About Nexsales

Founded in 2008 a B2B Marketing and Sales Solution provider, Nexsales is an expert in contact data management and lead generation. We work as your partner to provide you with accurate inside information and prospect intelligence that help you define your challenges better. We craft B2B marketing programs and combine targeted list building, telephone-based outreach, with brand strategy, social media, and innovations in technology and analytics.

Our Leadership Team

Milap Shah,

Executive Chairman & Founder

Milap Shah spearheads the company’s vision and growth initiatives.Leveraging his extensive management consulting experience in over 20 countries at the C-level, Milap builds strategic client relationships and leads full-scale solutions initiatives.

Prior to founding Nexsales, Milap headed the Asia Operations for Global eProcure, where he profitably grew the operations from early start-up stage to three delivery centers across the world; and developed a high caliber leadership team. As a Manager with Accenture’s management consulting practice, he led strategy, supply chain, global outsourcing and IT engagements for Fortune 500 companies like Deutsche Bank, Shell and SABIC. Milap was also named to the prestigious 2007 “Pros To Know” list, by the US-based Supply & Demand Chain Executive for his leadership in influencing decision making at the Board level and for his expertise in the supply chain and outsourcing fields.

Jay Kamdar,

CEO & Co-Founder

Jay Kamdar is the CEO with 30 years of management, sales, marketing and engineering experience.  Jay has led number of break-through technology startups from conceptualization to commercialization stages.

Most recently at MagSil Corporation, Jay led the commercialization of IP Portfolio generating tens of millions of dollars in licensing revenue. At  MoSys Inc as the head of Asia Sales he successfully drove multi-million dollar business engagements with global OEMs in Japan and Korea. Jay  was a Co-founder, COO and later CEO of Nazomi Communications, a pioneer in Java Acceleration Technology and a provider of multimedia & Java application processors. He drove Nazomi’s technology and chip products into cell phones made by world’s leading phone makers such as Samsung, SK Telecom, Sony and Sharp. At Sun Microsystems he was a senior group marketing manager responsible for Java processor products for Internet Appliances such as mobile, smart card, set-top boxes and Internet TV markets. Jay spent early years of his career with National Semiconductor in a number of positions, including Sr. Product Marketing Director for a $500M+ division.

John Pinto,

VP Operations

John Pinto is the Vice President of Operations. He plays a key role in leading the execution right from inception, overall campaign management and delivery for strategic client engagements.

John leverages his extensive experience in B2B lead generation and data strategies across verticals to help Global Fortune clients in the areas of B2B market mapping, market segmentation, tailoring their pitch to specific markets, and in successfully executing high ROI outreach programs. John has conducted and regularly conducts coaching clinics helping B2B Marketers with best practices in the areas of CRM data optimization, cleansing and appending strategies.

John has close to 13 years’ experience in managing key accounts in Logistics, Banking, High Tech and Telecom industries across Asia, North America and United Kingdom. John has helped clients like AOL, Vonage, and Barclays in driving sales and improving customer satisfaction levels.

 

Careers

 

How We Work:

We are polyglots…

We believe in using the best resources and processes for the job depending on the business need while maintaining a slight bias toward the tools the team knows the best.
What is more important is getting the job done and well!

We are innovators…

We believe that to be in front of the game you cannot walk the treaded path. We have developed innovative technology and processes such as our latest path breaking patent pending technology, FastSwitch™, is a live call automation system that enables our clients to directly have relevant conversations with the targeted prospects with access to in-depth prospect profile.

We are agile…

Agile methodologies mean different things to different people. For us, the most important part of Agile is doing what works best for the team, focusing on quick ROI and alignment to the business need. We are truly a global company. We have people in Seattle, California, Michigan, Florida and Mumbai. We’re pragmatic, not dogmatic. We’re never afraid to try to new things to see if they work and reconsider our positions if the situation warrants it.

We value our people…

We spend time regularly working on whatever we’re interested in. You will have ready access to Executive Management. Salaries are generous and ample vacation time. We work hard, We play hard!

Interested?

We’re looking for people who are interested in getting in on the ground floor of an incredible opportunity to build amazing software. Think you’ve got something to contribute to our exceptional team? We’d like to hear from you!You can mail us at career@nexsales.com

Contact Us

Corporate Headquarters: Silicon Valley

Nexsales Corporation
20660 Stevens Creek Blvd., #129
Cupertino, CA 95014 USA

Telephone: +1-408-831-3800
Fax: +1-408-831-3700

Asia Operations

Delivery Center 1
Plot 34 (Part), SEEPZ (SEZ),
Andheri (E),
Mumbai 400 096 India

Telephone:(+91)-22-2829-2381

 

Delivery Center 2
201, Wadala Udyog Bhavan,
Naigaum Cross Road,
Mumbai – 400 031 India

 

Delivery Center 3
First Floor, Unit No. E-3,
Western Industrial Co-operative Estate Limited, MIDC Marol
Opposite SEEPZ Gate No.1, Andheri(E)
Mumbai – 400 093 India

Top 10 Lead Generation ideas for your business

The good news: directly above this bucket are 10 faucets. We can call them “lead faucets.” The bad news: many Realtors don’t use them.

That’s unfortunate, because each lead faucet has powerful potential. And just a little tinkering can mean a steady gush of leads that will keep your bucket filled to the brim.

Let’s look at these 10 ‘faucets’ by Bob Corcoran and how to create a fire hose-strength flow on your lead gen campaigns.

