Becoming the boss can be like being swept overboard | Form an agreement to get sales and marketing on the same page | U.S. revises 4th-quarter GDP to 0.1% gain; jobless benefit claims fall
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March 1, 2013
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The Leaderboard
Becoming the boss can be like being swept overboard
Abruptly being promoted into a leadership position is like being swept into "turbulent seas ... without a visible lifeboat," writes Art Petty. To stay afloat, it's important to be realistic about your new role, to work hard and humbly, and to support subordinates and superiors. "[I]t's up to you to sink or swim," Petty writes. (2/24)
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Sales Strategies
A 3-step process for choosing the size of your sales force
You may need to add more representatives to your sales team if customers aren't getting the service they need or if salespeople are overworked, write Andris Zoltners, PK Sinha and Sally Lorimer. Analyze the needs of your customers and pay attention to financial ratios as you decide whether to adjust the size of your sales force, they advise. "Often, by shifting coverage of lower-value customer segments to more efficient channels such as telesales, it's possible to improve financial ratios while giving up minimal coverage of market potential," they write. Harvard Business Review online/HBR Blog Network (2/26)
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Form an agreement to get sales and marketing on the same page
Sales and marketing departments can work together by making sure that both teams have goals and that progress toward those goals is communicated throughout the organization, writes Ellie Mirman. Mirman explains how to create an agreement that "details both the marketing goal ... and the sales activity ... each team commits to in order to support the other." (2/28)
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Daily Data Points
U.S. revises 4th-quarter GDP to 0.1% gain; jobless benefit claims fall
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As expected, revised government figures showed the U.S. economy did not contract but rather grew in the fourth quarter, although the minuscule 0.1% expansion was disappointingly low. Meanwhile, the Labor Department reported that initial claims for jobless benefits fell by 22,000 last week, beating projections and adding to recent signs of economic recovery. Reuters (2/28)
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IMF: Automatic U.S. budget cuts will force lower growth forecast
Mandated budget cuts due to take effect today will cause the International Monetary Fund to re-evaluate and lower its growth forecast for the U.S., IMF spokesman William Murray says. "Sequestration in the U.S. is one of the key issues of the moment," Murray said. Bloomberg (2/28)
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On the Road
Tips for combating business travel health hazards
Exercise physiologist Dianne Sykes Scope has found a way to ward off many of the health hazards faced by frequent fliers. Her advice: "Plan the month ahead, and capitalize on the time you have at home to exercise." Then, when away from home, stay at a hotel that offers fitness options, she advises. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/20)
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App Update
Get a handle on your customers with these apps
A number of mobile apps track key information for small businesses and offer insights about customers' preferences and behavior. Among them: QuickTapSurvey allows customers to submit instant feedback, and ScanBizCards scans business cards and integrates the information with your contact list, LinkedIn and customer relations management services. Intuit Small Business Blog (2/25)
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Making Small Talk
Ever wanted to be a gummy bear? Now's your chance
A Japanese company is offering to make gummy-bear replicas of its customers. For $65, the firm will process customers with 3D scanning technology and use the data to produce delicious and meticulously accurate candy replicas. "I don't know a single sane person that wouldn't be excited about doing this," writes Casey Chan. (2/26), Gizmodo (2/25)
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Senior Vice President, SalesLeapFrogEmeryville, CA
Spec, Sales Support Job Time Warner CableCoppell, TX
Sales Training Consultant- Federal Government Level 3 CommunicationsMcLean, VA
Global Sales Capability Leader Kimberly-ClarkRoswell, GA
Vice President, Sales - Americas Tableau SoftwareBoston, MA
Click here to view more job listings.
Your team knows more about working together than you might give them credit for. ... Resist your urge to tell, and instead, focus on asking for ideas and input."
-- Art Petty, writing at
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