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Are Workforce Critical Competency Levels Trending Downward? 5 Things You Can Do About It Now

Planning for future competencies

Are we headed into a shortage of quality future leadership?

Many executives who believe that say today’s job candidates are coming up short when it comes to key competencies, with leadership and navigation being at the top of the list of deficient skills.

According to recent survey results from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), today’s leaders are simultaneously recognizing the importance of hiring employees who have potential to master such critical competencies as communication and business acumen. The survey defined competencies as “individual characteristics, including knowledge, skills, abilities, self-image, traits, mindsets, feelings, and ways of thinking, which, when used with the appropriate roles, achieve a desired result.”

It stands to reason that a skilled, knowledgeable, and competent workforce is key to a company’s success, but nearly 4 in 10 of the surveyed executives claim that available candidates come up lacking in critical competencies.

Worse yet?  This looming shortage comes as no surprise.  For several years now, business leaders have expressed concern regarding future leadership shortages. Developing new leaders could well prove to be the top challenge for HR over the next decade.

How can you address this issue?  Read on for five ways you can optimize productivity and increase revenue through improving team competencies and grooming future leaders within your organization.

1.  Give them Resources and Incentives

To foster optimal conditions for employees to improve competencies, you need to provide your workforce with resources. Resources can be anything, from e-learning programs and learning seminars, to manuals, books and/or articles.  But you should also provide some incentive.  You might consider creating a program that offers promotions, bonuses, and raises for those who take advantage of competency training.

2.  Let them Job Shadow

Job shadowing is traditionally part of an onboarding process for new hires, but it can be equally effective for seasoned employees wanting to advance.  You’ll want to start out by identifying your top performers and having other team members observe them whenever and wherever possible. Those being shadowed also gain an opportunity to teach and train others, which is a critical leadership competency in and of itself. These top performers can also shadow those in leadership positions in the organization, and show their team members what their leaders do and how they can eventually learn what they need to become leaders themselves.

3.  Coach Them

In tandem with job shadowing, another simple and inexpensive way to bolster team member competencies is through the use of consistently regular coaching sessions. Coaching may not necessarily teach new skills, but it can provide critical feedback and assistance for improving current skills. Employees have the opportunity to repeatedly perform at peak ability, while offering more learning opportunities to expand their skill sets.

4.  Challenge Them

Increased responsibility is a boost for morale as well as for improving competencies. Offering your team members the opportunity to stretch themselves with additional challenges will give them something new to focus on, pushing them to utilize and sharpen current skills all while forging new ones. There are several possibilities such as assigning special projects, letting them conduct seminars and training, giving them the opportunity to lead teams, and giving them mentoring and coaching assignments.

5.  Gamifying

Everyone loves to play a game, so it’s no wonder that gamification is all the craze now. Get creative and see how you can turn your competencies management program into something that will help nurture a culture of friendly competition and camaraderie.  Team members can support one another in developing confidence in their ability to better their best.  It might be worth your time to work with an agency on developing this kind of program.

 

What are you doing to better develop your workforce’s competencies?  Talk to us!

 

  • Jonathan W. Crowell

Revamping Your Office Environment: An Unexpected Way to Attract and Retain Top Talent

revamp office design

 

You probably wouldn’t have seen this one coming, but one of the latest corporate pushes has surfaced, and it comes in the form of restylizing your office environment.  Not for the mere sake of aesthetics, mind you, but rather as a draw for top talent.

That’s right.  Companies are starting to catch on that it matters to potential recruits what the office layout and dynamics are where they will be working.  Not only is de-centralizing/de-segregating an office setup a proven strategy to improve collaborative dynamics for a team, it is also a sought-after and productivity-enhancing environment for today’s workforce.

Within five years, the average amount of space each employee will need will drop to 150 square feet (down from 400 in 1985). Not that it would seem to matter, because 60 percent of today’s employees aren’t even using their assigned workspaces.  More employees than ever are working remotely, and companies will cash in big on overhead savings by minimizing their office space.

The very universally-accepted open office model is going away to make room for the more versatile and multi-faceted work space that offers workers more options. Not surprisingly, not everyone works best in the same kind of space, and more distraction-free lounge-work areas featuring flexible furniture are the latest thing.

Long story short: investing in a happier and more productive workforce through enhanced office spaces will go a long way to attracting and keeping the best talent in years to come.  Following are five very affordable ways you can improve your office’s feng shui.

