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Sep 21, 2012
With the increasing competition in the market, businesses have been forced to take drastic steps to ensure that their sales are on the increase. One of these steps is to create a sales-focused call centre. One of the successful companies used to view the call centre as an increased cost because of the number of work stations, equipment and employees needed for the work. In a bid to cut costs and increase sales, it suggested that the call agents suggest some products to the customers. In doing so, they turned the call centre into a sales centre with effective results.
In order to replicate the same in a company, the owners need a number of tips to help them.
Service level should be good
Before the agents start up-selling the additional products, it is crucial that they answer the customers’ inquiry in a timely way. Without answering the inquiry, the agents will forfeit their chance to sell the product.
The main thing to remember is that the customers want to find an answer to their inquiry and ignoring this would dampen the service provision and impede the transformation of the service centre into a sales centre.
Create a Service and Sales Mindset
If the agents are still working with a service only mindset, the dreams of a sales centre will not be achieved. For this reason, the company should create a sales mind set within the call centre culture in order to benefit from the change.
Hiring and training agents
In creating a sales focused centre, it is crucial for the company to have the right agents. One of the ways of doing this is to hire agents that are focused on both services and sales. Aside from that, the company can also train the existing service agents on sales skills so that the centre and the company as a whole can succeed.
Training Team Managers
Since coaching is a priority in creating a sales-focused centre, it is crucial for the team managers to be trained on the same.
The coaching on call centre sales is different from the call quality coaching thus the need for training. Aside from that, the team managers should also be given enough time to coach.
Clear sales targets are crucial
Setting a clear sale target will help in motivating the agents in making the best out of their work. The company should endeavour to communicate these sales targets to the team at all times.
Balance between sales and call quality
The balance between the quality of calls and the sales result is crucial and this stems from a well trained agent.Evaluation
In order to access progress, it is important for the company to be carrying out evaluations.Connect to the bigger picture
It is important for the company to inform the managers and agents the importance of the sales to the business. Educating them about the business and how the departments are interconnected will help in making a difference.
Recognising the input of individual and team is crucial to making a difference in the company because it helps in motivating the agents and managers.
Article inspired by Stelar BPO , Global Experts in contact centre solutions.
Sep 13, 2012
Timepieces were one of the first luxury items that fashionable men collected as a sign of status. Of course, they did have a practical purpose, but for more than three centuries, an ornate pocket watch was the easiest way to spot a gentleman. In the end, however, practicality won out. The wrist watch all but replaced the pocket watch during the First World War, because pocket watches couldn’t survive in the trenches.
Though they were considered undignified and even unmanly, the accessibility and convenience of the wristwatch was undeniable, especially when three-piece suits became less fashionable.You see, these suits had a vest pocket that was specifically designed to hold a pocket watch. But when they went out of style, men had to carry them in their pants pockets, which was uncomfortable and a bit undignified. In the end, most men followed the trend and purchased wrist watches.
Fortunately, wristwatches became more stylish after the war. Much like the pocket watches of old, most of them were designed by expert horologists as luxury items for gentlemen. The wristwatch would remain out of the grasp of the common man until the Quartz Revolution of the 1970s. These inexpensive electronic watches nearly replaced the traditional automatic watch.Like most new technologies, these new watches had their pros and cons. The fact that they were affordable and accurate was their main selling point. On the con side, quartz watches were cheap, in some cases nearly disposable.
By comparison, an old-fashioned automatic watch can last for decades and can be passed on from father to son. When it comes to choosing a modern watch for your guy, there are several things to consider. First and most importantly, you should know what kind of watch he needs. Most men have at least two watches these days: one for work and one for play. The one for work typically has a leather or metal band and is more stylish, while the one for sport or the outdoors often has a rubber band and is water resistant. We have chosen six timepieces (three for work and three for recreation) that will last.
