A Checklist For Improving Your Sales Performance & Increasing ROI

If there was a graveyard for businesses, the most common epitaph would likely be, “That’s the way we’ve always done it.” No company has ever achieved growth by standing still, and only those willing to change can succeed. Even the most successful companies understand they need to constantly evolve and improve to maintain their positions in the marketplace.

This is especially true when it comes to your sales organization. Perhaps nowhere is the competition fiercer and the need for evolution more evident than in sales. Fortunately, there are a number of ways shrewd leaders can help ensure that their salespeople have the resources and motivation necessary to accomplish real development and get the most out of the investment placed in them.

When it comes to improving sales performance, one common mistake many professionals make is ignoring bad reviews. Although the first impulse may be to dismiss criticism, there’s often a kernel of wisdom to be found there. Viewing negative feedback as a learning opportunity rather than an insult can be crucial for helping salespeople grow in their abilities.

Another misstep made by many organizations is failing to take full advantage of technology. Software makes it possible for teams to measure their effectiveness effortlessly, giving them a clearer picture of where they thrive and where they need to improve. Applications also enable automation that takes many of the most repetitive and tedious job responsibilities off their shoulders.

Don’t let your company die from starvation. Continue to feed it new ideas and look for means of continuous improvement. If you do, you’ll stand a much better chance of climbing to the top echelon in your industry. For more ideas you can use to bolster the performance of your sales team, check out this checklist:


Sales Performance Checklist created by Neocol

This guest post was written by David Holstein, who is Vice President of Revenue for Neocol, a Silver Salesforce Consulting Partner specializing in CPQ, billing, integration, sales cloud and service cloud. With eight-plus years of experience in the industry, Holstein focuses on using his knowledge of the Salesforce ecosystem to help improve people’s lives personally and professionally.

The Top Micro Greens You Can Grow Now

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If you are trying to eat healthy for the summer, there are likely a few things you have already tried and some better habits you plan to implement into your life. 

For a project which is fun as well as giving you some amazing nutrients for the body, growing microgreens can be a good answer. You can learn more about microgreens and what they are at Microgreensfarmer.com. Here, we are going to look at the best ones for you to grow this summer for a healthy diet. 

 

Chives

Chives are one of the most popular choices when it comes to microgreens because they are so simple to grow and will grow within a short span of time. In order to grow chives, use seeds or cut the top inch off an existing plant. 

 

Broccoli

Many people don’t think of micro-broccoli or other Cruciferous vegetables, but it is a super simple choice and one which is full of vitamin C and A.

 

Radish

If you love a bit of spice in your life and you want something which grows quickly, radish is your answer. Radish is very easy to grow (and quickly!), which makes it the ideal choice for those of you starting out. 

 

Sunflower

Sunflower seeds are a popular health food snack, but did you know that the plant can be great too? You can grow sunflower seeds easily, and they’re high in zinc and vitamin E, making them the ideal snack. 

 

Mizuna

This is a popular choice for microgreen growing and is mild tasting, so it’s ideal for many different salad mixes and meals.

 

Beetroot

Beetroot is a vibrant red and purple vegetable and the stems of this plant can be a great way to garnish any dish with a flourish. Beetroot stems are full of flavor and nutrients, making it ideal for many dishes.

 

Kale

Kale is one of the ultimate superfoods, and the baby version is no different. This leaf is full of vitamin C, which is essential for the immune system as well as the skin. 

 

Basil

If you want a microgreen which is packed with flavour and tastes amazing on pasta dishes, basil is the ideal choice. Basil is full of herbs flavour and will spice up any dish you decide to make this year. 

 

Chia

We’ve all heard of Chia seeds, which are used for many meals, but have you ever considered growing chia into plants and eating those? Well, chia seeds are full of protein and fiber and are one of the best microgreens you can buy. 

 

Garden Cress

A project you likely remember as a kid in school was to grow cress on the window sill and hope for the best. Well, garden cress is a great option as a healthy microgreen and it is a handy ingredient to add to most salads, sandwiches and even to garnish soups. It takes no time at all to grow and is the ideal choice for a beginner.

Getting Translated? Here’s What You Need to Know

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As a writer, you’re a wordsmith. A connoisseur of words. At least, in your own native tongue. But what do you do when your words need to be carefully traded for those of another language? Unless you’re lucky enough to be multilingual, you’ll need a translator.

Whether you’re a business writer breaking out into new international markets, or an author looking to sell more books, you might be thinking about translation services. But hiring a translator isn’t always as straightforward as you might imagine. Here’s what you need to know.

 

Do you really need translation services?

If you need your words in another language, you might think the answer is automatically: “yes!” But actually, there’s a difference in translation versus interpretation. These two terms are often confused by people seeking professional translation services. What’s the difference?