Happy employees are productive employees

Revamping your office space doesn’t have to be expensive.  Small and simple changes, such as placing meeting areas near windows, or investing in some softer furniture, and bright, relaxing colors for your walls and furniture will go a long way to improving the “home-iness” of your office.  You can also consider improving the plantlife around your office to improve liveliness and airflow are also a huge boon.

Encouraging outdoor access for a quick breath of fresh air if possible, and this option can help the attitudes and outlook of your team.

Furthermore, your employees can thrive and engage within the right company culture and sense of belonging in a community, one that you can help create.

Wellness is an Amenity

Work/life balance is not just a catchphrase, it is an increasingly valued commodity among modern professionals.  Being more flexible with your employees about how, when, and where they work will go a long way in helping them achieve this kind of balance.

Technology is such today that it is easier than ever for employees to work from anywhere, and at any time.  Airports, home living rooms, coffee shops, etc., can all be considered viable workspaces, assuming there is a decent and accessible Wifi signal.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Rather than issuing standardized equipment to everyone in the office, BYOD is a growing trend that encourages companies to provide their employees with favorite laptops/tablets/mobile devices, etc., of their employees’ choosing.  Who doesn’t work better with devices that you’re familiar and comfortable with?  There might be some security obstacles to resolve, but plan on increased productivity, creativity, and overall worker satisfaction.

Work Zones

People tend to work better in different environments and at different times of the day, and their productivity can even depend upon what kind of task they may be working on.  You can create different kinds of work zones within your office to enhance conditions for working on different kinds of projects.

What might that look like?  How about some flexibility in the form of quieter zones for individual tasks, and informal meeting spaces to encourage collaborative efforts?  This kind of flexibility can help the flow of ideas and productivity.

 Break Out Spaces

Specific “break out” areas facilitate employees getting away from their desks for periodic breathers.  Providing filtered water, coffee, and tea will welcome your employees to stay in the office for breaks.  These areas are also great ways to facilitate unintended interactions amongst employees can end up producing very surprising and creative results. Your employees will feel more pampered and appreciated, too.

Purists need not fear: the traditional centralized office hub where your workforce can meet and collaborate is not going away anytime soon.  But remember that being more flexible with your employees’ routines and schedules will only add to their sense of independence and of being trusted and valued.  And that’s how you retain the talent that you really want.

Have any ideas for how to refashion an office space to help with productivity?  We’d love to hear about it!

Related Article: How to Engage and Retain New College Grads

 

  • Jonathan W. Crowell 

Six Fundamental Ways to Convert Your Team into Top Sales Rockstars

boost sales

 

You want to increase your company’s sales.  And who wouldn’t?

As you may have discovered by now, longer hours and more pounding the pavement don’t necessarily always mean more sales.

Constantly finding new people to buy your product or service is a critical part of the overall sales process.  You think you have a winner of a product.  You think you know your customer. You think you their pain and how to resolve it.

There are few silver bullets in the world of sales, but try the following steps consistently and see if you can’t begin seeing better numbers.

And you may not even have to slash prices or host fire sales, either.

Let Your Sales Leaders Do the Coaching

You know who your top sellers are.  Get them invested in their sales team’s success by finding ways that they can mentor and coach the rest of the team.  They’ll appreciate the opportunity to develop as leaders, and to be viewed as in-house experts.

Observe and see if they’re doing anything that may apply consistently to most sales scenarios.  Make sure you give the credit where it’s due.

Only Work on Selling to Pre-qualified Leads

Increasing your reach to new potential customers isn’t always a good use of your time, since you’ll expend your energy on those who don’t want to buy what you’re offering.  Rely on your pre-qualified leads to best prioritize opportunities based on a predictable history.

Don’t Waste Anyone’s Time (Especially Your Own)

If your customer doesn’t need it, commit ahead of time to not try to sell it to them.  You should know (or learn) how to quickly gauge whether or not there’s a real need.  You’ll save time, and improve the trust your customer has in you and your relationship.

Talk, but Listen More

Don’t let your conversation be driven by how great your product is. Find out what your customer really needs.  Ask the right questions, and let them tell you what they need.  This is another way to invest in the quality of your relationship with them.

Contests
Offering one of your free products or services to customers for winning a contest is always a great idea, as everyone loves to win free stuff.  But make it fun!  If you can get them to buy something they want as part of the game, you’ve not only helped with your branding efforts, you’ve effortlessly boosted your sales with minimal cost.

You should also consider creative incentives such as customer reward programs and free samples.

Content Marketing (More Free Stuff!)

