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November 2012

How do you get a donkey to drink?

Wisdom says, “You show him a drinking donkey.” How true it is in our relations with co-workers in Sales and Marketing, that we often tell, mandate, demand, coerce, force, pressure, compel, dictate and intimidate…but we seldom lead by example.

IStock_000014362317SmallFor instance:

1. There is the sales manager who tells his salespeople to use the CRM system, but doesn’t use it herself.

2. There is the marketing manager who mandates that ROI be a part of every lead generation program, but doesn’t do it for trade shows, webinars or pay-for-click advertising.

3. There is the company president who demands that quotas be met, but cuts the marketing lead generation budget in the last three months of the year, every year.

4. There is the sales manager who coerces his salespeople to use the CRM system and then allows them to do double work by reporting on their sales funnel using Excel.

5  There is the company president who forces new products on his sales channel without realizing he has to increase the number of people selling or some products will fall short; there are only so many selling hours.

6. There is the sales manager who pressures his salespeople to follow up every sales inquiry and lead but allows them to stop after the first phone call.

7. There is the marketing manager who doesn’t compel his department to prove the return on investment for lead generation while demanding 100% follow-up from salespeople.

8. There is the company president who dictates marketing dollar budgets while disconnecting lead generation from quota attainment. This is the same president who fails to approve marketing spending early in the year to support sales.

9. There is the sales manager who intimidates Marketing and refuses to enforce a 100% follow-up of sales leads.

All of these little habits and quirks are tugging on the productivity of Sales and Marketing. They aren’t mean spirited; they are just human faults and failings. And yet if we are to overcome these issues, one by one, we have to show by example how to make the donkey drink. We have to calmly and matter-of-factly demonstrate to our junior and senior managers that things can change.

The answer lies not in telling, mandating, demanding, coercing, forcing, pressuring, compelling, dictating and intimidating, but in leading by example with sound judgement and common sense. 

Why don't women in business take credit for their achievements?

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Finch_S02-8534-cropped Jill-Rowley-200x300SLMA Director, Susan Finch had a lively conversation with Jill Rowley of Eloqua, deciphering what keeps women from taking credit for their own accomplishments. They also discussed what separates women who are comfortable standing up for themselves, their skills and accomplishments from those who quietly take the back seat, frequently to a man in a lateral position.

Following are some of the highlights of their discussion.

As reported by CNN just last month, 57% of men negotiate their starting salaries, yet only 7% of women do.  Why?  Taking into account that many women are single or the primary earners in their families, this is a staggering gap and would lead one to deduce that the lack of negotiation on the part of women has nothing to do with skills, education or need.  Statistics also show that women walk away from careers or leave the workforce well before they reach higher positions they are qualified for, primarily due to projecting years in advance about marriage, motherhood, or potential failures, thereby sabotaging their own success.  Not surprisingly, women who work outside the home still take on the bulk of household chores whether or not they share their homes with a spouse and/or children of age to assist. Even in instances where the woman is the primary earner for her family, the household duties stereotypically tagged as “Mom work” often await her and are not divvied up amongst the rest of the family. If Mom wants clean underwear, she’s likely doing the laundry after a long day at the office, after she’s picked up dinner and stopped by the dry cleaner.  Both men and women clearly seem to agree there are still women’s roles that aren’t as quickly picked up by men, even though women today do jobs (quite well) that once were thought of as men-only positions.

This brought up another topic, the likes of Maureen Reagan. Had she been a man, she would have been better received by women. Women were intimidated by her strength, but why?  Susan suggested that too often women are considered ball-busters when they are acting no differently than men would in parallel situations, but it is outside the EXPECTED behavior of women which makes men and women uncomfortable.

Recognizing that in order to succeed, we have to embrace failures, Jill said, "I eat failure for breakfast so that I can dine on success for lunch and dinner."  Jill is a big fan of Ted Talks (http://www.ted.com/talks ) There have been some inspiring speakers on this topic of women's worth in the workplace – it's an inside job.  It begins withIN us.

