The Week In Review – September 29, 2013

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Here at The HUB, all of us mice are going to have to stop playing because the cat is back next week. Our founder and visionary has successfully moved to his new condo and he can now turn his attention back to us. Stand up straight! Look busy!

NEW THIS WEEK

Monday – My 5 Favorite iPhone Apps for Business
Smartphones are a required tool for sales professionals today, and apps are the fuel that makes them work. Here are five plus iPhone apps that sales pros will find useful. That heavy on the plus because there are actually thirteen.

Tuesday – Building a Windows 8 PC From Scratch

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Talent or Education? What Are The Characteristics of the Sales Dream Team?

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I was talking to a group of students about the best strategy to build sales teams, and there came an unexpected comment: “In my ideal team everyone would be like Messi.” (Ed. For us North Americans who play football with an oblong ball, Lionel Messi is a pre-eminent Argentine round footballer. Soccer, right?)

Although dangerous, the comparisons with soccer can help us understand some important aspects when we discuss team configurations in business.  In this case, the discussion revolved around about the importance of having talented or gifted sales professionals versus others who are not so talented, but who respond very well to training programs.  In the end, both can end up giving very good results.

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The Week In Review – September 22, 2013

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Project Management with RT

Lots of news on the mobile tech front this past week, most of it bad for Blackberry, although its BBM messaging service will be available for iOS. The Android release was delayed, somewhat diminishing that news. Everyone is watching to see what happens with the two new iPhones launched Friday. The 5s and 5c are both available and in more countries than any previous launch. Will they sell an optimistic 8 million units? Or a disappointing 6 million? I for one am not buying Apple stock.

Some good mobile news should be coming up from SalesWays in the next week. Watch The HUB for details.

NEW THIS WEEK

Monday – MS Surface RT – A Project Manager’s Test

One of our Project Managers tests the Surface RT to see if it can replace her iPad or laptop. Yes and no are her conclusions. Maybe the Surface Pro will do better.

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Is Sales a Customer Service?

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In our customer relationships, it is common to segregate sales activities from those we call service. In most organizations, the sales departments are completely separated from customer service or other post-sales activity. And CRM professionals and consultants themselves always mention that CRM consists of marketing, sales and service activities which, seems to place each of the three as an independent discipline.

Since Kotler and Armstrong, started to discuss an expanded concept of the product as “something that can be offered to a market to satisfy a wish or a need” at the end of the last century and the beginning of this one, sales activity began to have its centenarian paradigms questioned.

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The Week In Review – September 15, 2013

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It must be subliminal. Or maybe just the absence of kids running around all day. School has started, and we seemed to have focused on education this week – sales education. Seth Godin’s new project – Krypton Community College – must have been particularly interesting because he got two articles extending the concept to sales and business.

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Monday – Krypton Community College and a Degree in Sales
Taking the Krypton Community College concept a bit further and applying it to the business environment. Having business facilitate this kind of program seems to be a natural to advance the goals of learning through expert material, human interaction, and convenient accessibility.

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The Week In Review – September 8, 2013

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In the US, football season starts today. Well, not really – it started Thursday when Denver beat the reigning champs, Baltimore, quite decisively. I bring this up as many of you will now need to adjust your Sunday schedule, sort of like HUB Savings Time, to read the Week In Review in the morning before the first game. Drop your Sunday newspapers and boot up The HUB.

Newspapers are dead, anyway.

NEW THIS WEEK

Tuesday – 4 Ways To Become a Highly Productive Person
Being more productive doesn’t mean working harder, it means getting more out of your day. Four ideas that might help you do that are planning your week before it starts, getting going early, make daily to-do lists, and take breaks during the day.

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The Week In Review – September 2, 2013

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It’s Labor/Labour Day Weekend, depending on whether you’re north or south of the 49th parallel (at least until you travel east to Lake of the Woods where everything get squirrely). The border east of that went through a number of changes that always seemed to end with the word “treaty,” with the last ending the Pig War in 1859. Yes – they actually recruited pigs to duke it out to establish some claims for some islands. At least I think that what it was.

Anyway – no slop here, just great new and recycled content sure to help you bring home the sales bacon.

NEW THIS WEEK

Monday – Selling Is A Full-Contact Sport
The new rules of selling recognize the changing landscape of Internet sales and big-box stores and all the other almost automatic ways to buy. But selling is still mostly a person-to-person endeavor and the old rules still apply, with qualifications.

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Selling Is a Full-Contact Sport

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Times they are a-changing… and so is the face of selling. While selling remains a full-contact sport, there are some rules changes. Before we look at these, let’s examine the sport of Buying.

Unlike selling, buying has moved to being a non-contact sport for many items. Nowadays, buyers can actually sit in front of their televisions with a remote control and a telephone and make purchases without ever coming in contact with a salesperson. Within a very few years, buyers won’t even need the telephone. You’ll simply push a few buttons on your remote control and a signal will be sent from the TV to the remote site and the order will be placed, your credit card debited, and, in some cases, the product might even be delivered before you turn off your TV for the day. Sound far-fetched? It’s already a reality for pay TV, so why not with simple commodities?

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The Week In Review – August 25, 2013

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I don’t know about you, but I am fascinated by and sometimes aghast at the foibles of the rich and powerful. It isn’t always Lindsay Lohan getting arrested; sometimes it is a serious and public lapse in judgment that affects people and companies. That’s why I’m so amazed this week at AOL CEO Tim Armstrong’s public and humiliating firing of one of his executives during an “all-hands” conference with his Patch employees. Wow. Check out this article and the audio recording two minutes in.

The news was all good here at The HUB – I didn’t get fired! And, we published some great new articles and recycled some of our best archive ones.

NEW THIS WEEK

Monday – Some Things Shouldn’t Be Automated
Applicant Tracking Systems are designed to automate the hiring process, at least in the initial stages. But how well designed? Are they doing the job you want, or are they guiding you to mediocrity?

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Some Things Shouldn’t Be Automated

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Automated Robot

I’ve been helping someone, a long-time and very successful sales professional in his late 50’s, find a new sales job. Now, he is very good, very experienced, and has won every possible sales award at every job he’s ever had. His negative? He doesn’t stand-out in today’s computer search / keyword-based job application process. “Statistics show that approximately 50 percent of mid-sized companies and almost all large corporations use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to screen candidates for job opportunities.”

I’ve been in the computer-assisted automation business for a long time, and I know how it can benefit users in many areas, sales and customer relationships being the two I am most conversant with. Shared information, cybernetic analysis, process management, standardized language, computer metrics, etc. etc. etc. All have great value when properly designed and implemented. But some things just shouldn’t be automated.

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