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Don’t give your customers reasons to ask for apologies

By Leo Valiquette

This is a story about a dining room set and organically grown frozen meat products, but it could just as easily be a story about a B2B technology product or service.

A couple of months ago, Francis wrote that customer service must be a deliberate strategy. How you approach customer service ought to be a strategic decision that is carefully and deliberately made. Retaining good customers, after all, is far less costly than acquiring new ones.

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You can’t rely on the channel to grow sales in new markets

By Jeff Campbell

I had an interesting call with a long time colleague and friend today. He is a well known and respected leader in his field. His expertise and notoriety has been developed over years of innovating and perfecting processes that are measurable, repeatable and produce consistently high-quality results. This guy is and has to be a great salesperson in order to sell his ideas and grow his business. Currently he is managing a software business, developing and offering software that provides automation and process management in his area of discipline.

He explained that, while his company has marquee customers internationally, the majority of its business is confined to one region. Expansion to new territories is critical, he explained, for strategic reasons; expanding global implementations will mitigate risk of competition coming into the region from elsewhere and increase value for stakeholders.

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Is the ‘last mile’ of sales automation keeping your reps from closing more business?

By Jeff Campbell

A recent CSO Insights survey found that B2B sales people spend an average of 57 per cent of their time on things other than selling.

In my 33 years in the technology business doing sales, managing sales teams and building software businesses it has always felt like something was missing in the way we automated sales and this egregious productivity measurement supports this feeling. Now I can finally articulate what it is that’s missing. It’s the “last mile” of sales automation.

Let me explain.

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Making the business case, face to face

This is the 10th article in a continuing monthly series chronicling the growth path of Screach, a startup based in Newcastle upon Tyne in England’s North East. Screach is an interactive digital media platform that allows users to create real-time, two-way interactive experiences between a smart device (through the Screach app) and any content, on any screen or just within the mobile device itself. We invite your feedback.

By Leo Valiquette and John Hill

They say the world is more connected than it’s ever been. You can push software to a global audience with the tap of a key, and serve customers worldwide from a desk in your living room.

Of course, the trade-off is that it’s loud out there. You’re immediately competing with the world, and you’ve got to be disciplined, dedicated or clever to be heard. So how do you go about building a market in a new country when you haven’t got millions of dollars to throw at it?

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Content is the sun around which all else revolves

By Francis Moran

Over the past several years, the way in which I describe what we do on the PR side of the house has really changed. For most of its 14 years, inmedia Public Relations was a very sharply focused proposition: We did media and analyst relations and not much else. And we did it for B2B technology companies, and nobody else. That last part hasn’t changed much; the only clients who really interest us are those working in knowledge-intensive or technology applications. And our mastery of the unique challenges of addressing enterprise marketplaces or selling into the value chain as opposed to marketing an end product means our value proposition remains focused on B2B.

What we do for our clients, however, has evolved in tune with the shifting landscape we have been presented with. And the evolution has been so natural that we really didn’t notice we had a new service offering until long after we had started to successfully deliver it.

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Recent Comments

  • James LaPalme : Francis Would not say thrived - but close - in spite of geography. 15ish years ago - a group of similar skilled and experience and capable business folks (sales, channel, alliance, business development) all lived in Canada (Ottawa-Toronto-Waterloo). All except for one stayed - that would be me. Well the guys that went to Silicon Valley have thrived well beyond expectations. The others - Boston, Dallas and EU have done very well - thrived. My survival has been predominately based on CEO's from outside Ontario seeing my value. Best to move on to more receptive fertile ground if ambitious. A successful strategy is to move south do a few years and remove the pure northern business experience then come back - which my experience is very few will.

  • Francis Moran : I'm so glad to see you warming to this idea, Luc. Not that you were ever one of those mindless critics who automatically opposed the proposal; you were properly skeptical and demanding that it contain more of what folks like you and I believed was necessary for success. Looks like the city is listening.

  • Luc Lalande : Hi Francis, thank you for the steady and keen eye on the development of this important project for the City. I share your view that open spaces in the building’s design will be critical components for encouraging spontaneous interactions between people. Integrating such spaces in the Innovation Complex sends the right signals to the community-at-large and not just the local startup ecosystem: everyone is welcomed! With respect to Patti’s comments about the arts sector, it would be worth bringing back to light that the Hintonburg-Mechanicsville area has emerged as the first Arts District in the City of Ottawa, housing many artist studios, performing arts studios, and media groups. While the 7 Bayview located Innovation Complex may cater to the entrepreneurial set, there is still considerable property on these lands that could, one day, be developed and capitalize on the area’s sizable artistic community. But perhaps the open spaces at the Innovation Complex can be equally accommodating for anyone who embraces creativity and entrepreneurship: artists and innovators alike.

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