Who Is Responsible for Sales?

If you are a solo entrepreneur the answer to this question is obvious – you are. However, if you’re a business owner or business leader with numerous employees and/or direct reports the answer may not be so straightforward. But it should be.

The short answer is EVERYBODY!!!

Whether you are a small business of one or a large corporation with 100,000+ employees, everybody is directly or indirectly responsible for either driving or supporting sales, regardless of their job title. Unfortunately, far too often this fact gets lost on many companies and employees alike. Continue reading…

Have a Personal Plan for Success in 2010

The ball dropped in Times Square at the stroke of midnight, and the tartan-clad gnomes have erased the blackboards, officially ushering in the New Year. It is time to start anew … new hopes, new dreams, and a new list of New Year’s resolutions, goals and challenges awaits each of us.

Yes, it’s hard to believe we are already well into the first full week of 2010. So, what’s next for you? Do you have a personal plan to prepare you for success in 2010 and the new decade ahead? Continue reading…

Top 5 DO and Top 5 DON’T Lists for 2010

The holiday season is a great time for both reflection and renewal, and a perfect time to work on your “lists” of things to accomplish in the new calendar year, while enjoying quality time with family and friends. So, let’s get started on your lists.

Here are my suggested Top 5 DO and Top 5 DON’T lists that I hope will serve as a guide to help you put together your New Year’s resolutions and 2010 goals. Continue reading…

Serious Business Owner or Playing Office?

Most of us think of ourselves as serious business people, committed to the success of our businesses, but are we really and do our actions truly reflect that?

Are you a serious business owner or playing office?

A recent Kauffman Foundation study of 549 successful businesses showed that 93% of the business owners surveyed cited “not putting in the time and effort required” as the #2 most common barrier to entrepreneurial success next to failure to take risk. Are you devoting the time and effort required to grow your business and reach your personal and financial goals? Continue reading…

Do Your Goals Align With Your Vision?

When I think of the challenges most companies face in aligning their organizational goals with the vision for the company, I’m reminded of this quote by Isaac Asimov:

“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.”

Our mastermind group has been focused on The Visioning Process for the past month or so, and the members have completed weekly exercises to help them re-define the Vision Statement and Mission Statement for their respective companies. As the group has come to experience, it’s hard work to go through the process when taking into account the past, present and future in order to find a better pathway to success.

Do your goals align with your vision? Continue reading…

Sales & Marketing Plan Check-up Time

Much the same as your car or home, you should also schedule periodic check-ups of your sales and marketing plans to ensure that you are receiving optimal performance and results.

These check-ups should be done on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis as an integral part of the ongoing planning process. Regularly scheduled plan reviews will enable you to capitalize on emerging market trends, and make necessary course corrections to minimize potential shortfalls. Continue reading…

Improve Results in a Recovery-Based Economy

The economic indicators during the past couple of weeks have given us eternal optimist’s a glimmer of hope that the recession has finally run its course, and the worst is now behind us.

Although we should continue to proceed with caution until all signs clearly point to the north, there are some things you can do and should be doing now to improve your business results in the recovery-based economy that is ahead of us. Continue reading…

Keys to Building High-Performing Sales Teams

Globalization, mergers, acquisitions, downsizing and bankruptcies have collectively turned our economy and traditional business models upside down. However, despite the churn, despite all of the complexities and changes that we have seen to our business ecosystem, there still exists one simple, basic business truth; “nothing happens until somebody sells something”.

The sales organization is the most important resource for any business, and your sales people are still the vital life-line to the customer. For any company that wants to achieve accelerated business growth and profits, building a high-performing sales team is absolutely crucial to that success. Continue reading…

Make Marketing Your Business a Top Priority

Where does improving the results from your advertising, sales and marketing rank on your company’s “bucket list”? If it is not one of your top priorities for 2009 and beyond, then you are putting the business at risk!

The first words I hear from business owners these days are “I don’t have any money to invest in marketing the business right now”. And my standard response has become … well, should we start talking about an exit strategy then? The bottom-line is this, if you are not investing in advertising, sales and marketing to grow your business, the business will not be successful. Continue reading…

Become a Leader in Your Market Niche – Part 2

In “Become a Leader in Your Market Niche – Part 1”, I covered some of the basics of how to get started in positioning your company as a leader in your industry. Now it’s time to fill in the blanks. At this point, you have completed a competitive analysis, a customer assessment, compiled your list of JVs and partners, and received expert advice on how to integrate social media marketing into your overall business plans.

So, what’s next?

Identify your leadership target(s). What do you want to be known for, or a leader in? And what are your recognized strengths that can be leveraged as a competitive advantage? Are you perceived as an innovator or technology leader? Do you offer superior products or services? Is your company recognized for quality or operational excellence – i.e. Six Sigma, ISO 9001? Do customers rank your company’s service ahead of the competition?

Does your company receive high praise from its employees as a great place to work, or from the community at-large for its charitable donations and volunteer work? Select your leadership target(s) carefully, and make sure they are in alignment with how the market perceives your business today. Continue reading…