When it comes to B2B sales, volume isn’t the only thing that matters. For individual salespeople, sales teams, and managers, productivity—the ability to use limited time efficiently and effectively—is increasingly crucial to success.
These findings may not be brand-new, but they’re worth revisiting. Not too long ago, Jon Vander Ark—co-author of the book Sales Growth—and his colleagues wrote that CEOs needed to get serious about sales by:Making sales success a cross-functional team sport.Building a ‘lean’ sales machine that’s continuously experimenting and learning.Cranking up analytics to create greater visibility into what’s working and find opportunities for growth.
In one interview, Vander Ark gave an example of how small acts to improve the visibility of new, large, potential deals enabled an industrial firm to double their sales. His example illustrates how simple awareness of key situations can trigger contributions and learnings that improve the performance of sales teams.
2. Experiment and Learn
In a related interview with Anthony Iannarino, Vander Ark notes how experimentation with disciplined execution can let important issues trump urgent issues (the inverse of what’s normal). In this case, a European firm concluded it needed to put more effort into Business Development. By creating ‘hunter days’ in which everyone in the firm called on 10 prospects, they went on to generate two months worth of leads in a single day.
Their findings confirm what we’re seeing: when what’s happening in B2B sales is clear for all to see, performance can improve . When it’s clear what’s working and what’s not working, choices about what practices to engage in become obvious. Analytics help. Analytics applied to disciplined, experimental, sales execution help more. Analytics that seed the development of good sales habits help most.
This post originally appeared on the Salesforce.com Blog.Read more:5 Experts on What Makes a Great Sales ManagerFree E-Book: Sales Experts Answer Your Toughest Sales Management QuestionsJohn Cousineau is the Founder and CEO of innovative information inc.
Macau is on the verge of a major outbreak of theaters and arenas, despite a mixed record when it comes to entertainment. Non-gaming revenue barely reaches 10% for any of the six licensees, languishing below 5% for most. Still, Galaxy Entertainment Galaxy Entertainment, Wynn Macau and Melco Crown Entertainment say their new Cotai resorts will include arenas, and everyone plans more performance venues. Some experts see entertainment in integrated resorts mainly as a way to generate traffic to the property, expecting that show goers will also visit the casino.
“If the competition believes it is about traffic, good luck to them,” Sands China president and CEO Ed Tracy says. Sands China has enjoyed some of biggest entertainment successes in Macau, such as last November’s Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Riggs boxing match broadcast worldwide and a Rolling Stones concert in March at its flagship Venetian Macao casino resort. It’s also suffered the most visible failure, the shutdown of Zaia, a $150 million Cirque du Soleil show, in 2012, three and a half years into a projected 10 year run. The closure was particularly embarrassing because Melco Crown’s City of Dreams’ House of Dancing Water stage extravaganza opened across the street in 2010 and became an immediate hit. But House of Dancing Water remains the only permanent stage show in Macau, while there are dozens of choices in Las Vegas and a steady stream of shows in two theaters at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, a property of Sands China’s corporate parent Las Vegas Sands Las Vegas Sands.Sands China CEO Ed Tracy (standing, second from right) rolled out the red carpet for action heroes, but he’s the one unloading a three barrel entertainment strategy in Macau. (Photo credit: Sands China)
Setbacks aside, Sands China aims to lead Macau in entertainment. That drive emanates from research about the desires of Sands’ primary customer base in mainland China, Tracy, who joined the company as president and chief operating officer in 2010 and became CEO a year later, says. The top item Chinese consumers want is shopping for “genuine” luxury goods, which Sands China delivers with 500 outlets at three Cotai malls,. The second item is “high quality entertainment experiences.” When Zaia closed, Sands China converted the space into the 1,500 seat Venetian Theatre to compliment the resort’s 14,000 seat Cotai Arena. Sands Macao on Macau peninsula also has a smaller theater.