Informational and authoritative products like well-researched and written white papers and free e-books are easy to get into your customers’ hands, to pique their interest in your company, or as a bonus with a purchase.  You look like an authoritative expert on a subject that interests them, and you get to begin building a relationship of trust with potential customers.

Use social media to your advantage, too.

You’ll get free access to qualified leads, more customers at lower cost to you, and many more channels in which to sell your product.

And if there’s one takeaway you should always remember, it’s to over-deliver to your customers.  Be available to answer questions and to offer insights and advice. Remember, you’re building a relationship with them, not just making a sale.

We love to hear from you!  Drop us a line and let us know what you do to boost your own sales!

  • Jonathan W. Crowell

Looking Forward Instead of Back: Rethinking the Traditional Performance Review

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There seems to be a split in regard to the perceived value of traditional performance appraisals. It continues to be a pressing debate in Human Resource circles these days.

As it turns out, 95 percent of employees and managers today are unhappy with the way their companies assess their performance each year – 90 percent don’t believe the process even deals with accurate information.

In addition, 65 percent of employees claim that the old school performance review process undermines their productivity. 65 percent of managers claim that the information considered isn’t even relevant to their jobs.

Why is everyone so averse to them, particularly milennials?  In their defense, besides the fact that they’ve been shown to be condescending toward talent, ineffective, expensive, inconsistent, and that they undermine team dynamics and momentum, perhaps not too much else.

Consider that if performance reviews as we know them are not slated for utter elimination, they are definitely trending toward quite an overhaul sooner than later.

A number of trendsetters have already begun to move away from the traditional annual employee assessment, including Deloitte, GE, and Accenture, and don’t be too surprised to see that the hot new emerging corporate trend is a new approach to giving employees feedback and making it worth their while to stick around.

 

It’s a Talent Retention Strategy Thing

 

Employee performance reviews date back to the 20th century when employees were considered to be easily interchangeable parts in a company machine – and the process has run its course.  You won’t turn many heads with your talent retention rates with the same approach today, as the traditional approach demotivates and instills dread.

A 2013 study by Kansas State University Associate Professor Satoris Culbertson and colleagues showed that high-performing employees were affected negatively by critical feedback on their annual performance appraisals.

In exchange for what modern skilled talent is expected to bring to the table, the expectation in return a more trusting relationship with their employers, as well as more meaningful autonomy in their professional lives.

Furthermore, when employees are treated as replaceable, faceless appendages, their unique strengths and talents go to waste, if not completely undiscovered. And the dynamics of business suffer.

Gone are the days when a manager fulfilled the role of overseer and taskmaster. The modern demands of being competitive look to leaders to be coaches and stewards, to understand each team member’s strengths and weaknesses, and to get them to buy into and align with organizational goals.

Forget about controlling your people.  When you look out for them instead, you get them to a place where it’s easier and more natural to unlock their potential.

 

A New Model for Employee Review

 

If the performance appraisal is done for, what should replace it with? According to 15Five’s CEO, David Hassell, a more relevant modern approach would involve:

  • Holding a predictable cadence of weekly and quarterly conversations with employees
  • Checking the pulse weekly on the morale of employees, and better understanding their engagement levels
  • Giving employees time throughout the quarter to reflect on performance to improve it
  • Having a formal performance conversation quarterly
  • Disconnecting compensation conversations from performance conversations
  • Connecting employees to a shared purpose to illuminate why their work matters

 

As businesses look for ways to improve their corporate culture and employee experience, the vertical relationship between managers and employees will become more cooperative than heirarchal, and they will unavoidably need to update how they assess their employees’ contributions. The performance discussion needs to empower employees to improve month over month, not year over year, according to Hassell.

Employees don’t want or need to be carrot-and-sticked, and companies that understand this sooner than later will focus more on working steadily with employees on improvement in the future rather than on merely reviewing the past.

 

  • Jonathan W. Crowell

 

 

 

Keeping Your Workforce (And Your Company) Relevant

professional-development

 

How well are you keeping up with the fast pace of technology and impactful changes within your industry?  How are you staying competitive?

 

A major concern for companies and organizations is the persistent need to stay competitive and relevant.
A snapshot by Fortune into the new realities of the 21st-century corporation predicts that human capital will definitively become every company’s most valuable asset. For many, this makes perfect sense, but at some point, companies may be forced to recognize that a “great” employee today may not look so impressive a year from now.