1. Past clients—Vital because their referrals come with an implied endorsement of your services. Put past clients into two categories: A – Those who’ve given you referrals, and B – Those who haven’t given you referrals. Set a reminder system to stay in touch with each regularly with cards, calls, small gifts, etc.

2. Internet—A must if you plan to stay in business. Put your focus on responding to the site visitors. Can you respond in 15 minutes? If not, fix it so you can.

3. Interactive Voice Response (IVR)—The hotline numbers buyers can call to learn about properties. Again, ignore technology at your peril. (Incidentally, there are  people who landed 11,298 calls from their hotline number. Their secret? An irresistible call to action.)

4. Sphere of Influence (SOI)—The more you think about your SOI (basically your family, friends and acquaintances) the larger it gets. That “acquaintances” category, for example, should include everyone you’ve met. Think how you interact with those you meet casually—develop the effective 10-second “elevator” speech for them.

5. Signs—Revisit your signs. How can you make them more effective with more eye-catching color and contrast? Do they include an IVR hotline number?

6. Direct mail—It can be expensive, so find out what’s already being sent in the area you’re considering. The two keys here are differentiation—will your mailer stand out and will the offer and the call to action actually produce desired results?

7. Broadcast radio and TV ads—Yes, some may be too expensive. But don’t rule it out completely. Both radio and TV have massive reach and there are deals out there. The key is, if you do go with these mediums, use them regularly. Frequency beats reach—so don’t buy for just a one-shot deal.

8. Print ads—Give them a fresh and thorough inspection. What’s keeping them from really grabbing your target audience by the collar? Often, they lack contrast and that prevents them from being noticed in the first place. Don’t forget to add muscle to your call to action.

9. Prospecting—Absolutely essential. It’s one of just four real dollar-producing activities a Realtor can do. The trick is to schedule time everyday to do it—usually in the morning because it’s the most controllable time of the day.

10. Networking—Choose where you network carefully. There are literally thousands and thousands of groups out there. Be strategic by examining what potential business they bring to the table.

Social Network Ad Revenues to Reach $10 Billion Worldwide in 2013: Social Update

LinkedIn ad revenues at $140.8 million this year

While many a companies still believe Social Media is a fad, recent findings by eMarketer estimates that Worldwide social network ad revenues will reach $5.54 billion this year, with just under half that amount, $2.74 billion, coming from the US market.

Revenue growth is solidly in the double digits in the US, but even more rapid growth elsewhere will mean spending outside the country will account for a slightly greater share each year. By 2013, non-US revenues will make up 51.9% of the total, which will hit nearly $10 billion worldwide. In the US, social networks will make $4.81 billion from ads that year.

The report and findings by emarketer are listed below:

Social Network Ad Revenues Worldwide, 2009-2013 (billions and % change)

 

The bulk of these dollars, in the US and around the world, will go toFacebook, while a much smaller share will go to Twitter and other social networks. eMarketer’s first forecast of ad revenues for LinkedIn predicts the site will account for 3% of worldwide social network ad revenues this year, with $140.8 million. The site has more than tripled its ad dollars in two years, though growth is tapering off.

 

LinkedIn Ad Revenues Worldwide, 2009-2013 (millions and % change)

 

Gains in social network ad revenues mean these sites account for an ever greater share of all digital ad spending. This year, 8.8% of online ad dollars in the US and 6.9% worldwide will go to social networking sites, eMarketer estimates. By 2013, social network ad revenues will make up 11.7% of all online ad spending in the US and 9.4% around the world.

 

US Social Network Ad Revenues, 2009-2013 (billions and % of total US online ad spending)

 

eMarketer also forms its estimates of social network ad revenues based on a meta-analysis of estimates of consumer usage, marketer usage, ad pricing and impressions, as well as revenue estimates from research firms and other sources, and from interviews with industry executives. Whether you’re a marketer, a brand, sales executive or an investor; this data is something you speculate on.

Social Media Case Study- Diesel

Diesel Anniversary Sale

Category – Short term campaign

Background

Diesel, a cult fashion brand has been a global power house leading the way with breakthrough fashion trends for several decades.

Diesel has always created clutter-breaking communication across media – ATL, BTL, in-store, digital; with innovations extending to their video catalogues, crazy viral videos, ads, in-store communication (like Sex Sells), product promos (Kick Ass campaign for sneakers) etc.

Diesel set shop in India in April 2010 launching its first store in The Palladium, Pheonix Mills, Mumbai with a highly successful party which featured creative marketing devices and props to build hype around the brand as well as highlight the products effectively.

Diesel has quickly expanded to 7 stores pan-India in a year and built an ardent fan following and the premium brand is a ‘dream-have’ in every fashion lover’s wardrobe.

To celebrate their first anniversary in India, Diesel wanted to reach out to this target fan base through a campaign which would best capture the spirit of the brand.

Executive Summary

Diesel decided to celebrate the occasion in a special way – by inviting its employees to a special 3 days sale. While employees at Diesel usually enjoy a perk of 45% discount on purchases upto a maximum limit of Rs. 1 lac MRP, the anniversary sale allowed them to avail this discount on unlimited purchase. This gave the employees an opportunity to invite their near and dear ones to avail their share of discounts (A win-win situation for the brand with motivated employees and spike in sales). The 5-day digital activity plan drew a phenomenal number of 800 customers to the store over a period of 9 hours (spread over 3 evenings).