Tracy spoke with me following the China premiere screening of The Expendables 3 attended by stars of the film Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger plus UFC mixed martial arts fighter Ronda Rousey, who also appears in the action hero ensemble cast. The screening didn’t generate much traffic; only 1,500 people attended, selected from Sands China’s customer loyalty program, VIP players and community groups. But it fits what Tracy describes as a three pronged strategy in entertainment.
“We’re trying to raise the visibility of Macau, raise the visibility of the brand, and, since we’re in business, make some money,” Tracy explains. Each of those objectives was woven into the Expendables event. Bringing Schwarzenegger and Stallone to Macau, along with a bevy of Hong Kong celebrities, for a full-fledged red carpet event generates plenty of headlines for Macau. So does the UFC fight card, held the following night, and Sands China’s dozens more stage and sporting events annually.
These high profile events, replete with celebrities such as Sands China brand ambassador David Beckham “don’t necessarily drive a lot of traffic, but they create an emotional connection,” Tracy says. “We have seriously raised the visibility of Macau, a stated goal of the Macau government.” Macau still isn’t known for entertainment and glamour, a reputation Las Vegas has enjoyed since the days of the Rat Pack in the 1950s. But Tracy believes perceptions of Macau’s entertainment scene trail reality. “The biggest obstacle to entertainment in Macau is that people don’t know there’s a lot more to do in Macau now than three years ago.”
High profile entertainment events also provide exposure for the Sands China brand without mentioning gaming. Casino advertising is prohibited in mainland China and many other jurisdictions around Asia, so Macau gaming operators have to find creative ways to promote their properties. Advertising shows at a property where everyone knows there’s a casino is a dependable method for skirting such bans.
Another example of entertainment linked promotion is Sands China’s sponsorship of television singing competition The Voice China, which attracted 500 million viewers for its latest season finale. In addition to the normal benefits of association with a television hit, The Voice China stages two live shows each season at Venetian Macao.
Sands China and other operators stand ready to welcome film shooting on their properties, which are far more spectacular than the laughable fake purported to be a Macau casino in the James Bond film Skyfall. Asia’s blockbuster hit of this past lunar new year, From Vegas To Macau with Chow Yun-fat, includes scenes shot at Venetian Macao. Hosting entertainment award shows is also a staple, combining glamour, broadcast reach and venue mentions. Hosting the International Indian Film Awards at Venetian Macao in 2009 bred South Asian interest in Macau and particularly the Venetian, where palak paneer is now a regular on the brunch buffet. IIFA came back for an encore at Venetian last year.
“There’s an entertainment offering for every segment we’re going for,” Mr Tracy says. The DreamWorks Experience at Sands Cotai Central offers a variety of interaction opportunities with studio characters, including a daily parade, photo opportunities and themed meals. Like some of the Asia pop concerts prominent in Sands China’s music offerings, “They’re not necessarily targeting our main demographic, but for their children.”
Sands China didn’t sell tickets for its screening of The Expendables 3, but used it as a reward for top customers, encouraging their future patronage. For other events, be sure to bring your wallet and crying towel. Tickets for the upcoming Pacquaio-Chris Algieri fight range from $110 to $3010. That’s a juicy box office, making it more understandable that other Macau operators want to emulate Sands China.
Aspiring rival impresarios should note that Sands China’s three stages had shows last year for a total of 96 booking dates, or less than one performance for every weekend night. Experts caution that overbuilding may dilute the quality of offerings, but there’s clearly room for more shows and more creative entertainment programming in Macau. “We welcome all challengers,” Mr Tracy says. “The more Macau has, the better for all of us.”