Tissot Sport V8 Chronograph
For men who actual enjoy the heft of a quality timepiece, the Tissot Sport V8 Chronograph fits the bill. At an incredible two pounds, the wearer will get a workout every time he checks the time. But the Tissot offers more than mere pounds. It is a bit of a hybrid when it comes to environment. While it is a sport watch that offers scratch resistant sapphire and water resistance up to 100 meters, the timepiece is also quite stylish. It has a brown leather strap, a calendar window, and a tachymeter. In short, it can be worn at the office.
The Capital from Nixon
Designed for the boardroom, the Capital by Nixon has a sleek, classic look. It is analogue watch, which means there are no numbers. The stainless steel strap and case convey confidence and seriousness. The Capital is not a watch that was designed for the outdoors. Although it is water resistant up to 30 meters, we wouldn’t recommend taking it on a rafting trip.
Fossil Leather Chronograph
For more than a quarter of a century, Fossil has been offering affordable dress watches for less. While it will never be mistaken, the handsome Leather Chronograph men’s watch from Fossil has a stainless steel case, a brown leather strap, date window, and hour indices.Though not as durable as an automatic, Fossil has confidence in its Quartz movement and offers an impressive 11-year warranty.
Kenneth Cole New York KC1491
Leave it to a young designer from Brooklyn, New York to create a watch that is a perfect admixture of contemporary fashion and old-world craftsmanship. The New York KC1491 is one of the few automatic watches we have seen that was made for the outdoors. Water resistant up to 330 feet, the timepiece meets the rigorous standards of a professional diving watch. Its automatic movement assures decades of accurate timekeeping and the scratch resistant mineral crystal watch face can stand up to almost anything.
Nautica Stainless Steel Watch
With a name like Nautica, it had to be a sport watch. The Nautica Stainless Steel watch for men was designed for sport. In particular, it was made to measure time over distance. The tachymeter scale on the outside of the dial can be used to record your time in the mile or how long it took you to complete ten laps. The strap is rubber and the hour hands are luminous, so you can see them in the dark. Water resistance of up to 330 feet is suitable for swimming and shallow diving.
Swiss Army Cavalry
If you’re looking for a simple, professional-looking watch that can be worn at the office or even on more casual occasions, the Swiss Army men’s Cavalry leather watch may be right for you. With a classic design, easy to read numbers, and a date window, it straddles the line between simplicity and sophistication.What have we learned about the modern watch today? Well, we’ve discovered that although they have gone from the pocket to the wrist, design and craftsmanship is no less important now than it was in the 16th century. We also learned that the modern man should have at least two watches-one for work and one for play.
Cleanline Surf has been your online Nixon watch dealer since 1998 and they ship for free with no tax.
Jul 30, 2012
Managing your finances in today’s economic climate can be an imposing task at times. Even if you are disciplined at saving money, there may come a time when you wonder just how far your paycheck will go. What if you have an emergency that warrants a need for unbudgeted funds? What happens when you have to pay unexpected medical bills or make mandatory home repairs? Here are three options you might want to consider.
Home Equity Loan
If you own a home and it is worth more money than you owe on the mortgage, you may be able to get a home equity loan. A home equity loan, or line of credit, can supplement the money you need for unplanned expenses such as medical bills or a new furnace. With this type of loan, you will be borrowing against the equity that you have accumulated in your home to pay for more urgent financial obligations. In return, you will make a monthly payment to the bank or lender for several years. One advantage of using a home equity loan is that the interest you pay on the loan is tax-deductible. In order to qualify for a home equity loan, you need a decent credit score and proof of a regular, steady income.
Auto Title Loan
If you live in Texas,or one of the other 16 states where it is legal, considering the option of a Texas car title loan is another way to get cash quickly. These types of short-term loans are easy to qualify for, as they do not require a credit check or proof of regular income. According to the loan experts at TitleMasters, the only thing you need to qualify for a title loan is a paid-off vehicle, the accompanying documentation and about an hour of your time.
