Monday, July 23, 2012

At Caterpillar, Pushing Work While Company Booms

When it comes to working with labor labor unions, Caterpillar has long taken a position as challenging as the bulldozers and backhoes that have burnished its international popularity. Be it two-tier salary machines or greater employee efforts for wellness insurance coverage, the organization has been a head in creating new ways to cut labor expenses, with other producers often emulating its techniques.

Now, in what has become a analyze case in Combined states labor interaction, Caterpillar is trying to innovator new area, looking for extreme discounts from its employees even when industry is flourishing.

Despite generating a history $4.9 million revenue last season and predicting even better results for 2012, the organization is requiring on a six-year salary lock up and a retirement living lock up for most of the 780 development employees at its manufacturer here. Caterpillar says it needs to keep its labor expenses down to make sure its upcoming competition.

The business's position has angered the employees, who went on hit 12 several weeks ago. “Considering the provide they provided us, it’s a hit we had to have,” said Jordan Williams, a 19-year Caterpillar employee, as he picketed in 99-degree warm outside the flower, which creates gas areas and techniques important for much of the business's earth-moving devices.

Caterpillar, which has considerably brought up its executives’ settlement because of its powerful earnings, protected its requirements, saying many unionized employees were compensated well above industry prices. To run the manufacturer during the hit, the organization is using alternative employees, professionals and a few nation associates who have surpassed the picket range.

The series, which has no end in vision, is being monitored by organizations and labor unions across the nation because it includes two often uncompromising antagonists — Caterpillar and the Worldwide Organization of Machinists — that have realized in many high-stakes labor combat.

“Caterpillar has been a head in the past 20 decades in taking a hard range,” said Rich Hurd, a teacher of business interaction at Cornell. Last winter weather, Caterpillar shut out about 450 employees at its train engine flower in London, uk, New york, and then shut the manufacturer after the nation denied its need to cut income by 55 %. In the mid-1990s, the organization vanquished the Combined Vehicle Workers after a 17-month hit by 9,000 employees at eight factories; the nation provided up and approved the business's concession-filled provide.

The machinists have performed mostly effective hits at Boeing and Lockheed Martin, eventually effective better increases and advantages for a large number of associates.

Robert Bruno, a labor interaction teacher at the School of Celui-ci, said Caterpillar was trying to generate settlement down to a new ground. “Caterpillar recognizes this as ‘the new regular,’ while this nation regional seems you have to sketch a range in the sand to keep on,” he said. “Some people are saying the nation should be more deferential, more certified, that it’s a bad time to hit. How can you reverse a highly effective worldwide in this economy?”

A Periodic Company Is designed to Endure the Off-Season

Big Base Industry is a year-old eating place and specialised shop in Guerneville, Calif., that also provides bottles and in the area made designs. It is a moonlighting project for its three entrepreneurs, among them a San Francisco advertising professional, Eileen Volpatt, who saw an probability to complete a local need after buying a few days home in this Sonoma Nation city of 6,500.
THE CHALLENGE How to live the trim months, Oct through Apr, when guests to the European Stream vacation decline. After starting in September 2011, the industry published motivating every week revenue of $20,000 to $24,000 in Aug — that dropped to as low as $4,000 by Nov, forcing employees lay offs and an urgent escape to evaluate options.

THE BACKGROUND Mr. Volpatt, who explains himself as a “serious foodie and serious oenophile,” had long imagined of starting a specialised meals and bottles shop. He made the decision to go forward after deciding further into the group of Guerneville, a once-booming signing city formerly known as Big Base for its location on the alluvial apartments of the European Stream. These days, the gay-friendly city is well-known with weekenders and tourists viewing close by vineyard, windsurfing on the stream or climbing in close by Remedy Timber in what continues to be of the old-growth redwoods.

Mr. Volpatt, 40, would keep his successful day job: he operates half of a 10-year-old bicoastal advertising company, Larkin/Volpatt Marketing and sales communications, providing customers such as the digital departments of Marketers Cleaning Home and Hearst. Mr. Volpatt and his business associate, Kate Larkin, 45, who is based in New You are able to, had already spent some of their income in property, such as part possession in a condominium in St. Louis.

Both sensed a market/breakfast and lunchtime identify was just what Guerneville needed. Pursuing that chance was a step into the different world of offering and dining places but one they cushioning by trusting the kitchen and market functions to a third beginning associate with meals and kindness experience. Mr. Volpatt had become friends with Crista Luedtke, a San Francisco property agent and hands-on owner of Advantage Resort and Spa and Advantage Eat and Consume, two well-known Guerneville companies. With Ms. Luedtke supervising day-to-day functions, Ms. Larkin performing as primary financial official and Mr. Volpatt in charge of marketing, Big Base Industry started out in a 1,500-square-foot Main Road store. The three*associates offered $100,000 to convert the space, stock the racks and supply managing investment.

In Events on the Web, Business owners Turn to Business owners for Advice and Support

On a latest Wednesday just after mid-day, D. Penn Irritable, an Indy eye doctor and proprietor of Irritable Eyes, was the first entrepreneur to present a problem to his other advisory team.

 Dr. Irritable had lately extended his perspective practice and glasses shop, and he said he was having problems in controlling healthcare discussions and income. When a healthcare devices producer from Birkenstock boston requested what his value undertaking was, Dr. Irritable responded, “I think the value undertaking is that we’re the center of the street.”

That seemed hazy to Chelsea Ronzio, creator of the Event Movie Company of Beverly, Huge. He recommended providing more V.I.P. services. The healthcare devices producer recommended Dr. Irritable to deliver his workers to check out effective opponents. And a business advisor centered in Northern Carolina, Marty Clarke, recommended that if everyone who stepped into the shop were requested for a “wish list,” Dr. Moody’s workers could focus on talking to rather than selling.

The recommendations hit a note with Dr. Irritable, 61. When the company requested him what action he organized to take, Dr. Irritable said that he had already been submitting his workers to check out opponents but that he would reword his value undertaking and rescript the first five minutes of connections between employees and customers. He set a three-week due date.

Soon, he and his other participants said farewell, close down the Web-conferencing foundation they had been using to satisfy, and went back to work.

Heading a business can be a alone job. There are always problems that are not appropriate to talk about with friends, workers or close relatives, so even experienced entrepreneurs can experience missing.

“I remember starting my opportunity and thinking, ‘I don’t have any co-workers,’ ” said Caroline Daniels, proprietor of a property lease company in Nantucket, Huge., and a speaker in business at Babson College. “There was not anyone to jump ideas off. And even if your intuition are excellent, you wonder, ‘Is this excellent or crazy?’ ”

In latest years, entrepreneurs and primary professionals have converted progressively to so-called other advisory categories. Today there are many such categories with parts across the country, such as The Alternative Panel, Entrepreneurs’ Company, Vistage Worldwide and Women Presidents’ Company. The first modern team is thought to have been established in 1957, when John Nourse, a The usa business owner, created The Professional Panel, later known as TEC.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

How To Date Your Target B2B Leads According To Seth Godin


Marketing, he brings to light a traditional marketing strategy that has been around for a long time but has greatly been overlooked. This marketing strategy not only increases the attention you get from your business leads, but also helps create a business relationship that will lead to long-term profitability. Read the article to learn more about permission marketing.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Retain Your Existing Clients And Increase Profitability

Nineteenth-century Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto invented the now-famous 80-20 marketing principle which states that “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients”. Even if you check on your current list of clients, you will see that the few key clients you have let you earn as much as the rest of your clients put together.