 

And it’s no different for companies as a whole.  Keeping your workforce up-to-date is becoming increasingly critical in today’s economy and business environment. Just as with an individual professional and his or her professional development, for a company, the ultimate outcome of well-planned workforce development and staying on top of industry change, is that it safeguards customers, the company and the company’s relationship with its customers.

 

What can you do as an employer to keep your workforce (and your company) competitive? Following are some ways you can start:

 

  1. Learning as a Professional Lifetime Endeavor Foster an organizational culture of ongoing learning and professional development.  Professional development isn’t always necessarily formal, costly, formal or off-site.  Take advantage of peer-to-peer learning as an efficient and cost-effective way of improving skills.  Also consider cross-training or rotating certain job duties. Employee discussion groups are a great way to allow employees to share their experiences and mentor others.
  2. Get Your Employees Psyched about Taking Charge – Encourage your employees and put the onus on them to take charge of their own careers. You can let them know that you can support them, but that in the end, the final responsibility is theirs to develop as a career professional.  Keep them learning, for their own good, and for the good of the company.

 

  1. Foster a Transparent Corporate Culture – There may be some need for discretion when making some decisions, but in many companies, important information is too often kept from the individuals who are expected to assume greater responsibility in the future. This can put newly-promoted employees in an awkward position and result in lost productivity while he or she scrambles to get up to speed with new responsibilities.

 

  1. Assess – What skills are needed for each position in the company?  What skills are needed for each position that employees may be looking to advance to?  Invest some time with each employee to discuss the skills that are important now, and what skills will be important in the future.  Also, help them see where they may be lacking, and where they need to fill in.  Form a team specifically charged with identifying employee learning needs, such as formal classes, support for higher learning or training in certain skills.  Discuss with company leadership and HR ways that the company can help (remember it’s in the company’s best interest, too). You may want to consider investing in a firm to help you assess your company’s current and future needs.

 

  1. Show Support – Encourage employees by showing interest in what they have learned in courses, seminars or other learning activities. Get them thinking about what they have learned that they think will be most useful to them in their current positions, and where they think they need to improve.  Get them thinking about what they’re learning in terms of how it will benefit them in future responsibilities.

 

You can be of beneficial support to your employees, not just for their own development, but also to help keep your company competitive.  Definitely a win-win.

 

Are you keeping your company competitive through professional development for your employees? We’d love to hear about what is working for you!

  • Jonathan W. Crowell

Get Going on Employee Wellness: One of the Most Cost-Effective Initiatives You Can Take

Fitness

One of the HR hot buttons this year touches on the question of employee wellness, and whether or not it’s a worthwhile investment for company resources.

 

Truth be told, the ROI on employee wellness programs is still a bit of a tricky one to quantify, in part because wellness as a concept is an ever expanding one – as time goes on, more and more components go into its definition.

 

With the hectic and stressed pace of modern life, coupled with longer lifespans and an aging workforce, it makes good humanitarian sense to have employee wellness on the radar, but it is so much more than doing your employees a favor – a concern with employee wellness has been tied to improved staff health, productivity, and morale.

 

Furthermore, findings from 56 studies on worksite wellness programs that were published in the American Journal of Health Promotion showed an average 27 percent reduction in sick leave absenteeism, 26 percent reduction in health care costs (every dollar invested in a company employee wellness program returned $6 in annual health care savings), and 32 percent reduction in workers’ compensation and disability management cost claims.

 

Beginning an employee wellness program might seem like a daunting task to tackle, but it makes good business sense, and the sooner you get started, the better.  The best part is, it doesn’t even need to involve a huge financial investment!  As always, it’s the little things that count most.

 

Here’s how to get started:

 

  1. Assess employee wellness needs – Put together a balanced committee that represents the interests of employees and management alike (even if it’s just two people).  Distribute a Health Risk Assessment (HRA) among your employees to realistically gauge risk factors in their lifestyles (smoking, exercise, eating, etc.  Be mindful of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) regulations while gathering data for an HRA). Take an employee survey about what might interest them in a wellness program, what their concerns are, and what their availability to participate is.

 

  1. Get buy-in from your employees – Make sure they know that a wellness initiative is not just about getting incentives from the company insurer, but that it will benefit them as well, in the long run.  Employee wellness is not just about physical health, but also about emotional, psychological, and even spiritual health.

 

  1. Brainstorm with employees for solutions – It would be great if every company could install an in-house gym and hire a full-time trainer, but it doesn’t have to be that dramatic.  Get further buy-in from your employees by having your committee brainstorm with them about what practices can be adopted to help with wellness efforts, e.g., healthy food for meetings, smoking cessation incentives, pedometer challenges to encourage more walking, etc.  See if your company can get a group rate at the local gym.

