Discussing the Growing Value of Social CRM

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Government Cloud on Ulitzer Have you ever been given the task of building and executing an aggressive customer outreach program? Well I received my assignment about a year ago and trust me; the budget was not commensurate with the assigned goal. My particular need was to educate prospective Federal government customers on a new information technology trend. Known as cloud computing, this new approach blends service oriented architecture (SOA), virtualization technologies and a "pay-by-the-use" sales approach into a new IT delivery business model. Although this new approach promised the delivery of better constituent service at a reduced cost, risk adverse Federal agency decision makers needed to know much more before they would even consider cloud computing as an option. During a time of economic collapse and fiscal crisis, competing security, governance and procur... (more)

Evolve and Thrive

Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. ~Stephen Hawking Embracing change is a key to business and personal growth. With change comes opportunity for distinction and value, new markets and new life. Without change we stagnate. We all know that change is a given. It’s pretty obvious. Five years ago no one had heard of a Wii. Phones were still separate from MP3 players.  The idea of selling over the web was a joke only a decade ago – no more. We do change in our businesses.  We re-position our brands, enhance our products, modernize our facilities, invest in systems and staff to enhance our efficiencies. We update our offices, revamp our websites and evolve in so many ways to stay hip with our markets.  Yet we don’t change in the most important way. We hold on to our status quo thinking and beliefs, about our markets and our business. We relive our corporate leg... (more)

Is the PR Business Extinct? Yes

http://twitter.com/fuatkircaali The short answer is yes. In our estimation, roughly 70% of today's PR firms with their traditional public relations and communications business structures will not survive the fast-approaching social media avalanche. The remaining 30% that need to reinvent their position real fast in their newly morphed industry will prosper, compared to where they were and what they were doing before. For publicly traded companies, current rules dictate that information can be made public by a press release or by a telephone conference call but not simply on a website. Ninety percent of today's PR firms are still in business simply because of this single rule. For the first time three years ago, in 2006, Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz asked the SEC to change this rule. Well, the new White House is already posting the President's weekly address... (more)

Pick the CEO, Not the Company

Most organizational experts will tell you that when joining an organization, the company's culture is the key to determining whether you will thrive or suffer in a given work environment.  While this is true for a mid-level manager or individual contributor, the closer you get to the top, the less a culture matters and the more the CEO's leadership and management style impact your work satisfaction. I learned this when early in my career I was a director at a privately held company that was acquired by a much large public company.  In a matter of a few weeks our approachable, personable CEO was replaced by a top down, autocratic manager who announced at our first management meeting, "there's a new sheriff in town, and if you don't like my way of doing things, feel free to leave before I make the decision for you." Later on, with a few battle scars and bumps along the ... (more)

Plug Your Marketing Leaks

Marketing is making strides in lead generation, but how kinetic is their nurturing? Lead nurturing is often thought about as being found with a flag waving when your leads decide to take action about resolving a problem your products or services address. If this is your marketing strategy, you're leaving a lot to chance just hanging around waiting to be found. Maybe for some of your longer-horizon leads this is fine, but it's not going to help you speed up getting quality opportunities to opt into sales conversations. You've all seen those funnel diagrams that show spouts of leads leaking out of them at different points during the buying process. In order to stop the leaks and add momentum to your nurturing, you've got to get commitments to action. The higher a sense of commitment you can create, the farther and faster your leads will move toward becoming sales op... (more)

A Small Business Website That Works

Adventure Training Concepts(ATC) shows us quickly and precisely what they do and why should we should care I met the founders of this company several years ago when they were just getting started. I always loved the idea of what they were attempting to do but had never looked at their website, until I reconnected with one of the owners, Michelle Jones. ATC leverages the Armed Forces skills of its founders to teach leadership to the building of teams within a challenging adventure framework. Of course, I knew what their company did because I had met them before. But I would have been just as clear about who they are, what they do and how they can help my company from a quick visit to their website. Here’s what works so well on their website The ATC website features a compelling visual that shows a diverse company team engaged in a challenging activity that clearly illus... (more)