Stakeholders

The stakeholders were primarily the employees at Diesel – the hands and legs behind the brand’s success in India. Cool, young and fashion conscious people who are easily accessible and active on the digital space. With a wide network of online friends, they provided a favourable environment to spread the message and get other Diesel lovers to the store.

Objective/Challenge

To use a multitude of digital communication platforms to communicate with the employees and innovatively have them invite their friends and family to the sale. The main objectives were –

– To create an online platform that eases out the process of inviting

– To keep the employees motivated to participate and thus boost the footfalls at the store

– To create a tracking mechanism to check authenticity of the buyer availing the discount

Our Initiative –

Step 1: Creating the Hype

The process started by sending emails to all employees informing them about the sale and asking them to invite their friends and family. The email laid out clear instructions asking them to change their birthdays to 29th April in their profile and to paste the following message as their Facebook status-

‘Today is my birthday! Of course there is a party and it is at a Diesel Store near you. But the best part about the party are the return gifts. You will love me for this. Click here to join in. http://bit.ly/ftYhVm’.

This initiative also led to an internal competition – ‘Recruit more. Become the president.’ enticing every employee to get maximum participation from their Facebook friends.

Step 2: Access to Exclusivity

One key USP of Diesel has been the exclusivity of the brand. By introducing the concept of ‘stealing’ an invite, we wanted fans to feel that they have earned access to this offer, and therefore the recall/value attached to the invite would be greater. We implemented this through a link in the status message which directed the friend to a landing page where they could choose the name of the person from who they would like to steal the invite. On selecting the name, they would receive an email with a coupon carrying a unique code to maintain authenticity. The person would need to carry a print of this email or the coupon code to the store to avail discounts. The email would also help track the employee through which the person came to the store.

Step 3: Spreading the word

We wanted to provide a friendly fun way of incentivizing employees to spread the word around. We created a landing page which carried a leader board that tabulated the number of thefts under each employee. At the end of the activity, the top 10 employees with maximum thefts were rewarded by Diesel.

Impact – Outcome
The store witnessed nearly 800 footfalls over 9 hours. Each one of them came through a personal invitation that they received through email including a few others who were invited over phone. In a very short span of time and with very limited spends, the message was spread to a large number of people and the fun element was in-line with the true Diesel style of communication.

Learning
Most often, lifestyle brands that cherry pick the people who work at their stores, forget the power they bring to the table for the brand. Case in point, an Employee with a Diesel DNA is more likely to have friends with similar choices, making them the biggest fans and advocates of the brand. This is an insight most brands have overlooked or forgot to explore.

Biggest challenge in a campaign like this is to motivate employees to participate and make it a success. Half the job is done if the Employer/Employee relationship is already one of respect, trust and affection. A quarter depends on what’s in it for the employee for pitching in. The other quarter is the simplicity, ease & magic of execution of such an idea.

Reasoning
Digital Marketing, especially Social Media, and it’s use for branding, generating buzz and getting targeted eyeballs has already been proven. This campaign fetched high ROI with a phenomenal spike in the number of footfalls and sales. This is where internet, innovation & interaction meets ROI – a direct tracking to sales.

Social Media Update: Google Analytics Releases its Real Time Dashboard as Enterprise Tier and what it means for your Website

To be at par with the fast moving world of the Web, Google Analytics unveils the Google Analytics Real-Time, which will give you a real time up-to-the minute update on whatever is happening on your website and more.

The new metamorphosis of Google Analytics will be in the form of a set of new reports as against other players in the domain such as Chart-beat, which analyses how people are on your site and how much traction each article is generating. Prior to this upgrade, Google Analytics was reported, relatively slower with no real time tracking, by its users.

John Jersin from the Google Analytics Team confirmed, “We just turned the reports on for a number of you, and over the coming weeks, everyone will have access to Real-Time. If you can’t wait, sign up for early access here.” So if you really want to see what this upgrade can do for you, your business and your website, you know where to look.

This new Analytics promises to track the all-pervading impact of myriad social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and you can surf through the custom analytics query and its effects. All you will need to do is activate the ‘New Version’ in the Analytics. Along with this the add-on, Analytics team has emphasised on the premium tier for enterprises thus giving them more insight, data-points and better support as compared to the free service from Google. Support also ensures a high-end phone support, SLA guarantees and of course extended data limits.

NexSales at the Marketing Sherpa B2B Summit 2011: Day 1 overview

We’ve heard that a day spend both learning and having fun is a day well spent. This is exactly what we had in mind when we designed B2Bingo for the Marketing Sherpa B2B Summit 2011; a game you play with your phone or tablet as the speakers progress with their speeches to win exciting prizes. Day 1 of this game was intriguing as we witnessed people like: Julie Waite, Daniel Burstein, Michelle Loban, Tod Lebo, Paul Clowe and many others actively participating and tweeting to us.

Talking of Speakers, it was a wonderful experience for marketers to receive training from Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, Brian Carroll, Jeffrey Rice and Jen Doyle from the MECLABS team, as well as more than 20 B2B marketing experts who shared their experience and tested successes.

The B2B Summit 2011 was crafted to ensure that- every session, every speaker and every piece of content would help attendees in tangible ways to meet and exceed goals. Summit attendees, learned how to engage their ideal customer with relevant content, generate more high-quality leads, accelerate leads through the marketing/sales funnel, optimize their lead capture pages, successfully integrate social media in their leads program and much more.

