Five Pillars of Marketing Success

Does the following give a pretty good picture of your current marketing activity?

You have a website but you’re not really satisfied with it. You go to networking events once in awhile. If someone asks you to give a talk, you’re happy to do it. You post on Facebook and/or LinkedIn semi-regularly. When you find the time, you send an article to those on your relatively small email list. You occasionally set up meetings with colleagues to explore opportunities.

Now there’s nothing wrong with any of those marketing activities. And usually, they will result in landing some new clients. But this is not the approach that works to get a steady, predictable stream of new clients.

Please don’t tune me out here, thinking, “Well, I really can’t do more than this. I’m already stretched thin. If you give me too much to do I’ll get overwhelmed.”

I agree. It’s not that you need to do more marketing, it’s that you need to shift your marketing paradigm from one of “Randomness” to one that is “Focused.” Continue reading

6 Key Steps To Becoming The Best Possible Leader

Although, many seem to seek, a position of leadership, few become the best – possible leaders! After, over four decades, of involvement, in nearly, everything, involved, with leading, from identifying and qualifying, to, training, developing and consulting to thousands of actual, and/ or, potential leaders, as well as, serving, personally, as a leader, on several occasions, I realize, one of the reasons, for this apparent, lack of/ dearth of, genuine leadership, is, far – too many groups, ignore (or fail to recognize), the importance of taking, seriously, consistently, using, a customized, professionally – designed, training program! With, that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 6 key steps, needed, to becoming, the best leader, possible.

1. Know, and understand, the organization’s niche, history, heritage, etc: A smart, first – step, is to fully understand, the specific organization’s niche, history, and heritage, and its relevance, in – terms – of, what matters, most, in the shorter, and longer – terms! Without this knowledge, and understanding, how can any leader, hope to, and/ or, expect, to get – through, to his past, present, and potential stakeholders?

2. Identify the group’s strengths, and weaknesses: What are the specific group’s strengths, and weaknesses, and what are the causes/ reasons, for this? How can every strength, be effectively, used, to its maximum potential, while comprehensively, addressing, areas of weakness, and/ or, potential areas? What are the obstacles, and which, may be transformed, to an obstacle, rather than a problem?

3. Expand your personal comfort zone: Wise, effective leaders, proactively, expand their personal comfort zones, rather than limit themselves, by considering, only, the same – old, same – old, approaches, etc! It is essential to put service and representing others, ahead of any personal/ political agenda, self – interest, and/ or, protecting his comfort zone!

4. Listen effectively/ learn/ Empathy: Only, when one, effectively listens, and learns, from every conversation and experience, and gains greater, relevant, expertise, with the objective of obtaining better judgment, and, hopefully, wisdom, his potential to be a better leader, is enhanced! Great leaders proceed, with genuine empathy, and use it, to determine their emphasis!

5. Strategic and action plans: Great leadership requires knowledge, experience, commitment, and discipline, and realizing, strategic planning, is essential, to making a difference, for the better! This must then, be transformed, to perceiving and conceiving of, creating, and implementing, the finest – possible, action plans!

6. Articulate an inspiring, motivating message: When one uses the first – five steps, and then, proceeds, to articulate, an inspiring, motivating message, he maximizes his chances, to become, the best possible leader!

Do you want to become a great leader? Are you up the necessary tasks, etc?

Richard has owned businesses, been a COO, CEO, Director of Development, consultant, professionally run events, consulted to thousands of leaders, and conducted personal development seminars, for 4 decades. Rich has written three books and thousands of articles. His company, PLAN2LEAD, LLC has an informative website http://plan2lead.net and Plan2lead can also be followed on Facebook http://facebook.com/Plan2lead


Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Richard_Brody/492539

 

The High Costs of Hiring Mediocre B2B Sales People

There is an increasing pool of research-from respected organizations like Gallup and the Harvard Business Review, and also many newer research firms- demonstrating that the costs of a bad hire in B2B sales, more than any other functional group, are enormous.

Most B2B companies tend to grossly underestimate the negative consequences a bad sales hire can bring to their company.

Some of the costs to consider include:

B2B Sales Direct costs

 

  • Lost revenue (lost and delayed business)
  • Extra training and management required
  • Costs of turnover (firing and replacing – from both time and direct hiring costs)

 

B2B Sales Indirect costs

 

  • Long-term impact on market share and brand – lost customers and brand loyalty
  • Impact on morale – leading to lower overall performance of other team members and higher turnover- and ultimately the loss of your best salespeople.

 

An Example of the Costs

Let’s look at an example for a company where the sales quota of the best salespeople is $1.5 million, and sub-par performers are delivering half of that ($750,000).

The annual impact of having a poor performer on the team can be estimated at $1,360,000 (including lost revenue, lost clients, and extra management costs). The costs of delaying action, to remove this individual, are $2.6 million over 2 years!