The lender will base the loan amount on the value of your car and will write you a check for a percentage of the car’s value, up to $7,500. A benefit of obtaining one of these Texas auto title loans as a means of generating extra cash is that you still get to drive your vehicle. Essentially, you are using your car as collateral to borrow money. Once you have completed your scheduled payments to the lender, you are free and clear of the loan, you still own your car, and you are able to use the cash for your unexpected expenses.
As a third option, if you have a regular, steady income you may be able to qualify for a cash advance. With this type of arrangement, you work with a lender to borrow against your next paycheck. The lender gives you money, and then you pay it back the next time you get paid. Cash advances, also known as payday loans, vary from state to state, so you will want to research the options where you live. In some cases, you may even be able to ask your employer for a cash advance against your forthcoming paycheck.
We are all aware that life can throw us curveballs, many of them in the form of financial difficulties. The three options discussed above are just a few of the many ideas for earning cash quickly when you encounter unforeseen circumstances. The next time you find yourself in a panic, wondering how you will pay your bills or get caught up with some much-needed home repairs, take a deep breath, close your eyes and think outside the box. Remember, financial stress is temporary and can be remedied in more ways than you have probably yet to consider.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/5437288053/
Small business owner and writer, Karla M. Somers is a contributing author for the Texas lending team at TitleMasters. The loan professionals of TitleMasters help residents of Texas and Georgia find solutions to their unexpected financial challenges.
Jul 30, 2012
The principal object of buying insurance policies for your business is transferring risk. And risks, remember are unpredictable and come at the most inopportune time. Whether you own a small business or run a large corporation-like business, risk coverage is a must. One costly mistake or accident is all it takes to ruin the entire business you have so painstakingly built over the years. When you think about insuring your business the first risk that owners perceive is theft to property, then comes injuries (and possible death in case of hazardous industries) to workers and finally product liabilities. The last one can be really debilitating and instances of corporations losing millions of dollars in stock value are not uncommon.
An all comprehensive risk coverage policy will be an ideal way to protect your business, but they can cost you the sky. Such enormous outgo in revenue can be very crippling unless your profits are big enough. But not always everyone will be in an ideal situation to get an all comprehensive coverage. In fact most businesses balance the cost of buying policies against potential threat perceptions. There are scores of insurance companies that sell plans after plans and not all will suit every business, especially those for smaller companies. Here are some tips to choose the right insurance plan for your business.
- Even before you select the plan choose your insurance company wisely. Insurance companies can be tough to deal with when you want a claim settled. Queries after queries can be very frustrating. Remember they will not be ideally accommodating. So look at their claim settlement record. If they have a record of prompt response that is a good sign to consider their plan portfolio.
- While a standard policy may cover a wide range of risks, it is always prudent to ask the company to design a special package for you. If the insurer is willing to do that, the next step is to ask for a quote and an option to renew for a couple of years. That will ensure you don’t overrun your company’s budget.
- Paying the entire cost of policy can be too daunting even for established businesses. Negotiate a payment plan. Most often insurance companies have quarterly/half yearly schedules. Annual payments can be considered if you get substantial discounts. Weigh them against potential interest costs and then take a decision.
Most companies have insurance advisors and they help you process your papers on time. The small fee that they will make when they turn in a customer is often paid by the insurance company. That is good news for you.
This is a guest post by Mark Dwayne of timewarnercable.wedocable.com, a site that offers savings and current information on time warner cable internet deals, as well as timewarnercable.com services.
Jul 5, 2012
Europe remained firmly in the spotlight at the start of this week as attention begins to focus on the EU Summit due to be held on Thursday and Friday. Investors are naturally concerned however that nothing of substance will come of the meeting – where it is also suspected that a €130Bn economic programme will be put in place – yet another cause for concern for the fear that it will ultimately be another failed attempt to fix the on-going issues. We are likely to see more pressure placed on Germany to take action to resolve the problems as well. Overnight, we saw Spain’s issues deepen with 28 of its banks downgraded by rating’s agency, Moody’s, thanks to the sovereign debt crises, and Cyprus became another casualty as its rating was downgraded to ‘Junk’ by rating’s agency, Fitch.