Look out iPhone 6 and Galaxy S5, on paper there is a new king in town. Having already turned heads by outgunning its biggest rivals, Motorola’s new ‘Droid Turbo’ smartphone has revealed another exciting piece in the puzzle: it will have the world’s largest phone battery. How big? A massive 3900 milliamp hours (mAh). For context that is significantly larger than any battery seen in rival smartphones or even most phablets:
Leading SmartphonesApple Apple iPhone 6 – 1810mAhSamsung Galaxy S5 – 2800mAhHTC HTC One M8 – 2600mAhMotorola Moto X – 2300mAhSony Sony Xperia Z3 – 3100mAhLeading PhabletsApple iPhone 6 Plus – 2915mAhSamsung Galaxy Note 4 – 3220mAhSony Xperia Z Ultra – 3050mAh Motorola Droid Turbo (image courtesy of motofirmware.com)
This information comes after Droid-Life discovered the Turbo’s battery on Alibaba-owned retailer Taobao after matching its ‘Motorola EQ40’ reference to the same EQ40 battery reference Motorola tagged in the phone’s FCC filing. This also ties in with language used in the Droid Turbo’s leaked manual (pdf link) which explains that the boundary pushing handset has a “high-capacity long lasting battery”.Motorola is no stranger to fitting very large batteries in its phones after the Motorola Maxx was sold with a 3500mAh battery (interestingly reference code: EU40) in August 2013. The Maxx was one of its last handsets Motorola released before its Google Google revitalisation and relaunch which has so far produced budget marvel the Moto E, midrange champ the Moto G and the flagship Moto X (my smartphone of the year).Read more: New Motorola Smartphone Leaves Galaxy S5 And iPhone 6 Outgunned Leaked Droid Turbo 3900mAh battery (image courtesy of Droid Life)Jaw Dropping SpecificationsFurthermore, the upcoming Droid Turbo’s monstrous battery is set to be part of a handset with a truly mouthwatering specifications list. The aforementioned manual confirms it will have:The first 5.2-inch 2k (2,560 x 1,440) displayA cutting edge Snapdragon 805 chipset with Krait 450 GPUPhablet-matching 3GB of RAM21 megapixel cameraNeedless to say these specifications suggest a good battery is a requirement, rather than an option, but a capacity of 3900mAh has the potential to see it be classed in days instead of hours.
Let DownsDisappointments? There are a few. Firstly the manual confirms no microSD support and secondly there is just 32GB of onboard storage, which is low for a handset with such a large camera sensor. Thirdly the Droid Turbo appears to have capacitive rather than onscreen keys, something which will split opinions, and finally the name implied this is a Verizon exclusive – at least initially.Of course at this point it is important to note that specifications alone are far from the only requirement in making a good smartphone. As I noted in my iPhone 6 review, perhaps the greatest triumph of Apple’s new handset is in how it competes so effectively with Android-based rivals despite having far weaker specifications on paper.That said what excites about the Droid Turbo is that up to now Motorola has been the Apple of the Android world. It uses virtually stock Android and (in my opinion) currently has the best budget, midrange and premium smartphones available in the Moto E, Moto G and Moto X despite rivals having higher specifications. So what can Motorola achieve when it lets its hair down with the Droid Turbo?Read more: Motorola Moto X (2014) Review: The Year’s Best Smartphone Verizon Droid Does Teaser PageAvailability – Two WeeksHappily we shouldn’t have to wait long to find out. Verizon today relaunched its ‘Droid Does’ website signifying a two week countdown (screengrab above) and, given all the Droid Turbo leaks, it is almost impossible the launch could be for anything else.With the Motorola-built monstrous Nexus 6 also expected to be announced tomorrow and Lenovo’s takeover of Motorola set to close shortly, this is a company loving its new lease of life.Update: Android Central now has leaked press images of the handset: Droid Turbo leaked images (courtesy of Android Central)___
Follow @GordonKellyMore on ForbesGordon Kelly is an experienced freelance technology journalist who has written for Wired, The Next Web, TrustedReviews and the BBC. He can be followed on his Facebook Page
Eric Schiffer Contributor I cover entrepreneurs and leadership. full bio ?Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.Recent PostsPopular PostsFull Bio
I am the chairman and CEO of Los Angeles-based Patriarch Equity, which focuses on early-stage startups, and CEO of DigitalMarketing.com, which provides technology-based marketing to businesses of all sizes. I have founded two companies listed on Inc. magazine’s 500/5000 list of fastest growing companies, SEOP and Reputation Management Consultants. I am the author of the book Emotionally Charged Learning and my latest book, Build, will arrive in the spring of 2014. I contribute to Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc., Fast Company, Wired, and am also a frequent commentator and guest for media such as Bloomberg, NBC News, CNN, and Fox News. I am also the host of the upcoming nationally syndicated radio show, “The Eric Schiffer Show,” covering business, celebrity and politics.Contact Eric Schiffer The author is a Forbes contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.
