Many companies are so keen to attract new business that they can neglect their existing customers. That's certainly how I feel (neglected, that is) after banking with the same bank for 20 years and discovering that new customers are getting a much better deal than me. Loyalty is important to me but not to all companies it seems. Yet existing customers are contributing to your bottom line; you don't need to expend time and energy getting them to buy – they are already committed buyers.
Provided, that is, you continue to provide them with a good service. If not you might find those loyal customers are not so loyal. Delivering good customer service creates satisfied customers who are loyal so why wouldn't any business want to work hard on customer satisfaction. Yet too often it feels just like a process a company goes through to tick a box. My pet hate is when companies send out customer satisfaction surveys by email but I can't get hold of them on the phone if I have a problem or request.
So creating loyal customers is essential if you want good levels of customer satisfaction. All of a company's processes should consider customer satisfaction right from the initial sales process to regular repeat orders.
Do you track how many customers you lose when repeat business was an option? Analyse your data and make sure you understand why some customers never come back or why some become actively dissatisfied. But that doesn’t mean just asking for feedback – most people are overwhelmed by feedback requests and no feedback doesn't necessarily equate with customer dissatisfaction.
For B2B businesses it is more important than ever to add value to potential customers. With so much information available online it is no longer enough to tell potential customers about something they can find out themselves. Buyers are now looking for that extra information that can help them make an informed choice when it comes to purchasing.
Of course, a sales team should build relationships with buyers but don't neglect the importance of adding value especially in your sales training courses. You need you sales team to have a high quality relationship with customers – one more akin to a trusted advisor.
When your sales people have worked hard to build a valuable, trusted relationship with a customer it is essential that all employees with a customer facing role understand the importance of each customer. This is where your CRM system can help if it is properly maintained.
Nobody wants to be pestered by a salesperson so it is also key that every member of a sales team knows how to recognise a prospect that is simply not interested in buying. There quickest way to destroy customer satisfaction is to persistently try and sell something to someone that they don't want or need. Again so simple feedback and a useful CRM system can help identify the sales pipelines to drop before they turn previously satisfied customers into dissatisfied ones.
Shareholder value is a nebulous concept. For some investors it simply means increasing the price of shares, but this is a rather short-termist definition as, especially in bubble situations, it is possible for the share-price to be rising but at the same time the company can be spending more and more on its daily business.
Shareholders own the company. So, increasing the shareholder value should be concerned with improving the long-term viability of the company. In order to do that you need to focus on the basics of customer satisfaction, having a product or service the market actually wants and not wasting resources on dead end processes.
Training your business leaders can be an extremely cost-effective way to improve company performance. Sales management training can really help by enabling them to create realistic forecasts that will reassure shareholders whilst at the same time enabling the company to plan for the future. People respect what you inspect and often forecasting is poor because you have been basing your predictions on what you expect, not on what you’ve actually measured. Poor forecasting leads to lack of confidence in the sales process, the team and lack of investor confidence which decreases shareholder value.
Whilst targets are great for focussing on specific areas there is a danger that they can become the sole motivating factor. Sales targets based simply on number of deals closed can lead to salespeople bending the truth and making claims that, ultimately, will lead to customer dissatisfaction and a reluctance to place repeat orders.
Using CRM tools can ensure that you can analyse your important metrics without needing to boil everything down to a single, overly simple, target to aim for. A CRM system can be deployed across the whole business allowing oversight of customer satisfaction, quality of sales activity and, ultimately, value to shareholders, to be assessed on an ongoing basis.
Increasing productivity increases value across the whole organisation. Ensure that you aren’t carrying “dead wood” by identifying procedures, processes and people that aren’t working to the standards you expect.
One area that often seems extremely busy without appearing to produce much can be the sales department. Of course, there will always be sales cycles that fail to close and the reasons for it are myriad. But the point at which it becomes apparent that a sale is unlikely is different for each potential client, so it is important that, instead of wasting time phoning or emailing a lead who isn’t interested, your sales team identify the leads that are more likely to buy. Moving from a model of “let’s see who we can sell to” to a commitment based selling approach that identifies hot prospects can allow you to focus on the sales that you can win, which in turn can change your company from one that wins 3/10 sales to one that wins 7/10 sales. And that has got to be good for shareholder value.
If you are reading this post, chances are you are looking to start you own blog. The blogging industry is exploding right now with so many people out of work that are looking for ways to earn extra income. The wonderful thing about a blog is that you can write about anything and everything that you wish!
