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Apparently, companies realize that front office solutions that help capture more buyers and understand their needs are critical to their success regardless of the recession. Hopefully, these companies are focused just as much on the process and training as the technology. CRM is a long term strategic play and should be viewed as part of a shift to a more disciplined approach to revenue management. Growth Driven by Technology Focused on Customer Retention, Analytics and On-Demand Solutions STAMFORD, Conn., July 15, 2009 — Worldwide CRM market revenue totalled $9.15 billion in 2008, a 12.5 percent increase from 2007 revenue of $8.13 billion, according to Gartner Inc. Analysts said that market growth was driven by enterprise investments in technologies focused on customer retention, analytics and on-demand solutions. “Despite financial market volatility, the worldwide CR... (more)

Successful Management Development Depends on Four Things

When choosing a leadership development programme, one may encounter courses which promise “facilitation by experts.” The experts will have a background in a particular industry, and will draw on this background as they develop managers from the same industry on their programme. In this way, ex civil-servants will train other civil servants, ex manufacturing directors will instil leadership and management disciplines in those working in manufacturing, ex-lawyers will develop other lawyers, and ex IT professionals will inculcate “soft skills” in current IT professionals. When the development focuses around technical information, it is easy to understand why those with a background in a similar industry might be preferable. Non-lawyers will have no grasp of technical aspects of law, non-IT professionals will know little about the technical issues facing those working a... (more)

Building Next-Generation Tech Leaders

I spoke to Mike Lim, VP for Engineering at Exist, who by the way is currently enrolled at the prestigious Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA program, about this and here's my non-verbatim summary of our short exchange: Give people the opportunity to lead, even with small projects. Assign him/her a role, instead of giving tasks. This will give the person room to be creative and innovative. This'll give him/her a chance to demonstrate what he/she can be capable of. It's not having the title of a "manager". One can be a mentor to another, give inputs and share his/her experience to a peer, and not have the role of a manager. That's why "we get people to work as a team, so that we can see the dynamics." Implement "shadowing". New hires and folks fresh out from college need to be ramped up to the way we do things, technologies and tooling that we use -- and shadowing gives the... (more)

Top Sales Executive to Share His Insights on Ulitzer

Lee Novak, one of the top sales executives in the country, launched his Ulitzer blog to share his experience, insights, and sales coaching tips. Lee Novak, a Sales Management Executive for 25 years, uses a proven people-first, client-first philosophy. Lee has a reputation for building teams that not only are high-performance groups but also that do business the right way, at the right time and for the right reasons. Novak publishes his Ulitzer blog posts on his two topic sites: Lee Novak on Ulitzer (http://leenovak.ulitzer.com) Team Building (http://teambuilding.ulitzer.com) Sales Coaching (http://salescoaching.ulitzer.com) He received numerous awards for his sales leadership, innovativeness and measured performance while working in various executive roles at ADP Dealer Services (a Fortune 500 company in the technology and service sector) for 21 years - where he was... (more)

My Quota is Gigantic!

Dear Lee, Last year I was a record setting sales rep at my company selling high tech solutions. Today I received my annual quota for the new year and was shocked to see that my account list shrunk by 10% and my quota is the highest in the company.  I am  very frustrated with this. I attempted to negotiate a reduced quota with my manager but he dismissed my request, saying that he has full confididence that I will figure it out. My quota is gigantic but my spirit is weak. Any suggestions? Down in the South -   Dear Down in the South, I am sure that you are familiar with the biblical story about the tiny frail warrior David slaying the Giant, Goliath. If Goliath had been  a man of average height - who would've noticed? Who would've cared.? Remember the bigger the challenge the greater the rewards when you overcome them. Last year when you received your annual quota... (more)