This summit and its speakers exceeded the attendees’ expectations. Confirming this, Lynne Brash, Technology Evaluation Centers said, “This event exceeded my high expectations and is probably the most practical marketing event out there for those in the B2B space. Every session looked at issues everyone’s facing, and provided real examples and solutions. The challenge for any event attendee is to actually implement what you learn, but that was not a problem at B2B Summit. MarketingSherpa provided takeaways and action items from every session, to make sure that I could make real change when I returned to the office Monday morning. That is what made this event so special.”

If not for reviews, you can search twitter for #B2BSummit and witness the overflowing timeline for yourself. Brace yourself for Day 2 of the Marketing Sherpa B2B Summit 2011 and get ready to participate in B2Bingo round two. Tweet to us at @NexSales, under the hastag #B2Bingo for any queries and we will gladly assist you. Don’t forget to drop by at table 15 to collect your goodies. We’ll see you at the summit.

Social Media Case-Study- Tron Legacy

Tron Case Study

Agency: NexSales’s ‘Flarepath’

Background

Tron Legacy, a sequel of the internationally acclaimed sci-fi film Tron that released in the year 1982, hit the Indian screens in Dec 2010. Though Tron is a well known name globally, the Indian audience was unacquainted with this title and unfamiliar with the plot of the film. A need to build interest in the film was imperative to draw the audience to the theatres.

Executive Summary

The USP of Tron Legacy lay in the protagonists building their own army in the ’good vs evil’ fight.  Using this theme, the potential of Facebook was explored to spread the word and get people hooked to the premise of the film. Exceptional support from Twitter further strengthened the communication channel. A five week activity plan drew a phenomenal number of 6000 tags and over 8 lac eyeballs. (This activity was undertaken when the new terms of service over Facebook had not been issued)

Stakeholders

The sci-fi genre of films is not very well established in India and its appeal cuts across age and gender, so defining the exact audience was a challenge. The interest groups were categorized in 3 segments –

The Fanatics: These are followers of cult sci-fi classics, and are aware of Tron or have seen the 1982 original. We characterized this group as people who will be significantly participating in and keep abreast of  all developments related to their interest topics. They are likely part of the under-ground (unofficial) comic book/cult movie clubs. Though a small segment, they have a powerful reach, and can be classified as influencers/advocates.

The Fans: This group is mildly aware of Tron, and may not have watched the original. They are avid Hollywood fans, with strong liking and interest for movies with special effects and a comic/superhero theme. Typical movies that we categorized in this list would be Matrix, Star Trek, Avatar, Iron Man, Transformers, etc. We classified this group as easy adopters (due to allied interests) with a wider reach and value peer recognition.

The Don’t Knows: This group is the mass, multi-lingual audience who watch big blockbuster movies for the sheer thrill and action. They have Hollywood affinity in the Titanic, Jurrasic Park range. They generate a wider buzz.

Objective/Challenge

The primary objectives to be achieved included –

  • Creating buzz around the release of Tron: Legacy
  • Engaging fans and educating the mass (including the multi-lingual audiences)
  • Supporting on-ground promotions and activations

Our Initiative

In keeping with the spirit of Tron, we devised a simple idea of people building their own army to win a cool Tron t-shirt. We created a contest tab where people could express their like for a T-shirt design from a myriad collection of cool Tron posters and screen shots from the movie. One could build the army of people who liked the same picture by simply tagging their friends. The pictures would be shared on the profiles to draw further traction to the Tron India page. While the maximum tags allowed per picture were 50, every fan was allowed to choose any other unused picture from the image bank to create their unique army, with the same identity.

Twitter was extensively used to promote the contest and to redirect people to facebook. It was also used as a medium to gather feedback and testimonials

Impact/Outcome

Tron Preview Night ended up as the most discussed topic (was Trending) in Mumbai on Twitter for that day. In a short period of 5 weeks, The Tron India page crossed 12,834 fans on Facebook with over 463 followers on Twitter. The India page outperformed all other benchmarked international TRON FB pages. The estimated effective network reach achieved was ~8 lakh consumers. In response to this contest, 5304 people were tagged in the album with more than a 500% increase in fan following. The growth cycle of fans and the virality of the contest was organic.

On twitter, Tron was a Trending Topic in Mumbai where more than 40 users participated in the Tron movie contest and 3 Winners were announced.

The Optimized video was uploaded on 8 high PR Video Portals (Youtube, Metacafe and DailyMotion). It got more than 780 views on facebook.

Learnings

Campaign activation is a time consuming process and needs its fair share of time to attain promised targets. However the desired results can be achieved by building a small yet powerful community that is loyal and creates larger impact than having a community of just large numbers. Furthermore, it always helps to build Apps to engage Fans and to increase the repeat viewership of the page.

Another key learning during this campaign was that efforts must continue to keep the community alive for incremental benefits like promoting the release of the DVD in the community. This can be implemented through feedback and reviews, updates on the upcoming events and also by finding influencers to keep the community active.

Reasoning

Digital Marketing, especially Social Media, and it’s use for branding, generating buzz and getting targeted eyeballs has already been proven. This is Social Media 2.0  where Social Media and allied Digital methods become meaningful to business. This is where internet, innovation & interaction meets ROI – a direct tracking to sales.

Lead Generation and Lead Nurturing- Tips to help you make the most of your efforts

If a certain Mr Smith is busy searching for a solution, you generate interest but fail to follow up. How long before you’ve blown your window? He might be real excited right now, but how long does it take for the lustre to wear off and your lead to go elsewhere and begin to lose value? In brief, have you ever considered the shelf life of your lead?

