Category Archives: Uncategorized

LinkedIn Launches A Standalone Sales Navigator To Help Users With “Social Selling”

By Anthony Ha (Tech Crunch)

The new version of the Sales Navigator is now a standalone product rather than an additional set of features on the main LinkedIn site. Learn how to use this product to help you with “Social Selling” and increase your chances of hitting your quota.

LinkedIn Launches A Standalone Sales Navigator To Help Users With “Social Selling” 

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“The Missing 98%” – A Business Execution Webinar.

Brian Dewil of RESULTS.com, Business Execution Experts, would like to invite you to a webinar particularly designed for directors, business owners, strategic decision makers and those who want to do business better.  You will get great benefit from this webinar. It is complimentary, an hour long and is called “The Missing 98%”. Results.com started this webinar series at the beginning of the year with one every 2 months. The demand for more business education type webinars has allowed them to run this series more frequently, on a weekly basis.

Over the last couple of years, as a company, they have brought world renowned business leaders such as Tom Peters and Jack Daly to New Zealand. Their visits have been a tremendous success and a great contribution to NZ business. A follow-on of this contribution to the NZ business community is our seminar and webinar series where they partner with the likes of Westpac and Telecom and run throughout the year.

Recent research is clearly showing that following a recession, there’s a shift in market share positions. We’re also seeing unprecedented change in technology that is radically changing (and sometimes even eliminating) certain markets.

This 1 hour webinar will reveal the changes taking place in business – but more importantly, how you can grow your market share during this unique time. The key is to simplify your business strategy, and make execution your number one priority.

At the end of this webinar, you’ll come away with a 1-page Strategic Execution Template that maps the way forward for your business. You’ll also learn from real-world examples, both from NZ and overseas, of businesses who are executing these strategies with impressive results.

Please register at Business Execution webinar for 9am, Tuesday 19th Oct 2010. (Do not worry about the date displaying 18th Oct on the registration page– it is for international audiences)

Webinars have become a very effective and popular platform to run online workshops and seminars such as these. If you have not attended a webinar before and need assistance in how to set up please contact me. It is not too difficult at all. Once you register you will also receive an email on how to setup.

MarketingReportCard.com seeks BETA testers – Agency releases free website that helps small business better

Our partners over at Macon Raine just launched a beta of a neat little tool that helps smaller companies measure and manage their tactical
marketing. It’s called MarketingReportCard.com. The beta is free, requires no credit card info and is definitely worth a try.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT : Ben Bradley
ben@maconraine.com

Aurora, IL, October 5, 2010, – MaconRaine, Inc., a boutique marketing and advertising agency, today announced that it is seeking beta testers for MarketingReportCard.com – a marketing measurement dashboard. Designed for small to mid-size businesses, companies can login to the beta version of the MarketingReportCard.com and document and measure tactical marketing results over time.�
“The MarketingReportCard.com beta is simple and free to use. Honestly, the biggest advantage of the marketing report card methodology is the fact that everyone agrees on the key performance indicators upfront. If you can agree on how you are measuring your marketing, it becomes easier to improve your marketing performance,” said Ben Bradley, Macon Raine’s founder and managing director.
MarketingReportCard.com was originally envisioned as a dashboard for small and medium sized companies seeking a simple way to evaluate tactical marketing performance. Marketers use this tool identify, agree upon Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and measure marketing performance month over month, so they can quickly see when performance is slipping and when to take corrective action.  To be effective, KPIs must be monitored and updated monthly. Continuous monitoring allows marketers to quickly take action when performance drops below benchmark levels.

According to beta tester Velu Palani, CEO of GetMeTheRightJob.com, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. MarketingReportCard.com helps you quickly define and measure the critical pieces of your tactical marketing program.”
The BETA version of the MarketingReportCard.com uses a simple spreadsheet interface that makes the learning curve virtually non-existent and also to make data collection quick and painless.   Since no two companies are the same, marketers using MarketingReportCard.com can define their own KPIs as well as their own methods for weighting and measurement.
To register for the beta, simply visit MarketingReportCard.com to register. No credit card or other financial information is required to participate.

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When The Sales Team’s Objectives Outweigh the Organization’s Objectives

This weeks post is from Navigas partner Astron Solutions, courtesy of, Michael Maciekowich, National Director. Astron Solutions is a New York-based consulting firm dedicated to the delivery of human resource consulting services and supportive technology. They work nationwide to develop and implement human resource programs that support the strategic direction of organizations through the creation of a positive employee relations environment.

An age-old battle exists between organization needs and the desire of salespeople to enhance their earnings. Many salespeople, understandably, will take the road of least resistance in an effort to enhance their personal wealth. Unless there is a close Return on Investment (ROI) to the organization between sales goals and individual compensation, however, the process becomes a one-sided event. Case in point? When an organization is interested in margin and profitability, and the salesperson is focused on commissions based purely on sales volume.

In a recent client interaction this discrepancy became quite evident. The client had established a sales commission program based completely on total sales volume of all products sold, even though each product had different assigned profit margins. Initially, the organization attempted to address this issue by adding a special “high margin” bonus awarded at the end of the year to the salesperson who had sold the highest volume of high margin products. However, because the commission structure emphasized total volume over margin, the program had little impact.