Nothing in the business world, it seems, is both a curse and a blessing to the same extent as “big data”. Managers know that all that information landing in their inboxes each day is full of valuable insights and essential indicators of the health of the enterprise. The only problem is that there is just so much of it that they are often prevented from benefiting from these nuggets through a confusion over where to start.
It would be understandable if managers just ignored much of the computer-generated information and carried on as before. Maybe some do. However, research published earlier this month by the storage and information management company Iron Mountain and the professional services firm PwC indicates that they do a bit better than that. Managers, says the study, Beyond Good Intentions: The need to move from intention to action to manage information risk, understand that the information has value but are more focused on protecting that value against data breaches or legal action than on using it to gain a competitive advantage over rivals and grow.
The report – the third annual study of how ready companies are to manage and respond to information risk and deal with other data trends – points out that companies acknowledge that information has helped with such areas as decision making, understanding customers and developing revenue. But it adds that the information is underexploited in other respects. For example, fewer than two-thirds of UK businesses are using information to enhance innovation in products or services. Only a fifth use information to increase speed to market, with just over a tenth saying that information had given product or service development cycles a boost. Asked to list their information management priorities, more than 80% of UK businesses put emphasis on avoiding data breaches and legal action and worried about being fined for not complying.
The findings were seized on by Christian Toon, head of information risk at Iron Mountain, as evidence of missed opportunities. “While most firms claim to understand the value of information, they are not using their information to speed the development and launch of better products and services, faster, to more customers, in more markets,” he said. “No organisation would willingly turn down such an opportunity for competitive advantage, which suggests that the problem lies in not knowing how to achieve it.”
This is supported by the finding that, while more than 80% of the UK companies surveyed regarded information as a business asset, only 35% employed data analysts to extract value from the information. This might not have been so surprising in the first two years of the survey, when it focused on European mid-market companies. But this year both bigger and North American businesses have been included. And it appears that neither North American nor big companies are much better in this area than their European and smaller counterparts.
Part of the problem may be that – because it is generated through information technology – the data is frequently seen to be the responsibility of IT departments. Their focus is unsurprisingly on avoiding trouble – that is, securing the data so that there are no awkward breaches or similar problems – rather than on business development. Accordingly, senior executives need to take a broader interest in the results of what can be extensive investments in IT.
But it could be that organizations also need to look at employing different sorts of people. Maybe conventional data analysts are ill-equipped to obtain the most out of what is after all a fairly recently developed business resource. Certainly, there is a growing feeling that facility with IT is not enough to gain necessary insights in this area. For example, Maria Horton, the former US naval officer who founded the Washington DC area-based IT security company EmeSec, recently suggested that the tasks of spotting cyber threats and coming up with effective solutions might benefit from the contribution of people with different perspectives than those usually involved. She was not sure, she said, that becoming more specialised was the right way to go.
Since companies – of all sizes, in all sectors and of all nationalities – do not appear to be succeeding in this area, it must surely be worth exploring a different approach. As Claire Reed, risk assurance partner at PwC, Iron Mountain’s research partner, pointed out: “Your information may be the greatest business asset you have. Your customers have entrusted you with their most personal data – you cannot afford to allow information risk management to be a mere tick-box exercise.”
Darren Heitner, ContributorI cover the intersection of sports and money. Sorry, I could not read the content fromt this page.