You must remember that B2B salespeople represent your company to your clients. Therefore, the impact of brand and market-share erosion over time, of a sub-par salesperson, can have grave consequences for your company.

Other Insights

CSO Insights, a sales research firm, puts out statistics it gathers every year from surveys it does with over 2500 companies.

They found that only 58.2% of B2B sales reps made quota in 2013 out of the 2500+ companies surveyed. That means that 42.8% of sales reps missed their quota.

That is a very alarming statistic.

A Typical Observation

CSO Insights had this conversation with a sales rep from one of their interview companies.

Sales rep: “Yeah, that program is great. Really powerful! In fact, the only time it doesn’t work is when I don’t use it”.

CSO Insights: “That’s quite an endorsement. How often would you say you use the principles you learned in the program?”

Sales rep: “Uh, maybe half the time.”

Now please think about that for a moment. If it works every time the rep uses it, why wouldn’t the rep use it all the time? Does he/she simply not need a win every time? Very unlikely!

It’s usually because the sales rep hasn’t had ongoing coaching to ingrain the sales training methodology into their daily routine.

Does Training & Coaching Pay Off?

Training gives a one-time boost in sales behaviour and results, but people quickly slip back into their old familiar behaviour without coaching reinforcement, and increases in sales are negligible.

However, with coaching after training, although there is a slight dip right after training, the sales people who received coaching keep getting better and better results.

Through all of my 40+ years of coaching, I have found that coaching costs very little compared to the increased results that have occurred. In many cases, coaching fees were less than 1% of the overall increase in revenues.

So, if you truly want to grow your business, you need to have your sales people trained and coached by professionals. And in most cases, this means hiring outside professional B2B sales coaches. You will see a very worthwhile ROI.

Conclusions

Competing at the top level is very exacting and can be very trying mentally. Anyone who has ever played golf knows that for sure.

But in order to succeed at any level, people need coaching. This is true for executives, business owners, and especially for sales and marketing people.

You use coaching for two main reasons.

1. To help you learn new skills, and to perfect or change old ones,

2. To give you feedback on how you are performing those skills, and to correct mistakes.

Feedback needs to be timely, accurate, consistent, relevant, and individualized. The other four factors are fairly self-explanatory, but let’s have a look at what is needed to be accurate, and why it is important to be accurate.

In order to be accurate, you need to have some kind of measurement system in place to give you metrics about how someone is performing all the way through the sales cycle.

You need to measure things like;

1. Is she following up on leads? (I hope you have a good lead generation system)

2. Is he using the sales and marketing methodology that you have implemented? ( I hope you have one)

3. Does she qualify prospects well, so she’s not chasing people that aren’t going to buy right now?

4. Is he demonstrating your system properly, or does he do it too early or too late in the sales cycle?

5. Does she follow a correct proposal writing script that your company has implemented?

6. Does he follow-up properly with all prospects?

7. And all the way through the sales cycle.

You need to measure everything right through the sales cycle, until you either lose or win the business.

As you can see, in order for your company to meet its revenue targets in any year, you need to be implementing coaching in your business.

This coaching should also include the executives of your company, so everyone is on the same page.

It becomes pretty obvious that training with coaching pays off.

Are your sales reps, marketers and executives getting the training and coaching they need to understand sales and marketing better, and to able to reach quotas?

You already know that the B2B sales cycle can be anywhere from 2 months to 2 years. What if you could cut that time in half? Discover how you can do just that and at the same time stop chasing non-productive leads.

My name is Ian Dainty and I want to help you succeed. Visit my web site at http://maximizebusinessmarketing.com/ and tell me what you want to know about selling.

You can also contact me at ian@maximizebusinessmarketing.com at any time for any questions you have about selling and marketing. I look forward to working with you to help increase your income.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Ian_Dainty/59266

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Selling Is Not Just Mere Selling: Optimism and Enthusiasm in Sales

Thinking about sales can sometimes be scary and even intimidating especially when one thinks about competition. Nevertheless, how the company is able to bring in sales and do it successfully is one of the most rewarding feelings that both employers and employees share. Hence, thinking about sales is not just about attitude and strategy alone. Indeed, companies who are able to amass huge sales will agree that optimism along with enthusiasm is one of the main ingredients for successful sales.

Optimism and Its Benefits

Psychologists describe optimism as the basic characteristic that builds positive thinking. It is a psychological resource which unlocks a person’s capacity to succeed in his or her endeavor based on their ability to think that they can achieve it. Additionally, numerous studies have shown that optimism is a desirable characteristic which leads to lesser incidences of postpartum depression, stress and better life satisfaction.

In many cultures, optimism is considered as a desirable trait since it enables people to think positively regardless of the situation. Optimism serves as a catalyst in which people are discouraged from feeling hopeless and apathetic but instead strive for greater hope and action. In the same manner, optimism in the world of sales means that people are able to share their enthusiasm with their customers, knowing that what they have to offer benefits their buyers. This is simply not the bravado of selling but believing that the company’s products bring real results and satisfaction.