‘As Soon As Possible’ should ideally be your watch word. But ASAP is definitely not the answer if it means that the mismatch between sales process and buying process timing has resulted in a funnel leakage and some delay.

You don’t want your telesales representatives to cold call and start with, ‘Oh yes, Hello Mr Smith, I’m calling about the survey you filled in recently….” where the recently turns out to mean 2002, if at all.

Here is the check list you want to consider before you cast your lead off and beyond repair:

1. Stay engaged and keep your lead engaged for if not now, there’s always a tomorrow:

Assuming your initial follow-up is quick enough to make your prospects feel important, I think as long as you engage your lead throughout their buying process there isn’t necessarily an expiration date going forward- unless the lead is not ready to buy just yet.

2. Nurture and qualify your leads:

Lead nurturing and qualification process with speed and thoroughness is inarguably essential. Customers sense the rest of the iceberg by the experience they encounter early on in engagement.

3. Keep your leads interested, step in their shoes:

When a prospect takes the time to reach out proactively (i.e. filling out a contact form), they are likely to appreciate rapid follow up. If you’re that prospect and someone gets in touch with you quickly, say within 30 minutes, you’re likely to feel important and think highly of the company that got back to you quickly.

4. Follow up before your lead loses interest in you:

If it’s been a week since you filled out the contact form and you’re just now hearing from someone, you probably are feeling a little ignored and wouldn’t be as interested in the company as you would otherwise. Don’t make your lead go through it.

5. Be aware that sometimes it’s out of your control:

After gauging their interest level it’s important to stay in the game throughout the sales cycle. And yet, prospect’s timing isn’t something you can alter – if it’s not right yet, educate. The key is to stay engaged with your leads so that when their timing is right, they’ll already have good rapport with your company and be more inclined to buy from you versus another vendor.

Content Marketing: What’s in a headline?

Most social media surveys claim that 80% of readers and viewers get drawn to headlines. If the previous fact left you baffled, statistics state that only 1% of the respondents said that they ignore headlines. We have no doubts about the importance of a headline complementing your content. If you still do, read more.

You may never underestimate the power of an impressive headline:

Headlines being critical to your success, you may want to ensure that you spend some time to formulate great headlines. Use these tips to formulate a good headline for your content:

–          Including a particular word in your headline, something which your article is based on can help improve your Google ranking

–          Generating curiosity towards your content and urging people to click through your headline should also be thought through. Example: a) Why 99% Of Diets Fail b) Who Else Wants To Fire Your Boss?

–          You can create headlines which stress the benefits of your content and emphasize what your readers, viewers and listeners get out of your content. Example: a) How To Get More Followers on Twitter b) 7 Insider Tips To Generate Traffic.

–          Creating a shocking headline can help generate the curiosity factor. Example: a) The naked Truth About Outsourcing b) How Network Marketers Drive Their Prospects Away

Headlines are subjective to content:

The key is to consistently work towards value added marketing. While filling your content with extreme value so that you are viewed as an expert in that area is equally important, one must keep in mind that, ‘The headline is as important as the content’.

Tips you can refer to while creating headlines:

–       Some great headlines use numbers like “3 Greatest Mistakes…”

–       The ‘Who Else’ approach is appealing as well. “Who Else Wants To…”

–       Many people are interested in learning “How To…”, so that headline will pull as well.

–       Also, “Why …” gets people thinking further.

–       At the same time, “Do You…” tends to create a curiosity.

–       Check out magazine covers for great headlines.

–       Surf websites and see what headlines attract you.

While all the above tips will help you to create great headlines, you may refer to this post which talks about ‘12 most popular headlines of all times’ for inspiration.

 

Data Quality: Root Causes of Data Quality Issues for most Companies

The reasons for bad data quality include fast changing business dynamics, systems management gaps, un-controlled application proliferation and people issues. Before one looks at how to improve data, its prudent to understand the root cause, or the events, which result in data quality deterioration or brings out the existing data quality issues.

Business Dynamics Change

•              Company expands to new markets.

•              Company purchases another company and consolidates varied set of disjoint applications. As the business integrations for acquired or merged businesses is bound by deadlines, many short-cuts are made to ‘make it happen’, while taking known or unknown risks to the Data quality.

•              External requirements are received like new regulatory report OR change in financial reporting by parent company. These urgent needs lead to manual work-around which if continued for long result in data quality issues.

TIP- The above examples are typical of an organizational event, which is the root-cause for data quality issues. Smart organizations will pro-actively have the processes related to data and BI strategy for events like Geographical Expansion, mergers and acquisitions. Deploy a certain band-width of an organization build these processes. The reason for this advance preparation is that when an event of acquisition, merger OR expansion happens, there is a tremendous time pressure.

Control OR De-control of Applications OR Databases

•              Due to cost-time issues with core applications, business units create their own set of local applications with OR without the knowledge of IT. These applications do not adhere to standards of data, data model OR interfaces.

•              Users sometimes copy the databases of the local applications into their desktops. Many a times, an application (which could be excel based OR on MS access) is running in different desktops with their own stand-alone versions. In this scenario, one looses control on versions as well as the standards.

•              Databases of these applications are not maintained by IT and therefore their back-ups and also their administration is not done leading to loss OR overwriting of data.

•              The applications, as they undergo organic development do not have a proper version. If wrong versions are placed (both application and database scripts), it leads to data issues.