 

  1. Screenings and in-house medical services – Time is valuable, and if employees can get their blood pressure tested, or get flu shots, or get screened for cancer during their lunch break without having to leave, all the better.  Plus, it’s something your staff can have fun doing together.

 

  1. Put the program in writing and put a plan in place to evaluate – Everything improves once you begin to measure it.  Plan on evaluating the program periodically and measuring employee progress.  Get employee feedback regularly.

 

An employee wellness program is a win-win scenario, that makes good fiscal sense from a management standpoint, and is also veritably beneficial for the employees themselves in the long-term.  It’s also a great opportunity to help bolster employee-management communication and relationships.

 

Want more ideas to support a wellness program?

  •  Wellness newsletter
  •  Office walking/exercise groups/fitness challenges
  •  Workshops on wellness issues
  •  Healthy potluck lunches and healthy snacks for meetings and breaks
  •  Physical activity breaks
  •  Group fitness or yoga classes/gym memberships
  •  Smoking cessation classes and incentives
  •  Company sponsored incentives such as water bottles, gym bags, healthy cookbooks, and pedometers, employee parties for reaching fitness goals, etc.

 

Some Resources for Implementing an Employee Wellness Program 

A checklist for implementing an HRA, from the CDC

http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/hwi/downloads/HRA_checklist.pdf

A Brief Summary of the HIPPA Privacy Rule

http://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/privacy/laws-regulations/index.html

A guide to workplace health promotion practices from the Partnership for Prevention

http://www.prevent.org/images/stories/2008/investinginhealth_finalfinal.pdf

A specific step-by-step guide to creating an employee wellness program from Hope Health

http://www.hopehealth.com/free-resource-library/

 

What does your employee wellness program look like?  Drop us a line! We’d love to hear what is working for you!

  • Jonathan W. Crowell

 

5 Must-Do Tips to Jumpstart Your Marketing Automation Plan

Marketing-Automation

The term “marketing automation” always sounds great to me – great, as in, hit a button and take the rest of the week off.

It can be a little misleading to newcomers, because even though organizing and automating your marketing efforts will result in improved efficiency, it’s not robotic – nor would you want it to be, from the customer relationship-building perspective.  But it actually is an involved exercise that will require creative thinking, strategizing and adequate time investment, and as with all things, you’ll get out of it what you put into it.

Whether you handle your own marketing automation plan, or are looking to hire a firm to help, know as much about the process as you can.  Why put in the investment if you’re not going to know how to maximize the results?

What exactly is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is a technology-driven methodology that allows users to automate, streamline, measure, and improve the entire process in order to boost efficiency and ROI as inherent benefits.

Streamlining your marketing efforts helps you drastically improve your lead generation, lead nurturing, lead conversion rate, and customer retention.

So, is it really worth all the trouble?  Absolutely.

According to VB Insight’s “Marketing Automation: How to Make the Right Buying Decision” (2015), 80 percent of users who employ MA see a significant increase in their number of leads, and 77 percent of them also report seeing their conversion numbers increase notably (Notably, as in 53 percent higher, according to Autopilot.com).  Oddly, as recently as last year, only about 4 percent of US businesses with 20 or more employees are using marketing automation software. Think of it: Here’s your chance to get ahead of the curve!

And not to worry – the more you work at it, the easier and more natural and intuitive it becomes.  Here are some steps to help you get started.

Killer Marketing Automation

  • Why? What exactly are your marketing goals?  Why would you specifically need and use marketing automation?  Lead generation?  Lead nurturing/conversion rate increase?  All of the above?  If you’re a startup, maybe you just want to increase awareness of your brand more than anything.  Once you’ve established WHY, you can move on to HOW.
  • How? Start by building your own list of curated leads.  You want to qualify your marketing campaign, and therefore, it makes the most sense to have a curated list of contacts who you know are already interested in your brand’s goods and/or services.  Patiently nurture and grow your own list of potential customers – this will add “personal touch” value to your customer base, and help with your longer-term branding efforts.
  • Who? Who is your ideal customer?  Who are your fair-weather customers, and what is it that tips the scale for them?  Create your customer “persona” and narrative, so that you learn how to think like they think – what does your ideal customer experience, want and need?  What is his or her pain?  Again, long-term nurturing and branding.
  • What? What is marketing all about?  Certainly, it’s not about the marketer.  As you probably have come to know, it’s about providing your ideal customer with viable solutions to their problems, in a way that opens the door to a long-term relationship.  When it comes to automated and content marketing, make sure you’re giving them not only the products and services they need, but also the content that they want, need and value.
  • Where/When/How? Make sure you’re using the right automated marketing tools to help you meet your customers’ needs, within the right channels.  Depending on your goals, your budget, and how much control you’d like to have over the process, fortunately you have several solid tools and channels to choose from.  If you’re set on spearheading your own automated marketing efforts but would like some additional guidance, contact the marketing experts at Cox eLearning Consultants.