It's a fact that finding new business leads and clients costs more (as much as 5-10 times more) than retaining your existing clients. This is the reason why a lot of marketers and marketing coaches tout the benefits of retaining your clients after the initial sale. While you can't possibly keep every single client you've sold to, you can identify a few key clients which could lead to long-term profitability. These customers and clients need not even be your biggest buyers, as long as they purchase a lot of your merchandise over a period of time, their value as a client greatly increases.

Retaining clients may not be an easy task, but doing so will not only ensure you of continuous profits, but also help you improve your company and business as a whole. To effectively keep your clients, you have to make sure that you always deliver on everything that you promise each of them, and the benefits from your products and services equal or exceed your prices. Otherwise they would end up with your competitors.
If you are doubtful about whether you can sell new or more products to your customers and clients, take note that you already have critical information about them. You know how much budget they have for a month or a year; you know who are the decision-makers in the corporation and how to contact them; you have information about their existing equipment and can easily figure out when they would need to purchase a new one; you might even have information about the direction of their company's future plans. You can use all these data about your clients and customers when you offer them a new product or service to get them to make a purchase. If you think you still need more information, you can always incentivize your approach and offer them something in return for the information that you need. Retaining clients also require that you continually add value to your business relationship, so new offerings are generally expected by your clients and customers. A company that doesn't have anything new to offer clients is a sure sign that it is not growing. Furthermore, your existing clients already trust your brand, so offering them a new product or service is all a matter of whether this new product or service is relevant to them.

However, there is a significant concern among marketers regarding this type of marketing principle. While the returns on client and customer retention is high, there is always the risk of losing such a valuable client. The more valuable a key client becomes, the higher the risk once that client is lost. There is also the issue of clients becoming unreasonably demanding over time, especially when they realize their own value to your company. This situation is easily avoidable, and if you build just the right relationship with each of your clients, you can safely expect a bright future for your company.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Human Relationships And Business

Going into business is very much like being in a relationship. You spend a large portion of your time on it. Sometimes, when your business suddenly becomes demanding, you have no choice but to yield to it if you want to keep your business going.

Here are three important similarities between human relationships and business:

Commitment - Before one opens a business, a certain level of commitment is required if one wishes to become even slightly profitable. A business cannot be successful unless the founder or business owner is committed on making his business a success. A committed business owner will be able to give his company enough..

Time - Just as how you need to be on time whenever you have a date with your loved one, you have to be on time for work everyday. You might not have a boss, but if you always arrive late for business appointments and scheduled meetings, then your business won't have much of a future to hope for. Another thing that requires timelines in business is responding to client queries. If you fail to respond in a timely manner to client questions, complaints and requests, you are essentially telling them to transfer to your competitors. Often times when your schedules collide, you have to prioritize one over the other and learn to take...

Risk - Perhaps the most important aspect where business and human relationships are similar is the issue of risks. In a relationship, if you don’t take the risk of falling in love, then you will never experience the extreme joys and sadness of the human emotion. If you fear taking risks, then your business will never get off the ground. Even if it seems profitable now, you will always stay on that plateau and never achieve anything else of significance.

But that is not the only time when you have to take risks in both business and relationships. For instance, your loved one frequently forgets your important dates, or the two of you often quarrel. Your relatives and friends may even get involved and convince you to end the affair once and for all to save your sanity. Though it seems unrealistic to carry on with your relationship, you still hang on with the hope that it’s just a phase that you have to get over. In business, this same blind commitment is observed when your startup appears to be a failure. It’s that time when, no matter how much you try to improve, your products still fail to generate leads, your credit line is negative, and your employees have begun jumping ship. Add to that the fact that your competitor is rolling out one sensational product after another. For all intents and purposes, the most logical action would be to abandon the cause and build another business altogether or even consider getting employed. But that isn't the actual truth regarding the reality of things. Business owners and entrepreneurs are known to slave for years over their startups, even when the future of the said venture seems nothing but bleak.

Let us take Henry Ford, for example. The founder of the automobile manufacturing company experienced numerous failures in his dream of producing a reliable, efficient, and relatively cheap automobile. By continually taking risks despite being broke, he was able to achieve his business dream through the Ford model T and build an enduring company.

To make a business venture successful, you have to treat it as an important relationship by giving your commitment, time and learning to take risks. It takes considerable effort to make anything work, and businesses are no different.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Three Tips To Make Your Sales Pitch Rock

When we hear the word sales pitch, one of the most important points to consider is how to make your pitch sell to prospects. Unfortunately, that is one point that companies still have a hard time in doing, especially if they are doing their lead generation campaign for the first time. Why does it seem to be hard to generate the sales leads that you need? There are plenty of reasons why. The most important to remember is that business leads are best generated through proper consideration of what the prospects want. More likely than not, this is the main reason why no sales leads are made. So how do you go about it? How can you make your sales pitch clinch the deal?

Just remember these three points: 
  1. Do your research – time and time again, sales people are told to always research their business prospect first. Still, there are still those who are left hanging when they are asked questions by the prospects that they have no ready answer for. In the first place, you must need to know just what the prospect is looking for, what kind of solution they may need, and what your company can do to address that need. What is important here is that you cover everything when you are trying to generate B2B leads. And you can do that easily with good research work.
  2. Define your prospects’ segments – it is possible that what you are offering will work with a lot of market segments. Lucky for you if you only need to market in one segment, but if you have to go into several, then you will need to research each one well. Each segment may have a different trigger or reason to do business with you, so you should define your segments well. You can get better sales leads this way since you now know how to grab your prospect’s attention.
  3. Craft specific messages – this is where the two previous points merge. Once you know what your prospects want, and what trigger you can use to get their attention, you can then create the correct sales pitch. But the sales pitch itself should not be used in more than one prospect. Sure, this can save you more time, but if you really want to reach out to them, you will need to craft the message that is specifically tailored to them. They will appreciate that added thoughtfulness.
As a business owner, you will need to know how to best maximize your company’s ability to generate more sales leads for your business. There are so many factors that can either attract the attention of your business prospects or cause them to back away. It may also depend on what communication medium you used to reach them, whether through social media or telemarketing. Still, what is important is that you get to send your message across. This is the most important point that you need to reach if you want to get better B2B sales leads.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

So far, the biggest problem that a lot of firms could ever face deals with the need to make a plenty of profits. This is an issue that has constantly bothered them. How can they make a profit, if their market is packed of competitors? It sure is nice if you could get your hands on something that can give you the edge. This is the reason why B2B leads are so much in demand by a lot of companies. Qualified leads are the best marketing aids that you can get. It can introduce you new markets, improve your sales campaign, and give you the edge over competitors. Whether you succeed or not will depend on just how good is the lead generation company that you hired to do the job. As a business investment, you should seriously consider hiring good telemarketing services if you want your firm to achieve long term profitability.