One of the biggest challenges when starting a DIY blog is trying to figure out where to start. With so many options out there it can become overwhelming on which direction to go. My goal with the post is to provide you with some blogging knowledge so that you can make an informed decision when it comes to getting your diy blog up and running.
If you want to monetize (make money) with your blog you want to make sure that you are set up with the right DIY blog from the very beginning. Choosing the wrong platform could keep you from ever making a dime. I am going to list 5 challenges that do-it-yourself bloggers run in to when getting started.
3) There is a very big learning curve that you will face when first getting your blog started. There are a lot of “techie” hurdles that you must overcome. These can include things such as posting photos, font, backlinking, SEO, etc.
2) Believe it or not, trying to determine what topic you want to write about can be difficult. My recommendation is to pick a topic that you are passionate and interested about. Make sure that there are plenty of other people interested in that topic before you start your blog if you are trying to monetize your efforts. You don’t want to start a project and then have no traffic because you are blogging about something that not many people are interested in.
1) The absolute hardest part about a DIY blog is making money. Are you planning on offer affiliate programs on your blog? Are you planning on selling items on your blog? In the next section I will discuss a new WordPress blogging platform that allows users to make 100% affiliate commissions from their DIY blog.
As stated above, the biggest challenge when starting a blog is getting it to start making money. There are people that have been blogging for years and have made nothing more than bruised fingers from typing so much.
Thankfully, two entrepreneurs came up with a solution to this problem. The Empower Network Blogs was created back in October of 2011 to fill such a void. Simply put, all you do is blog daily, share your WordPress site with others and make 100% affiliate commissions. It only cost $25 a month to use this DIY blog and for every person that uses your affiliate link to join you make $25 per month in residual income.
The best part about the Empower Network DIY blog is that it is completely set up for you. The SEO (search engine optimization), WordPress, high converting lead capture pages, and all of the bells and whistles are already implemented so that you can sign up and start blogging today!
They company also offers other training programs which also provide 100% affiliate commissions.
Trust me when I say that it took me a VERY LONG time to get my money to make any money. Not only that, it cost me thousands of dollars to pay a designer and programmer to get my blog up and running. Had the Empower Network DIY Blog platform been around when I started I would have jumped all of it!
Since October they have already paid out almost $2 Million in affiliate commissions and they are not slowing down anytime soon. So save yourself the headache of trying to set up your own blog and let the Empower Network do all of the hard work for you. For only $25 per month you cannot go wrong.
Over the past few years I have personally seen 9 of my friends get laid off. Each and every time it happens I get a sick feeling in my stomach and I think about their families and future. Some of my friends rebounded nicely and found new employment right away or started a small business. Others are still struggling to find work and are suffering because they had not built up multiple streams of residual income.
So what is your “Plan B” if you were to be laid off or fired tomorrow? Do you currently have any form of residual income set up just in case something happened or do you have “all of your eggs in one basket?” Have you sat down and thought about your options if you were laid off or fired? If you think you are “safe” in your job you are definitely kidding yourself. Companies are laying people off left and right and most of the time it’s, “Surprise! You are now jobless!”
As the economy continues to suffer from the latest recession more and more people are looking for a back-up plan. People are exhausted, frustrated and worried about what the future holds. It should be of no surprise that one of the fastest growing areas in the world are Home Based Businesses including Freelancing. With a home based business or working part-time as a freelancer you can easily build up other streams of residual income with little outlay.
I started my first home based business in 2002 and I count my blessings each and every day that I had the vision and drive to look outside the box. I started selling items online to make extra income so that I could keep the lights on in my duplex. Currently, I run 3 businesses from the comfort of my home and I have 9 streams of income that pay me monthly. I NEVER need to worry about employment again because I am setting up my company for long term success. I do not need to worry about how much vacation time I have and I certainly do not need to worry about getting demoted, fired or laid off.
There are thousands and thousands of home based business and freelancing opportunities that can be started with little or no upfront capital. The majority of these business can be run on a part time basis. My recommendation is to do your due diligence when searching for a new opportunity. When I started searching for the businesses that I wanted to start I spoke with many individuals and companies to see what they liked and disliked about the idea I had.
Here is what I look for when evaluating a business idea or opportunity:
- What product or service will you offer? Is this a product or service that YOU would buy?
- If an existing company - who are the owners of the company? What is their track record? Why are they selling the business or bringing in new partners?
- How long has the company been around?
- Is the company stale or are they still growing?
- Do they offer a good marketing plan that will help you grow the business?
Even if you currently have a “corporate job” I would highly recommend investigating freelance or home business opportunities so you have some potential options should the unexpected happen.