NetSuite To Buy QuickArrow

NetSuite, the Salesforce.com rival that Larry Ellison owns most of, is buying QuickArrow Inc, an Austin-based maker of cloud computing software for professional services businesses. It's paying $20 million cash. QuickArrow will be integrated into NetSuite's OpenAir business. NetSuite claims the combination will create North America's leading professional services automation (PSA) software company with more than 80,000 subscribers and a customer base that includes Symantec, Salesforce.com, Thompson Reuters, Genesys, Informatica, Proxicom, Siemens and Software AG. The acquisition is meant to advance NetSuite's creation of a next-generation cloud computing application suite for services-based companies. Last October it unveiled NetSuite Services Resource Planning (SRP), said to be the first cloud-based solution for managing a professional services business from marketing t... (more)

Twitter, Linked In, Ning and Ulitzer: Easy Personal Branding Strategy

Social Media on Ulitzer I use all of these social media tools and although they haven't put me on my own island in the Caribbean yet, I'm very pleased with the combined results. 1. Twitter – It’s the fastest way to share that you have created something of value. As a bonus, Tweetdeck or CoTweet are good ways to manage your Twitter efforts and research. Huge audience with lots of active participants. There are a few shady characters on Twitter but just like being at Grand Central Station, you just step aside and keep moving. It doesn't mean you eschew the benefit. Micro-blogging is probably here to stay so it's a good idea to get up on good habits regardless of what future tools look like. 2. Linked In – It’s the professional network standard where people will find you. A terrific way to maintain knowledge of what former colleagues are doing now. You can also join gr... (more)

Professional Services Marketing Hot of the Presses

Marketing a professional services firm takes a bit of a different mindset than marketing a product and solutions company. One of the major differences is that the partners of the firm are doing the selling. Marketing has often been an after-thought or undervalued resource for service providers. However, the need to master engagement in the changing customer environment gives marketers the opportunity to become a critical component of a firm's ongoing success. Where services companies used to be able to rely on referrals and recommendation for their business development needs, that's no longer enough. In Professional Services Marketing, Mike Schultz and John Doerr—co-founders of Wellesley Group— provide a comprehensive guide from soup-to-nuts for marketing professional services firms [attorneys, accountants, consultants, engineers and other types of professional serv... (more)

Top Sales Executive to Share His Insights on Ulitzer

Lee Novak, one of the top sales executives in the country, launched his Ulitzer blog to share his experience, insights, and sales coaching tips. Lee Novak, a Sales Management Executive for 25 years, uses a proven people-first, client-first philosophy. Lee has a reputation for building teams that not only are high-performance groups but also that do business the right way, at the right time and for the right reasons. Novak publishes his Ulitzer blog posts on his two topic sites: Lee Novak on Ulitzer (http://leenovak.ulitzer.com) Team Building (http://teambuilding.ulitzer.com) Sales Coaching (http://salescoaching.ulitzer.com) He received numerous awards for his sales leadership, innovativeness and measured performance while working in various executive roles at ADP Dealer Services (a Fortune 500 company in the technology and service sector) for 21 years - where he was... (more)

Best-Selling Author Scott McKain Joins Ulitzer

Business leader, best-selling author and Hall of Fame speaker Scott McKain joined Ulitzer with his blog syndication at http://mckainviewpoint.ulitzer.com. Scott McKain is the Co-founder and Principal of The Value Added Institute, a think-tank that examines the role of the customer experience in creating significant advances in the level of client loyalty. He is Vice Chairman of Obsidian Enterprises, a dynamic holding company with 19 companies in diverse industries, that was named one of the "fastest-growing companies" in America, and is also Vice Chairman of Durham Capital Corporation. Scott's new book, "The Collapse of Distinction: Stand Out and Move Up While Your Competition Fails" has already reached the #1 spot on Amazon.com's list of Customer Service Bestsellers! He is the author of two #1 additional business bestsellers (Amazon.com & 800-CEO-READ): "What Custo... (more)