The fun part, as the old saying goes, will now lie in choosing the lead generation firm. After all, this is a challenge that many entrepreneurs have to face. Selecting the right lead generation firm can be a very daunting task, especially if this is their first time to do so. B2B lead generation services a very handy tool in producing the qualified leads that you need. The reason why a lot of small and medium sized firms these days are outsourcing this job is because of the inherent limitations of their operations. Many of these companies do not have enough budgets to build up their own lead generation team. With the value and usefulness of B2B leads decreasing as they age, there is a greater demand for experts who can professionally handle qualified sales leads. This could perhaps explain the rising number of lead generation firms. After all, they are the best when it comes to delivering qualified leads for their clients.

Aside from the usual lead generation services, version of this that has attracted considerable attention from other firms is appointment setting services. The use of B2B appointment setting services has proven to be very useful in providing the needed B2B leads. What makes this unique from the usual is due to its ability to address the needs of companies that do not have their own marketing teams. With the help of modern lead generation services, it is now possible for firms to improve their chances of making good sales. Professional telemarketers can effectively find new business opportunities and then qualify them to see if they meet their client’s requirements. If these do, then they will proceed to set up a meeting between the prospect and the client. It is that easy. And since telemarketing has improved itself over the years, you are less likely to suffer from a negative backlash from people with bad experiences from it.

The key, of course, still remains with you. It is you who will decide who to work with. And it is you who will have to make the choice. If it is the right one, then things will go very well for you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What Is Demand Generation?

There are various definitions for demand generation, and it is often used interchangeably with either inbound marketing or the more popular lead generation. But demand generation is more than either of these two. Though it does include large amounts of marketing, its scope comprises a much larger process.

Demand generation is not broken up into campaigns, but does include strategies and systematic planning. It essentially comprises the whole sales process, even the part where the sales are actually converted into profits. As the name suggests, it focuses on creating demand---the propensity of the sales or business lead to purchase your products or services. While lead generation can be achieved through sheer dumb luck (a low budget video unexpectedly gaining virality status), demand generation requires a systematic, progressive and continuous process to create a steady demand for your product or service. There is no end to demand generation, as long as your business exists, you will need to create and foster a demand for your products and services to remain profitable. If you fail to create a demand for your merchandise in the first few years of your business, then there is little chance that you will ever achieve ROI.

Demand generation includes everything from lead generation to lead management. The entire sales process is not simply about finding leads, setting appointments with them and then converting them into profit. It should have a more long term goal of creating a steady flow of leads. Demand generation improves the (1)find--->(2)attract--->(3)meet--->(4)convert process and integrates the lead management segment into the mix. In fact, demand generation places a significant emphasis on lead management. Lead generation without lead management is merely a single transaction and leaves out a lot of potential business opportunities unexplored. With lead management, businesses are not only able to capture more leads but also identify which leads are already sales ready so that sales people can convert them right away. Content marketing is also a large part of demand generation. Without quality, knowledgeable and valuable content, sales leads and business leads will not see your products and services as useful for their own business.

The processes under lead management are found in the later part of the demand generation process. After the sales and business leads have been found, they need to be qualified. The lead scoring system plays an important part in this stage. Once the sales or business leads have been scored, they are finally sent to a salesperson to be closed. Demand generation is a complete and holistic integration of all these processes. In the previous illustration, if some leads are not able to immediately reach the last segment (convert), they undergo lead management where they are eventually returned to the attract--->meet--->convert segment. Similarly, leads who are successfully converted undergo the same process. This is what makes established businesses even more profitable. There are various software available to facilitate demand generation, but the in general, demand generation undergoes the same process.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How To Find Investors According To Mark Cuban

Check out this website I found at

How To Find Investors According To Mark Cuban

Dan Schawbel’s Sharktank Roundtable interview series provides great tips for entrepreneurs and businessmen from the eight hosts of the hit show. From that latest and last interview, here are 3 helpful tips to find investors according to Mark Cuban, a serial entrepreneur `nd a “Shark” in ABC’s popular show. Starting entrepreneurship early in his life, Cuban’s first venture was which he eventually sold to Yahoo. His other businesses include: HDNet, 2929 Entertainment, IceRocket, ownership of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, and a slew of other investments.

"Do everything you can to not have to seek outside money. Most companies don’t need more money, they need more brains." 

Asking other people for seed capital doesn't just mean that they will provide initial funding for your business that you will have to pay for in the future, they will also require other collaterals such a certain percentage of stocks, a position in the board of directors, or some other executive position. Before scouring the Silicon Valley for angel investors and venture capitalists to fund your business, try to fund your business by yourself first. This way, if the venture doesn't turn out to be as profitable as you initially perceived or your target business leads didn't see it as valuable enough to purchase, then you can stop the operations anytime without needing to worry about paying back any money you owe from someone else. Afterwards, you can easily start again with another idea that may bring in more business leads.

"If you do need money, know exactly how much you need, what you are going to do with it and how it will get you to profitability." 

If you really need outside financing, then you have to prepare a complete report of where you will be spending the seed capital that your investor will lend you. No one would lend you anything if you don't have any clear plans on where to spend them and how you will get the money back. Your report should include: how much you plan to spend on product R&D, your projected expenses for lead generation campaigns and marketing, the distribution expenses, employee salaries and office rent. There might be other things you need to consider as well, such as if you need to outsource certain operations to a BPO company or a call center. The point is that you have to make it as complete and accurate as possible so that you won't run out of money prematurely or borrow much more than you can afford to repay.

"Be ready to work your ass off. Raising money is not a destination, it’s a starting point. The minute you take money, you no longer are your own boss. You work for the people giving you money. Be prepared to work harder than you did before. Raising money doesn’t make things easier; it creates more pressure for success." 

Having an investor on board can be both a blessing and a burden. On one hand you can take more risks because you have someone backing your efforts, on the other, you have to choose the risks you take wisely because the same person backing you up is expecting a lot from you. You will have to work extra hard to make sure that you always have a steady flow of sales leads coming in.

There is little margin for error and failure when investors are involved so you have to think very carefully before you find one for your business.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Build Relationships For Business

The problem with some businesses these days is that many of them are stuck on how to improve their visibility in the market. It may be true that they have the best products or services in the market, but if prospects do not see them, it is still useless. Telemarketers appear to be at a quandary at this. You can join plenty of events and other venues where you can advertise, but if you fail to consider one important factor in business, then you will fail.

It is all about building relationships. And it can have a lot of effect in telemarketing as well.

The reason why there are a lot of companies that succeed in their business is because they were able to make a connection with their prospects. This is not about making a sale or anything. It is all about understanding what the customers want. This is not about selling. This is all about letting prospects know that someone is really listening, and that there is someone who can address this need.