Hopefully these tips can help you get on the right track.  It’s a process, but as Mick Jagger says so eloquently, once you get “started, you’ll never stop.”  Or something like that.

Marketing automation really is meant to make our lives easier, so no overthinking – it’s going to change, and evolve as you go, so adjustments and redirects will be necessary.  And that’s OK.

Have lots of fun, and best of luck!  The most important thing you can remember is that while marketing automation is a great thing, never use it as a substitute for personalized attention to your customer relationship management. 

Are you an automated marketer?  Tell us more about what works best – We’d love to hear from you!

— Jonathan W. Crowell

Top 5 LMS Off the Beaten Track Infographic

Top 5 LMS Off the Beaten Track Infographic via Insider Hub

Top-5-LMS-Off-the-beaten-track-01

15 Key Questions to Ask When Interviewing Potential Telemarketing Vendors

Sales appointment setting, commonly known as B2B telemarketing, can be a cost-effective method for identifying and qualifying leads and then moving these prospects along the sales cycle. When companies are considering implementing telemarketing for leads, frequently the first two questions that come up are: “Should we set up a telemarketing team in-house or outsource it?” and “If we outsource telemarketing, how do we find the right vendor?”

Telemarketing campaigns can use a lot of time and resources. Conducting the service in-house means you have to hire employees, add them to payroll and pay for benefits, train them, and keep their skills finely tuned, all while trying to avoid the common problem of high turnover in such a position. Many small to mid-sized companies forego tackling the responsibilities in-house, and opt to outsource for telemarketing services. Outsourcing allows a business to have their telemarketing campaign executed by trained professionals, while other in-house employees address other important matters. Outsourcing is a wise decision; yet, be sure to keep the following inquiries in mind when using a telemarketing service.

Here are 15 key questions to ask when interviewing potential telemarketing vendors:

1. Do you use US-based or offshore callers?
2. What is your pricing model?
3. How are the callers paid?
4. Do your callers include the use of email in their telemarketing efforts?
5. What is your employee turnover rate for callers and managers?
6. What is the average tenure of your callers?
7. What is the experience of the callers as it pertains to business and my industry?
8. Will I be allowed to train the caller assigned to my campaign?
9. When a meeting is set or a lead is generated, what exactly will we receive? Please provide an example.
10. Are there any campaign setup fees?
11. How is the message created?
12. How is qualification criteria developed?
13. Do you use scripts?
14. Where do you get the contact data for the campaigns?
15. What is your client onboarding process?

All businesses must fuel their sales funnel with leads. The businesses that are unable or unwilling to do it themselves can choose to outsource a telemarketing firm in order to significantly decrease spending valuable time on prospecting and qualifying leads. If your company does not want to waste time and resources with unqualified leads, contact Cox eLearning Consultants or click here to learn more about our telemarketing services.

By Kerry Williams

The benefit of using research in your marketing strategy

Deciding to undertake research on your company and how it compares to competitors is not a simple task, but once done, can help differentiate you from the others – which helps everyone from your salespeople to your target audience make that distinction as well.

Research is best done from a third party, so that the information can be credible and valuable to the readers, and so that information about competitors is readily accessible. Additionally, research is more objective from an outsider’s point of view, and can truly capture the status quo of your industry or marketplace.

Utilizing high-quality research in your marketing plan, then, can be beneficial for your company. Stats and numbers don’t lie, and when presented visually, this information can allow the audience member to quickly digest the information and see the distinctions and noteworthy items. Furthermore, research is convincing and persuasive – instead of assumptions, one has quality data to work with. To your leads, this may be the item that convinces them to take another look at your product or services.

Research can also provide your company with information on areas where your competitors are doing better and/or where you need to improve. This allows you to “play up” your strengths in your marketing efforts, while offering a clear guide on where and how to improve in other areas.

Cox eLearning Consultants provides research and marketing services. To learn more, visit our website or follow us on Twitter.

By Amanda Yanchury