Eliminate these behaviors to improve sales

It's important to eliminate any reluctance your sales team has to reach out to prospects over the phone, especially when it seems like deals have stalled, writes Mareo McCracken. Also, the mistaken belief that simply having a good product will lead customers to buy must be discarded, because even top products must be connected to the needs of your customers.

Gender-progressive nations have fewer women in STEM

Countries with progressive cultures are producing fewer women in science, technology, engineering and math fields than countries with high rates of gender inequality, such as Algeria, where 41% of college graduates with STEM degrees are women, Olga Khazan writes. Researchers say that women from countries with a wide gender gap view STEM careers as their best pathway to financial independence, Khazan writes.

Goldman expects increase in cost of servicing US debt

Goldman Sachs analysts expect the cost of servicing US debt to surge because of higher bond yields and increased borrowing amid a growing economy. "In the past, as the economy strengthens and the debt burden increases, Congress has responded by raising taxes and cutting spending," the analysts wrote, noting the opposite is true.

Gelson's to reopen 3 remodeled Calif. stores

Gelson's is reopening three remodeled stores in the Southern California market this month, two of which boast smaller footprints. "We want Gelson's to be a unique place where people can try exciting food concepts, have a drink in a social setting, and feel like a new culinary discovery is just around every corner," said Gelson's President and CEO Rob McDougall.

Report: Over 1.9B files leaked in 551 US data breaches last year

There were 551 data breaches at organizations in the US in 2017, with more than 1.9 billion files leaked and 819 million files exposed, according to an analysis from Citrix ShareFile, in partnership with IBM Security. Health care, which reported 328 leaks at an estimated cost of nearly $1.2 billion, was the most targeted and susceptible industry, with 46% of the incidents caused by malware or hacking, 33% due to unintended disclosure, 18% from physical loss and a combined 4% from portable devices and insider leaks.

Most loved brands: Perdue Chicken wins social, Disney World wins offline

Perdue Chicken, CVS and Hampton Inn are the top three most loved brands on social, and Walt Disney World, Wegmans and Febreze are the most loved among people having conversations in the real world, per Engagement Labs. The study tracked four brand performance drivers -- brand sharing, the volume of conversations, positive sentiment and influence.

Grocers see possibilities of blockchain technology

Initial work by Walmart has intrigued the grocery industry in regard to the possibilities of blockchain technology for tighter control of inventory. Food shipments would get a unique ID that is constantly updated, connecting the products all the way back to their place of origin.

Alexa to take center stage during New York Toy Fair
CNET

The New York Toy Fair is expected to feature Amazon Alexa-enabled devices such as Mattel's "Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment." Mattel Chief Technology Officer Sven Gerjets believes voice-assisted technology is the future of toys, saying, "We know that more than one in five parents of connected children own a voice-controlled internet-connected smart speaker. Nearly all parents who have a smart speaker feel comfortable with their child using it."

Federal judge reverses $2.54B patent verdict for Gilead's hepatitis C drugs
CNBC

Gilead has won a reversal on a ruling for its patent suit with Merck regarding its hepatitis C drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni after US District Judge Leonard Stark of Delaware decided Merck's patent was invalid and didn't fulfill a requirement disclosing how the treatment can be made without undue experimentation. Stark's ruling overturned a jury verdict that had required Gilead Sciences to pay Merck a record $2.54 billion for the patent infringement.

Comcast to test wireless services on 3.5 GHz band

Comcast will be testing fixed and mobile wireless services using the 3.5 GHz CBRS band in Philadelphia, the home of its headquarters. The company will use three types of radio transmitters and three types of mobile devices and handsets during the trials.

Disaster-mitigation funds available for Texas communities hit by Harvey

Texas expects to get more than $1 billion in disaster-mitigation funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency by the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, and $500 million is ready to be disbursed, Gov. Greg Abbott said. Harvey dropped more than 60 inches of rain in parts of southeast Texas after making landfall in August.

Consumers Energy to generate 40% of power from renewables by 2040

Consumers Energy plans to have renewables account for 40% of its total energy generation by 2040, according to President and CEO Patti Poppe. The utility also will completely phase out coal over the next 22 years.

JetBlue offers complimentary airfare for school shooting victims' families

JetBlue Airways is offering free airfare and ground transportation to families of the victims of last week's school shooting in Parkland, Fla. "This week's events are felt by all of our 21,000 crewmembers, many of whom live in, work from and travel through the Broward County area, home to our Focus City, Fort Lauderdale," the carrier said.

Detroit sees wave of hotel development
Curbed

Siren Hotel, the Shinola Hotel and the Element Detroit Hotel are all slated to open in Detroit this year. A new project near Little Caesars Arena would bring 100 rooms to an eight-story building in the city's Cass Corridor.