From the UK today, we are due to see Mervyn King, BoE governor, speak at the treasury select committee. Recent UK data also highlighted the net borrowing was higher in May at £15.58Bn – markedly different from the expected £14.25Bn. however, Sterling did not move much at this news. If things don’t go well at the EU summit at the end of the week, expect to see the pound and US dollar benefit as something of safe-haven currencies.
In the US, concern for European problems has been to the benefit of the Greenback. The Fed’s decision to extend Operation Twist only injected limited support into the markets – Europe is going to dominate shortly. What is almost a certainty, though, is that is things go wrong for the Euro area, the Greenback is going to be something of an attractive prospect for currency exchange investors. The US has also seen some good news domestically, with new home sales coming in higher than expected at an increase of 7.9% for May – the highest rate since April 2010.
Jun 25, 2012
When running a small- to medium-sized business, efficiency is everything. Budgets can be extremely tight while you’re doing everything possible to move your business out of the red and into the black. Because the owners and administrators of these businesses often wear many different hats in the company, it can be difficult to keep on top of everything that needs to be managed to ensure that company is successful.
Fortunately, recent improvements in business intelligence software have made it easier for business owners and managements to see exactly how well their organization is performing. This new technology is often referred to as a business dashboard or business scoreboard.
Just like in a car or airplane, the purpose of a dashboard is to give an at-a-glance view of performance and efficiency. Similarly, business intelligence dashboards serve the same purpose by giving an at-a-glance view of how the business is performing according to various key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs vary by business, but are generally used to gauge success in any particular business activity, whether quantitative, directional, financial, actionable, or practical. Some examples of KPIs could be the number of new customers acquired, profits, revenues, turnover, customer attrition, etc.
Business intelligence dashboards started being developed in the 1980′s and were known as Executive Information Systems. However, because computers obviously weren’t as advanced as they are today, there were issues with data refreshing and interfacing. With advances in computer graphics and real-time connections, business dashboards are more advanced now than they’ve ever been.
Business dashboards are a great and fairly inexpensive way to ensure that business management and administration are all aware of business performance. There are a variety of different providers that offer various forms of business dashboard software. When searching for the right interface for your business, keep in mind that you should find one that is simple, minimizes distractions, is includes the most meaningful and useful data for your business.
Many start up businesses fail because there is a lack of organization and cohesiveness with overall business goals and an understanding of how the business is able to reach those goals. Using business dashboard software can help ensure that everyone on your administrative team knows how well your company is performing, and therefore can better develop better goals for business growth.
Jun 25, 2012
This is a guest post by Immanuel from Business Recovery who offer a range of business turnaround solutions.
The last thing you need in a time like this is another (well-meaning) know-it-all telling you that we are in a recession. Yes we know all that; we’re living in the chaos, we watch the news and we know that things are bad! What you do need is someone telling you that all isn’t lost, and business recovery is not a myth. There have been reports of companies going into administration, but there have also been reports of companies making record profit, growing industries and strengthening consumer confidence. The question now is what are you going to do about it?
Here are some tips that will help you on your road to Business Recovery.
- Re-brand, Re-strategize and Re-assure. With every recession, the first thing to go out the window is hope. With that hope goes consumer spending, changing spending patterns and a lot of cash. To get your business back on track you need to re-assure your consumers that you are still making products of high quality and at competitive prices. To accomplish this you would need to re-strategize and maybe even re-brand your company. How many people do you think still want to bank with Northern Rock? Even if they become the most profitable bank, there would still be a lot of healthy scepticism. But the moment you add Virgin Money to their name, it paints a different – a slightly more optimistic picture. If your company upset a lot of customers during the recession, this would be a good time to re-invent yourself.
