2017 CEO Predictions Feed

Stop Being Boring When You Talk to me (Talking Blog)

Susan Finch Read or Listen

Talking Blog:  Susan Finch Stop Being Boring

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People are promoted to positions of leadership, power and wisdom. But it's not usually based on HOW they present their information, it's based on what they know, what they've done and what they can do. What many companies fail to realize is that unless this same person can actually speak to a group to persuade, inform and entertain, all of the bells, whistles and knowledge will fall on closed ears, eyes and nodding heads. Stop being boring.

My daughter, a Sophomore in high school, praises the knowledge being taught in her chemistry class. There is a BUT - "But, I fall asleep because he is monotone and doesn't ever pause." We volunteer to lead committees, at our companies we introduce people at meetings, present ideas, we make sales presentations.

Replay it in your head. Did you entertain them? Did you hold their attention so they'd actually put down their phone or tablet? No, they were not taking notes, LIES. Our attention spans have decreased and the competition for our attention has exploded. We are pulled in so many directions. If you are the LIVE person in the room, you'd better be able to hold their attention. Would you hold your OWN attention? Pulling my own covers, some of my tutorial videos from my Geekspeak Guides series still make me smile. I'm good! My kids laugh when they see me laughing and nodding at my own videos. I even know what's coming next. Probably a sad admission.

Here are some suggestions to STOP being boring.

  • MOVE around the room.
  • KNOW and BELIEVE your material. 
  • If you are introducing or talking about people, be 100% sure how to pronounce their names, their company and verify their position. If you don't want to ask them, ask someone else who knows them or the executive assistant. They are usually pretty cool about helping with that. It's saved me dozens of times. 
  • Make EYE contact - even when presenting monthly reports. You don't have to have it memorized, but PLEASE stop staring at the PowerPoint/Slides presentation behind you or at your notes/laptop. Look up. Most likely, you wrote and researched all of this. You don't need to be reading from it.
  • Brings me to the other point:

 PowerPoint/Slides are not a TelePrompter. They are to drive home what you are saying with a visual and a couple of key points.

YOU have the knowledge.
YOU have the answers.
YOU will help them learn or be inspired - not the slideshow.

  • Reach out of the speaker box. There is an invisible box around us - sometimes is rectangular, but it has the front wall. Dip out of it to jar the audience into noticing you and what you are saying again. Caution: keep in mind personal space, especially with a small group in a small room - stretch up instead or out to the side.
  • ASK questions - even just check ins such as, "Can you believe it?" "Does that make sense?" "Has that happened to you?" "Are you excited yet?" - something - but mix it up - one every 5-7 minutes is good to change the pace and wake them up.
  • Don't swallow your words. Teens and those under 30 are especially vulnerable to this one. You just fade away into your own throat and we can't follow you. I've seen audiences lean forward as if trying to grab the words before they are gone - straining to make sense of the inaudible punchline or point, but then the point is gone -  and so is their attention.
  • SMILE when you talk - stretch your face - it will come through in your points. It increases the energy and mixes up the pace.
  • Careful on the acronyms
  • It's OK to have "white space" aka "pregnant pause" when you speak. But make it look intentional, rather than staring up as if you are looking to where your next point floated away. This is much better than the Um transitions, likes, ya'know, actually, and the rest of those crutches.
  • Careful with the upspeak. If you are asking something - then ask. Otherwise, be direct or your resounding lack of confidence will hang in the room and lull them to sleep.

When speaking one on one different points apply:

Do not hold people hostage.
This means at a group event, do not corner someone or a couple of people and cram their ears full of your wisdom. Realize they may not want to hear what you are wanting to enlighten them with. Have you ever left a conversation and felt like your brain had been assaulted with something you didn't care about and you recounted the time lost forever, never to be regained? Be honest here.

ASK before you present, or at least test the waters.
Tell them the time before you tell them how you made the watch. If they don't care about the time, they won't care about the watch. When testing the waters, think of your topic as a full page ad in the NY Times. You need a HEADLINE to grab them and make them want more. If you can't get that right, they may not be your audience, or it just may not be the time to talk about your topic.

Ask them something about what they do first and then SHUT UP and LISTEN to the answer.
Realize there is a chance you'll never get to say anything if they haven't read this post. But, hopefully, they'll remember you listened.

This continues the conversation and some of the same points on Neuromarketing covered by David Lewis recently on SLMA Radio.


13 CEO Predictions for 2017

IStock_000038306980LargeLynden, WA - - Feb 14, 2017 - - The Sales Lead Management Association (SLMA) has issued a white paper compiling 13 high-tech CEO business predictions for 2017.  SLMA CEO James Obermayer said, “What is so thought-provoking about these predictions is that when they’re read sequentially, very interesting insights and market movements are revealed. Important quotes are highlighted, revealing the thinking of the CEOs, their companies and their industries.” 

