Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year and Bring on 2017!








Contact me at tduggan(@)Cogentco.com at Cogent for more Info or to Network. Cogent delivers customers with Highly Reliable, Secure and Scalable IP Networks. With 700 POP Data Center locations, over 200 markets throughout 41 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, with over 60,000 route miles of long-haul fiber.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Cloud Trends and Strategies for 2017



Cloud computing is in the midst of massive growth, with sales of services increasing nearly six times faster than overall IT spending. This is great news for partners who are positioned to get their clients to the cloud, then help them thrive once they arrive.

This Report looks at trends to keep in mind now and in the year ahead plus five strategies for capitalizing on opportunities – including ways for partners who aren't "cloud ready" to catch up. Takeaways for Your Business
•As cloud platforms and services mature, the market for them is still growing and rapidly evolving. •Companies are increasingly seeking to acquire IT capacity and business functionality in as-a-service models.
•Cloud sales should focus on best meeting the client's needs and not on any particular product or platform.


Article Link



Contact me at tduggan(@)Cogentco.com at Cogent for more Info or to Network. Cogent delivers customers with Highly Reliable, Secure and Scalable IP Networks. With 700 POP Data Center locations, over 200 markets throughout 41 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, with over 60,000 route miles of long-haul fiber.

Monday, December 19, 2016

US Internet & Innovation Economy, Top Fiber and Internet Demand in Data Centers

The Internet has fast become a powerful platform for commerce and communication, with a vast majority of Americans connecting routinely and clamoring for next generation innovations. The growth accompanying this technological supply and demand chain has been profound, and so too have its impacts on the U.S. economy and innovation.

According to a recent U.S. News & World Report piece(link is external), businesses directly involved with the Internet generated an estimated $966 billion in 2014, accounting for 6 percent of the U.S. economy. Meanwhile, employment in the Internet sector has doubled since 2007, approaching three million total jobs. And, these jobs are comparatively higher paying than many industries, with employees earning an average of $79,184 compared to the national average of $61,547.

It’s also important to note, that the Internet sector is vast. This study focused on more than two-dozen Internet firms, including Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Uber and others. Industries from telecommunications carriers to data-focused organizations are a key part of the Internet and Information, Communications Technology (ICT) ecosystems, delivering significant economic value and high-paying jobs as well.

Article Link


Contact me at tduggan(@)Cogentco.com at Cogent for more Info or to Network. Cogent delivers customers with Highly Reliable, Secure and Scalable IP Networks. With 700 POP Data Center locations, over 200 markets throughout 41 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, with over 60,000 route miles of long-haul fiber.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

5 B2B and Enterprise Sales Trends to Watch in 2017



1. Bringing Social Into Sales Though B2C marketing puts more emphasis on social media campaigns, it’s becoming important for bringing in B2B sales as well. Skeptical? 73% of salespeople who used social selling outperformed their colleagues, according to SalesforLife. The best part? Social selling isn’t expensive or difficult to implement. Salespeople can use platforms like LinkedIn (LNKD), Twitter (TWTR), and Instagram to find, qualify, and connect with leads. Warming up those leads by engaging with them is easy on these platforms—and can make the sale that much easier.

2. Analytics and Big Data Today, we have an amazing opportunity to learn about what customers really want, instead of what we think they want, thanks to big data and analytics. Using data effectively is a great way to boost sales, get better leads, and operate more efficiently. Despite the fact that everyone is talking about the benefits of using data in sales, very few companies are actually implementing these strategies to inform their sales decisions. Why? Because it takes some patience and resources to make sense of the data available. Businesses who do invest in data see great results, however, and most companies find it’s worth the trouble. You can gain a huge competitive advantage by leveraging even just a portion of the available data to improve your B2B selling strategies. You don’t need a sophisticated big data team or system to benefit. Start using analytics to track the sources and progress of your current sales process, then use the data from successful sales to help your team strategize and focus on the aspects of the sale that matter most, whether that turns out to be lead source, demographic, or sales tactics. Only the data can give you this information!

3. Interactive Content Whitepapers and other informative content used to be enough to make sales, but the market has been flooded with these materials. B2B customers are more interested in immersive, custom content, like interactive whitepapers, videos, and podcasts. These are powerful tools for salespeople, and creating interactive content is just another way your sales and marketing team can work together to produce conversions. Start by thinking about what types of interactive content are relevant to your business. Brainstorm with the marketing and sales team about what your clients want to know—and what will convince them to decide on your product. Investing in the right interactive content will help your sales team become more effective. Don’t have an in-house marketing team yet? Consider hiring a freelancer on retainer to supply sales with the content they need to succeed.

4. Better Targeting, Better Leads Inbound marketing and sophisticated digital marketing campaigns are giving sales professionals an influx of leads so they can focus on doing what they do best: selling. However, in 2017, B2B marketers are working toward better targeting, generating higher-quality leads for sales teams to work with. This is great news for sales—the better the leads, the better the conversion rate, and quality leads allow sales teams to work more efficiently. You can harness this trend by encouraging quality over quantity in your marketing department. Encourage your team to prioritize targeted campaigns to produce higher-quality leads, and examine the results of different campaigns to see which approaches produce the best leads overall. 5. Mobile and Digital Solutions Everything is moving online—and onto our phones and tablets. Sales needs to move onto these platforms as well, adapting to the needs of a digital world. Webinars, an optimized mobile site, and options for on-the-go leads will help companies find success in 2017. Think outside the box when it comes to mobile. Aside from ensuring your site is mobile-friendly, make it easy for your leads to reach you from all their devices. Build your interactive content to be mobile-friendly, and pay attention to the feedback you’re getting.