Greg Satell Contributor full bio ?Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.Recent PostsPopular PostsFull Bio
I am the former Co-CEO of KP Media, a leading Publisher in Ukraine. In addition to being the leading news organization in Ukraine (Korrespondent, Kyiv Post), we also owned the largest online business, Bigmir.net. I’m now back in the US, consulting and speaking in the areas of Digital Marketing and Digital innovation. You can find my website at www.DigitalTonto.com and follow me on Twitter @DigitalTonto.Contact Greg Satell The author is a Forbes contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.
Half of American adults say they have lost trust in their banks over the last few years, according to a recent Harris Poll. By comparison, 49% of the respondents said their trust in credit unions has remained the same in recent years.
Banks were not the only institutions to receive a low rating in the poll. Americans also reported losing trust in Wall Street and mortgage lenders, both seeing a 57% decline.
One out of 13 households are unbanked, based on a 2013 study by the FDIC. This equates to nearly 10 million households.
There are several factors that determine how likely Americans are to trust a financial institution. 66% of poll participants said personal experience is the most important factor, while 56% said they looked at the quality of customer care, quality of products and services, or money charged in fees.
Local banks and credit unions with a smaller area of influence have higher trust levels than nationwide financial institutions. Over three-quarters of those surveyed reported a great deal of trust for local credit unions, while 70% said the same for local branches of a regional bank. Only 50% of Americans trust large national banks.
Online-only banks are fighting a battle in establishing trust with a majority of Americans. Only 39% of the respondents have any trust with online-only banks. Not surprisingly, Millennials and Gen X’ers (42%) have more trust in these institutions than older adults (30%). In addition, consumers in the East and West are more likely to trust online-only banks than respondents in the South or Midwest.
The poll surveyed 2,537 Americans between August 13-18, 2014.
Provided by LowCards.com
We get a ton of questions about using video and email together effectively. So we asked our friends at Wistia for their best tips on how to get started.
Kristen Craft, Wistia’s director of partnerships (and a fellow craft beer lover), breaks it down for us in this special guest post…
Cookies and milk, chips and salsa, peanut butter and jelly. Each of these things is great on its own, but when paired up, they’re so much better. The pairing process seems to almost supercharge each individual flavor.
In the world of marketing, video and email are the same way. Each one is terrific on its own, but when used together, they’re even more powerful than the sum of their parts.
So, what makes the combination of video and email so potent?Video can make your emails far more appealing — This applies even before someone sees the content. BambooHR, a Utah-based HR software firm, gets its highest open rates when using the word “video” in subject lines. We’ve heard similar feedback from other marketers.Video is an extremely compelling call-to-action — Including a friendly, fun still image from the video is a great way to entice readers to click. We ran an A/B test that produced a 300% increase in click-through rates when using video versus a graphic.Email can amplify your video efforts — If you’re already making video, consider sharing that content via email, rather than just putting it on your website. (And if you’re not putting video on your website, you’re missing out! Here’s an extra-large free account to make it easier.) Use email to drive people back to your site, so they can continue to learn about your company, product, and mission.
To get the greatest effect, ensure your video strategy is integrated with your email strategy. For instance, if you use email to drive webinar signups, test a short video as part of the webinar email campaign.
Don’t be daunted, even if you’re new to video. There are some small, inexpensive things you can do that will make your videos look and sound great.
Here are five tips to help get you started with video, even if you’re short on gear, budget, and expertise:
No matter how well you know your topic, don’t try to wing it on camera. Scripting your video in advance will ensure that your message is as compelling as possible. Plus, it’ll keep your video snappy without the distraction of “ums,” “ahs,” and “likes” that naturally occur in most people’s daily speech.
Try memorizing your script, or if that feels too difficult, break it into bite-sized chunks and record them individually. You can always edit the clips together with some b-roll footage in between.
People often ask us what camera they should buy. The truth is, you probably already have a terrific camera in your pocket. Most smartphone cameras shoot HD video, and the quality is excellent.
Don’t buy a fancy new camera and spend precious time trying to learn how to use it. You’ll just be creating new hurdles for yourself. That said, it’s definitely worth investing in a basic tripod or stand for your phone. Nothing is more distracting than shaky footage. You can even hack this by stabilizing your phone on top of a tall, stationary object.
