Tag Archives: opportunities

The Top 25 Recruiting Trends, Problems, and Opportunities for 2014, Part 1 of 2 – ERE.net

It’s never too early to start planning for the new year! Whether you’re in corporate HR or you’re responsible for the HR duties at a small business, you need to learn about the hottest recruiting strategies and opportunities happening in 2014.

Which of these opportunities will you pursue in 2014?

The Top 25 Recruiting Trends, Problems, and Opportunities for 2014, Part 1 of 2 – ERE.net.

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Six Ideas for Finding New Sales Leads

By: Ann Handley of Entrepreneur.com  

Business Women using Social Media Marketing

Sometimes in life, you kick over a rock and find a thriving colony of activity. So, too, in business. With so many tools, niches, sites, apps and platforms to look for and nurture customers, it’s easy to overlook less obvious opportunities. Here are some to try.

1. SlideShare
SlideShare.net offers the ability to upload and share presentations, e-books, PDFs and webinars. It isn’t exactly a backwater, but it’s a bit of an undervalued spot. With 60 million visitors per month and 130 million page views, it’s the world’s largest professional content-sharing community and one of the top 200 sites on the web.

SlideShare is also one of the only high-traffic platforms that integrates organic and near-seamless lead generation. The network’s LeadShare service requires viewers to fill out a contact form in exchange for downloading a presentation or PDF, and it encourages viewers to contact the business for additional information at various points throughout a presentation. Of course, this feature comes at a price: To enable lead-capture, you’ll have to spring for a Pro SlideShare membership, which can cost $19 to $249 per month.

2. Product videos
Well-produced product videos are a slam-dunk for increasing sales. Visitors to housewares retailer StacksAndStacks.com were 144 percent more likely to make a purchase after seeing a product video, according to analytics technology company Kissmetrics.

Keep product videos brief–less than 30 seconds is optimal–and consider embedding calls to action in a way that’s helpful and not irritating. Online catalog aggregator FlipSeek does this effectively; for example, it can make the cute shoes a model is wearing clickable, providing a direct link to the corresponding product page.

3. E-mail signatures
Including a brief, text-based call to action in your e-mail signature may not be the sexiest idea, but considering the volume of e-mail you are likely sending, it’s a tactic worth trying. Consider integrating your blog’s URL, a new e-book or some other relevant download into your e-mail signature as a way to nurture relationships with prospects. Technology like WiseStamp allows you to add dynamic content like your latest blog post to any outgoing message.

4. LinkedIn Answers
Browse the questions asked on LinkedIn and use your expertise to solve problems for others, looking for opportunities to link to your relevant product or service. But, as with most things in life, moderation is key: Don’t shill your own stuff unless it truly offers a relevant solution.

5. Error pages
Turn the most boring pages of your site (even a 404 error page!) into lead-gen opportunities.Mint.com’s playful error page  shows a nerdy-looking developer saying, “Page not available. But Justin is.” It goes on: “Justin is a Mint developer who likes slow cars, sharp crayons, reheated pizza and awkward silence.” The page gives links to other Mint.com pages “if you’re more interested in personal finance.”

6. Pinterest
This new kid on the social media block is worth checking out as a traffic-generating lead-gen referral tool. Visits to the invitation-only online bulletin board skyrocketed in the second half of 2011 to 11 million. Brands with compelling boards drive traffic to their own sites.

What’s “pinnable” for a business looking to generate leads? Consider moving beyond product shots to include other images, infographics, videos or articles. My company’s page, features vintage marketing ads as well as marketing fails, charts and stats and a board reserved for business “inspiration.”

Ann Handley is a veteran of creating and managing digital content to build relationships for organizations and individuals. Ann is the co-author of the best-selling Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (Wiley, 2011).

Assessing the Quality of your Sales Pipeline

By Kevin Steffey

We are nearly 1 month into the second half of the year.  How are you feeling about your chances of meeting or exceeding your sales targets? 

How strong is your sales pipeline?If you are like many sales managers, you rely on the quality of the information provided by your sales professionals on your pipeline of business opportunities.  However, the pipeline as represented by your representatives is often filled with opportunities that are in varying levels of quality. A thorough review of you pipeline can either validate your confidence or give you an early warning of areas to address.

  1. Are there enough prospective opportunities entering the sales process or currently in the process?  Review the business that is currently in various stages of your sales cycle and apply your typical close rates, sales cycle and average deal sizes to see the value of business currently in your pipeline that has a chance of closing this year. Also, look at the volume of new business entering the pipeline on a weekly basis to assess how much you will add to your pipeline and close in the upcoming months.  Often the biggest hurdle to meeting your sales plan is having enough business to work and keeping a strong eye on the lead generation sources to ensure proper flow of new business.
  2. Are the right types of deals in the pipeline?  A common challenge for sales managers is keeping the team focused on working on the right opportunities – not just the easiest opportunities.  Review the pipeline to see if the mix of business is skewed to less profitable product lines or customer types?  Also, looking at the average deal size in the pipeline is critical to ensure that your sales assumptions are valid.  Test the values put in by your sales professionals.  Are they in line with typical deal sizes or are they inflated? Is there a trend you didn’t expect with the sales price or profit margin being pressured by competition or market dynamics?
  3. Is the business moving through the pipeline at the proper pace?  As you review the opportunities with your sales professionals, are the identified next steps with each opportunity occurring when they say they should?  Do the same opportunities keep showing up week in and week out at the same stage of the sales process? It is important to make sure that your percentage of opportunities moving from one stage to the next is not fundamentally changing from your assumptions.

As you compare the results in each of these areas across your sales professionals and against your norms, you will have a strong sense of how confident you should be in your plan.  As you identify your outliers, those reps that are struggling to add the right type and quantity of business and move it through the sales process, you can start to take corrective action and work with those team members to adjust as needed to hit targets.

Kevin Steffey is President of Naviga Recruiting & Executive Search, a national Sales and Marketing Recruitment firm.  Kevin and Naviga have a passion for sales and marketing positions due to their direct impact on the growth of their customers. Check out www.navigarecruiting.com to engage a partner in growing and developing your team.