Contact me at tduggan(@)Cogentco.com at Cogent for more Info or to Network. Cogent delivers customers with Highly Reliable, Secure and Scalable IP Networks. With 700 POP Data Center locations, over 200 markets throughout 41 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, with over 60,000 route miles of long-haul fiber.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Telecom Prsopect & Leads Favorite LinkedIn Sales Navigator Features




Sales Navigator is not simply an upgraded version of the free LinkedIn service like Business Plus or Executive. It’s a completely different software product, in the same way LinkedIn Recruiter is specifically tailored to the needs of HR professionals. So you actually get a lot more than a few “up-sized” LinkedIn features.

1. Listen to Peoples’ and Companies’ Signals – Think of it as LinkedIn’s version of Google Alerts. You simply save the People and Companies that you want to track and LinkedIn displays their LinkedIn activity and web mentions in the Sales Navigator Home Page. It’s like having a personal sales research assistant working 24 x 7 for you.

2.Extra Advanced Search Filters – All premium (paid) versions of LinkedIn included extra search filters like Company Size, Function, and Groups. Sales Navigator has even more. The ones I find most valuable don’t even show in the Lead Builder screen. They are applied on the search results screen:

3. Sales Navigator Chrome Extension for Gmail – We all live in our email Inbox, and Gmail is one of the most popular platforms. Now there is a Chrome extension that shows LinkedIn information along side email messages. If you’re connected to the sender, you can easily access their contact information. (see image). If you’re not, you can invite them into your network. In either case, LinkedIn provides some “Icebreaker” opportunities based on commonalities like Connections and Groups.



Contact me at tduggan(@)Cogentco.com at Cogent for more Info or to Network. Cogent delivers customers with Highly Reliable, Secure and Scalable IP Networks. With 700 POP Data Center locations, over 200 markets throughout 41 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, with over 60,000 route miles of long-haul fiber.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving, Take Time Off From Selling!






Contact me at tduggan(@)Cogentco.com at Cogent for more Info or to Network. Cogent delivers customers with Highly Reliable, Secure and Scalable IP Networks with over 190 markets throughout 38 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, with over 57,900 route miles of long-haul fiber and over 27,400 miles of metropolitan fiber.

Monday, November 7, 2016

It’s in the Numbers: Building High-Performance Sales Teams Through Data Analytics


 
Data-Built Sales Teams

While every organization has a different set of metrics to define success, there are things you can do to use data analytics to build a more successful sales team. The following can help you get started:

1. Leverage assessment tools. Personality tests such as Myers-Briggs have been around for decades. But there’s been an explosion over the past few years of new assessment tools that can help identify a person’s natural tendencies. They provide insights into whether a recruit is up to the task at hand. Will the candidate like the job? Will he or she be successful in the role? Using these kinds of assessment tools is critical to your recruiting efforts.

2.  Refine candidate profiles. After hiring your first wave of recruits, make small changes to your assessments based on your top performers. Keep in mind, though, that you don’t necessarily want a homogeneous group of people. Differences in skills and personalities can boost productivity and improve the bottom line.

But staff performance can provide further insights into where to direct your recruitment efforts. You have a better idea of the types of people who won’t be successful in the role or at the company. Adjust the evaluation process to reflect this.

3. Build custom coaching plans. Assessment tools are critical in not only hiring, but also managing employees. On day one, you have many of the necessary insights to build a more effective coaching plan. You know what will resonate with the candidate and how he or she would best be coached.
Take our coaching plans, for example. They’re based on behaviors we’ve identified as essential to succeed in each sales role. Let’s say a new hire isn’t comfortable in a certain area. We can monitor his or her behavior closely and work on building comfort in that area. It’s all about supporting the person throughout the training process.

4. Involve sales managers. HR is crucial for identifying prospects and conducting initial screenings, but that’s where its role should end. Sales managers tasked with managing these people need to make the final call.

Don’t, however, assume they know how to conduct interviews. Make sure sales managers recognize the importance of asking questions related to job performance. Provide a list of desired skills and attributes. Develop a series of interview questions. Even go so far as building evaluation sheets, making it easier to compare candidates.

Over time, you might find that certain sales managers excel at the interview process. You can rely on them to conduct the final interviews for those sales managers who aren’t great at picking new hires. Just make sure everyone is aligned in finding people who will fit the role and the organization.

5. Make trainers part of the ecosystem. You don’t want to think of training as a separate department — one that comes in, trains, and disappears. These people will spend the first critical months with your new hires, so they should be a part of the sales management infrastructure.

Utilize trainers all the way through the life cycle of a salesperson to make sure you’re focusing on what works and doesn’t work for that individual employee. Look at it from a coaching perspective, always working toward improving the skills of your sales force.

In our experience, a high-performing sales team should have at least two-thirds of its members meeting or exceeding sales quotas. By using assessment tools and predictive analytics to identify the right candidates and develop a training program around them, you’re well on your way to improving your bottom line.



Contact me at tduggan(@)Cogentco.com at Cogent for more Info or to Network. Cogent delivers customers with Highly Reliable, Secure and Scalable IP Networks with over 190 markets throughout 38 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, with over 57,900 route miles of long-haul fiber and over 27,400 miles of metropolitan fiber.