It can be a trick affair. And it will require trust and time to build up. But once it is there, it is there to stay. The aim is not to sell here anymore. The aim is to let people decide to buy. Clients don’t just come and go. If you can give them a superb service, and a good relationship, then they are sure to come back to you. It is worth the effort invested.

Monday, June 4, 2012

7 Ways to Be A Better Networker Than Your Competitors

So you think that meeting people can already be considered networking? Think again. Well, if you want to squash your competitors, then it’s time to do more than just handing out calling cards and giving firm business-like handshakes.

When it comes to networking, are you better than your competition? Smart and savvy businessmen and job seekers know how to make the most of their networking skills to beat their competition.

1. Look for job leads that fast by using Google Alerts. Google Alerts is an effective channel in finding job leads. Given the proper keywords, you could stumble on news relevant to the industry numerous times daily which can assist you in terms of getting opportunities. All you have to do is play with various words and phrases and complement your job search with first hand announcements.
2. Look professional on your social networks. A photo of you holding your puppy may be cute, but that’s not professional. Take note that people that have eggs, avatars, baby photos, or pets as their profile pictures are only offering entertainment, not brand. Think of your resume picture—a latest and decent quality photo with a smile can evoke a positive statement.
3. Never give away leads by your passivity. Don’t just wait there. Instead, proactively upstage your competitors by doing small things which are easier to do for now. Follow up an interview, call the company to know the status of your job application or meet that business lead which you may eventually close to a sale.
4. See Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Facebook as just a single portfolio for your business. Define clearly who you are. Are you the same individual on your various social network profiles? Set a reliable message all throughout the different social media platforms. Leverage status updates, profile massages and taglines in order to communicate effectively what sales leads and potential employers would want to know.
5. Make the most of business coaches, mentors and advisors. Nobody does it all alone. Rather than figuring it all by your lonesome, you could get expert advice from individuals that can bring you alternatives or opportunities that you never thought about. Don’t passively sit there and wait for other people to deliver you the leads you need; learn how you can drive your job hunt efficiently by taking it into your own hands.
6. Network regularly to meet your prospect, much better in person. If you’re not, then chances are, your competitors already are, instead of you----that’s making real connections. They may have similar or less experience than you, but the difference lies in them talking to individuals that are passionate and willing to be of help to them.
7. Be a giver, not a taker. If you want to build connections, strive to give more than what you could even receive. And don’t even say that it’s not worth it. It is not even about lending, but remember that in networking, when you give, you also receive. One way to do this is to volunteer; maximize your skills to be useful to others. If you strategize well, not only you can get recognized for your efforts, but you’ll also feel more fulfilled.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Lost In Translation In Information Technology

The language of business has always been traditionally known as money, but these days, it's not just that. Rather, it has taken on a literal significance. While English has been known as the main medium of instruction, it has become a necessity to speak the language of other countries. What better industry will this have an effect than in information technology. IT leads are not just found locally, but also in countries and cultures that speaks a different tongue. It can have a huge impact in your IT lead generation and IT appointment setting campaigns.

Now, what are the things that you might miss that might give you translation problems?

1. You might overlook the cultural differences of countries sharing the same language.
2. Your website might not be capable of handling language translations, further adding a strain in working with your customers.
3. Measurements and units used in one country may not be understood in another country.
4. For the Chinese, it is assuming that they all use the same language. In fact, they have different dialects in each part of the country. This can be troublesome in telemarketing.
5. The Arabs, a potentially profitable market, may be missed because there are not that many programs that can translate into Arabic, including the right-to-left reading direction.

These are just some of the challenges faced by a lot of companies wishing to target foreign firms in their attempt to generate more IT leads. Given the level in which information technology has taken the world, going global might be the best.

Monday, May 21, 2012

How To Handle Customer Complaints

Customer complaints will forever be part of our business processes. That is why it is even more important for us to efficiently take care of it. You can say that it is one of the most important aspects of your business. After all, given the way people are connected to each other now, you will want to avoid bad publicity because you were unable to handle a customer’s concern. That can have an impact on your B2B leads generation. Who will want to have an appointment setting with you if they hear negative news about your business? That is why you have to offer a good customer service program. Your sales leads need it.

Customer Service

A bit lost? Then you can follow these eight points to guide your process. These are just a few things that you can add to your business culture. Simple enough, but with a great impact:

1. Begin with yourself – if you want to offer good customer service, you have to believe in it first. Your employees will follow whatever example you set, especially when you deal with customers.
2. Create a code of conduct to be followed – create a list of ideals to follow, and post them on your office walls or during training. This will guide for your employees when they do their work.
3. Treat your employees as customers – in this way, your employees will realize that they are an important part of the firm, and they will exert more effort to keep your business working.
4. Think of the long run – one reason why some firms have bad customer service. Thinking more about selling often translates into tactics that alienate or frustrate customers.
5. Build trust – this you can work with your telemarketing team, as this takes time to build. You need to be honest, reliable, and confident so that customers will feel confident in working with you.
6. Listen carefully – one reason why customers get frustrated is because no one seems to understand them. Take time to listen to what they have to say, and after that you can answer.
7. Go with the little things – providing a little extra for your customers can go a long way for your business leads. It builds goodwill, as well as the impression that you are the right partner.
8. Help them find another business – if you cannot provide them what they are looking for, recommend them another firm that can. It is good PR, and that customer will certainly return.
9. Provide relevant information – your firm must be able to answer what customers ask. If you do not know or is unfamiliar with your offer, then why offer them in the first place, right?

Customer service is not just about providing customers with the answer to their questions, it must also be able to create a relationship with them. These days, it can be hard to find new business, so it makes perfect sense for you to try keeping the current ones. A wise investment, as some pundits will say.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Virginia Clarifies Test for Judicial Dissolution of Corporations and Partnerships

Last month the Virginia Supreme Court issued two significant opinions relating to the judicial dissolution of partnerships and closely held corporations. Both cases addressed issues of first impression. The opinion addressing the corporate issues also considered the propriety of a shareholder not only seeking a judicial dissolution but also pursuing a derivative suit under Va. Code § 13.1-672.1 at the same time.

Russell Realty Associates v. C. Edward Russell, Jr. involved the standard for judicial dissolution of general partnerships under § 50-73.117(5) of the Virginia Uniform Partnership Act. Here are the facts. In 1978, Charles E. Russell, Sr. created an irrevocable trust dividing his estate into two separate trust shares, one for the benefit of his son, Eddie, and the other for the benefit of his daughter, Nina, and her children. The partnership was created to fund the trust. Its purpose was to `cquire, hold, invest in, lease and sell investment properties. As Charles Russell withdrew from the partnership his son took over its active management. After Charles’ death the management of the partnership and the trust became acrimonious, specifically as to the future of the partnership and trust distributions. Those disagreements prevented the sale of certain partnership assets. The two partners and their counsel unsuccessfully tried to resolve the issues for years. Over that period, Nina began to insert herself in the management and operations of the partnership to a significant degree.

