If you are wondering if you should have a Social Media Strategy for your business, you must watch this. Social Media is a tide that no business can resist!
It is a sign of the times when a broard sheet, somewhat conservative newspaper such as the Sydney Morning Herald (Thursday 3rd May, 2011 p.16) has a piece in its Editorial that comments on and supports the use of Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter by employees during working hours.
Allowing the use of social media during working hours is a way of freeing people to be at once connected to their social network and involved in their work. Being socially connected provides a means for people to feel happy in their workplace with a ‘virtual window to the world’. As the SMH editorial opinion points out: “A happy worker makes for a happy employer”.
The deliniation between ‘at work’ and ‘leisure time’ has continually eroded due to the introduction of mobile phones, connection to IT&T systems such as e-mail for employees at home, PDA’s, Smart phones etc. The move by employers to have automated systems to track the amout of time that employees spend on social media during working hours is a one sided approach. As the Editorial points out and this author has pointed out in previous articles, there is expectation that employees will remain connected out of normal hours. If an employer introduces ‘tracking technology’ for social media, is it now appropriate for their employees to track the amount of time they spend on work related matters out of hours and send a message to their manager saying “warning, work involvement about to be exceeded, please self regulate”?
An effective manager is well aware of whether an employee is meeting targets and operating within the spirit of their employment. Using ‘apps’ to track the time people spend on social media during working hours introduces an Orwellian perspective of distrust that opens a ‘Pandora’s Box’ of ‘tit for tat’. The logical employee response will be “if you won’t let me have access to the outside world at work, why should I let you have access to my social time out of work” as the ‘Herald points out.
Thomas Watson Snr, founder of IBM, fostered the culture of enabling employees to ‘think’, even if that meant them taking time out of the work environment so they could be more effective in their work for IBM and introduce innovative ideas. One imagines that if Mr Watson was at the helm of an enterprise today, he would encourage the use of social media to enable his people to remain connected to the outside world, albeit in a frugal way, so that they were fresh and able to apply their creative thinking to the enterprise’s success; refreshed from feeling they were not ‘locked in a box’.
The ‘Connected Generation’ will not engage with organisations that do not recognise that they can’t have their cake and eat it too. If management introduces measures to stop social networking during work hours, they will either find an employer that will or refuse any work connectivity during their social hours. Prohibiting social networking during working hours or demonstrating that it is culturaly unacceptable is “so yesterday” – and “fully unproductive”!
Steve Goldner,or Social Steve, an ex-colleague of mine is a prominent authoity on the use of Social Media in the business arena. Check out his article on the following link where he shares what Executives should be asking and what they need to hear about Social Media in the business context.
In the article, Steve offers the mission for soacial media:
“…So let’s get right to it. Here is the mission of social media:
“Engage with the target audience to create deeper relationships such that advocates are created to share brand content and provide measurable value to brand and/or advertisers.”….”
Great stuff Steve!
Go to the article at the URL below – it is well worth reading.
by Philip Belcher, CEO, LSE Consulting
“Get sales people that can open doors, create leads and close them and we will improve sales!” How often have I heard that?
Sure, talented sales people are essential. All sales people must have the required attributes, skills and knowledge if they are going to satisfy their need to achieve targets whether the targets are their own or those set by their employers.
Definitely, training must be regularly undertaken to adopt the next great ‘sales technique’ or some other skill that will enhance their personal performance. It may even be necessary to do some outdoor team building like ‘hang off ropes’ with their support team members to learn teamwork which engenders team spirit that will translate into greater collaboration and sales effectiveness.
Certainly product knowledge must be honed and effective strategic positioning is essential. There is no use cleverly selling products and/or services when better knowledge would have qualified the fact that a competitor will win on sheer features/benefits alone. Selling without appropriate stategy will lead to ruin by being “out sold” which means that the sales person was badly positioned and doomed to lose against a stronger or more agile, better positioned competitor.
But these pursuits alone won’t get ahead of the pack today. Execution is a mandatory component of selling in today’s sophisitcated market. To win with great sales talent and effective team work, industry leading processes and systems are imperative.
The true ‘super star’ sales people are highly organised. They know what their pipeline quota coverage is for the next quarter. They understand their customers’ business, those customers’ needs, how their offering addresses those needs, where to prospect, how to convert leads into opportunities, where their opportunities are at in the ‘sales funnel’, where to best focus and how to effectively engage their resources to ensure that they not only close the “High” probability deals, but what they have to do to ensure new opportunities are generated. They see that the “Low” and “Medium” deals are progressed (or relegated) and that they have sufficient “Pipeline” to make their number next quarter and beyond.