- Maximize efficiency. Contrary to popular belief, not every company suffered during the recession. The key is efficiency. How much money are you spending and where? Is it yielding profits or are you just throwing money out the window? To reduce expenditure a lot of companies opted to fire a lot of staff, while others chose to maintain the work force and take a decrease in income. Look at the areas where your spending is unfruitful and trim the excess weight. This sounds simple enough, but you would be surprised at the number of businesses still renting expensive leasing space for example, when their customers don’t even care where the company is located!
- DIY for dummies works wonders. Paying another company to do your landscaping when you can go on YouTube and learn how to do it yourself might not be the best business sense if you are on a tight leash. Same goes for painting your workshop, and try using a plunger before you call out the plumber at peak times! These businesses charge hundreds of pound for a service you can learn to do on your own, or even pay for one of your staff to learn and presto, money saved.
- Spy on the prize winners. The reason the German auto industry has been so effective is simple – they don’t waste time learning from scratch what someone else already knows how to do! Keep an eye out on the competition. What changes are they making? Is it working? Learn from their mistakes and learn from their successes. If their marketing strategy is working wonders then find out what the secret is (without breaking into their premises of course) and make it work for you. German auto-makers would buy a car model from their competitors, break it down, and reverse engineer it. In doing so they save millions on research and development. How is that for good business!
- The government is your friend. When businesses lose out, the government loses out, and they really don’t like doing that! There are various schemes set-up to assist small businesses struggling for investments. If the banks won’t lend to you or they are being a pain in the neck, try a government programme such as Community Development Finance Institutions (CFDIs). Your local government could also help with free publicity for example, if you are able to persuade them that your business is worth it.
All in all, there is so much you can do to get your business out of debt, out of the red and back into profit, but it all starts with you.
Jun 25, 2012
Mobile devices present a challenge for companies that encourage the use of personal devices for work purposes and for the companies that don’t.
With the new trend of BYOD (that’s bring your own device for all of you left out of the loop) how do employers implement a policy that embraces employees using the devices they feel comfortable with and ensuring that valuable data is not lost between all the computers, laptops and tablets?
For anyone that has to go between using a PC at work and a Mac at home (or the other way round) will understand the frustrations of trying to be simultaneously proficient in both. By allowing employees to use the devices and applications of their choosing it increases productivity through familiarity.
You’ll probably find that most of your employees are already accessing company data on their personal devices in the form of checking and even sending a few emails via their personal laptop or smartphone. Therefore it is only wise that you start having an open discussion about the technology employee’s uses and the best ways to protect valuable company data. An open discussion is the first step in implementing an effective technology policy in the workplace.
The financial industry is not one to be left behind and asset managers are keen to jump on the mobile technology bandwagon using everything from Blackberries and Androids to iPhones and iPads. Think about all the valuable data on hedge funds, stocks and clients information that is shared amongst these devices.
How is this valuable company data protected? For sensitive information to be protected asset managers need a robust CRM software platform that provides mobile integration, security and fulfils management requirements. By implementing hedge fund CRM across all devices (company owned and employee owned) employers can be assured that employees are using software that will ensure the information is both protected and easily shared amongst employees.
Companies that acknowledge the use of personal devices for work purposes have a better chance of protecting themselves against loss of data and valuable client information.
The author of this post write for Digiterre, providers of hedge fund CRM software in the US and UK.
Jun 22, 2012
Notarizing legal agreements, like a power of attorney or a contract, is a process in which a notary public affixes his or her notary seal as proof that the facts therein are accurate. Although, having your legal agreements notarized doesn’t make it legal, the notary seal only ensures that the signatures on the agreements are indeed signed by the parties whose names appear on the documents.