Ultimately, Eddie filed suit seeking a judicial dissolution of the partnership. He alleged (1) serious and irreconcilable conflicts with his sister and her son; and (2) that those conflicts had frustrated the partnership’s economic purpose and made management of its assets and affairs not reasonably practicable. Nina responded seeking an accounting and alleging that Eddie had violated his fiduciary duties. She also sought aid, guidance and a declaration regarding her son’s rights to distributions from the trust as well as Eddie’s removal as co-trustee. After trial, the Court found in Eddie’s favor and granted dissolution of the partnership. Nina appealed.

The sole issue on appeal was whether Eddie met the strict standards for judicial dissolution of a partnership under the Virginia Code. The Code provides, inter alia, that a court may dissolve a partnership where “(a) the economic purpose of the partnership is likely to be unreasonably frustrated; (b) another partner has engaged in conduct relating to the partnership business which makes it not reasonably practicable to carry on the business and partnership with that partner; or (c) it is not otherwise reasonably practicable to carry on the partnership business in conformity with the partnership agreement.” Va. Code § 50-73.117(5). A court may dissolve a partnership where it finds that any of those three conditions have been satisfied.

In Russell, the trial court granted dissolution based upon (a) and (c) above, the economic purpose and business operations tests, respectively. Because the Supreme Court had never addressed the legal standard for dissolution in the partnership context, it adopted the test applicable to dissolution actions that involve limited liability companies. See The Dunbar Group, LLC v. Tignor, 267 Va. 361, 593 S.E.2d 216 (2004).

On appeal, Nina argued that dissolution under the economic purpose prong of the statute required a showing of “truly poor financial performance” and that the trial court’s conclusion that the partnership was not run as a “model of business efficiency” was insufficient justification for dissolution of a profitable business. The Court rejected Nina’s argument noting: “[T]he purpose of the change [in the Revised Uniform Partnership Act] was to allow continuation of a partnership that was not financially profitable based on an inquiry into the partners’ expectations in determining the economic purpose of the partnership.” It concluded that a partnership need not be a financial failure to support a judicial dissolution under the economic purpose prong of the statute.

In Russell, the Supreme Court found evidence in the record that: (1) the relationship between the siblings frustrated the ability of the partnership to take advantage of economically favorable offers to sell certain properties; (2) the “disruptive relationship between the partners had resulted in the partnership incurring substantial added costs” including the need for attorney intervention to facilitate communications and decision making; and (3) despite the provisions of the Partnership Agreement that vested decision-making authority in Eddie, the parties’ relationship imposed unnecessary economic costs “preventing the partnership from taking advantage of and conducting its business in a timely and efficient manner.” According to the Supreme Court those facts were sufficient to satisfy the economic purpose test and warrant the judicial dissolution ordered by the trial court.

The second suit, Cattano v. Bragg, involved a tempest between the only two partners/shareholders in a law firm structured as a corporation. Among other complaints, after discovering that checks had been written on the firm’s escrow/trust account to Cattano’s wife and children, Bragg sought inspection of all corporate records. Cattano responded by firing Bragg and attempting to remove her as director at a special meeting of the shareholders.

Bragg filed suit seeking a judicial dissolution and an accounting and division of assets. She later amended the Complaint adding derivative claims against Cattano for breach of fiduciary duty and conversion.

The Circuit Court appointed a Receiver and directed that the Receiver perform a complete accounting of the books and records of the firm.

At trial, the jury found in Bragg’s favor on the derivative conversion count and awarded the firm $234,412.18. It also awarded Bragg monetary damages for breach of contract and judicial dissolution. It did not find in Bragg’s favor, however, on the claim for breach of fiduciary duty. In a separate trial the Circuit Court awarded Bragg $269,813.00 in attorneys’ fees, plus costs and expenses of $19,415.71, finding that the conversion claim had “yielded a substantial benefit to the corporation.”

Cattano appealed raising a number of corporate issues.

First, Cattano objected that Bragg did not have standing under Va. Code § 13.1-672.1(A) to bring the derivative claim on the basis that she did not “fairly and adequately represent the interests of the corporation in enforcing the right of the corporation.” Noting that in Virginia there is no exception to the rule that actions for injuries to a corporation must be brought derivatively rather than directly by a shareholder, the court found that a single shareholder could pursue a derivative claim on behalf of the corporation. Because it had never addressed the standard to apply in determining whether a plaintiff fairly and adequately represented the interests of the corporation in a corporate derivative claim, the Court adopted the factors it had used in Jennings v. Kay Jennings Family Limited Partnership, 275 Va. 594, 659 S.E.2d 283 (2008) which it borrowed from Davis v. Co-Med, Inc., 619 F.2d 588, 593-94 (6th Cir. 1980). Those factors are:

“ (1) economic antagonisms between the representative and members of the class;
  (2) the remedy sought by the plaintiff in the derivative action;
  (3) indications that the named plaintiff is not the driving force behind the litigation;
  (4) plaintiff’s unfamiliarity with the litigation;
  (5) other litigation pending between the plaintiff and defendant;
  (6) the relative magnitude of plaintiff’s personal interests as compared to his interests in the derivative action itself;
  (7) plaintiff’s vindictiveness toward the defendant; and
  (8) the degree of support plaintiff is receiving from the shareholders he purports to represent.”

Jennings, 659 S.E.2d at 288

The Court noted that these factors “are not exclusive and must be considered in the totality of circumstances found in each case.” (quoting Jennings, 659 S.E.2d at 288.)

Significantly, the Cattano court noted:

"While the present case contains economic antagonism as well as apparent animosity between the firm’s only two shareholders, we do not find this to be a determinative factor when evaluating a closely held corporation; nor do we find it determinative that the sole other shareholder does not support the derivative suit. To so hold would be to enact a de facto bar on derivative suits in two shareholder corporations. . . . In closely held corporations, we must look beyond the mere presence of economic and emotional conflict, placing more emphasis on whether the totality of the circumstances suggest that the plaintiff will vigorously pursue the suit and that the remedy sought is in the interest of the corporation."

Applying the appropriate factors, the Supreme Court held that Bragg fairly represented the interests of the corporation in that she sought a return of funds that had been misappropriated by an officer. Such a claim was highly appropriate for a derivative action. Given that she would be entitled a portion of the funds returned to the corporation suggested that her interests were aligned with the corporation and she would vigorously pursue the claim.

Second, Cattano argued that Bragg was pursuing her own interest given the possibility of an award of attorneys’ fees and costs, whereas with pure judicial dissolution no such fee shifting mechanism was available. The Court rejected the argument finding that, because the fee shifting mechanism in the context of a derivative claim was a deliberate policy choice on the part of the General Assembly, the claim should not be barred.