The ‘super stars’ know that consistent over-achievement requires an appropriate Pipeline management method that relies on customer input to define where the opportunity is at in the pipeline and a system that allows efficient recording and analysis of the pipeline as well as easily capturing/displaying progress, results and KPI’s.
As per the typical sales cycle shown, the target market segment is selected, prospecting is carried out and leads produced. The leads are qualified and the opportunities identified. Customers are systematically dealt with to match their needs with the offerings until sales are closed and they become existing customers who are being primarily dealt with by other areas of the organization as well as forming part of the prospecting activity. High achieving sales people are methodical about how they progress through these ‘stages’. Lower achievers will use a far less productive ‘hit and miss’ approach with little docomentation or use of a system.
Whilst this process has the potential to be effective, it has the potential to provide poor outcomes due to failing to adhere to a suitable method and ineffective/non existant management due to the lack of availability of a system that contains essential information with easily obtained automated reports and/or dashboards.
Enter the properly implemented, integrated Pipeline Management Method and the under pinning Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that is tailored to suit the particular sales organization and its approach to the market.
As indicated in the adjacent diagram, the CRM underpins the approach to the market and is tailored to include the Pipeline Management Method. Ideally the CRM will hold details of all Prospects as well as Existing customers, have the Pipeline Management Method built in, will offer access to the pricelist, quote templates, customer letter templates, be the repository of all customer interaction and be the source of reference for all customer contacts and transactions etc. It will allow reporting and analysis of customers, the pipeline and the activities that are being undertaken to pursue ongoing sales for the organization. The sophisticated systems enable interaction by the customer to ascertain progress with orders, self update of their details etc.
There are various Pipeline Management Methods and CRM Systems available. Each have their particular strengths and weaknesses depending on the cirumstances of the Sales Organization. Whether the organization has one person who is responsbible for selling, even if that is not their sole function, or if they have an international sales force, it must have a well implemented and managed Pipeline Management Method that is underpinned by an effective CRM System.
Having outstanding sales people is only one ‘lead indicator’ of sales success. If the sales team do not have the appropriate methods with supporting systems and effective management overview they will perform something like a highly trained marathoner entering a long distance cycling event without a bicycle. Yes, they will be very fit, but they won’t be able to compete with the competitors who are also very fit – and have a bike!
If you would like to discuss how your organization could improve its sales through effective Pipeline Management and the implementation of a tailored CRM system or any other business enhancement, why not contact LSE Consulting?
Having a good memory is a real asset. There are some positive steps that can be taken to improve it and keep it sharp…
Here is a tip from the article at the link below:
“…when you meet someone new, associate their name with a relevant image or visualisation, mnemonic or letter of the alphabet.”
Check out the ABC Health article here –> ABC Health
Are the sales team in your organization facing this sort of barrier to doing business? All too often we place obstacles in the way of getting things done with good intentions but don’t take the time to see if the addition of all the “good intention modifications” add up to Sales Prevention”.
Here is a great “tongue in cheek” example of what can happen – but it is just a little too close to the truth in so many companies we consult to…. Check out this link and then think about what is happening in your organization.
• 72% of sales professionals do not feel their organizations processes help them sell
• Underperforming sales executives results in a loss of revenue
• Poorly motivated sales professionals are more ready to leave an organization
• A Sales culture starts at the head of an organization.
A survey conducted by LSE Consulting has found nearly three quarters of Australian sales professionals feel their organization’s processes do not help them sell.
Using a range of inputs, including social media site LinkedIn, the survey covered the opinions of Australian sales executives and how their organization supports them in selling. When asked, “As an organization, how frequently does your organization’s processes help you sell?” 30% said rarely, or never. Only 7% of sales professionals felt their organization’s processes always helped them sell.
LSE Consulting CEO Phil Belcher said, “Our survey shows that most sales departments feel they are the only department contributing to sales and most other departments are unaware of what they need to do to contribute to the sales effort. This results in an impact on the bottom line of organizations, as sales professionals become disillusioned and demotivated by continually ‘battling’ the internal processes to make sales.”
“It is not so much a sales orientated workforce that is required. Rather, it is a sales culture that has an overall sales process that includes every individual within the workforce.
The main problem for organizations is to ensure the core values and vision for the company is communicated and implemented at every level – right down to non client facing frontline employees. In order to stop losing revenue and your best sales people from a segregated sales department, an overall Sales Value Process must be implemented. Everyone across the organization must understanding what they have do to ensure sales are maximized, customers satisfied and profitable customer relationships increased Belcher suggests.
He goes on to conclude: “Executives must translate the vision, mission and strategy into sales tools for everyone, embed an organization wide sales culture, define and implement a Sales Value Process that includes every employee and train them on it. To be a true leader in a market segment not only requires a leading edge sales team, but a truly Sales Enabled Organization.”