To reiterate, the notaries public only notarize signatures, not the legal agreement itself. Before, the law required that all types of contracts to have notary seals. Documents that are frequently notarized includes contracts, powers of attorney, agreements, and deeds.
However, when your legal agreements are notarized by a notary public, it gives the document a legal protection of authenticity with respect to rules of evidence. In court, the notarized signature establishes or proves that you are indeed the person signing the official document. A notary public also witnesses that you have signed the document without force or under any duress. In documents like affidavits and applications, the notary public has to requests all signers to swear an oath to the accuracy of the signed document’s contents. Aside from protecting you in court, having your signature notarized on your legal agreements will potentially save you money.
When your signature is notarized, the notary public protects you as a signer. Each time someone requests a notarization, he or she is required to submit a proof of identification. Thus, when you need to prove a signature on a signed legal agreement, the notarized signature already backs your claims. For instance, in a contract dispute, it can protect you from an accusation of forgery from someone who signed the contract in front of a notary public.
In summary, having your legal agreements notarized gives you that added protection every time someone is going to contests the validity of a signature in a legal proceeding. So the next time you signed a legal agreement, do it in front of a notary public. You can start looking in your Secretary of State’s website, or you can use free notary directories like FindNotary, for a notary public to notarized your signature.
Jun 22, 2012
Starting a small business takes time and a lot of attention. Usually the entrepreneur will spend countless hours and resources going over detailed plans before the business starts up. Future business owners know that there are resources that are available for them to use. Some of the resources are designed to help organize and structure the work flow process while others are designed to train people on how to build a solid sales foundation. There is one resource that often goes unnoticed by business owners and that is the online banking option provided by banks and credit unions.
How Banks and Credit Unions Benefit Business Owners
Whether you use a bank or a credit union for your company’s financial needs is up to you. There are benefits that are offered by each type of financial institution that your company can use to benefit itself. The different types of services offered by banks and credit unions help owners in a variety of ways.
- The services help save you time.
- They can offer assistance with money related issues.
- They can help work out financial details.
- They can help lower the amount of stress that is associated with running a business.
- You can access your accounts from just about anywhere the internet is offered.
Banking online just makes sense. It allows owners all over the world to concentrate more on their business and less on the details of administration. Company owners will do well to explore the option of taking care of business over the internet.
How a Business can Maximize the Services offered by Banks and Credit Unions
It is one thing to know about the services offered by financial centers and it’s another to know how to use them. If you are going to take advantage of the great services offered online, you will need to know some more details about how the process works. You will also need to know some things to help them work to your advantage.
One service that is offered by banks and credit unions is that of payroll. The payroll option allows you the freedom to submit the information needed pay your employees. The banks can then pay through direct deposit or print off the checks for your employees. This option will save you valuable time since you will not have to figure and detail out the payroll process. To enhance the payroll option, consider having each employee use the direct deposit option so there is less paperwork.
Budgeting is always a major headache for every company. No matter how much you plan for finances there is usually some kind of issue that will exceed the budget. Of course, there is also the constant tracking of finances that takes a lot of time. Banking online can help you setup a realistic budget and will help make tracking the expenses a lot easier. The tip to remember is use the correct description when logging expenses so the bank knows what part of the budget to expense the money from.
If you have had your small business for any length of time, then you may have had to seek out a small loan in order to renovate or expand into another location. Banks and credit unions like to loan money to companies seeking to expand their services. It is best to seek a loan from the bank that you use on a regular basis first. Over time you will have built up a relationship with your bank. You are more likely to get a loan in a tight economy with your own bank than from one that does not know your history of success.
Paying bills online is a great asset to have for your business. It gives you the freedom of mind knowing that your bills are scheduled to be paid on time every time. When setting up the bill pay option be sure to set the due date a couple of days before it is actually due. This way there is no chance for a delay of payment with some companies. Once in awhile a payment will be held up and posted to the next day depending on when it was received. By setting the date ahead a few days there is no chance of a late payment.