•              Typically, de-controlled applications don’t use central metadata OR data model, their business rules and models could be mismatched and so could be their data.

Organizations have tried unsuccessfully to have all the business critical automation to be owned by IT. The business owned small-time applications keep on mushrooming as IT can never fulfill all the demands of business. Moreover business typically feels that small applications can be done more cheaply by them than by IT.

TIP- Both the extremes of fight or flight are risky to manage this root cause of data quality issues. IT somewhere needs to take the reality check that the small time business applications are inevitable. The idea should be to manage their road-map in way that they cause least disruption to the IT land-scape. The CIO can work with business to Inventorize, classify and road-map the business owned applications and take the prudent choices.

Application Evolution leading to Data Quality Issues

•              As an application evolves, its database also undergoes a design change. This leads to some new fields, where data for historical transactions is not recorded. This may not impact the transactions, , but can impact the management information.

•              As an application evolves, new business rules are created. Many a times those business rules are not applicable to historical transactions. This creates issues, when you are analyzing the information across current and future information.

System Work-Around

•              Sometimes due to a field not available, an alternate field is used, which leads to misinterpretation at a later stage, and the data is nearly lost after the initial set of users leave. For example- Data entry person entering the alternate address of the customer in ‘comments’ field.

TIP- Typically these kinds of fields are descriptive, and they have mainly reporting implications. They are not used for any kind of processing. Adding these fields in the database and in data entry forms (&screens) should not cost much. These kinds of data quality issues should be addressed ASAP due their low-cost and the data quality mess they can create.

Legacy Factor

•              As companies grow, they start building new systems on new architectures and data models. Many of these data structure and models don’t synch up with the old data lying in legacy/core systems.

•              The legacy system use data in a way it should not be used, the impact of which is felt, when creators and users leave the organization/function and whole lot of data becomes invisible OR incomprehensible. Apart from day to day work, it makes any system transition difficult.

TIP- Shrink-wrap your legacy applications, and build changes and enhancements in the next generation applications.

Process Dynamics factor:

•              An organization undergoes business re-engineering. As a result, the existing work-steps are demolished, new work steps and measures are introduced. As the work flow is changes, the additional information is needed and the new stand alone applications are created to fast track the change management. This makes your new processes out of synch with your application systems. By the time these changes are made in your application systems, you will have to manage the data which has been created in your work-around systems. One of the way to manage this data quality root-cause is to include IT representative, as you plan for business re-engineering initiatives.

Time Decay Data Quality issues

•              Personal Information: People move addresses OR they change their marital status.

•              People don’t fill-up the form and inform every time.

•              Value of the assets carried on the books changes in real life, , but not updated.

TIP- As for date instead of years to avoid time decay, Use data augmentation tricks to update the customer records given your time and effort constraints.

Lack of an ‘Idiot Proof’ system

•              It is impossible to make any system track all the data quality issues. The systems will slow down, if they do all possible validations and they cannot guard against the deliberate wrong data (which otherwise meet all the domain and standards validations).

Lack of common Data standards/Meta Data

•              Very few organizations have the standard methods to record an address OR name OR have the defined domains of the list of cities. There is no common data dictionary.

TIP- Organizations are scared and sceptical of build a single repository of metadata, due to some valid reasons. The more practical approach is to have metadata repositories (including the standards), and integrate them. Refer Metadata Architecture- Detailed scenarios

Deliberate Data Quality Mistakes by the providers of Information

•              Customers not giving the right information to safeguard their privacy.

•              People giving wrong information to get undue services.

•              Lack of stake for the providers to give right OR complete information. (Free mail registration, loyalty program cards etc.)

Data Entry issues

•              Careless mistakes by the Data entry operator.

•              Wrongly designed data entry forms, allowing illegibility.

•              System fields are designed to allow free forms OR are not in line with the data requirements (i.e., address field not having adequate length).

TIP- Try to put as many Input Controls as possible

Lack of business data ownership for Data Quality

•              There is lack of business ownership of the entire enterprise data OR its defined sections. Very few organizations have the role of head of Information/Data. For most organizations, firms and businesses, this is the most significant root-cause for data quality issues (and a solution as well); NexSales.

 

7 ways to keep your Sales Team motivated: B2B Sales Tips

Many managers mistakenly think that money is the prime motivator for their employees. However, according to surveys by several different companies, money is consistently ranked five or lower by most employees. So if money is not the best way to motivate your team, what is?

Employees’ three most important issues according to Kelly Robertson from FrugalMarketing.com are:

  • Respect
  • A sense of accomplishment
  • Recognition.Yes, money is important but it is not as critical as these other components. Taking these into consideration, let’s explore seven ways to keep your team motivated:

    1. Involve them:

    Many employees want to be involved in the ongoing development and progress of their company. Plus, they often have insightful ideas that can make a significant difference in the company. And when they are involved, they buy-in faster and resist less. This means you can implement the change(s) more quickly and easily.

    2. Communicate:

    Very few businesses can be accused of over-communicating. A frequent axiom in business is, “No news is good news.” However, employees want regular updates on the progress of the business and their personal performance. Use memos, email, telephone, and one-on-one and group meetings to keep your team apprised. Talk to your team members regularly, have lunch or coffee with them, Let them know if the business is on track.

    Tell them what challenges are currently being faced (they may have suggestions). It is also important that you give them feedback on their performance. If you have a concern with a specific component, tell them and give them the opportunity to correct their behavior. When I worked in the corporate world I was always surprised how many employees did not receive feedback of any kind pertaining to their performance.