Interpretation usually relates to spoken content and is essentially paraphrasing. Because the didactic use of language differs so wildly between languages, an interpreter will condense the meaning into the most culturally appropriate form. The overall message remains the same, but word for word exchange is altered to reflect the language being used. If you require language services for business meetings or events relating to your writing, interpretation services are what you’re most likely looking for.

Translation, on the other hand, is perfect for the written word. Translation provides an accurate and functional means of communication between two languages. It’s a highly technical undertaking that relies on experts to not only translate the content of your document but also change the formatting so it follows the rules and conventions of the target language. Translation is ideal for highly professional or legal documents, where it’s imperative that the exact meaning of the content remains intact. It’s also what you’ll need for written content like articles and works of fiction.

 

What you need to consider before hiring a translator

Before you hire a translator, you’ll need to know what your target language is. If your client is in a certain country, this element is taken out of your hands, as you’ll need translation services for that specific language.

If you are a self-published author on Kindle, for instance, you might want to do some market research to see where your book could have a chance of success outside of your own language. Bear in mind that translation into rare languages might cost you more (and be more challenging to source) than translation into a language that is more widely spoken.

 

Finding a professional service

When you’ve settled on a target language, find a translation service that is an expert within that language. Usually, a translator is a native-level speaker of the language that the work is being translated into. Therefore, you can be sure that your work will not sound unnatural and stilted. When translated by an expert translator and native-speaker, it should flow naturally just as if it had been originally written in that language. So if a translation service offers more than one language, it’s worth checking that the individual translator will be a native in that language.

Reading testimonials and online reviews can give you a great insight into whether this service will offer the kind of value for money you need. Quality translation services, whether they be freelancers or entire companies, should have lots of experience under their belt. They might be able to provide references or examples of previous work.

When getting a quote, the translator should tell you what the fee structures are. You can also ask what the policies are for things like revisions, should you need them. Let them know at this stage if you are likely to have ongoing translation needs; for example, for a series of blog posts, as you might be able to make a deal on pricing for longer-term work.

 

Look for expertise

More than just being an expert in the given language, your potential translator might also be an expert in your particular field. Whether it’s technical writing, marketing materials, or a full work of fiction, you should be able to find a service that has experience in this area. After all, each type of writing has its own unique conventions and expectations. You’ll want to make sure the translator understands what these are and how to navigate them professionally, just like you have done in your native language.

You’ll also want to make sure that the service looks professional. Translation services are often professionally accredited, with a membership to the relevant membership body in that country. If this is not displayed prominently on the website, it might be worth asking to see a copy. This can help to assure you that the company is serious and that they care about maintaining top quality industry standards.

 

Other logistics to consider

Finally, make sure you know where the translator is based, especially if they are freelance and their location is not immediately obvious on the website. This is important because the translation process might require a lot of back and forth communication. If their office hours are in the middle of the night where you are, it might be better to find someone in a more similar time zone to save a lot of drawn-out communication via email.

If you have a style guide that you follow, be sure to send it over to your translator. If not, it might be helpful to detail the tone of voice, formatting and any other stylistic elements that are important to you. The more you are able to communicate what you hope to get out of the translation services, the more likely you are to be impressed by the results. Providing this information upfront can save assumptions and minor mistakes that then lead to revisions, causing delays.

Getting your work translated can be a big undertaking, but by choosing professional translation services that are experts in their field, you can save yourself a lot of trouble and be very pleased with the result.

Surprising Things Business Owners are Wasting Time On

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Efficiency in business is everything. Managers and executives should be striving at all times to be more productive and cut down on wasted time. It’s easy to detect some habits and procedures that are problematic, but others may come as a surprise to you.

Those harder to detect problems are often disguised as opportunities, sure profits, and problem-solvers that end up wasting the precious time of many business owners.

Here are seven of them, along with some tips on how to solve them if they’re keeping you too busy.

 

#1 You’re Taking On Too Many Clients

It’s important to remember that having lots of new clients is not the only way you can measure success at your company. Having too many clients can actually be a problem that often leads to disastrous consequences.

Imagine a scenario where you get three new business opportunities but realistically, you only have enough manpower to cover just one. You decide to accept all of them because more clients means more money. Your employees suddenly experience an increased workload and although they work hard, they get nothing in return but questions about why some things are not finished yet. This leads to frustration, which becomes resentment towards work, and finally, you lose valuable employees because you overloaded them.

As a business owner, you need to practice a delicate balancing act between having enough clients to support your business, but not taking on so many that the workload becomes unmanageable. While you focus on client satisfaction, quality work, and retention, remember that your employees should be satisfied as well.

 

#2 Sticking With Complicated and Demanding Clients

When you first started your business, you likely took on any client you could get. As your business grows and your niche becomes more solidified, however, not every client will be beneficial to maintain a working relationship with.

Clients from hell, something every business owner has experienced at one point or another, are the first to go. They will always be demanding, never be satisfied, and take much more time and effort from your employees than they are worth to your business.

When onboarding new clients, always take the time to consider whether they are a good fit. If not, it is likely they will waste your time and resources as well as threaten your sanity.

