IBM launched a new e-commerce consulting practice, deploying 1,200 of its own salespeople to help companies understand how the online marketplace is affecting their business.
Dubbed "Smarter Commerce," the initiative is based on the fact that mobile and social networks have created a number of obstacles at the front-end of the selling process. The new software and consulting provided by Big Blue's sales force will help companies monitor their brands, assess campaign effectiveness and change sales strategies when necessary.
An "IBM University" will also provide training for sellers to build the job skills necessary in the new marketplace.
Salespeople have long been baffled by how best to deal with the highly empowered customer of the social media age, who often already knows everything there is to know about the product. IBM said that the new service will work on similar principles as consultative selling to recognize that it is the service, not the product, that is being sold. (Forbes)
Speaking Up (AFP)
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said that the microblogging service is finally growing up. It has figured out how to hire and turn a profit -- and has been growing its sales team in the process.
Related: Biz Stone Joins AOL and HuffPo in Advisory Role
Daily Fail (Marketing Pilgrim)
At a SXSW panel this weekend, Travis Kalanick, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, ruffled some feathers when he said that Groupon salespeople often renege on their promises to small businesses.
Good Meetings (The Globe and Mail)
How do you know that cocktail party or office lunch was worth it? You just don't, unless you hire somebody to specifically track the ROI of each meeting.
Back to Life (INN)
New York Life is hiring 3,500 new agents this year and has launched a new sales recruiting website to lure job seekers.
CDOs, Explained (FINS)
Chief digital officers can come in varying shapes and sizes. But nobody seems to know what they do, where they come from and if companies really even need them.
New Post (FINS)
Gannett appointed Maryam Banikarim in a newly created position of chief marketing officer. The move is related to the new marketing campaign the company launched last week,
Buzz Around the Office
Penguins on a Plane (YouTube)
It's the Samuel L. Jackson movie you didn't know you wanted to watch.
List of the Day: How to Make Your Sales Team Hate You
If you're a sales manager who absolutely wants your team to hate you, here's what you should do:
1. Update your website and don't tell the team. That way, their clients can tell them what new products they have.
2. On the same site, offer a better price to customers than the salespeople can offer directly to them.
3. Hire more sales reps for the same region than the revenue can support so they can all really feel the competition.
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