The CEO predictions are a response to a request from the Sales Lead Management Association, and were published individually on the Sales Lead Management Today blog under 2017 CEO Predictions.   The complete white paper may be accessed as a PDF here.

The CEOs who participated, in alphabetical order, are:

Continue reading " 13 CEO Predictions for 2017" »


2017 Predictions from CallidusCloud CEO Leslie Stretch

Industry Predictions from Leslie Stretch, CEO of CallidusCloud (NASDAQ: CALD)


IStock_000038306980LargeA/I:
Efforts to create a machine learning-based tool to help sales people will speed ahead, but will be met with mixed results because the emphasis will be on the A/I platform rather than the data. Without a rich set of data from a variety of sources, these platforms will offer limited insights of limited effectiveness and will force salespeople to switch back and forth from the A/I platform to traditional computer-based data sources. Until these A/I tools provide context, they may be more trouble than they are worth to the average salesperson.

What Matters

Leslie-Strech-circle"Sales and marketing believe they’re operating efficiently even as the technologies they use – which are often disconnected – continue to re-build data silos and reinforce misalignment. 2017 will be the year when more leading CROs and CMOs start acting more like CIOs by recognizing this trend and taking steps to combat it through greater investment in integration or through the use of better integrated technology stacks."

Leslie Stretch, CEO of CallidusCloud

Continue reading "2017 Predictions from CallidusCloud CEO Leslie Stretch" »


2017 Predictions from DemandLab's CEO Rhoan Morgan

2017 CEO Predictions for SLMA from Rhoan Morgan CEO of DemandLab

6a0147e05adc32970b01bb096d0fc1970d-320wi2017 will be the year of customer journey and engagement. But not by the means or teams we traditionally think of. This will be driven by new capabilities born out of our age of digital transformation and it is no longer an aspirational goal for companies – it’s a must do. It’s key to advancing business goals, driving revenue and remaining competitive.

The goal of this initiative is to bring marketing, sales and service together through joint interests in increasing revenue, expanding customer lifetime value and deepening the customer relationship.

Why 2017 will be Different

Rhoan_Morgan“The goal is to bring marketing, sales and service together through joint interests in increasing revenue, expanding customer lifetime value and deepening the customer relationship… companies must break down business team silos to design superior customer journeys and better manage customer experience by restructuring teams (or introducing new teams)”

Continue reading "2017 Predictions from DemandLab's CEO Rhoan Morgan" »


2017 Predictions from Fusion Marketing Partners' CEO Chris Ryan

IStock_000038306980LargeAs our 2017 B2B Marketing and Lead-to-Revenue Survey Report shows, many CEOs don’t believe that marketing has made a significant contribution to revenue and therefore, the marketing function is both under-funded and under-valued. 

In the coming year, I recommend that forward-thinking sales and marketing teams seek knowledge from industry experts, challenge existing business models and use lead-to-revenue (L2R) strategies to attain optimum revenue performance.

Why It's Important:

"Many CEOs don’t believe that marketing has made a significant contribution to revenue and therefore, the marketing function is both under-funded and under-valued."

Chris Ryan, CEO Fusion Marketing Partners

L2R is a marketing and sales framework that optimizes people, processes and technology in a synchronized manner to

Continue reading "2017 Predictions from Fusion Marketing Partners' CEO Chris Ryan" »


2017 Predictions from LeadMethod CEO Justin Johnson

 Channel Revenue Optimization in 2017

IStock_000038306980LargeIn 2017 suppliers that start to leverage data and metrics to optimize their channel partner relationships will see huge gains. Strong results will come when suppliers start to proactively manage and communicate with their channel partners in order to drive more revenue.

Understanding channel partner engagement with leads and opportunities is critical. For example, research conducted by LeadMethod shows that more than 70% of channel partners do not regularly follow up on leads and opportunities that are shared with them. That amounts to a significant number of missed sales.

Why it Matters:

Justin Johnson - LeadMethod photo"Suppliers that embrace process change and software investments to better engage their channel partners will see significant growth in 2017. We recommend three core strategies: Understanding Channel Engagement, Creating a Process for Channel Feedback, and Providing Training and Sales Coaching"

Justin Johnson CEO LeadMethod

 

Continue reading "2017 Predictions from LeadMethod CEO Justin Johnson" »


2017 Predictions by ActiveConversion's CEO Fred Yee

2017: The Year Sales and Marketing Technology Leaves It's Mark On the Industrial Sectors

IStock_000038306980LargeThe political changes taking place in the United States in 2017, controversial or otherwise, will usher in a new era of domestic manufacturing. The result will be increased optimism in the North American industrial sectors, but also increased competition for business. Sales and marketing practices are continually evolving, but new conditions will lead industrial companies to embrace sales and marketing technologies at a rapid rate.