Here’s a test for you: which scenario gives you better video footage, a terrific camera with bad lighting or a smartphone camera with terrific lighting? If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll probably guess the latter, and you’re correct!
Good lighting goes a long way. It’ll make your footage as sharp as possible, and it’ll also eliminate any distracting shadows and lines from your subject’s face. We put together a “basic recipe” for a $100 lighting kit using items you can grab at Home Depot. If you’re on an even tighter budget, find a big window on a sunny day and have your subject stand facing the light.
Your message is the most important part of the video, so make sure it comes through loud and clear. First, eliminate background noise. Find a quiet location, ideally one where you can’t hear anyone or anything else. Printers, HVAC units, even outdoor traffic can really muddy your messaging.
Once you’re recording, we recommend using an external microphone, rather than the one built into your camera. Here’s a primer on how to choose an external mic. The name of the game is proximity: get the mic as close to your subject as possible, and you’ll be in good shape.
Don’t agonize over your first video: this one isn’t going to be a masterpiece, but I can promise that you WILL get better with time. Use analytics to help you identify where you want to improve and iterate on those areas. Your first videos will give you the chance to assess what your audience likes best, then you can focus on the topics they find most appealing.
Video analytics can tell you a ton: focus on overall play rates, which indicate how compelling the topic itself is, and the average engagement rates (or percent viewed) within a video, which indicate how interesting the content is. Pay attention to where people stop watching. If it happens toward the end, tighten up your conclusion. If it happens towards the middle, try to shorten your videos. Testing and iteration will help you become a pro in no time!
Video is an awesome tool to drive more leads, and the AWeber-Wistia Turnstile integration makes it simple to collect video viewers’ email addresses and add them to your AWeber lists. Here’s a quick look at how Turnstile works, and how you can use it to grow your email audience.
If you’re ready to try it out for yourself, here’s a bonus: Try a full-featured Wistia account for 45 days, absolutely free.
There’s no better way to get started with video than to dive in and experiment. So test these ideas out, post a comment and let us know how they’re working for you — and share the videos you create with us, we’d love to see them!
For even more hands-on video advice, visit the Wistia team at our ASCEND Digital Marketing Summit Oct. 22-24, 2014!Print This Post By: Hunter Boyle
Hunter Boyle leads business development for AWeber. A veteran content and conversion strategist, he’s helped thousands of marketers optimize their digital initiatives. Connect with Hunter on Twitter and LinkedIn. Subscribe to This Blog by Email There are no trackbacks for this post yet.
HBO introduced a series of new characters for the upcoming season 5 of its hit series Game of Thrones at Comic Con on Friday.
Many of the new additions are relatives of the (spoiler alert) departed Oberyn Martell. Alexander Siddig (The Fifth Estate) will play his older brother Doran Martell. Toby Sebastian will play Doran’s son Trystane Martell, while DeObia Oparei joins as Areo Hotah, the loyal leader of Doran Martell’s palace guard.
We also get to meet Oberyn’s three “bastard” daughters: Rosabell Laurenti Sellers will play Tyene Sand, Jessica Henwick will play Nymeria Sand, and Keisha Castle-Hughes, from Whale Rider, will play Obara Sand.
Nell Tiger Free will replace Aimee Richardson as Myrcella Baratheon, ostensibly the daughter of Cersei and Robert Baratheon, although fans of the show can surely guess the true identity of her father. She was bethrothed to Tyrstsane Martell as part of the political machinations during the recent wartime.
Jonathan Pryce, veteran of films like “Brazil” and “Pirates of the Carribbean,” stars as The High Sparrow who has served the poor in King’s Landing and may provide a bit of needed compassion to the world of Westeros.
HBO also released a season four gag reel of the famously intense show at Comic Con.For the best-curated news about sports and entertainment, follow me on Twitter (@allenstjohn).
Allen St. John is the author of Newton’s Football: The Science Behind America’s Game,