Optimism in Sales

When it comes to sales, optimism is taken to mean that sales people have compelling reasons and motivations to offer their products. This motivation is not solely seen in the dollars they can make but also the service given to customers. A sales person can have the most wonderful qualities but without optimism and enthusiasm, they are not able to get customer’s sentiments and trust. A sales coach can also train sales people to sell with intention and integrity.

Successful sales are also brought by people who are pro-active. These people do the necessary actions to make things happen rather than seat and wait for something. Being pro-active and optimistic means people are able to have positive outlooks even in the midst of rejections and down sales. People can benefit from having positive attitude by undergoing sales coaching.

Lastly, optimism in work means that people are able to balance their work life, family and leisure. Sales are important but it should not dominate a person’s life. Hence, putting sales with intent through sales coaching means that selling is done with sincere enthusiasm and bringing valued service.

For more details, please search sales coach and sales coaching in Google.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Leola_S_Highsmith/1254360

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The Myth of Leadership Development

Developing leaders is a major strategic action for most large organizations and a multi-million dollar industry for training firms, consultants and universities. But if we have got the meaning of leadership badly wrong, much of this investment could be wasted. There are at least 3 problems with contemporary leadership theory:

1. Leaders are portrayed as occupying positions of authority over others which means that you can’t show leadership until you are in charge of people.

2. The idea that leadership is a learnable skill set fosters the impression that you can’t be a leader without training.

3. By associating leadership with emotional intelligence, what Daniel Goleman himself said is another word for maturity, the impression is created that you cannot lead until you grow up.

The bottom line is that leadership, as currently conceived, is an exclusive club for management level employees, something that those at the front line can only aspire to once they develop the relevant skills and maturity. This is a colossal waste of talent.

Dispersed Leadership and Employee Engagement

A different vision of leadership portrays it as something all employees can do. Certainly, the claim “not everyone can be a leader” is most definitely true when the focus is on what it takes to be a senior executive or even a front line manager. However, when leadership is defined simply as promoting a better way, then all employees who take a stand on any job-related issue, even in a very local, small scale manner, can show leadership to their colleagues and upward to their bosses. Because being a leader is glamorous, all employees can feel more engaged and motivated if they can see themselves as leaders even if they don’t manage anyone. So-called informal leadership means something different – informally taking charge of a group. Simply promoting new directions has nothing to do with being in charge, formally or otherwise, of a group of people.

Examples of Leadership Re-defined

” When Martin Luther King Jr. influenced the U.S. Supreme Court to rule segregation on buses unconstitutional, he had no managerial authority over that organization.

” When the Sony employee who influenced top management to adopt his proposal for PlayStation, they did not report to him.

” A new customer service employee might set an example of a better way of serving customers without being in charge of anyone.

” Whenever you influence your boss to think differently you have had a leadership impact on that person.

None of these examples entails managing the people on whom the leadership impact was felt. The leader sells the tickets for the journey and we need to upgrade our concept of management to take

care of driving the bus to the destination. Of course, further injections of leadership might be required enroute to resell the merits of the journey, but the bulk of the work in getting there requires good management skills. Management needs to be reconfigured as a nurturing, empowering and facilitative function, not just a mechanically controlling one.

Executive Development

What really gets developed in so-called leadership development programs are rounded executives. The truth is that leadership, conceived as challenging the status quo and promoting new directions, is based on youthful rebelliousness, something that is not a learnable skill set. When front line employees with no subordinates stand up for their ideas, they are showing leadership to the broader organization. So-called leadership development programs actually turn employees who are already leaders into managers. This is no bad thing. Organizations need good managers.

This view stands the conventional picture on its head: it is the front line knowledge workers who are the real leaders in organizations, not their managers. Of course, executives can also show leadership, whenever they too promote a better way.

The Benefits of Redefining Leadership

The main benefit is making it clear that all employees can be leaders and that, to do so, you don’t need all the skills associated with being in charge of people. You just need a good idea and the courage to defend it. Further potential benefits include better motivation and engagement of all employees, more innovation and front line ownership, better talent retention and less pressure on senior executives to show all the leadership a complex organization needs.

Why Make the Shift?

Leadership is based on power, traditionally the power of personality to dominate a group. This may still work in politics and public sector organizations but in businesses that compete through rapid innovation, the important power is the ability to generate new products and processes. In a war of ideas, leadership should mean the ability to successfully promote new ideas. So, the reason for making the shift in how leadership is defined is simply that the world is changing from one of stable, physical work to one of dymanic mental work.

See http://www.leadersdirect.com for more information on this and related topics. Mitch McCrimmon’s latest book, Burn! 7 Leadership Myths in Ashes was published in 2006. He is a business psychologist with over 30 years experience of leadership assessment and executive coaching.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Mitch_McCrimmon/79532