Cross training. It’s a term that’s become popular in the health and fitness world, but it originated in the business world. There is some similarity though—cross training can make your business healthier and more fit.
Cross-training involves teaching an employee who was hired to perform one job function the skills required to perform other job functions, according to Inc. magazine’s encyclopedia of business terms.
While you can cross-train your employees across many lines, customer support is perhaps the most vital focus if you want to create an Amazon-like culture of winning with customers.
Think about the big picture. Good customer service is a quasi marketing tool that can drive extreme loyalty. Customers are actively engaging in word-of-mouth marketing over social media channels in the same way news is propagating in near real-time via Twitter. And listening, truly listening, to what your customers are saying can help you retain even the most disgruntled customers—and attract brand new ones. Read more...
Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her to solve a problem or achieve a goal—not of selling a product or a service. So teaches motivational speaker and sales expert Brian Tracy.
That’s the baseline mantra of any good sales team. But that’s just the baseline. There are many factors that go into building a strategic sales team that drives your top line and ultimately enhances your bottom line. Here are six other considerations:
1. Hire the right people.
Without the “right” people on the team, the team will never see the “right” results. Although you want skilled salesmen in your pack, skills can be taught—motivation cannot. Don’t be afraid to create a team with a blend of seasoned high achievers and less-experienced candidates who are motivated and eager to learn. Read more...
US entrepreneurship hit a 40-year low in 2016. That compares to a 33-year low in 2010. Clearly, business startups are seeing a rapid decline in America.
Some blame the Great Recession but the startups didn’t start up again at historic levels after the economy recovered. Could it be the Amazon effect, where e-commerce is killing small businesses almost as fast as they can start? Are regulations to blame?
Whatever the reason, if you want to succeed as a startup you have one advantage: the landscape is less competitive. But you also have a challenge: it’s more difficult to succeed. You need a rock-solid plan.
A startup business plan has several purposes and goals, according to SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors. First, it helps you clarify your vision, mission and goals. But it can also help convince investors or lenders to put some financial power behind your business. Read more...
Well-planned and executed offsite meetings deliver tangible returns. The meetings foster ideation and collaboration, produce cohesion around short-and long-term strategies, solve big, complex problems, and align executives that simply don’t happen during day-to-day interactions between staff. But the flip side is also true. With over two-thirds of business meetings categorized as failures by executives, the amount of time and budget squandered on offsite meetings is huge.
So, what are some things that business leaders can do to ensure that their meetings are a success?
1. Consensus on Meeting Objectives
Preparation should begin 60 or 90 days beforehand. Much of what happens before an offsite meeting dictates its success—or lack thereof. Organizations that wait to the last minute almost guarantee that their offsite meetings fail to deliver the returns they desire. And we’re talking about more than setting an agenda, scheduling travel and hotels, and ordering catering. It starts by establishing meeting objectives and gaining consensus on them as well as the agenda. Read more...
Bla, bla, bla, bla. This is what it sounds like when you’re in a meeting and you have no agenda, no end time, and no idea why you’re there. A complete waste of time, right? Well, keep this in mind when you are pitching your next client. Taking complete control over every step of the sales meeting will put your prospect at ease with open ears and an open mind. Below is your Nine-Step framework for an incredibly successful sales meeting.
First: Select a meeting venue and service support that reflects the caliber of your brand.
There are thousands of meeting venues across the nation and indeed the world where you can choose the location, vibe and meeting setting that is in line with the impression you want to establish with your prospective client. You may reserve an intimate meeting room, grand boardroom or something in between by the hour or day. Read more...
Training sessions with your team play a pivotal role in keeping your business on track. Whether one-off sessions focused on specific topics or reoccurring sessions used to keep your team up to date, team training gives you a chance to assess past initiatives, address future goals, fill gaps in skill sets, ensure compliance with industry and labor regulations, and to adjust your business’ direction.
When it comes to the venue for these sessions, offsite training rooms are something many organizations should consider. The following are six reasons why offsite is better than hosting the meetings onsite.
Team Focus in a Training Room.
Training sessions require a lot of focus and quite often involve significant interactions and collaboration. Participants need to roll up their sleeves and drill down into the minute details of business objectives or topics. Hosting these sessions in your place of business can be distracting, with interruptions from other team members or partners or customers who come into the office getting the meeting off track very easily. Offsite meeting rooms give your team the chance to get away from the office and focus on training sessions. Read more...
Amazon.com has built a reputation for customer service. Yes, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, has built a customer service-focused machine by looking at e-tailing through customer-colored glasses. Salesforce’s Desk.com put together seven statements from Bezos, with explanation, in a blog post entitled, “7 Lessons You Can Learn from Jeff Bezos About Serving the Customer.”
“Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos has taken the philosophy of truly caring for the customer.” writes Kevin Baldacci. “Bezos has built a company from the ground up purely based off of the unbending, unyielding philosophy of serving the customer across all departments. With a 164 million Amazon customers, few would argue Bezos as the key architect of building an authentic, customer-centric company.”
As you train your staff on the customer service front, be sure to keep these proven tactics in mind. Read more...
Employee engagement is more than just a buzzword. It could mean the difference between small business success and failure. With Gallup reporting 70 percent of US workers are not engaged, it’s a problem entrepreneurs need to solve if they hope to compete in today’s cut-throat marketplace. Here are eight ways to drive stronger employee engagement with training.
1. Establish a goal-oriented workplace:
Your team need a clear understanding of what your organization is working to achieve in order to engage with the vision. A strategic training program should train workers with clear goals in mind—and reward them for success.
2. Foster a team mentality:
Employees have to work with the same people all day every day. They want a sense of belonging and camaraderie. Training in groups instead of individually helps build a team mentality by allowing employees to share, collaborate and offer feedback on goals. Read more...
The workforce is evolving quickly and becoming increasingly more mobile—for both big and small companies. Technological advances enable employees to access company information and to do their jobs from virtually anywhere. One outcome is that workplaces and work spaces are being remade, with some companies getting rid of permanent work space altogether and electing to use co working space, day offices, and rented conference rooms.
The forecast is that this work space evolution will continue. IDC predicts that the U.S. mobile workforce population will grow to over 105 million workers by 2020, accounting for nearly three-quarters of the total workforce. Mobile work takes different forms and occurs from different places.
Some mobile work is done from home offices, while other work is done from rented meeting space and day offices. In these cases, workers access the Internet through private Wi-Fi that is gated and reduces the possibilities of security hacking. But other mobile work is done from coffee shops, public transport, libraries, and other places where public Wi-Fi access is the norm. Growing numbers of cities even offer free Wi-Fi access in downtown areas and other locations. Read more...
Business trends come and go—and come and go. Companies need to be aware of and react to business trends, and startups have the clear advantage; they can often seize market opportunities large corporations are too slow to embrace.
Here’s a list of predictions business experts are offering that should be music to the ears of startups everywhere.
It’s all about the niche.
“Business success will come from further focusing on smaller, very specific audiences,” says Kyle Golding, chief strategic idealist at The Golding Group. “Going extremely deep with customized messages and specialized platforms to a highly receptive and loyal audience will replace wide approach ‘shot gun’ marketing. [We’ll see] more soft or no ask/call to action marketing focused on community building, experiences and lifestyle over product specific messaging.” Read more...