In addition to this issue, the organization was providing a market competitive base pay, targeting the 50th percentile of the market average, regardless of each salesperson’s actual sales activity. There was no accounting for the base pay in any “cost of sales” calculation. In essence, the salesperson not only was paid competitive base pay from day one, but also given an opportunity to make an extraordinary amount in commission. Upon further analysis, the sales force’s compensation was averaging the 90th percentile of the relevant total cash compensation market.

The issues of commission structure and competitive base pay could no longer continue when the recent downturn in the economy arrived. This organization’s cost of sales, when salaries and commissions were included, was well above any competitor’s. Thus, the organization’s overall profitability had dropped dramatically.

How to address this untenable situation? The answer was to take a step back and re-examine the entire program and the current operating philosophy and strategy. Care had to be taken not to make too many dramatic changes, for fear of losing some key sales professionals who were “mission critical’ to the organization. But something had to be done.

The Astron team and our client’s sales leadership jointly addressed the issue through the following steps:

1. Conducting both a detailed audit of the overall cost of sales, including salaries and commissions, and an employee by employee cost of sales audit, to better understand individual profitability.

2. Making the decision to maintain competitive base pay rates at the 50th percentile of the market. However, it was further decided to link total sales volume to the value of base pay. In essence, the organization used its current program (commission on total volume) to offset the cost of base pay. Until the base pay had been offset on a quarterly basis, there was no movement until the next round of commission.

3. Realigning the commission structures. Once the base pay was offset the individual salesperson moved into the next round of commission, which was based on a matrix of volume and margin. Specific commission percentages were tied to various levels of volume and margin combinations. The organization opted for this alignment to be sure the salesperson was properly incented to focus on high margin products, while still having competitive total earnings if he / she focused on low margin products.

This process and the resulting changes afforded the organization a dramatic reduction in the cost of sales, and at the same time a dramatic increase in profitability. None of the designated “mission critical” salespeople left the organization. There was turnover among low volume producers, however, in that these individuals could not meet the base pay offset. While the change was at first scary for management and employees alike, the program quickly became a “win-win” success story.

Are You Getting Interviews, But Not the Job?

Original Post: How to Diagnose Where You Might Be Going Wrong
By John Rossheim, Monster Senior Contributing Writer

Your resume has earned you interviews with several employers over the past year. That’s impressive, especially in this economy.

But none of those interviews has yielded a job offer. You’ve done the standard interview preparation. You’ve shown up on time and dressed in appropriate interview attire. But somewhere between the paper credentials and the live performance, you’ve failed to deliver.

Perhaps yours is a failure of imagination. Have you taken the time and trouble to imagine what your interviewers’ needs are, and the specific business problems their companies need you to solve? If you haven’t done so in-depth, it’s time to start.

But before you face the formidable challenge of thinking like your interviewer and her CEO, try taking on the perspective of a lesser intellect: a fly on the wall.

See What the Camera Sees

If you start by reimagining your interview preparation as a rehearsal for a performance, you’re already giving yourself a new chance to succeed.

“The best way for job seekers to improve upon their interviewing skills is through practice,” says Laurie Davis, director of counseling and programming at Yeshiva University’s Career Development Center. “A mock interview with a career counselor or HR professional will help them learn how they might better their performance.”

The next step is to make a video of your mock interview and review it with a professional who will not just tell you what you did wrong, but also give you ideas for improving your performance, whether by making better eye contact and leaning slightly toward the interviewer, speaking more directly and concisely, or putting your story forward more positively.

Seeing and hearing yourself literally from another angle, even if only on a brief video created with a PC or digital camera, will give you a much better sense of the dramatic effect of your responses on the interviewer. For example, “when you get those questions about strengths and weaknesses, answer the weaknesses question first — maybe including a little humor — and then finish on a high note with your strengths,” says consultant and executive coach Debra Benton.

What Matters to the Interviewer

As you approach an interview, consider how your manner and words will affect the interviewer’s state of mind.

“Be socially generous,” says Ann Demarais, author of First Impressions: What You Don’t Know About How Others See You. “Make the interviewer feel smart, talented, accomplished.”

Don’t make the mistake of letting the interview become a one-way question-and-answer session, which is bound to be too much about you and not enough about the
interviewer. “Always get the interviewer talking,” says Stephen Balzac, president of management consultancy 7 Steps Ahead. “Ask them about their concerns, issues and goals. Then respond with relevant, brief vignettes about your accomplishments in previous jobs.”

And recognize that if you come into the interview with an elephant shackled to your ankle — namely, unemployment or a long resume gap — the interviewer will notice and be distracted by it. “The job seeker needs to proactively explain why they’ve been out of the job market,” says John Robak, COO of engineering firm Greeley and Hansen and an HR manager of long experience.

The Employer’s Perspective

Finally, keep in mind that your abilities have no absolute value to the employer; they’re only worth what they can do for the employer this year. “Sometime candidates don’t prepare to talk about the match: how their background and skills align with what the company is looking for,” Robak says.

To force yourself into each employer’s perspective, come up with good interview questions customized to the challenges the company faces right now. At the same time, remember that your questions show a lot about how you think. “You get hired by the questions you ask,” Benton says.

What if the elephant of a job loss or resume gap isn’t the only silent distraction in the room? You’ll never know unless you ask the interviewer on the spot.

“Close an interview by asking if the interviewer feels there are any gaps left unaddressed, so you can discuss them,” says Kim Lockhart, a regional vice president with Spherion Staffing. “If you aren’t selected, see if the recruiter or hiring manager will provide feedback,” she suggests.