Treating CRM As a Business Strategy

Customer relationship management is often discussed as a technological solution to an essential business problem: How do I make my customers happier and keep them with my product longer? The discourse often turns to the newest applications and software advancements that make it easier to obtain business insights, blend workflows, and keep salespeople focused on maintaining relationships rather than on tracking the metadata associated with customer interactions. But CRM doesn’t just comprise the fancy technology–it’s also the business strategy that demanded the software in the first place.

Continue reading “Treating CRM As a Business Strategy”

Serving Markets You Didn’t Know You Had

In an ideal world every client and buyer you encountered would fit into a precise target market (preferably one that your marketing department has staked out). These clients and buyers would use your product for its intended purpose 100% of the time, which would allow you to create new products for different needs. But we don’t live in an ideal world–especially not today, where technology has become so advanced that a single device can fulfill hundreds of different requirements for a buyer.

Continue reading “Serving Markets You Didn’t Know You Had”

Using Podcasts to Generate Interest and Leads

Though traditional radio has fallen off in the age of smartphones and MP3 players, podcasting has taken off in its place. Podcasts allow anyone, including hobbyists, professionals, and businesses, to put together a simple radio show on any topic. These files can easily be downloaded to smartphones, MP3 players, tablets, and other mobile devices, making them a great way to get a message out to people on the move. Unlike streaming Web radio, which has to be listened to live, podcasts are downloaded when a user has Internet access and can be listened to at any time. Users can also subscribe, receiving podcasts from a given content creator whenever they are available.

Continue reading “Using Podcasts to Generate Interest and Leads”

Management 101 — Easy Tips for New Managers

After the initial rush that comes with being hired or promoted into a managerial position there’s a lot of room for dread and anxiety to set in. Some new managers have a hard time coping with the transition, since their responsibilities and efforts might be newly focused on tasks that don’t always have immediately measurable impact (mentorship, team growth, et cetera). However, some evidence suggests that people who ascend to leadership positions actually feel less stress than in their former positions when they feel that they have a raised sense of control. One of the best ways to feel confident in a new leadership position is to know what to expect, and what to focus on, before day one.

Continue reading “Management 101 — Easy Tips for New Managers”

Women in Sales — Closing the Gap

A 2014 infographic called Women in Sales: Top Trends of Female Sales Professionals, which analyzed millions of LinkedIn profiles to measure the representation of women in the sales workforce, showed that there is still a wage and career gap that exists between male and female sales professionals. According to the analysis women made up 39% of all sales professionals in the LinkedIn network (up from 36% in the past 10 years), with only about a third (30%) of those women being in director level or higher positions.

Continue reading “Women in Sales — Closing the Gap”

Corporate Social Responsibility — Is Neutral Enough?

The dialogue on whether corporations carry responsibilities to more than just their shareholders has been going on for decades, and for the most part, the question is still open. While many share the opinion of Nobel laureate Milton Friedman that corporate social responsibility is a self-defeating enterprise, many businesses have begun to swing the other way, and a new generation of corporate leaders seems to agree. One survey conducted in 2012 by Net Impact showed that nearly two-thirds of MBA holders inquired wanted to make an environmental or social impact through their work, and thousands of businesses have joined the effort to improve human rights and environmental protections the world over.

Continue reading “Corporate Social Responsibility — Is Neutral Enough?”

Dealing With Unprofitable Customers

While it can be tempting to think that every customer is valuable, some are more valuable than others, and others just aren’t worth the effort they require to retain. Whether it’s because of consistently late payments, excessive support requests, or simply a divergent way of doing business, sometimes a company and a customer just aren’t the right fit for each other. Customer divestment has become more common in the last decade, with a Harvard Business Review study from 2005-2006 indicating that 85% of executives in certain sectors had already undertaken divestment with some customers.

Continue reading “Dealing With Unprofitable Customers”