It doesn’t matter what your organization is, without your people it simply doesn’t exist.
There are various schools of thought regarding whether the organization should be paternal regarding the wellbeing of their people, going further than the statutory obligations of their duty of care and actively encouraging them to take good care of their health, or whether they should only do what is legally required, leaving the people to their own devices.
No matter what your stance is regarding this matter, the fact is that as a leader you are responsible for your own health. Taking good care of yourself sets a great example to your people. Actively encouraging your people to do the same or better than you do can pay big dividends to the company and if nothing else enhances its standing as a ‘good corporate citizen.
Analysing how the senior management team take care of themselves and actively encourage their people to do the same is a most worthwhile endeavour.
Here is an excellent article from the ABC that you can use as a basis for yourself and your people…
“Be Healthy At Work – It’s Your Job”
Author: Philip Belcher ©All rights reserved
In all too many organizations, Sales people are working to make sales in the face of major obstructions – not from their customers or their competitors, but from within their own organizations.
Here are 5 Imperatives every CEO should implement to ensure that their Organization is a “Sales Enabled Organization” (SEnO) so that their people are the ones that are making sales ahead of the competition!
1. Translate the Vision, Mission and Strategy into SALES tools for everyone
Having everyone in the organization knowing how they contribute to the sales effort with clear alignment of purpose is a massively powerful strategic tool.
2. Embed SALES into the Culture across the organization
They are rare but Sales Enabled Organizations do exist. If you want to see one, look for one that is a clear leader in its market(s) and that appears to have grown “over-night”. Everyone in these companies knows that they are part of the sales effort and the culture is one of active support for satisfying the customers through a strong sales approach.
3. Define the SVP (Sales Value Process) and ensure SALES is built into EVERY process
Every organization has a Sales Value Process but it is rarely defined. The SEnO has a clearly defined SVP where ‘sales’ is built into every process, the people clearly understand their part in it and any inhibitors are dealt with as soon as they arise.
4. Train every CCP (Customer Contact Person) on SALES as it applies to them.
SEnO Customer Contact People know their place in the overall SVP and seek out opportunities to talk with customers and to assist other CCPs because they have been trained in sales as it applies to them.
5. Execute a SEnO program and continually improve the SVP
A concerted, precisely executed SEnO program that embraces all of the imperatives is essential to becoming a truly Sales Enabled Organization. Such a program is a significant undertaking but one that will pay big dividends. The LSE Consulting SEnO 14 Step Plan defines the various activities that are required to transform the organization into being a truly Sales Enabled Organization
Why not book an obligation free consultation with respect to the SEnO Program by contacting LSE Consulting at
10 Things You Need to Know About Losing Weight
BBC One, Wednesday 27th May, 2009 [ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00ksh7c ]
There are very few among us that couldn’t do with being fitter and shedding at least one kilo. Most of us have various methods that we have tried to lose weight with varying success. This BBC show that was recently aired on the BBC Channel on Foxtel puts some research behind 10 important things that people aiming to lose weight should know.
If you are serious about losing some weight, do yourself a favour and spend 60 minutes watching this show. If you can’t get to it, here is a summary of the points highlighted in the show.
1. Don’t Skip Meals
The program conducted two studies of the brain’s response to low calorie and high calorie foods: one without consuming breakfast and one after consuming breakfast. The first response without eating breakfast showed that the brain ‘lit up’ more when shown high calorie food. The brain’s response after consuming breakfast showed that the brain did not ‘light up’ to either high or low calorie food. The activity from the brain in the first response, when it missed breakfast, was due to Ghrelin, a high powered hormone, which is released when the stomach is emptying.
Ghrelin sends a message to the brain which then sends the message to the stomach: ‘fill me up now!’. This primitive response triggers a powerful urge to eat high calorie food to compensate. Will power may not be strong enough to fight it.
2. Reduce Plate Size
A lot of scientific study has proven that reducing your plate size from 12” to 10” will reduce your calorie intake by 22%. In this program’s study an audience was evenly divided and given either the medium size or large size popcorn to eat whilst watching a movie. Those with the large size popcorn ate 45% more popcorn because they were given more and they did not realise they were full. To stop eating when full, change to a smaller plate size.
3. Count Calories
By making small changes in your diet you will make a large difference in your waistline. Avoid calorie laden food to avoid putting on weight. Choosing low calorie versions of food can dramatically change your calorie intake, as evidenced below.
|Low Calorie Food||Calories||High Calorie Food||Calories||Calorie Saving|
|Grilled Chicken Salad||250||plus dressing/croutons||450||200|
|2 apples||120||1 chocolate bar||300||180|
|Thin crust pizza||850||Deep pan pepperoni||1400||550|
|Bloody Mary Cocktail||125||Pinacolada||280||155|
4. Don’t Blame Your Metabolism
Statistics show that we blame our slow metabolism and under record our calorie intake. We do not include snacks or think that healthy food calories count. We think we are eating well by eating large portions of healthy foods, but large portion sizes are stored as excess fat.