Twenty Five Motivational Quotes and Thoughts for Today's Sales Leaders

The following represents twenty five of my favorite motivational, thought provoking and inspirational quotes which I have accumulated through the the years. I hope that you will find them useful, enjoyable and entertaining as you prepare to slay the competitive dragons! OVERCOMING OBSTACLES AND SETBACKS 1) Fall Down Seven Times Get up Eight. 2) If you are going through hell (lost a deal, behind plan, etc.) keep going. 3) Believe that you are going to turn this setback into a comeback! It is inevitable that some defeat will enter even the most victorious life. The human spirit is never finished when it is defeated... It is finished when it surrenders. PATIENCE 4) Walt Disney was turned down 302 times before he got financing for Disneyland. 5) A handful of Patience is worth more than a bushel of brains. 6) Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping... (more)

Top Ten Benefits of CRM

Dear Lee, I have worked in sales for the past fourteen years and have seen fads come and go. The latest is CRM that, my company has forced upon me. Isn’t CRM just another way for my company to act like BIG BROTHER to watch and monitor my every move? Stan, Tx Dear Stan, Would you board a commercial airline if you knew, 1) the plane was lacking a navigational system, 2) you would be flying to the busiest airport in the world without the aid of an air traffic controller or radar, and 3) the pilots would not have any radio contact to direct their take off or landing approach? Most likely not. CRM is not a fad nor is it a way for your company to act as BIG BROTHER! CRM is a navigational tool that, when used properly it will increase your profitability, productivity and enhance your customers buying experience. I believe that what you are really asking is, what is in it... (more)

Put Your Competition in the RearView Mirror

One of my first CEO clients - a leader in the early days of the Search industry - gave me a great piece of advice about the competition.  I still follow it. "If you pay too much attention to the competition - you'll always end up following them." At the time I actually think I thought he was nuts. After all, as a young idealistic marketing consultant, competitive analysis was one of those B school standards near and dear to my heart. Now, some twenty something years later, I see how brilliant he was. Companies have to think for themselves, not like their competitors. I'm not saying that you have to ignore your competition. That'd be kinda silly, now wouldn't it. What I am saying is that companies have to stop focusing on what their competition is doing as the baseline for defining their future direction. Following the competition's lead won't help you be a leader. ... (more)

Are You An IT Superhero?

At times, do you think you're a Superman or Wonder Woman? Pitted in a daily struggle between the IT department and the business units? We all know that IT managers juggle a number of hats and scramble to put out dozens of fires, and truly can be a superhero to their organizations. But did you ever think about what kind of superhero you are? Where do you rank in the Legion of Superhero's taxonomy? Are you an IT Wolverine, Green Lantern or Flash? Take the IT X-Men (or Women) quiz to see if you have the right stuff to be an IT Superhero. 1. Do you do it all? A one-man or one-woman shop? Able to leap tall stacks of blades in a single bound? Delivering uninterrupted download services at the speed of a 50-Mbps bullet? You're a man or woman of titanium. The only thing that can sap your strength is not kryptonite, it's klez. If this is you, then you're an IT Superman or Wonde... (more)

So You Want to Be a Consultant

I’ve been consulting successfully for over 20 years now. That makes me an old-timer in many folks’ perceptions. Friends and associates often come to me for advice on how to start their own consulting business – mostly around how to position themselves as an expert in the market. Here’s the advice I give: Focus. The first inclination for any new consultant is to try to ‘do it all’. After all, you’ve dabbled in a number of different aspects of your field, right? Wrong. In my experience, the best way to be successful is to focus first on a narrow set of skills and areas where you can add the most value. You need to evidence your experience and success in a few key areas to get started. So focus on the areas where you’re strongest and most well-known by associates and peers – where you can have the most compelling references. You can always expand over time. Evidence yo... (more)

Plug Your Marketing Leaks

Marketing is making strides in lead generation, but how kinetic is their nurturing? Lead nurturing is often thought about as being found with a flag waving when your leads decide to take action about resolving a problem your products or services address. If this is your marketing strategy, you're leaving a lot to chance just hanging around waiting to be found. Maybe for some of your longer-horizon leads this is fine, but it's not going to help you speed up getting quality opportunities to opt into sales conversations. You've all seen those funnel diagrams that show spouts of leads leaking out of them at different points during the buying process. In order to stop the leaks and add momentum to your nurturing, you've got to get commitments to action. The higher a sense of commitment you can create, the farther and faster your leads will move toward becoming sales op... (more)