Startup valuations may have been inflated by "tourist" investors who don't understand the startup world, and there are signs that these investors are starting to pull back. This happens in developing economies, but it might also be happening in Silicon Valley. "The biggest danger is that the startups see abundant capital, they massively increase their burn rate, thinking that they can go back to the well over and over again, and then they find out that they can't," says Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz.
Addressing customers' doubts and creating a sense of certainty that your product is right for them is one key to closing a sale. Instead of pushing your product, let customers explain what they're looking for. "The idea is that if they self-generate the list of attributes they desire, and we have those, then they can conclude for themselves we are the right product for them," says Derek Rucker of Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management.
If companies use high-quality images and Rich Pins that include comprehensive information, they can drive sales using Pinterest, writes Kimberlee Morrison. Product Pins, which offer details on the product being advertised, are also linked with better conversion rates.
Time management is especially important if you are an artisan who makes the products that your business sells. Here are nine ways to save time, from automating your business where possible to hiring an assistant to help you out with certain tasks.
The art of interviewing job candidates is something that can be honed over time with a quantitative approach. Use a tool known as an interview scorecard to compare employees' performance with your expectations, advises executive coach Ben Dattner. Such an approach can minimize the personal biases and inconsistencies that reduce the chances of a successful hire.
After a loved one has died, relatives may want to hold funerals in their own homes for financial or emotional reasons. Companies such as Undertaking LA are serving this segment of the market through consultations and other services. "It's more natural. It's also about reducing cost, but more than anything, it's the need to be more hands-on," says Kateyanne Unullisi of the National Home Funeral Alliance.
Forecasting sales and profits entails making assumptions, but it shouldn't be purely guesswork, writes Tim Berry, founder of Palo Alto Software. Employ historical analysis and examine sales drivers such as Web traffic and conversion rates to assemble reasonable and useful forecasts.
Millennial sales talent can be attracted to firms that have solid sales-enablement strategies, since they're less tolerant of processes that are stuck in the mud and haven't evolved. Sales enablement can include content management and analytics to judge the effectiveness of existing content, which will help generate better leads.
CRM platforms are an essential part of how sales departments and companies in general can make better decisions and optimize performance, according to a ConsultCRM white paper. "To keep ahead, organizations need to change the way they collect, analyze and use data to make more informed decisions about how to engage with their customers and demonstrate how they can adapt to this dynamic environment," reads the paper.
Even when your product is superior to that of the competition, it can be hard to secure sales when your competitor has a much more established name in your industry, writes Bob Apollo. Determine whether you can solve a critical problem for a lead or if your connection within the company can sway the opinions of others within the firm. If not, it may be better to focus your attention elsewhere, writes Apollo.
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