Why it's Important

Fred"Small and medium sized industrial businesses will begin to recognize and embrace the role of technology and cloud-based solutions.  The result will be more industrial companies selling directly, due to the ease and accessibility of online sales and marketing tools."

Fred Yee

As the competition begins to adopt new technologies, old school notions of selling only to ‘customers I know’ will begin to feel outdated. Small and medium sized industrial businesses will begin to recognize and embrace the role of technology and cloud-based solutions.  The result will be more industrial companies selling directly, due to the ease and accessibility of online sales and marketing tools. As well, an increased number of industrial businesses will expand their boundaries, realizing that it is possible to reach a larger market with improved sales and marketing capabilities.

With increased competition, and an impressive amount of sales and marketing technology available, 2017 is sure to leave a lasting impression on sales and marketing practices in the industrial sectors.

 Mr. Yee was interviewed on June 20th on SLMA Radio

How to use Marketing Automation to Follow a Longer B2B Sales Cycle

 


2017 Predictions from Clickpoint CEO Gabriel Buck

Gabriel Buck’s Predictions: Adapting to Rapid Changes and Meaningful Integrations Are the Key to Success in 2017

IStock_000038306980LargeSoftware-as-a-Service providers, especially in the sales category face mounting pressure and stiff competition.  What will software and service companies do to overcome these obstacles in 2017 and set themselves apart in a crowded market?  More importantly, what will a company that relies on sales lead management or sales solutions be looking for in 2017 to give them a competitive edge?  What does this all mean for salespeople who use these applications?        

Why its Important

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAkvAAAAJDM1YTY1MzU3LTNiNWYtNDhiYS1iMzllLTgwMmFjMGQwYzI4MA “I think you will find more software companies creating alliances and partnerships to offer best of breed applications that are fully integrated.   You have already seen this happen with major CRM players that have deeper integrations with marketing automation platforms, communication, and lead management systems.  I know of telephony providers that have integrated with customer communication platforms, anticipating the increased demand of lightning fast communication in non-traditional channels.”     

-Gabriel Buck CEO ClickPoint Software

 

Continue reading "2017 Predictions from Clickpoint CEO Gabriel Buck " »


2017 Predictions from Brainshark CEO Greg Flynn

2017: The Year of Higher Quality Sales Interactions Greg Flynn, Brainshark CEO

IStock_000038306980LargeToday’s executive buyers feel that 80% of the sales meetings they take are a waste of time, even though sellers have more information and technology at their disposal than ever before. Senior sales leaders say their biggest problem is reps struggling to have “business conversations.” With those key issues in mind, it should come as no surprise that 45% of sales reps don’t hit their quota.


Why it Matters

Flynn"Research shows that firms providing optimal
coaching to salespeople realize rates of annual revenue growth 16.7% greater than firms that do not provide any coaching to their salespeople."

Greg Flynn

 

Continue reading "2017 Predictions from Brainshark CEO Greg Flynn" »


2017 Predictions from LeadMD CEO Justin Gray

I predict that 2017 will be the death of the “hack”.  

IStock_000038306980LargeMarketing over the last decade has relied on the first mover advantage. A new channel arises starting with email and then Twitter and Facebook and then Instagram and Snapchat – it’s been all about being first to a greenfield space.

 As a replacement for personalization there’s been a focus on finding less competition for headspace. Those channel fads are getting shorter and shorter until ultimately the game of whack-a-mole has gotten old to the point where buyers are no longer willing to give their attention up so readily.

 Why it's important

Gray“Good enough” is no longer good enough as 2017 ushers in the quality focus we’ve all been touting for too long but not producing, and the organization as a whole must be prepared to accept that more effort, more highly skilled employees and more investment are all critical ingredients when producing quality."

Justin Gray - CEO of LeadMD

We’re already seeing the trend emerge with ABM, and it will continue – 2017 is no longer about shortcuts. The profession of marketing arises in the coming year as we see a focus on craft and expertise. “Good enough” is no longer good enough as 2017 ushers in the quality focus we’ve all been touting for too long but not producing, and the organization as a whole must be prepared to accept that more effort, more highly skilled employees and more investment are all critical ingredients when producing quality.

 Justin Gray was interviewed on SLMA Radio

Why Only 13% of Marketing Automation Programs are Successful