Third, Cattano asserted that Bragg could not act in the firm’s interest in pursing a derivative claim at the same time she was seeking to dissolve the corporation. That argument, too, was unpersuasive. Instead, the Court held that, not only was it in the interest of the corporation to have the misappropriated funds returned, but “judicial dissolution is a remedial mechanism that exists in addition to, rather than as a substitute for, shareholder’s rights.” It is not a per se bar to a derivative claim.

Finally, the court examined the appropriateness of awarding attorneys’ fees to Bragg as a result of her prevailing on the derivative claim. Va. Code § 13.1-672.5(1) provides that: on termination of a derivative proceeding, the court shall: (1) order the corporation to pay the plaintiff’s reasonable expenses (including counsel fees) incurred in the proceeding if it finds that the proceeding has resulted in a substantial benefit to the corporation. . .” Prior to this opinion, no Virginia court had interpreted that provision of the Code. Because there was no Virginia precedent as to the standard to be applied, the Court borrowed from the United State Supreme Court’s decision in Mills v. Electric Auto-Lite Company, 396 U.S. 375 (1970) where that Court held:

"[A] substantial benefit must be something more than technical in its consequence and be one that accomplishes a result which corrects or prevents an abuse which would be prejudicial to the rights and interests of the corporation or affect the enjoyment or protection of an essential right to the stockholder’s interest."

Mills, 396 U.S. at 396. In Cattano, the Court found, as did the Circuit Court, that the recovery of over $234,000 of misappropriated funds was a substantial benefit to the firm.

These opinions are welcomed additions to the limited case law in Virginia addressing judicial dissolution and derivative actions. In particular, they suggest that both partners and 50% shareholders in closely held corporations have significant remedies they can use to protect against abuses by other owners. They should serve as cautionary tales.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Issue About Honesty In Business


Nothing sours a great working relationship like knowing that that business relationship was based on a big fat lie. No business in any industry appreciates a liar because honesty is an essential part of any business venture. Why do you think it’s so hard for SMEs to get appointments with Fortune 500 decision makers? When millions of dollars in profits and the livelihood of hundreds of people are on the line, company executives and directors have to make sure that that critical decision will be for the benefit of all parties involved, and that critical decision won’t happen if honesty is not part of the equation.

Even white lies are not acceptable in the harsh environment known as the business world. Competition is a constant threat, and should your more aggressive competitors sniff out a deceitful statement, don't expect them to let you off the hook without a price.

This is best exemplified by Yahoo's recent dismissal of its (yet another) CEO, Scott Thompson. Thompson succeeded former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, but after only a brief 5-month term in service, Thompson was ousted by Yahoo. The reason? It seems Thompson thought that adding a degree in computer science to his resume won’t be much of a problem, considering a large number of tech CEOs these days didn’t even finish college. However, admitting that you don’t have a college degree and claiming that you do have one (when in fact you don’t), are entirely two different things. Thompson blames the resume gaffe on Heidrick & Struggles, an executive-recruiting firm that got him his previous Paypal position. However, it should be noted that not once did Thompson try to correct the bogus information on his bio, which means he was willing to continue playing the part of a “computer science engineer” had Daniel Loeb (founder of Third Point LLC and Yahoo investor) not checked his bio.

Others might argue that, in the case of Mr. Thompson, it is better to retain a liar who is skilled in getting work done than an honest employee whose work is only mediocre. Well I say let the liars lead and let's see where your company will be in 3 years! Your business might become lucrative, but in all probability, that business will no longer be yours. Another great concern here is the nature of Yahoo’s business. As an internet corporation, Yahoo handles large amounts of confidential client information. If the directors of Yahoo didn’t fire Thompson, how are they to expect users to continue entrusting their information with a company whose leader is less than trustworthy?

Honesty is the greatest requirement for integrity, and a leader's integrity is one that he should protect with the utmost care. Think about it, if a supposed leader needs to lie just to get the position he wants, it only means that he is not worthy to be in that position in the first place. Honesty is a moral and social obligation that should never be disregarded by business leaders, no matter what size of company they work in.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Why Is Singapore Is Good For Your Business

Silicon valley can very well be considered the mecca of startups, and most companies aspire to migrate their businesses or establish a branch there. This decision, however, will bring them straight into a world of high competition for capital, talent and above all, quality sales leads.

Business to business companies should try to consider other locations that would offer them highly profitable business opportunities. One such strategic location is the Republic of Singapore.
B2b companies will have great opportunities awaiting them in the tiger country. The country has recently been distinguished as the leading Asian country in terms of economic competitiveness according to a study commissioned by Citigroup.

Setting up your business in Singapore is relatively easy, what with government funded subsidy grants and quick business registration processes. Business sales leads generation can be easily accomplished by hiring a lead generation service provider from BPO hubs Philippines or India.

Singapore’s proximity to other developing asian countries makes it a valuable and strategic business location, particularly the mobile industry which is gaining a strong foothold in Singapore and neighboring countries Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

While most startups prefer to establish their business in the silicon valley, for Bubble Motion CEO Tom Clayton, Singapore was the ideal choice for his thriving startup. The country’s business industry is world-class. However, the most appealing aspect about Singapore was its proximity to Bubble Motion’s market - Indonesia, India and China. Bubble Motion is a Twitter-like mobile app that allows voice messages to be sent out to one’s followers. His decision has given his startup the chance to connect with the largest mobile service providers available in Asia, including: Airtel, Reliance, Vodafone, KDDI and Telkomsel and required only five months of marketing to get the Indian market to embrace his product.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Branding to Generate Sales Leads

The Golden Arches, a partly bitten apple, the dynamic ribbon design, the Nike swoosh. All of these brands have achieved worldwide distinction and easy recognition with the help of amazingly simple yet memorable brand logos. Proper brand marketing gives a brand distinction, one that makes it easily recognizable to potential sales leads once its logo, catchphrase, jingle or even token colors are presented. Every company aims to have their brand recognized, to the point where they no longer have to spend so much on lead generation marketing because the sales leads themselves come to them.

Generating Quality Sales Leads

Due to the popularity of globally recognized brands, it can be difficult for local brands to find quality sales leads no matter what lead generation techniques their company employs.


The Malaysian government is eager to help local brands earn recognition amidst hundreds of internationally popular brands and help local business industries. Through the Putra Brand Awards, local brands are exposed to about 6,000 consumers nationwide. Participating brands avail of free marketing, and aside from nationwide recognition, they are also able to generate sales leads.

One might argue that achieving brand recognition can be relatively easy these days with the help of various social media. Once a new brand has achieved virality status, the sales leads come flooding in and further lead generation marketing seems irrelevant. However, this type of popularity is often short-lived; once the hype has died down, the gush of sales leads becomes a trickle.

The challenge then is not only how well a brand marketing campaign can attract new and qualified sales leads, but also how reliable that branding is to sustain the company and continue to generate sales leads.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Can Telemarketing Boost Business?

Why do you think Singapore so popular with entrepreneurs? It is possible that lead generation services have created a lot of business opportunities in the country. How good the image that Singapore projects to the international market depends on the B2B leads that you get. Remember, qualified leads can act as a mirror, providing interesting market details for a company like yours can use to analyze your markets. Of course, this means that you will need a medium that can ensure that only the best business information is made available. And this is where telemarketing services comes in. You will be amazed at the level of effectiveness that telemarketers can bring to a business. As a marketing tool, you will be amazed at what professional telemarketing services can provide you.