    3. Celebrate individual and team performance:

    Catch people doing something right and focus on recognizing excellent performance.

    On an individual basis you can provide positive reinforcement, issue awards, use a corporate newsletter to highlight specific achievements. Send thank-you, birthday, and anniversary cards as well as congratulatory notes. Make personal phone calls, and send emails. Better yet, if you work in a large organization, have a senior executive send the email or make the call.

    To recognize team efforts, post performance charts on the wall or throw an impromptu get-together., Treat them to lunch or a pizza party, post team pictures on your Intranet and in their work environment or give them plaques, certificates, coffee mugs, etc.

    Ultimately, the more of these approaches you incorporate into your motivation strategy, the more energized your team will become. Make it a point to recognize someone everyday.

    4. Set challenging goals:

    Experience has taught us that people strive to achieve what is expected of them. If you set challenging goals your team will work hard to accomplish them, providing of course, they are realistically attainable. It is amazing what people can accomplish when they are given the opportunity to perform. Communicate these goals and keep your team informed on the company’s progress.

    5. Give them the tools to succeed:

    No team will stay motivated if they do not have the necessary tools required to do their job. This includes; equipment, internal support, inventory, marketing materials, training, etc. Simple things annoy people. Many years ago I worked in a restaurant where the owner refused to give the servers trays to carry drinks because he thought it was an unnecessary expense. Frustration ran high when servers had to make more trips to and from the bar.

    6. Manage poor performance:

    Your team expects you to manage individuals who do not perform to standard or contribute fully to the efforts of the team. However, many managers ignore poor performance because they are afraid of the potential conflict. Instead, they hope that the situation will resolve itself. It never does and this “blind” approach affects profitability, causes higher turnover, and contributes to low morale in the workplace. While poor performance and conflict are seldom enjoyable to deal with, you have a responsibility to your team and the company to manage it. Here is the B.E.S.T. method of dealing with these situations:

    Begin with the situation. “Pat, when we receive a shipment and you expect the others to put it away…”

    Express the result. “…it causes friction because everyone is expected to pitch in.”

    State the desired change. “In the future I expect you to cooperate with the rest of the group to ensure that the shipment is stored quickly. This means I want you to stop whatever you are working on and help put away the stock.”

    Tell them the consequence. “If you don’t contribute to this task I may be forced to take additional action.”

    7. Lead by example:

    If you want your team to treat each other with and dignity, you need to set the tone. If you expect them to be motivated and enthusiastic it is critical that you behave in this manner. As an owner, manager or business leader, your team looks to you for direction and guidance.

  • How to get started with building an Email List yourself: Email Marketing Tactics

    Building your email list should be one of your top most critical marketing goals. Every goal needs planning and strategizing. Here are a few tips and best practices for the some of the businesses that still haven’t built an email list of subscribers that can help them with their long term marketing efforts.

    So, what are some of the key tactics that can help you build that valuable email list?

    • Understand your who you want to attract (target market) – Like every other marketing activity you plan to do, you must understand who you are trying to attract and why.
    • Use an email marketing service – There are two major reasons for this. First, you will get more subscribers if you indicate that you are using a service because it means they can unsubscribe safely when they want to.
    • Make sure your sign up form is very visible and on every page – Make your sign up form easy to find by putting your sign up form at the top of your left or right sidebars. Don’t just have it on a separate page that I have to consciously find. Eg: WordPress makes it easy to do with widgets. Drop your form in a text widget and you are ready to roll.
    • Put your sign up form on your Facebook Business Page – Add your sign up form to your landing tab on your Facebook Page to encourage new fans to sign up as well as like your Facebook page.
    • Make the form simple – If you’re trying to build an opt-in, permission based email list, you only need the email address. I like to personalize my emails, so I also ask for their first and last names, which I find most gladly provide. But don’t ask for what you don’t need. Less is more in email list building tactics.
    • Don’t be overly aggressive in how you encourage people to sign up – Pop up sign up forms do increase sign up rates, but if you don’t like them, don’t thrust them onto your visitors.
    • Build trust with a visible privacy policy – If you collect personal information on your website, make sure you have a policy that tells people what you do with that information. Between a solid policy and an email service, you should gain your visitors’ trust.
    • Put your past email newsletters on your website – That valuable information that you provide in your monthly newsletter should be archived on your website to encourage new visitors to subscribe if they like what they see.
    • Create an offer they can’t refuse – Knowing your target market helps you develop the content you need to attract them to you and then provide you with a valuable asset: their email address.

      While the above clearly state the importance of appropriate strategizing but as marketers you should understand your market thoroughly and whether these techniques will work or hurt you more than help you.

    When you have built an email list from the ground up with people who are interested in what you have to offer, you can then provide them with information, offers, events, news and other types of activities that they will find helpful. Remember that it is a privilege that they gave you something as valuable as their email address. Once you have their permission, do not abuse it.

    Now that you have a qualified list, what do you do now? That’s for the next post. Watch this space as you build your email list simultaneously.

    Reaching the Decision Makers- Top most B2B Priority and Challenge- Best Practices and Tips

    According to David Kirkpatrick, “When anything from cold call sales all the way to reaching out to customers — the gatekeeper. That’s the person somewhere along the trail of that phone call takes that simply says, “No, you cannot speak with that person.””

    He makes much sense here. Whether you have a teleprospecting team making these nurturing calls for you or it is the CEO speaking to your most valued customer/business prospect, you must make sure that you have more than just a great script to go all the way.

