The Art of Experimenting and the Need for Business Acumen Skills

By Robert Brodo | May 22, 2019 6:52:39 AM

Greetings from the ATD Conference and Exposition in Washington, DC.  This week the world of Talent Development is on the big stage and it’s clear that the $100 billion industry is thriving and growing at a record pace.  There are more than 10,000 attendees and more than 500 unique vendors positioning the value of their talent development solutions.

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A Modern Business Acumen Lesson from 100 Year Old Tiger Balm

By Robert Brodo | May 15, 2019 7:01:31 AM

This week, I had the pleasure of spending time in China and Singapore conducting several Business Acumen simulation workshops for US clients developing their Asia-Pac talent.  One of the things we pride ourselves on is the ability to take concepts such as strategic thinking, financial management, leadership development, coaching, and others and tailor our award-winning business simulation platforms to meet the specific needs of our global clients.  To do that, I typically spend a few hours researching local companies and brands and use their stories to teach and support the work in Business Acumen.

While in Singapore, I wanted to explore long-lasting “legacy” brands and how they’ve been able to evolve, so I could use them in our work to make concepts relevant for our participants.  I reviewed several strong legacy brands and decided on one that is fascinating and a great story of strong business acumen skills.

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Hunting vs. Farming to Generate Revenue Has Never Been More Differentiated

By Robert Brodo | May 7, 2019 8:19:52 AM

The discussion between the Global Vice President of Sales and his HR Business Partner was quick and to the point.  “Rich is a terrific person, a valuable asset to our organization, and a very strong communicator. However, he is not a Sales Professional and never will be, so why are we talking about him for this Sales Training program?”

When the HR partner probed for more information, the VP shared; “In my opinion, Sales Professionals today are pure ‘hunters’. They are able to understand the customer’s business, effectively prospect for new customers, develop relationships, close deals, make the hand-off to account management, and then move on to the next opportunity.  Rich is a great account manager, but he doesn’t have the skills to hunt. He can make sure the account is happy, and he can take new orders, but he doesn’t have the elite skills to prospect and close”

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Stop Upsetting Existing Customers by Focusing on New Ones

By Robert Brodo | May 1, 2019 8:42:14 AM

There are a few Business Acumen metrics that most leaders in most industries drive toward such as increases in organic revenue and increases in profitability from the existing business.  Unfortunately, those two metrics are sometimes diametrically opposed from a strategic perspective.

For example, increases in organic revenue is typically driven from the existing business acquiring new customers, and increasing profitability is typically driven by driving out costs from the existing business and gaining more revenue from existing customers.

The problem in all of this occurs when businesses upset their existing customers by aggressively going after new customers creating the perception that new customers are more important than existing ones.  The most obvious example of this can be seen in the Cable TV industry where all you hear about is the incredible deal being offered by bundling TV, Internet, and phone for a super-low price.  Well, that’s great, but what about the existing customers who are paying 5 times as much as the offer for the new customers.

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Business Acumen! What Decision Makers Want from Sales Professionals

By Robert Brodo | Apr 24, 2019 8:21:02 AM

As part of the design work we are doing for a client in the chemical industry that is focusing on enhancing their sales skills, we conducted a survey of their customers to seek answers to the question of what the customers truly value from Sales Professionals during the sales process.

The decision makers in the survey were asked to rank five core sales competencies from 5 being the most important to 1 being the least important.  Because the focus of the training is developing the skills of “hunters” (sales professionals who are identifying new customers as opposed to sales professionals “farming” existing accounts), we focused on only potential customers (prospects) and not existing customers as we felt their responses would give us better insights into the specific answers we were looking for. The data below presents a compelling argument that Business Acumen skills are the critical foundation to any sales process in 2019 and beyond.

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