Top apps and tools for businesses. Convenience at Your Fingertips

SO MANY APPS AND TOOLS have come into my life this past year. Clearly, there’s no shortage of innovation when it comes to designing technologies for a more efficient, effective business. Here are a few of my personal favorites.

CloudOn

A great tool for business people on the go, CloudOn essentially puts Microsoft Office on your favorite devices so you can work on the files you already store in the cloud—with Box, DropBox, Google Drive, or Microsoft Skydriv —while you’re out and about. This is a great tool to help with organization and productivity. Use it to edit Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files on the iPad. 

Prezi

An amazing presentation tool that diverges from the traditionally one-dimensional PowerPoint slides, Prezi is also cloud-based, so geographically dispersed people can easily collaborate on a single presentation in real time during meetings. Slightly more exciting than the traditional alternative.

Is Professional Continuing Education really worth it?

Professional service firms are often driven to become their clients most innovative and detail oriented partners. Professional services organizations such as the Architects Institute of British Columbia or the Financial Planning Standards Council have helped fuel this culture of continuous improvement.

A common model for continuing education is members are required to complete several learning credits administered through seminars, lunch and learns or specific professional development days.  For many firms these courses can be costly, inconvenient and time consuming.  Do they offer the kind of value that will develop tangible benefits for those taking the courses?

Effective Lead Generation Part 2

Measure Your Results

Measuring your results gives you a tool that you can use to keep your business on track with your goals. If you are not measuring the results of your sales endeavors you are giving yourself a great handicap.  This is something that must be taken seriously from the top down in your organization.  Create a plan to invest in monitoring your results.  Firms with a formal strategy for evaluating the effectiveness of their marketing and business development programs are 240% more likely to say they are extremely effective against their competitors.  That’s a big deal!

Especially if your team are not used to tracking their time and their results, you may experience some push back as you start to implement the reporting process.  Make it clear to your team that the reasons behind it are for you as a manager to be a more efficient with your resources, and that it will result in your team being more focused and productive.  Do not allow apathy, resistance to change, or any other obstacle to dissuade you from measuring your activities, monitoring the results and implementing change.  Keep in mind that your metrics must be simple, tangible, objective and observable. 

Effective Lead Generation Part 1

Sales are a vital part of any business, and the lead generation team are the back room heroes of your sales force. Unfortunately, this area of most businesses sees more missed opportunities, more wasted resources, and is often more neglected than any other area in marketing and sales. The truth is that with a well run lead generation department you can build a huge competitive advantage into your company.

Your lead generation team not only has a profound effect on your sales team’s productivity and your bottom line, but also on your sales team’s job satisfaction.  Have you got great people on your sales team?  Make more money and keep your star performers longer by helping them perform better. 

What follows are 7 principles that will rejuvenate and fortify your businesses Lead Generation department.

Effective Marketing Part 2

Cont’d from Part 1

No matter what your situation, the marketing process is always the same.

You need to:

1. Determine who you are selling to.
2. Identify their needs (or wants).
3. Create a solution for those needs.
4. Let them know about it.

And then:

Make Your Case

Why should people buy from your business, instead of  any other business that sells similar products or services? What's so unique about your business?

If you don't have specific answers to these questions, or more importantly, if your customers and prospects don't have specific answers to these questions, you've got a problem. There is a solution, however, and it's called positioning.  Wardell can help you with this.

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“Wardell has helped me systemize my business so I can travel with my family often and live the life I’ve always dreamed of.”

— Brad Haima, Founder, Circle Graphics

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