funnel? It’s wider at the top. A perfect funnel would look more like a rectangle, with high conversion rates flowing down each step toward revenue (plus a little drop off). Poor quality data, wastes time and has a huge opportunity cost associated with it. More leads and better conversion is good, while more leads and poor conversion is bad. Thus, attaining a successful funnel is not about how many contacts or names you generate, it’s about what converts to revenue at the bottom of the funnel.

What are the different data segments you consider critical to use when creating quality small data sets for leads?

Rand:  There are several benchmarks we use to categorize content, or data. I generally think of these methodologies in the following segments of data: content collection; content triangulation, and content checking.

Though no one type is perfect and “truth” is relative, an objective set of accuracy benchmarks can provide a factual comparison. Various companies apply different methodologies. I’ve found that the data gathering model comparison matrix on trust.insideview.com is very informative.

And why do you consider content collection a critical piece of small data segmentation?

Rand:  The first benchmark, content collection, is the requirement to collect multiple sources of truth. As any reporter knows, it’s critical to ask the same question of many people. Since a human is not scalable over millions of records, we need to use technology to do that. Additionally, it’s critical to make sure more than a single data-gathering engine is collecting content. For example, crowdsourcing is great for breadth but tends to lack accuracy. Editorial, like the WSJ or NYT, is great for accuracy, but lacks breadth.

We tend to categorize content collection into four principal areas: 1) editorial aggregation of content from sources like the WSJ and NYT, 2) social media sources, like Twitter feeds and Facebook posts, 3) web crawling, which is good for finding out what web sites are reporting about people and company events, and 4) crowdsourcing, using the “wisdom of the crowds” to filter and create truth (i.e. Yelp, Jigsaw).

We know that incorrect data/results leads to wasted budget and lost time. Acknowledging that each method of content collection produces different results, can you describe the next step in the data segmentation process?

Rand:   After it’s collected, the data has to be triangulated and filtered. As I’ve said, having more than one source is required for ensuring powerful and accurate data. We need technology that can reconcile multiple data sources and scale across millions of records, merging only the most recent and most accurate pieces of company and contact data into a single record. I believe that this is a key area where vendor technology, using NLP, is a requirement to determine content’s “truthfulness.”

 Many vendors offer some kind of data technology, and we recommend that the data buyer (and the end user) perform their own benchmark tests on their own content, people, company and event information to determine quality. It’s not easy to do, but you can ask the vendor if they have conducted these tests and check out their results.

How can you create rules around triangulation and filtering this data, and why can’t you skip that step?

Rand:   Some vendors have created very effective triangulation logic. One of the most sophisticated approaches we have come across uses “entity triangulation”– algorithms that are based on both human judgment and machine learning. In the security and email deliverability fields, this is known as “reputation systems.” Editorial experts analyze vast sample files to assess the accuracy of different sources. This is done at both the overall vendor level (vendor X is more accurate than vendor Y) and the individual field level (vendor Y provides the most accurate data for specific field Z). The end result is that for any given field of data, on any given company or contact record, the algorithm can present the best available information. The end result is that the marketer or salesperson no longer has to compare multiple sources of data and try to make sense of conflicting information all by themselves. It is now automated.

And lastly, you mentioned that there must be a validation process. Can you describe the data validation process?

Rand:   There’s less magic in validation – it’s more about blocking and tackling. That said, vendors go to different lengths to validate data (and yes, some don’t bother at all!).

Several vendors use basic validation technologies such as email deliverability testing, which will “ping” an email service to confirm the existence of an email address (without actually sending a spam email). Some vendors rely on crowdsourcing via services like CrowdFlower or Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to evaluate specific information that can benefit from human judgment. Finally, just a few vendors use their own editorial experts to manually verify user-contributed data and conflicting information that has been flagged for review by end users or surfaced automatically by algorithms. Generally speaking, review and verification by an editorial expert is the last filter. The buck stops there.

Why is “Small Data” quality so important?

Rand:   We’ve analyzed vendor data accuracy results many times, testing with different contacts and companies. A great percentage of the time fundamental results were different between vendors, and they showed incorrect or conflicting titles, email addresses, phone numbers and other basic information which leads to poor conversion rates.

Can you share a specific example of one of your tests?

Rand:   At Efectyv Digital, we tested a few of the popular sales effectiveness tools to see why our conversion rates were so low. It didn’t take us long to confirm, as we suspected, that our data just sucked and we needed to start making it better. Here’s our analysis. At least step one. We’ll always work on our marketing messages and segment to help our conversion rates.

While there are scores of products on the market, including LinkedIn, Zoom, and One Source, and some great new start-ups that have various degrees of content mash-ups like Tempo and Refresh, we chose to test three of the more popular products that come integrated with CRM systems, including D&B 360, which has mostly manually generated contact and company information; Data.com, the roots of which are crowdsourced with Jigsaw data acquired by Salesforce; and InsideView, which relies on a multisourced, triangulated, validated data approach to deliver results. The levels of integration vary, depending on the CRM system: Dynamics, Oracle, Sugar, or Salesforce.

For the test, we used a real person and a real institution — Krystin Mitchell, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at 7-Eleven Inc. Since 7-Eleven’s revenue is in excess of $80 billion and they’re public, we thought they might be a good test to see how we can find her in our test systems.

So, where is Krystin? According to their current company Web page, she is indeed at 7-Eleven, but according to Data.com Krystin Mitchell is not included in 7-Eleven’s “Find Contacts” search results. When we broadened the search, we found there were 16 wrong results with her name, company, and email address. That’s crazy and not acceptable. I can see why our emails bounce.