EMBRACE your feminine qualities. It sets you apart, but even more, it’s just what you are. You’ll never, EVER find a man looking for a less masculine suit or asking for a haircut that softens his features! If you feel like a million bucks wearing the heels that give you legs up to there wear them and click-click-click your way right into the board room. Have confidence! Being feminine in business doesn't have to take on negative connotations such as tacky, trampy or loose. If you’re speaking with authority and members of the roundtable can’t take their eyes off you in your well-fitted pink blouse or red-soled Louboutins – all the better! Now you’ve got their FULL attention!  Being a woman in business is about balance – a balance of grace, dignity and confidence without apology for being in-your-face when it’s called for. Business is business so pull on your big girl pumps and get to it!

Jill and Susan are talking about those “woman shoes” in this episode.  How do women dress when they go out for an evening of business networking in mixed company? What about when it's just with other women? Do they tend to dress like "strong males" with slacks, jackets and flats? The women on this show are fans of Carlos Santana, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade, Steve Madden and other feminine designers who know you may want to actually walk a few blocks in their amazing designs and look good doing so. If Kate Spade can build a business designing clothing and accessories, what sense does it make that a business woman wouldn’t wear them… to work?

The importance of doing time in the trenches for any supervisor position (the credibility is necessary) is also covered.  Coming straight from an inside position into a higher role is tough for some teams to swallow if the new superior never walked in their shoes (that they know of). While it does sometimes happen, there’s a finesse to moving through the ranks and settling in while demonstrating qualifications and leadership for the role.

To hear the entire show click below.

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  Play in Popup | Download | Embeddable Player

About Jill Rowley:

Jill Rowley continues to be a force in the sales lead management industry. A pioneer in the space, Jill has become an expert and global companies (Rally Software, DocuSign, ArcSight) turn to her for guidance and knowledge.

Jill has spent the past 10 years building the marketing automation space with Eloqua and joined after 2 years with Salesforce.com. She is passionate about helping companies and individuals within those companies optimize their revenue engines by providing the knowledge they need to modernize their people, processes, data, content and technology. Jill has been an individual quota carrying Sales Rep for the past 12 years, but many of the experts, analysts, consultants and thought leaders know Jill is actually the “Chief Customer and Community Ambassador.”

 

About Susan FInch:

Susan Finch has had her own web solutions business since 2001 the day her daughter was born. She had to cancel a meeting with her largest client because she had gone into labor. She seized the opportunity to reformulate her day-to-day work life to include her home life. It was the beginning of great succcess at both ends. She began in PR/Marketing in 1985 at a small company in Irvine, California.  In 1996 she transitioned into web design, while staying true to her PR and Marketing roots. Her clients benefit from the sum of these experiences.

 
By: +Susan Finch

How to get leads with LinkedIn Groups in 3 steps

By: Jeff Molander

Earning leads with LinkedIn Groups is easier than you might think. The trick is provoking your Hook3target market into contacting you for more details by teasing them with content that they cannot resist interacting with. This gets customers to click to your Profile and onward to your blog--where they can more clearly understand the thought you just provoked.

"Experts” say being engaging in LinkedIn Groups is the key to generating leads with LinkedIn. Finding crafty ways to mention your blogs, webinars or new product releases within LinkedIn Groups, they claim, will create more appointments, leads and sales. "Engaging" is like magic. But you know it's not true. Here's what works.

The System Revealed

I’m creating leads and sales using blogging, podcasts and LinkedIn Groups with this simple system. I...

1) Create valuable content (answers to burning questions)
2) Monitor for people demonstrating need for it (in LinkedIn Groups)
3) Reveal answers in ways that create cravings for more of what I have to share 

The last step is where I provoke reaction--beyond sharing. This part is key. I make sure to not “tell a story” or “provide valuable content” or educate my target market. We hear a LOT about these as successful tactics but it's mostly social media guru blather. You've got to get people to do MORE than share the content.

Continue reading "How to get leads with LinkedIn Groups in 3 steps" »