 

#3 Blaming Instead Of Learning

Something will always go wrong sooner or later when you are running a business. The truly exceptional business owner understands that mistakes will happen and that they should be taken as learning experiences.

Business owners should never waste time blaming others, whether clients, employees, or other professionals when they can instead take the time to reflect on these errors and learn from them.

Learning the right lessons from a mistake is the only way for your business to come out the other end stronger than before.

 

#4 Not Segmenting Work

When first starting out, most small business owners end up doing almost everything out of necessity. However, as your company grows and you add employees, continuing to do everything yourself or double check everything is a massive waste of time.

It can be incredibly hard to stand back and delegate tasks to your employees, but it is something that must be done to avoid personal burnout and run efficient business operations.

Segmenting work and having a good overview of what’s going on is easier to do now than ever before thanks to cloud computing and being able to get access to any type of cloud services you can imagine.

When you move your work to the cloud, you will get access to powerful new tools that will help you segment it efficiently, automate all those mundane and mind-numbing tasks you had to do on your own and free up time to do meaningful work and focus on business growth.

 

#5 Not Delegating Tasks Properly

Okay, so delegation is necessary, but delegating tasks to employees isn’t as easy as it sounds. If done incorrectly, things can go horribly wrong.

First of all, never assign tasks at random. The best way to avoid wasting everyone’s time is to base your decisions on employee skill set and talents.

Next, take your time when delegating. Be very specific when assigning tasks to employees, including information such as exactly what you want them to do, when the task should be finished, and what else might be expected of them.

Finally, encourage employees to ask questions if they are unsure about an assignment so time will not be wasted rectifying mistakes. Let them know that asking questions is more than welcome, and will never be looked down upon.

 

#6 Being A Perfectionist

A lot of successful business leaders strive for perfection, and it’s this innate drive for everything to be spotless is what sets them apart from others. It’s good to take pride in the work you do and set high standards.

For your business’ sake, it’s also important for perfectionists to know when to step down and leave something be. While details are important, it is equally as important not to get bogged down in them until a project is “perfect.”

Nothing is ever truly perfect and you will waste a lot of time trying to reach perfection. Accept that sometimes work just needs to be good enough.

 

#7 Holding Too Many Meetings

Business meetings are important to keep everyone in sync and present compelling ideas that can move your company forward. But too many meetings can quickly turn into time wasters. Be smart about scheduling meetings and hold them with reasonable regularity.

Hold them for important projects and discussions, and only when useful or necessary. Try and combine two related topics into a single meeting. Stay on topic and don’t lose focus. This will keep your meetings on point and useful for everyone.

It can be easy to get lost in a task or do things that you think are helping but really end up wasting time. Always be looking for ways to streamline your business operations and prevent things from getting overly convoluted.

Consider the activities outlined above so you and your employees can make the best use of time to grow your business.

Working In A Sales Environment? These Tips Could Boost Your Sales Potential

Working in a sales environment can be hard work. Sales may be needed for many elements of your job, but a specific sales role with targets to achieve is quite a popular job role to take on.

Some would say it takes a certain person to be naturally good at sales: a chatty personality and confidence—to name a few traits. However, you could be making some big mistakes and not embracing every potential method you have at your disposal when it comes to your role. So, here are some of the top tips to help boost your chance of making a sale.

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Don’t be afraid of prospecting

One of the first things you need to think about is prospecting and not being afraid to do it. Some people can be a little unnerved about calling up a potential customer and trying to talk them into a sale, so sometimes it can be easier to use an email approach instead. Less forceful and intrusive, but still giving you the best results.

However, you need to ensure that it is worded right. Therefore, take note of some of the tips shared in this article: https://www.templafy.com/blog/how-many-of-these-outbound-sales-email-fundamentals-do-you-use/. Prospecting can be great for your job, and could see you going that extra mile, so why not give it a try and see how many you can convert?

 

Dress for the occasion

Often, it isn’t always about what you say, but the way you look. We can all make snap judgements based on people’s appearance, even if we don’t intentionally mean to do so. Being in a sales environment, especially one that is customer facing, might mean that you need to consider your work attire.

Power dressing and looking the part could help people to be assured that you are professional and know what you are doing. While it may not have the same effect on customers if you are in a sales role that isn’t customer facing, still dressing for the part will help you internally with your confidence levels.

 

Customer management is key

Finally, customers and clients like to feel special and valued, so decent customer management and using systems like a CRM are ideal to help you stay focused on what it is your customer wants. A great tip is to keep up with regular phone calls and contact, which can also be done through email. Keep them up-to-date in regards to offers and prices. Regular contact enables them to feel valued, and may lead to sales.

Once the sale has been made, also be sure to follow up on any queries after the sale is finalized. This can work especially well for repeat customers if the products or services you sell are reusable. People like to stick with things they are familiar with, so giving them excellent customer service may just see them returning to you in the future.