The issue of creativity will determine whether or not your company will survive or become a statistic. Trying to create an environment that is conducive to creativity, both for yourself and your teams will ultimately become a top priority for your company. How can your team become more creative?Read More
Many companies work in silos, geographically or by business units. Implementing a company-wide initiative like Strategic Account Management (SAM) poses many challenges, particularly around the main resource - staff.
So, for leaders of companies with these siloed structures getting the whole company aligned around strategic customers, and committing time, money and people can be a major challenge.Read More
Many managers say their meetings don't work, and get frustrated with wasting hours trying to solve problems and choose solutions, without generating any fresh ideas.
What if there was a process that could you help you with this?Read More
To make a decision in a negotiation you need to understand what will satisfy you and what you need to do to satisfy the needs and interests of the other party. Do they value the process of expanding the pie or are they fixed on a single outcome?Read More
Does this sound familiar?
This morning, three hours discussing the poor results from the employee survey and getting nowhere. We tried to agree some actions to improve satisfaction. But we went round and round in circles. Helen from HR wanted to find ways to get staff more involved. Mike in Manufacturing thought that was a waste of time and we should just rewrite role descriptions so everyone was clear what they should do. Sam from Sales thought getting more involvement from staff and new role descriptions were both a waste of time and that we needed to make our salaries more competitive in the marketplace. We spent 9 minutes just arguing why each of the three solutions were wrong.
No wonder many managers say their meetings don't work. So, what can you do?Read More
When Persuading for Results, involving your audience throughout your presentation helps maintain their attention. Indeed, self-discovery and practical application is often the most effective way of learning and the most effective way of persuading. There are many ways to involve people, depending on the size of your audience. You may like to give people an opportunity to test your product, or to have them work with your ideas actively. Make sure the activity you use is linked back to your message. The activity should reinforce your message, not distract from it.
Read the full blog for some ideas on involving your audience.Read More
Companies are increasingly finding that their traditional value proposition is falling short. The strength of their brand has less value in the buying process, and competition is intensifying from well-resource established players and emerging niche players. Pressure to reduce prices is now the norm. So, margins are deteriorating and profits are shrinking.
How can you stop this?Read More
Has innovation become a cliché? What does it really mean? People have many different ideas and here are just two:
- Innovation is successfully applied ideas.
- Disruptive innovation involves the utter disturbance of the status quo.
In a disruptive and volatile B2B world, senior decision makers need to improve results much faster than ever. But growing revenue and profits in a sustainable way and creating more value for customers is becoming harder. So, everyone is searching for some innovation to help them overcome their increasing challenges.Read More
Most global B2B companies have realised they need to manage their major customers - who represent most of their future revenue and profit - differently to the rest of their customers. Why? Well if you want to create opportunities to grow with your major customers, and earn the right to keep doing business with them, you need to offer much more than the average supplier. How can you do this?Read More
Your world is changing, and changing fast: characterised by turbulence; shifting regulations, evolving technology, economic uncertainty, and competitor movement and changing customer needs. These fast changes mean that you and your negotiation team needs to be more agile in response to these drivers.
As we continually say in our books and blogs, competitors are becoming more aggressive – favourite weapon of choice price. Customers are becoming more demanding, and shareholders are demanding increasing profits: so companies must either increase revenue or increase productivity. However, increasing revenue and productivity is getting harder.
The success of a negotiation depends on the planning and preparation done beforehand for each of the four distinct phases of the negotiation process:Read More
Analysts feel pain while trying to convince senior audiences with data. There is a great article that states the solution when persuading executives with data is to frame your message using one or more of the following four topics:
- Revenue & market share
- Efficiency & costs
- Customer loyalty
- Talent & capability
You can find lists of competencies for account managers, for example from the Strategic Account Management Association (SAMA). Many of these list the technical knowledge needed. However the most critical skill an account manager needs is persistence.Read More
Innovation is not just about ‘out of the box’, ‘blue-sky’ solutions. Sure, we need to use some right-brain thinking to free our imaginations and find creative answers. But, you need to match this with a left-brain process and hard work. Organisations can do a great job and spend lots of time solving the wrong problem. So, it’s important to take the time to understand the real problem that needs to be solved and to make sure the real problem is well defined.
How do you define your problems?Read More
Typically, when deciding which accounts to manage strategically, companies use revenue as the main criteria. This makes some sense. Managing accounts strategically requires a large investment in time and resources, so receiving adequate revenue to justify this investment is valid.
However Strategic Account Management (SAM) is about managing the accounts in your business strategically. Managing to achieve your company's strategic objectives, there are many other factors that influence whether an account deserves you investing more time and resources.Read More
In B2B settings negotiations are more complex than ever before. Most companies know how to prepare for and negotiate effectively but don't have a strategy or framework when negotiating with their top 10-20 accounts. They negotiate based on who is the 'top gun' negotiator.
Why is this?Read More
You must pitch for some business. Where do you start? Most managers answer this question correctly: with the customer and what they want. However most managers get the answer to the next question wrong: What should you do next?
What is the correct answer?Read More
We ended 2016 with a real wake-up call for everybody in a leadership, executive or management role – the status quo of business was disrupted.
Over the holiday break I would take a book down to the beach to read which inevitably attracted conversation from other beach goers, firstly on me being the only person reading a book with everybody else on some device.
I liked the book because it challenged some of my concepts around leadership and self-motivation and that is always a sign of a great book.Read More