Monthly Archives: March 2014

How to keep up with your competitors

competitors

Getting heard over the noise of your competitors can be tricky. Image courtesy of Stuart Miles on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In whatever field you work in, there will always be other companies vying for the same clients as you. For some, competition can be discouraging, particularly if there are one or two specific companies who are regularly winning the deals you were chasing. Really this is another opportunity to see what you could be doing differently, and use it to motivate you in the drive for sales.

Monitor competitor’s social media activities

When was the last time you assessed your marketing strategy? If you are losing out to other businesses, it could be worth having a look at your company from your customer’s perspective. What does the customer see when they are looking for your product or service online? If your competitors are connecting with customers on social media, then have the upper hand in the market and are more likely to be trusted.

Communicate to your audience what is unique about you

Your product may be better, or cheaper than the competitor, but if the customer doesn’t know, they won’t be making an informed decision when they turn your business away. Make it clear what your offer is, have a look at your competitors and identify the differences which make your service unique. If you’re a small business up against a giant, you may not be able to compete on price, but you may be able to offer a more personal service, or be more flexible to your customer’s needs. Meaningful extras or offers, if well promoted to the right people, could also be the difference between a customer staying or straying.

Use a quality training provider to improve your workforce

Finally, if you feel your business has the potential to reach further, training can give you the edge over your competitors. A program in sales might be the push your salespeople need to keep morale up. Technology may have changed a lot of things in business, but ultimately customers will still buy from people they get on with and trust, and machines can’t make those relationships, only quality training can provide human skills for people who can lead a company to success. An investment in development could make the difference between you and the competition very clear.

A 3 Step Guide to Growing Your Business

Is growth something your organization is targeting this new financial year? Image courtesy of ddpavumba on freedigitalphotos.net

Is growth something your organization is targeting this new financial year? Image courtesy of ddpavumba on freedigitalphotos.net

1. Recruit the right employees

Take time when employing new people, not only should they bring the skills for the role, but it’s important they are the right type of people for your company, that they fit in with the culture you have. You may want to introduce candidates to four or five different existing staff members individually to see if there is a fit, and have some assurance that the team will work well together with the new member. If a few employees have concerns, it’s likely they are not a good fit; a good leader would consult their team.

2. Performance management, aligned with your business strategy

It’s important to review the capabilities of your people; you took the time to find the best person for the job, so you should care just as much whether they are delivering the best they can for your business. Performance management and review tools and strategies can help you see where your workers might need a bit of added support to reach the business goals. Your HR strategy should always be linked to the overall corporate strategy.

3. Use training to strengthen weaknesses

Employees will want to add to their skills base whilst they are with you, and you should nurture their interest in growth and development by providing them with quality opportunities to learn more. Not only does training help motivate your employees to learn, and refocus on the business goals, but it of course adds to the skill set you have in your company, which ultimately drives growth. This isn’t just for the people at ground level either; your workers are more likely to be motivated to get involved in training if the managers are doing it too. There is always more to learn.

Skills like customer service can make a big change to how your company is perceived. Client relationships are vital to the likelihood of them returning to you again, and a loyal customer base breeds recommendations and a steady stream of sales.

AchieveGlobal Middle East’s programs and services can be found on our website.

5 Things to Ask When Choosing a Training Provider

  1. Do they understand your needs?
    If you’re after someone to improve your sales force, you need someone who knows about sales and can understand the position your work force is in. This isn’t just about knowledge of the topic, does the company understand the culture of your business and the industry you are in? If the training provider has not worked with a company quite like yours before, it could be an uphill struggle for both of you. It is often easy enough to find out the industries companies have worked in previously. It can help to look into the company’s history too, and see how experienced they are.
  2. How experienced are the trainers?
    The trainers will be the representatives actually working with your people, so you need to be assured that they know what they’re doing and can inspire your workers to learn. Good quality training companies will have information available about their trainers and what kind of experience they have. Depending on your team, you may want a trainer with a specific style, a clear speaker, someone who uses a lot of visuals, group exercises or someone who will do things a little differently. Factors like your choice of trainer could make the difference to the impact of your training.
  3. Where are the weaknesses in my business?
    It’s of course vitally important you address the issue of what you want the training to be about; what skill is it which could be improved upon to make the key difference you need? A good training company can help you with this process, but the more information and understanding you have of the problems in your business, the more effective any training will be. Some training companies, like AchieveGlobal, will select training programs specifically for your needs, so the development is tailored to the specific issues you face. It’s key you get this right, you do not want your seniors down the line asking ‘why aren’t these workers trained properly?’ Identify your needs, and find the company which can best deliver on them, so you are getting exactly what you need.
  4. Does the provider care about a relationship, and maintaining support beyond the training sessions?
    A training company will be something you will be placing a lot of trust in to deliver the right results for development. To an extent, the future of the business is in their hands. How does the company respond when you approach them? Do you have someone you can contact personally if you have any questions regarding the planning and implementation of the training? A good training provider will be keen to make a strong relationship with you before any work is carried out, so they are clear on your expectations, and there is honesty and trust between both parties. AchieveGlobal, for example, have dedicated managers for different countries, and follow up after the training to assess what went well.
  5. Can I customize the training programs?
    After assessing the proposals received from providers, some may be almost perfect, if only you could make some slight adjustments. Do not hesitate to enquire with these providers if and where changes can be made, if your needs are clearly defined, the best fitting solutions can be offered. A flexible provider will be able to modify the delivery or materials to suit your requirements.