We then tested the trusty old saw, D&B 360. Since much commerce is based on its data, it has to yield accurate results, right? D&B is the gold standard of contact data — the truth. It’s built with human editorial control so we thought we’d get correct results. But, even with D&B, Krystin Mitchell is not included in “Build a List” of custom search results (this time 65 wrong contacts came up in her place).

To find her, we needed to do a “general people in search,” but like in Data.com it yielded multiple/duplicate results, and different types of incorrect contact info, which defeats the purpose of a sales and marketing effectiveness product.

We are drowning in data. It is no simple feat to filter this sea of data, but it seems to me that we need to get the basics right about “small data” before we can talk about optimizing big data, real-time data, and the impact of attribution models. Quality B2B or B2C contact information is fundamental. It’s best to walk before we run and finally sprint to the holy grail of real-time conversions, and revenue falling from the trees.

74
    
What Happens When You Turn Curated Customer Data into Intellectual Property?
by Lynn Langmade


While most marketers know that producing adequate sales leads requires thorough data collection and analysis, they must also be mindful of each target account ‘s current business situation (which can change almost daily).

Information about business circumstances comes in many forms — press releases, earnings reports, news items, analyst reports, and much more. When added to what we already know about our territories and target accounts, this new information can turn a pile of routine marketing findings into powerful sales knowledge that borders on intellectual property (IP).

If you view IP as the sum of a company’s research, knowledge, patents, processes and the like, then you really should add sales knowledge to your list. The knowledge you can develop about your markets and target customers, in relation to your business’ other knowledge, designs, and plans, is unique. You own it and no one else has it – and that's a competitive weapon in sales.

A Marketing Revenue Revelation

Based on salespeople’s demand for better leads and pressure on marketers to generate revenue, marketers have discovered that the type of data they collect is as important as its volume.

Even a few years ago, salespeople were happy with basic demographics (name, title, phone number), and with that they’d schedule a prospect meeting to capture the really important information (business need, budget, decision maker identities, etc.). But with today’s high quotas, salespeople don’t have time to invest in basic data gathering and managers are steering salespeople away from qualifying prospects during valuable meeting time. And managers have earmarked sales meetings for conversations that advance the sales process.

Marketers need to provide their sales counterparts with rich prospect profiles that answer salespeople’s most important questions, including:

    Does our product/service match the prospect’s business needs?
    Does the prospect have budget to spend?
    Is an executive sponsor tied to the deal?

Buying a target list will not answer the above questions – and qualifying a lead before a sales call also requires more effort than collecting a small set of demographic data.

Starting with a generic prospect list and applying lead nurturing campaigns, marketers aim to cultivate information that salespeople can use. For instance, they engage with prospects via social media, and in the process, build a knowledge-base and share content. With the help of lead nurturing programs and enhanced data collection that feeds into analytics, the refined leads that marketers are delivering to sales are nearly sales-ready – but that’s not enough.

Marketing is starting to re-think its lead capturing processes to meet sales’ demands. Using various data collection techniques and lead enriching, they are able to weed out leads that might look good on paper but will never close. They're starting to curate leads that border on intellectual property.

Intellectual Property’s Competitive Advantage

But just like filing a patent, there’s a long process involved in bringing knowledge (read: intellectual property) together so that it can be used effectively. Until fairly recently, marketers didn’t have the tools needed to find the disparate data scattered across the Internet that could complete the picture of a prospect’s need. There is an advantage to being a first-mover in the race to capture and collate market knowledge before your competition.

That’s why savvy vendors are increasingly relying on sales and marketing intelligence tools to scour the Internet for those bits of information that can complete a marketing profile and turn it into a hot lead. Every day, businesses give off data about their aims, ambitions, results, and shortcomings. These insights are moments of truth and are incredibly useful for vendors selling targeted solutions.

Developing customer knowledge really is like developing any other form of intellectual property in a company. It lessens the randomness from selling. It's why so many forward-thinking businesses see sales and marketing intelligence tools as vital to their continued success. By identifying moments of truth and being able to suggest specific solutions, a vendor can move from a position of hawking a product to becoming a trusted partner. And all of a sudden, the vendor has a competitive advantage.

75
 5 Stupid Mistakes that Will Kill Your Sales Email

 Stupid Mistakes that Will Kill Your Sales Email .You may think you’re sending a great email, but don’t kid yourself.

Chances are you’re making one of the following fatal mistakes.

1. Using the first 15 words in the email to explain how great you are.

Most likely you’re writing your sales prospecting emails while working on a desktop or laptop computer and that alone is going to hurt you.

Reason is simple.

People tend to check their emails on their smartphones, and when they do, they’re making a 2-second judgment based on the subject line and the first few words of the email.

The best solution is to send the email to yourself and take a look at how it comes through on your phone and ask yourself if you would open it or delete it.

2.  Putting a title in the subject line that is all about you and has zero importance to the person you’re sending it to.

Telling the recipient you’ve just won an award or you’ve helped others make big money is nothing more than bloviating.   I have one recommendation if you’re going to do that: Go look in a mirror and never look anywhere else, because you’ll never find a person who thinks you’re as good as you think you are.

3.  Putting a graphic of your company logo in your signature line.

Many spam filters are designed to automatically block emails with graphics.  Your company logo isn’t that impressive!

Second reason you shouldn’t do it is that it can easily gum up smartphones.   Have you ever looked at an email with a bunch of graphics on your smartphone?   Many times they come through as plain garbage or they take up far too much space, making it hard for the reader to determine what the email is about.

4. Writing too much.

Keep it simple. End of statement.

5. Sending the same email over and over again to the same person, thinking they didn’t see the previous ones.

The only thing you’re doing is earning yourself some “junk map” status.   Many email systems are set up to automatically flag a sender’s name as spam if the person receiving the email doesn’t reply to the first three or four.

Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7