Sunday, September 21, 2014

Round up the usual suspects...

In the movie Casablanca, there’s a famous scene where Captain Renault, the head of the French police, avoids investigating the murder of a Nazi officer by telling his people to “round up the usual suspects.” The implication, of course, is that everyone should look busy and professional, even if the routine doesn't really accomplish anything.

Think of this objective when exploring the roles of sales and operations using technology.
It always seems that managers respond to performance challenges by putting together a task force of the “usual suspects” to deal with the issue. These task force members usually end up with multiple specialty assignments piled on top of their regular duties. And because these few go-to people are spread so thin, they ultimately don’t accomplish all that much.
Managers sometimes “round up the usual suspects” because they only trust a small number of people to handle key projects or initiatives. Every organization has its “glue people,” the ones who don’t show up in organization charts but are assigned to every task force or initiative because they are respected and trusted.

However, each person also had significant managerial responsibilities and other major project assignments. So while they were all capable and willing to do what was needed, the effort suffered due to lack of time and bandwidth.
If any of this sounds familiar, take a step back and think about how to expand your talent pool to get the actual results you want. Do a quick mapping of your committees, task forces, and other special assignment groups, to see if you have a “usual suspect” bottleneck. Although individual executives may engage in this dynamic intentionally (like Captain Renault), most do not; it just happens.

 If that’s indeed the case, then consider lightening the load for some by prioritizing assignments, consolidating teams, and, most importantly,

Adding technology to the list, do more with less using technology to help you! 

Is it possible to trust some other people outside of your “usual suspects” circle? 
Can you computer systems and business processes help them rise to the challenge?

The MDS-Nx system offers our internal Audit and Control business process management system. This system creates a framework of tasks that are automatically created and integrated to drive your business workflow. Creating your processes in an automated fashion without relying solely upon those "key" team members to drive your projects to completion.

Most organizations have ambitious agendas that are limited by the availability of key people. There may indeed be times when calling upon a few trusted people is the right approach, but doing it too often can be severely constraining. That’s why thinking outside the roster of “usual suspects” can help you distribute responsibilities in a more even, efficient way. and leveraging technology is just one one to lighten the burden and more effectively use the resources you have.

For more information on TSH or MDS call The Systems House, Inc. at 1-800- MDS-5556. Or send a message to
Click here and tell us how we can help you with your business solutions.

Friday, September 12, 2014

There's a hole in the bucket...

The Sales Funnel is Now a Sieve

The buying process has gotten messy for B2B marketers and salespeople. Because of easy access to information on the Internet and mobile devices, an active engaged customer can turn into disinterested one in the blink of an eye. Every new marketing channel puts a hole in your sales funnel and the proverbial bucket.
Distributors who don't integrate new channels into their content marketing strategy will find they have a very leaky bucket.

If you want to plug the holes, it's time to consider:

Consistency of your Message
Given that only 32% of businesses consider their content marketing effective, they need to pay attention to what they're doing with the 17 tactics they use, on average. Forty-one percent are creating more content than they did last year but the question remains as to what it is and why they're creating it?
Many of them don't have a well documented plan or the time to manage it consistently, which leaves me to wonder how they manage it all. If you're relying on memory or hoping that everyone is publishing to the idea of the plan, good luck. Automating the message builds consistency
and simplifies the maintenance, by using our Remotenet B2B Integrated Ecommerce platform's social media links you can push a consistent message to all your platforms. 
What will the overall impression be if they run into your company on the Internet? Is it a consistent message?
Depth of Relevance
In reviewing content that gets posted how do your determine what is relevant?  To get to depth of relevance you need to know your buyers intimately. Instead of  overall guidelines, why not create a specific brand persona that can help your company become more relevant by publishing customer specific information. Let the RemoteNet predictive analytics engine become the trusted adviser to your customers. You want your content to advise them on what's trending, what they need and remind then about reordering cycles. That is the lasting impression you want to leave.
Formats Don't Matter More than Information
One of the pitfalls in content marketing is about the type of content the marketing team wants to create. We need a white paper or an eBook or an infographic, etc. This is the wrong place to start.
Start with the data.
Once you have the knowledge of your customers patterns you can then see the important items that are missing.
These are the questions to answer.
The MDS-Nx and RemoteNet systems will then define a suite of content to develop around the data. And automatically connect the dots across channels. 
The Point
The point is that buyers have a choice. It's often represented by the back button on a web browser.  Once they start avoiding you, will you be able to win them back?
The best approach is to think of everything you publish as a piece of your overall sales strategy. Every time your content comes into contact with your audience you have an opportunity.

Squander it and your funnel becomes a sieve.

For more information on TSH or MDS call The Systems House, Inc. at 1-800- MDS-5556. Or send a message to
Click here and tell us how we can help you with your business solutions.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Catch a tiger by the tail..

Getting the most from your customers “tail-end” spending

The year end is a great time for sales where the final 20 per cent of spending, or the “tail-end” typically gets consolidated and aggregated in the sales cycle. But it remains a largely untapped opportunity for most companies.
A larger number of suppliers, smaller spend volumes and a perceived lack of economies of scale mean that procurement or purchasing agents are harder and harder to get in front of.
Knowing exactly where to focus your business attention to maximize sales is a daunting task.

Therefore, it’s worth exploring ways to manage this challenge as the year end looms and purchasing agents have to effectively use their budgets to maximize resources.

There are a number of reasons for the increase in sales at year end. By properly analyzing your customer spend data and looking at current inventory levels, you can leverage that spend and catch that tiger by the tail.
1. Spend analytics. Perform in-depth analysis to identify "missing" spend – check your transactions against existing agreements, if you are lucky enough to have a contract in place with performance goals encourage customers to fully utilize those contracts and be in compliance allowing them to take advantage of any incentives.  The MDS-Nx missing sales report will show you items purchased in prior periods which are no longer being purchased.
2. Tactical buyingThe MDS-Nx system provides Contract management and Rebate Performance reports to allow you to see both Vendors where your company can take advantage of additional savings and Customer Contract Reporting to determine compliance and utilization levels for contracted item. 
3. Comparative Sales Reporting and Analysis.  By looking at sales this year vs last year  you can easily see the total numbers and present purchasing agents with a simple as well as prompt them for the specific order. To identify customers with the largest potential simply run a comparative sales analysis and send your top salesman to those with the largest discrepancy. 
Targeting customers with the largest potential will likely bring you closing to getting those large year end orders. 

Overall tail-end spend management is of increasing importance. This doesn't mean that common sales  practices should be put on the back-burner to instead focus on the tail, but it does mean it can yield significant sales and deserves significant consideration. 

With the best practices outlined here for ways to address the challenges commonly associated with tail-end spend and sales management, The MDS-Nx system allows you to reap the rewards of managing tail-end spend. 

For more information on TSH or MDS call The Systems House, Inc. at 1-800- MDS-5556. Or send a message to

Click here and tell us how we can help you with your business solutions.