This may very well be the answer that you will need. Telemarketing services can be a great way to put your business on the way to success.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How Can Cheaper Technology Help Small IT Firms?

As the business world becomes more and more global in reach and markets, the main players in the IT business game appears to evolve as well. Traditional business tools and viewpoints will have to be changed, as new players using the newest technologies and tactics has altered the playing field. Big firms are not the only ones getting the customers. Even small and medium sized companies are making a name for themselves. The keyword here is information technology, and the system supporting it.

David Mills wrote an interesting article in the business section of BBC News. According to him, “…businesses will experience significant change in their industry sectors in the future, due to the impacts of technology.” And this can apply to small and medium sized companies as well. Traditionally, small companies are unable to compete with bigger competitors because of the limits in infrastructure, tools, as well as technology needed to do business. In the past, these can carry a very hefty price tag. But that has changed over the recent years.

With the advent of cloud computing technology and infrastructure, a new range of products and services have become available for many small and medium sized firms – and at a lower price. This allows greater support for businesses that, in the past, would have had a lot of logistical problems in their operations. Thanks to cloud computing technologies, companies are now enjoying greater data processing power, higher bandwidth, as well as data storage. Not only that, but the advent of social media marketing, video communication, and other business tools are becoming more common. It is good to note here, as Mills had, that these have been around for several years already, only catching the eye of entrepreneurs recently.

But what do these developments have to do in IT lead generation services? Heaps, simply put.

To start with, this implies the evolution of IT leads. What techniques we may have found canon over the years may no longer work in today’s business. While telemarketing would still remain as the top medium for IT leads, it must also be augmented by other business tools like social media and video presentations to maximize lead generation results. These very important business tools are now more available for a lot of small and medium sized firms.

That is not all. Even the way work is organized has also changed. Before, you have to invest heavily in equipment, employees, and other technologies. But along with the changes today comes the evolution in the workplace. Smaller companies, especially start up ones, can lease the job to outside specialists who can do it at a fraction of the in house cost. This levels-up the playing field for businesses, allowing everyone a fair chance to expand their markets and improve their profitability. What matters here is your firms capacity to collect, analyze, and utilize market data. That makes all the difference for entrepreneurs.

There is still a lot of space for improvements. As for these changes, it would be interesting to know what these are in the future.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Is Telemarketing Right For Australia?

Among the many countries are emerging as economic powerhouses in the world, there is no doubt that Australia is among the names that is being talked about. And really, this does not come as a surprise. After all, this is one of the countries that have been able to weather the world financial crisis. It has even emerged stronger than before. This makes this very attractive for many investors. Of course, there is the challenge of knowing who to do business with. There are so many companies to choose form. But that is a concern that can be easily solved. All you need to do is to invest in good B2B leads. You will be amazed with the way qualified leads can introduce you to new business opportunities, as well as provide you with a glimpse of what your company will want. You will need lead generation services to get these B2B leads.

What makes lead generation services so popular is the results that they bring. This is important when you are generating good B2B leads. After all, this is one business tool that has been able to deliver for their clients useful market data. You can benefit from this, too. Your marketing team can then use the these qualified leads contain to pursue new business opportunities. While it may be enticing to start your campaign to generate qualified leads on your own, there is something that you must remember. B2B leads can be difficult and costly to generate on your own. If you are a large company, then it would not be that much of a trouble. It is the smaller firms that needs the professional help of lead generation firms. There are plenty of firms that you can work with. The key here is for you to work one that uses good telemarketing services. In this type of business, you will need telemarketers to do the job for you.

It may be true that some people have misgivings over the use of telemarketing, owing to its shady past, but there is a reason for this. Think about it. What other lead generation tool has been able to reach out to the most number of prospects in the most effective and cost-efficient manner? It has to be telemarketing. This is the only marketing tool that can transcend physical boundaries and produce results in the fastest way. And besides, telemarketers have evolved in the way they do business. They are no longer the company that creates problems for customers and giving their clients a bad name. Also, telemarketers are the best for this kind of job. They can talk to your prospects, encourage them to do business with you, and engage them, keeping the prospects interested in what you have to offer. This is a good investment.

Of course, only you can decide whether lead generation services will work well for you. There may be risks involved in leaving the job to an outsider, but the rewards will more than make up for it.

Stay Confident In Ten Easy Ways

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Power Of Confidence In Business

How important is being confident in business? A lot, if we are talking about dealing with other people. This is perhaps the one most important trait that all business people must have, particularly those in telemarketing services. How can you convince prospects to believe in the products or services you are selling if you yourself don’t sound convincing enough.

The job becomes doubly hard since you are doing the job using the only the phone. Many of the visual cues that you could have sent to your prospects will never be seen. This means that only your voice can make or break the telemarketing campaign. So it pays if you can make yourself sound confident enough.

Confidence is an internal quality that translates into an external cue. If you can make yourself feel good, if you can boost your self-esteem, then it can translate into better performance. Better performance would then translate into better results for the telemarketing firm you are working for. And if your company is doing well, then this means you get to keep your job longer.

Given the current status of employment, which is clear all over the world, being confident is a simple, yet effective, investment in your future. And it is not just you and your company who will benefit from this. Your prospects will be assured that at least they are talking to someone who actually knows what they are talking about.

Next time, look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that everything is going to be great. And do not forget the smile. It helps.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

How to Win Back Old Customers

Have you realized that fresh sales leads are not always synonymous to new people or even new information? As a matter of fact, it could be as successful as in treating lost clients similarly as you would in your new business leads. Yes, despite some reasons why these customers left, here are some tips on winning back your previous clients.

Divide your customer list depending on buying behavior so that you identify who you can send to the same way you would do lead qualification. Separate that list into two: those who have not bought in the last year and beyond, and those who have not bought in the last 6-12 months. This is done so that you can target these sets with a relatively dissimilar message to make them return.

Refresh their memory in your subject line. Old clients were already familiar with you, unlike new sales leads. That’s why you have to make your subject line more unique and inform them that you want them back again. Make your subject lines catchy like “(First Name), where have you been?”

Entice them with a genuine special offer. In order to win them back, make sure that you have an attractive offer in store for them. Begin by letting them know how grateful you are for whatever they bought from you, being specific in what and when they bought from you. Remind them of that good experience they had with your firm and convince them to communicate all over again.

Having loyal customers mean that they are happy and contented with your company. It is important to keep old customers interested.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Should Marketers Pin Their Hopes On Pinterest?


Pinterest is the current marketing trend. Business and consumers alike are using this. The question however is, should marketers pin their hopes in pinterest?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Evolution of Social Media Marketing

Before the social media boom, marketers thought social media marketing was just another fad that would soon likely pass, something in the vein of pyramid and networking scams. But when Facebook started attracting attention from the year 2004, more and more social media marketing strategies were developed. Today, this marketing tool has allowed start-ups and established companies to gain attention without having to spend millions of dollars on advertisements.

