Archive | August 2012

3 Key Ideas to Help Business Leaders Succeed in 2012/2013

1. Boost your personal efficiency

When looking at profit improvement potential (or waste) in a business it is often said it is easy to identify 30% of your current overheads as ‘waste’. The same can be said if you audited yourself for your levels of efficiency. 30% of what you do on a day-to-day basis is waste. Outside the box ways to boost your efficiency are required. Some key tips are:

  • Hire a Virtual Assistant to prevent you performing tasks you don’t have to
  • Stop doing many of the things that are not in the 20% of things you do which create 80% of the benefit
  • Build processes and document all aspects of your business you currently do ‘naturally’ so you can delegate more of what you do
  • Use the latest technology platforms such as Ipads, Livescribe pens and various apps to better collect your notes, ideas, strategies and increase your speed in finding them at a later date

2. Protect your energy levels
Think of the networks of people in business and personally you associate with on a regular basis.  Are these people providing you a boost in your energy levels when you connect with them or are they taking away your valuable energy levels (acting as what we call ‘Energy Vampires’)?  If you have the balance wrong and have a large portion acting as ‘Energy Vampires’ it can have a detrimental effect on your ability to implement change and deliver the outcomes you are seeking.  Perform a quick audit on your circle of business and personal contacts; what do you have to change?

3. What is your ‘theme’ for the next 12 months?
Having a theme for your plans for the next 12 months can help focus more acutely your team, customers and importantly yourself on what’s important when driving strategies / actions. Themes could include: “Innovation”, “Growth”, “Efficiency”, “Profit”, “Downsize”, “Consolidate” or “Improve Life Balance”.


WHY is the WHY so Important to Selling in the Mountains

Written by Mike Boyle – Head Sales Scientist – Banjar Group

Lately I have been using a story to help my customers focus on where they are during these indifferent times. The Tour De France. Where do you win the Tour de France I ask? “At the finish line” is often the reply. Of course this is true but not accurate. The race is clearly won and run in the mountains. This is where great teams with specific roles collaborate together to make sure their number one rider is in a position to win. In fact the last day or so, is a ride into Paris where no one can pass the front rider that’s how much they respect the work done in the mountains.

I have been reminding my clients that we have rode the flat roads of sales and business for many years but clearly we are now in the mountains. Success in sales, in the ‘Business Mountains’ come down to a couple of very important areas. They are:

Common Goal and Vision – every one in sales and infact the whole organisation must clearly understand the business vision and the target, budget and or objectives for sales. They must understand it, know it and clearly reflect it in their planning.

Focus – create an environment of focus. Focus on the things that matter not just doing more with less. What are the key sales activities and disciplines that make sales happen?

Role v Goal – many groups I train or coach often confuse ROLE and GOAL when I ask about the common goal and vision. Make sure that all in the sales department, be it frontline, support or marketing all understands the role they have and how it helps the team and therefore the achievement of the sales goal.

Lag v lead – we often only measure the LAG indicators in the mountains. The result, the revenue achieved or deals done. That is history, important for review but does not help us pedal forward. LEAD indicators are things that matter in winning business or creating sales. Proposals presented, prospects opened and number of explicit needs found per meeting. Design your own LEAD indicators and track them.

Lastly I have been running a session on the WHY.

If you have watched the now famous Simon Sinek video on TED.COM you would know he questions the WHAT in selling and consumerism and develops the science around the WHY. Why people buy and how you should sell to them. Please watch this video and then spend a minute mapping your three selling rings. WHAT do you do or sell. That should be easy as we all get it and we all love it. Unfortunately customers don’t really care about the WHAT and science proves they certainly don’t buy the what. Now map the HOW. This will be harder as you will have to think. In Apples case it is cool design, innovation and sexy. Now do the WHY for you. Why you do what you do. Clearly the WHY gets people to become religious to your brand. It gets shoppers to queue up at midnight to get the first IPAD and it turns them into raving fans.

Today I saw a large residential builder in my hometown of Melbourne, Australia has clearly got the WHY. They have inserted into our leading newspaper, at great expense a colour brochure that is all about the WHY. Big beautiful photos of families LOVING their new home.Headlines with LOVE FAMILY, LOVE GOOD TIMES and LOVE SPACE. Little if any content on tiles, floors or timber. Developing your WHY message and then selling it effectively will be the key to standing on the winners podium after fighting it out in the mountains in 2012/13. WHY wouldn’t you try?

Social Media Guidelines Infographic

By Fergal Coleman

We recently created the social media infographic below for internal use at Symphony3.


Download: Social Media Guidelines – Infographic (PDF)

We’ve had many frank discussions both internally and with clients on effective social media guidelines. We all agreed that striking the balance between setting the rules and encouraging people to get involved is the challenge. Hence we decided to develop this graphic. Our aim was to achieve the following:

  • Write simple and clear guidelines outlining the expected behaviour of all employees online
  • Provide some direction on the tools to use
  • Provide some ideas on how to use those tools and what to post
  • Deliver all of the above in a format that could be posted on our office wall and would attract attention (so people would actually read the guidelines!)
  • Ensure the format could be read and easily remembered

Of course, these guidelines are based on how Symphony3 as an organisation uses social media. Our most important stakeholders are existing customers and partners.  We want to look after them, support them and build stronger relationships with them using social media.  As a B2B company, new business comes our way largely as a result of recommendations and word of mouth from those customers and partners. Increasingly those recommendations are being made online, and word of mouth about us is happening on social media.

So to reiterate, our social media efforts focus on enhancing and strengthening the relationships we have already developed with our community of customers and partners. We provide them with valuable content and guidance which they in turn can share with their contacts.

Some companies will use the same guidelines and tools as we do but many others will have different behavioural rules, use less or more tools and post different kinds of content. How you fill in areas 1, 2 and 3 will depend on your organisational make-up – this includes the openness of your culture: the importance you place on social media, the trust you place in employees to do the right thing and the resources at your disposal to create good content.

However no matter how small or large your organisation this same approach can work for you. It allows you to articulate expected behaviours, to promote your favoured organisational tools to employees and to provide some guidance on the content you would like to see shared.

Do you have a social media infographic of your own you’d like to promote? Tweet it to us @symphony3think .

Want to use ours? Grab the code below to put the graphic on your webpage or blog.

Social Media Guidelines – An infographic by the team at Social Media Team at Symphony3