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If your salesmen are automated then why aren’t your supervisors?

Across the GCC, frontline sales roles in Fast Moving Consumer Goods are automated through hand-held devices, giving sales organisations greater control and insight. What I find interesting is that a key community of people who play a pivotal role in sales and distribution operations are not automated – I am talking about the Sales Supervisor.

As the role requires large amounts of time-in-market, and with the need to create more measurement and insight on what’s happening at the point-of-purchase, why is it that the Sales Supervisor goes into the market with a pen and paper?

Automation of the Sales Supervisor role can create a far higher value addition through real time provision of information.

Key Points: 

If Sales Supervisors spend a high proportion of time in the market, make this measurable and visible with outputs.

If your Sales Supervisors are in the market with a pen and paper, it’s time to embrace available and affordable technology.
Replace pen and paper with technology – real time in-market reports will be invaluable and can become a highly credible resource of insight and measurement.
Leverage technology as the enabler to linking sales performance with people performance – it makes activities like salesman in-field training linked to business performance.

 
The technology is there so why not use it? 
 

 

 

 

By |October 1st, 2013|Our Blogs|0 Comments

Trust and openness v politics and spin

We all struggle sometimes to tell it exactly as it is.
Fear of being outcast or criticized for having an opinion different to the main stream, or even fear of becoming unpopular when you are in pursuit of popularity, makes us sometimes avoid the right thing to say or do.

So instead we sometimes resort to distortion or dilution of the message, just to keep people happy, or avoid a conflict that we know we should really be ready to have.

Politicians have become masters at dodging issues and not answering direct questions because they either don’t know the answer or don’t think that you will like it. 

So the people, who we vote to lead us, are not actually being very good role models. The result: A pandemic lack of trust in the institution in which we are aligned with, which in turn means that at the point when a politician does actually say or do something honourable and just, we are automatically skeptical because its not ‘normal’ for them to behave like that. (The bond of trust in their leadership is unfortunately already broken).

It is often said that one of the most refreshing things to see, would be a politician who actually takes ownership of his faults, says sorry and or admits accountability for something that goes wrong and makes best efforts to fix them. But instead, rather than focus on the most productive course ofaction, they still focus their message and influence on the reaction!

The idea of not hiding or dodging the issue and crucially not worrying about how people will react first and then showing some real principle and honesty when dealing with matters, is not only very refreshing, it is really the essence of great […]

By |September 10th, 2013|Our Blogs|0 Comments

Get outside of the box!

There is a thought experiment from 1935 called Schrodingers Cat, which was devised by the Austrian physicist Erwin Shrodinger, about a cat in a box.
The argument centers around whether or not the cat in the box is alive or dead. If it is in the box and the box is closed, then nobody can see it or hear it, therefore to all intents and purposes the cat could be either dead or alive. It is only when you actually open the box that you can prove which.

If we do nothing of value, we may go unnoticed in life or at work, and inadvertently have found ourselves in our own little Schrodinger’s box, where the only one that actually knows you are there is you. To some, the box might be warm, cozy and nice little hide away where we can do less work, keep our head down and stay out of trouble. But what is the point of that!Take the cat in the box, if the box stays closed and the cat is alive, it simply exists but only for itself, every thought or idea the cat has, every sound and movement that the cat makes stays in the box. Not much fun for the cat……and just as importantly, not much point!

The idea of coming ‘out of the box is about getting out there, seizing opportunity and finding some value to you and others in everything that you do. The box is small but everything else is outside of it.It’s very hard to become a millionaire, its pretty hard to find the job you want or the soul mate that you’re yearning for, but it is easier than you think to get out of the […]

By |September 10th, 2013|Our Blogs|0 Comments

Clear your mind!

Sometimes it can be really hard finding the time and clarity to think clearly.

The pressure of work and the sheer pace of life often leads to Thinkstipation – my description for what happens when you just cant think properly because there is too much going on in your mind.

Because thinking clearly often leads to good decision making, it’s a good idea to practice some simple thinking exercises to help you get your clarity back.

This can involve anything from shutting yourself away in a quiet room for 10 minutes or puttin

g a pair of headphones on and listening to some soothing music.

There is also another way to get your thinking edge back  - Think differently!
1)   Kickstart your challenge with a simple mind map and play filling in the gaps.

2)   Ask yourself the question What if ? Try and build your ideas based on all the possible different scenarios you can think of that could impact on an idea.

3)   Reverse your logic for a few minutes and instead of looking at how easy something might be, look at how and why it might not be so easy or what are the disadvantages. (I know that this is counter intuitive, but to the optimists among us, it is sometimes a necessary evil). By forcing yourself to identify the disadvantages, you may also be able to think of positive ways to improve.

4)   Play the alphabet game….use the letters of the alphabet to try and stimulate ideas. For example, how will I improve my relationship with my boss today:

a.    Ask him more open questions about how he thinks I am doing
b.    Bring in one new customer
c.    Call him twice today to let him know how well I am doing
d. […]

By |August 19th, 2013|Our Blogs|1 Comment

A Confidence Trick

The other day I received an e-mail advising me that I was identified as person who was worthy of a share of a $10 million cash pile of money, which had been amassed in an oil-rich country and due to c

ircumstances (that were highly plausible), needed to be repatriated into another country quickly. For my part (as a complete stranger), all I had to do was provide some form of facilitation, namely provide details of my bank account to help shift the money and I would be the beneficiary of a large sum of money. Nice one – I was about to become very wealthy for not doing much (except maybe being a mug)! Of course it was a ‘confidence trick’, one of many around on the internet that prey on unsuspecting people who fall into the trap of the stories and end up losing money rather than making it.

The definition of a confidence trick: an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence.

It is however the second part of the definition which is interesting – A confidence artist is an individual working alone or in concert with others who exploits characteristics of the human psyche such as greed, vanity, compassion, irresponsibility, naivety, and the thought of trying to get something of value for nothing or for something far less valuable. Does this, therefore, mean that we are all potentially party to the act of being conned, by virtue of the weaknesses in our own human psyche?

Confidence, after all, is an illusion, and hence it is appropriate to use the term ‘trick’ by means of describing how one’s confidence can be misplaced by a motivation such as greed, vanity or compassion.

Three […]