A Brief History

Before there was social media, netizens in the 1970s and 1980s spent most of their time on social networks like dating sites and online forums. Six Degrees, Livejournal, and Friendster were the earliest form of social medias.
The dot-com bubble of 1995 - 2002 was a critical event that allowed the internet to become a viable marketing tool. It began with search marketing, prompting brands to create websites to establish an online presence. As Google, Yahoo and MSN’s search engines evolved, companies turned to SEO strategies to remain at the top of search results.

When web 2.0 sites - blogs in particular - increased in popularity, marketers began to recognize the potential of content marketing. Inbound marketing, where more value is added for the customer and business is earned, starts replacing age-old “buy, beg or bug” outbound marketing strategies.

In 2003 - 2004, the arrival social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and My Space initiates the shift of internet users from multiplayer online games into social networking sites. Eventually, businesses picked up on the positive effects of a social media site presence on e-commerce and started creating their own profiles on the popular networking sites.

In the years that followed, customer’s favorable attitude towards social media marketing slowly changed business marketing preference from the more aggressively-proactive outbound marketing to the more reactive inbound marketing.

Nowadays, over 90% of marketing executives utilize social media as part of their marketing strategies, and successful businesses utilize social media marketing for branding, lead generation, customer retention, research and e-commerce. Not only does social media manage to significantly reduce marketing expenses and the time needed to market products and services, it also increased the effectiveness of marketing and overall customer satisfaction. 83% of customers who post complaints on a brand’s social site like Twitter and get a reply state that they are satisfied. This helped companies retain more of their customers, resulting to increased existing customer transactions.

Capitalizing on free Internet

There are over 2 billion people online at any given time. Around 23% of the total time spent on the internet is spent on browsing or interacting within social media sites. At least 53% of individuals who are active on social media sites such as Facebook are following a brand. With the help of global internet, more and more customers (if not all) are expecting their brands to have an online presence.
This year’s tablets, iPads, and Android-operated phones will only make internet browsing all the more accessible for consumers, and social media marketing will allow companies to reach out to more target markets. As long as the internet exists, social media will remain an important part of marketing strategies.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

There is some debate on which marketing strategy is most effective, or rather, whether or not outbound marketing is still relevant. New age marketers are quick to point out that inbound marketing is far cheaper compared to outbound marketing, and the leads generated from inbound marketing tactics are more likely to convert to sales. Before joining the argument, let us first take a closer look at the two marketing strategies.

Inbound Marketing

The premise of inbound marketing is to attract prospects to come to you of their own free will by rousing their interest in your product, service or brand through helpful information. It is a two-way communication that makes use of various media available on the internet with the goal of educating or entertaining your target market and providing them with the information that they want.

As a marketing tactic, inbound strategies rely much on the internet, which isn’t at all an inconvenience in this day and age where everyone’s instinct whenever they want to know something about anything is to “google” it. The same holds true for consumers. When a consumer wants to purchase something, the initial instinct is to look for reviews and comments about it on the web.

Inbound marketing makes use of websites, SEO, inbound telemarketing and an active social media presence. An informative and engaging content marketing strategy which includes blogs, podcasts, white papers, vlogs, ebooks, and attractive infographics is created to entice your target market to come to you.

For this marketing tactic, you have to make sure that your online presence interprets your brand as reliable and informative. And if you really want to keep attracting more leads, you have to keep it entertaining as well. As long as they know that you can provide them with what they need, your target market will keep coming back to you, and if they wish to purchase, your brand will be on the top of their list because they know they can trust you.

Outbound Marketing

This marketing strategy can be considered as mainly “traditional.” Outbound marketing normally makes use of paid advertisements, TV commercials, huge billboards, outbound telemarketing through cold calling, email marketing, direct mail and trade shows.

Although considerably more expensive compared to inbound marketing, outbound strategies are more effective in generating lead volume, providing a greater quantity of leads for filling the top of the pipeline. Also, by utilizing behavioral analytics on target markets, this marketing tactic can actively seek out and appeal to specific audiences. It is also able to reach a wider audience within a short span of time, as in the case of billboards and TV commercials.

Outbound tactics are mostly used in B2B marketing. Unlike B2C companies, B2B companies don’t have the luxury of leads who actively seek out their products and services as most of their leads already have them. It is the goal of outbound marketing to show these leads that there are better products and services than the ones they are currently using.

Inbound marketing is able to provide quality leads for a cheaper price, but quality without quantity can never sustain a business, and it is outbound marketing who is able to provide the required numbers. In the end, the best marketing strategy is to combine the best of both in developing your own marketing plan to generate as much qualified leads for your business.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sales And Marekting 101

Sales and marketing are both necessary processes which allow all business ventures to succeed. However, they are used together so frequently that their individual meanings tend to get muddled together. Both terms so interdependent on each other that defining one term often requires comparing it to the other.

For small and medium enterprises, these two processes tend to be performed by the same individual or the same group of personnel, which is why they are often confused as one process. The boundaries between the two terms (or business departments) often overlap, but this actually makes them both more effective. It should be mentioned that a marketing plan without a complementing sales process would render the entire plan useless, while a sales process without any marketing plan would hardly produce satisfactory results, if any at all.

Of the two terms, marketing has a broader definition. Marketing is how you present your products and services to your prospects and is done so that the sales process can proceed much faster and eventually end in a closed sale. The marketing process includes market research, design, packaging, pricing, print advertising, direct mail, TV and radio advertisements, online marketing, pay per click, banner advertising, email marketing, organic search (the use of SEO to rank high on search engine results), use of social media platforms, etc. Telemarketing is a form of marketing, but is also used to close sales. The former is usually outbound telemarketing, while the latter is mostly inbound telemarketing.

In all essentiality, marketing is everything you do to place your products and services on the market. A sale can never happen without some form of marketing preceding it, and it is sufficient to say that a large number of qualified sales leads from a lead generation campaign is the product of highly effective marketing strategies.

The sales process, on the other hand, is a personal interaction with your sales leads or prospects where you convince them that your products and services is the answer to their problems or that their life will be much easier when they avail of your business offerings. The sales process or sales cycle is usually broken down into several steps intended to eventually lead to a closed sale. The steps on the sales cycle varies from one marketer to another, but usually includes the following steps more or less: initial contact, pre-approach (includes planning the sale), approach, need assessment, presentation, meeting objections, gaining commitment, and follow-up.

An effective amalgam of sales and marketing is important to be able to pull off a successful lead generation campaign. After the sales leads have been qualified, the team responsible for appointment setting comes in to initiate the actual selling process. Especially for business to business companies, the sales process will be difficult to complete unless business appointments are made to initiate contact with the prospects. Most entrepreneurs run their business without a clear knowledge of how these two processes interact. However, knowing how to differentiate sales and marketing will help your business in developing effective strategies to maximize profitable results.


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