    ‘Reaching the decision makers’ has supposedly been the greatest B2B challenge for cold calling telesales-representatives and lead nurturing teams for a long time. Yet again, we compile quotes, tips and tactics from Industry experts as they let us in on their valued tricks to these decision makers efficiently, if not effortlessly.

    –          “Make sure your call has a value beyond what you’re selling.” – Brandon Stamschror, Senior Director of Operations for the Leads Group, MECLABS

    –          “Although cold calling should be honest, there are subtle ways to do it. Listen, interpret, inform, educate, even coordinate, but do not sell.”- BusinessBalls.com, Cold Calling Techniques

    –          “Remember that the gatekeepers are your allies, not your foes.” –Susan Ward, About.Com

    –          “Transmit Seniority. For one, senior level executives get put through without getting beaten up by the gatekeepers. Secondly, gatekeepers, for the fear of being sacked for being rude to such executives don’t usually mistake them to be sales callers.” –Gavin Ingham, Independent Motivation Speaker

    –          “Keep in touch, keep notes and maintain the ultimate ownership of your business contact for every big sale was made on a B2B relationship between the buyer and the seller.” –Sean Pheat, Managing Director of MTD Sales Blog

    How much is too much? – Representing a brand on Social Platforms

    As content managers or community managers, it’s important to examine how we define content as “fresh” and “important”. Is all of our content fresh and important to every one of our Twitter followers? If not, just push it out because it’s new and important to you. People must perceive value before they pay attention to your tweets/status/email/mail/voice. Status updates are no more special than any other communication; they’re just in a different format. Representing a brand on twitter is different from managing your own accounts.

    The key is to limit your communications to a few good status updates per day, and find a different venue for the rest of your updates. Maybe create a few Twitter accounts targeted at niche audiences that will perceive value in content especially tailored to them or even direct your audience towards fan-pages your brand motto passionately stands for.

    While content is given much importance, a lot depends on what your company deems as “important” and it also depends on the nature of your business, the market sector you’re in, etc. If you’re saying you have a multitude of daily “important” content to update, then it may require an assessment of how important they really are and how often do you think it is important for your consumers and prospect to be recalled with.

    Things that are important at the beginning of the social media efforts (when you’re first trying to populate your profiles with content) may not be considered important and relevant when repeated 2 or 3 months down the road. Some companies like to tweet news articles from other websites that do not refer to them in any way. This is a good example of content that is not particularly relevant to your company, because unless the news article mentions your firm, then it’s not worthy of being tweeted or updated on Facebook/LinkedIn Company profiles/pages.

    Again, it is important to understand that not all platforms work similarly. While on twitter, when you have something to say to reply to or a comment on whatever reactions you come across, it’s crucial to actively be part of the conversation without much delay.  Whereas in Facebook or LinkedIn, you can allow a delay and it can be checked once or twice a day. In these mediums it’s ok to reply to a question or comment a few hours or a day later, it’s not as dynamic. Post if something needs to be said, and don’t do so more than once a day.

    Always remember that, there is a difference in being ‘fresh’ and telling the world what you had for lunch. Unless you think everyone would be enriched by your status, keeping it to yourself is the wise thing to do. Once you stop being interesting, you’re going face ignorance and that gets worse than not being on Social Media.

    4 Email Marketing areas you can’t afford to overlook

    So many people who use email marketing make a mistake of believing that all types of email marketing are effective.  This can’t be further away from the real truth. Many business owners make mistakes in choosing incompatible marketing methods.  This can lead them to making mistakes such as not being well prepared for an increase in customers after successful email marketing, releasing promotional materials that can be deemed as spam, not replying to customer inquiries e.t.c

    Spam

    You can make email marketing mistakes that can lead to your email being translated into spam; this can lead your emails to be deleted automatically, filtered into the spam folder in the user’s email account and never read by the recipient.  To avoid this, it’s important that you structure your emails in such a way that any emails you send out contain useful content and not just promotions and advertising.

    Not following up with emails

    It’s important to make time for any inquiries or questions that you may have from customers.  Your customers need to know that there is someone behind the computer screen that cares about what they have in mind.  How do you expect to have sales, when you haven’t established a presence?

    Not enough anticipation

    It’s important that business people prepare themselves to accommodate any increase in demand for their products and services.  Any future customers you may have that will have to wait as you replenish your products or services can easily seek and find your competitors that happen to be better prepared to immediately provide their products or services.

    Not properly tailoring a campaign

    It’s essential to design and implement an email marketing campaign that meets a specific target audience. Many people believe that they will achieve greater results if they target a much larger audience than just concentrating on reaching a narrower and focused niche; this generates fewer leads than just targeting a specific niche.  Success in email marketing consists of tailoring an email message that will be well received by members of your target audience.

    Content Marketing Study: Using Twitter to boost your B2B social media marketing message

    We share 27 million pieces of content every day, a new study says, and that number is increasing everyday. But what types of content are consumers more likely to share? It’s a question top-of-mind for big brands and organizations investing in social media outreach. Here’s a hint.

    For starters, content that is industry-specific is twice as likely to be shared as general information. That’s good news for B2B marketers. No surprise there. The more relevant the detail, the more likely it will be passed around from friend to friend, and co-worker to co-worker. This interesting research by AOL and Nielsen also points out where the sharing is happening. Hint, hint. Twitter is tops for industry-specific information sharing.

    Aol & Nielsen content sharing study