The Show’s volunteer always believed she had a slow metabolism – but, by scientifically checking, it was found to be near perfect. Over nine days she was asked to keep a Video Diary for four days and then a written diary for the next five days. Meanwhile she was asked to drink an ‘isotope marker’ for the scientists to examine and compare what she actually ate to what she said she ate. It showed that she was not honest in her admission. She omitted 43% of her calorie intake, either by forgetting what she consumed or by not counting her healthy calories.
5. Protein Reduces Hunger Longer
A study with three volunteers showed that the person who added 10% more protein to his breakfast was “felt fuller” for longer. Protein triggers PYY (a protein that controls hunger pains). Protein sends more PYY into the blood stream than any other food source. By eating more protein with your breakfast, you will ensure that you will eat less for lunch.
6. Soup Keeps You Full
This study examined how soup signals to the brain that the stomach is still full and not hungry.
Two groups of army volunteers were given exactly the same volume of rice, chicken, vegetables and water to consume for lunch. One group was given the food as a meal plus a glass of water, the other group were given exactly the same amount of food but with the water added and blended into a soup. Each group had an ultra-sound directly after consuming lunch, and then again after hours of exertion. The ultra-sound of the group who consumed the soup showed that their stomach contents remained fuller for longer. This was explained by showing how the cup of water on top of the meal, from the first group, made the stomach briefly expand, but the water travelled straight through. The ultra-sound of the second group, which consumed the soup, showed that the blended mass of soup kept the stomach fuller for longer as it could not drain out quickly.
7. More Choice Makes You Eat More
Evolution has affected our appetite. In prehistoric times, as hunters and gatherers, we found a variety of food sources. Our bodies instructed us to seek out a variety of food wherever we could and that influenced how much we ate. A survey has shown that we eat 30% more when given a variety of food. When given the choices at a buffet, our instinct kicks in and tells us that we need to try everything. This will result in consuming far more calories than necessary.
The reporter placed two equal amounts of sweets in bowls in a canteen and videoed the results. One bowl of sweets was all the same colour, the other bowl was full of colourful sweets. The colourful sweets were rapidly consumed first, whilst the single colour sweets were not completely consumed, hence confirming that variety influences what we eat.
8. Low Fat Dairy-food Helps Excrete More Fat
It has been recognised that calcium in dairy products binds to fat molecules in food and forms a soap-like substance in the small intestine that we cannot absorb, so it goes straight through, and is excreted.
The show demonstrated this using a two-week test with a volunteer that involved eating exactly the same calorie intake over two consecutive weeks. In the first week the volunteer had very little dairy intake whereas over the second week he included a lot more low-fat dairy foods in his diet. At the end of each day his faeces sample was sent to Holland for analysis. The results for the two weeks were recorded and it was established that the volunteer passed twice as much fat during the second week of the experiment, proving that the higher intake of dairy-food increased excretion of fat.
9. Exercise Keeps On Burning Fat Even During Sleep
After exercise there is what is called an ‘after-burn’ effect. This means fat is burned after exercise and even during sleep.
This experiment had a volunteer walk for 90mins at 4 mph up a 5% incline. His oxygen and carbon dioxide levels were recorded and showed that during the exercise period he had burned 161 calories and 19 grams of fat, a disappointingly small amount given the exertion. The volunteer returned the next day to have his oxygen and carbon dioxide levels measured. It showed that after sleep his metabolic rate had used 49grams of fat and would keep using more, until the twenty-two hours had elapsed.
Our bodies burn different fuels for energy – carbohydrate and fats. During exercise muscles use carbohydrate first. After exercise our carbohydrate store has been depleted and it will take up to twenty-two hours to replace, so our body is forced to use fat instead.
10. Keep Moving and Lose Weight
We can do more exercise by making small changes in our daily routine.
The volunteer wore a heart monitor for two successive days. The first day she went about her normal daily routine and the heart rate results recorded. The second day she added extra exertion into her routine where ever possible. Exercise was included such as using stairs more often, standing and moving around whilst on the phone, walking up rather than standing still on the escalator, walking during lunchtime, getting on a stop later and off a stop earlier for public transport to increase exercise etc. The results showed that her heart rate was higher for longer periods of time on the second day where she had used an extra 240 calories. By continuing at this pace for one year she would lose 12kg.
There are several simple things that we can all implement into our daily routines that will enable us to reduce weight and remain healthier longer. Getting hold of the show and implementing the 10 tips will be a life enhancing exercise.