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Archive for January, 2011

Training Vision 7: Presenting the Vision and Strategy

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On January 31, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Summary: You will most likely have to present your training vision and strategy to your executive sponsor and possibly to a financial executive, as well. Let’s examine some ways to effectively present your vision and strategy for 2011.

If you’ve taken the time to create your vision and strategy for 2011 as well as an execution plan, you should also take the time to plan how to present these components effectively. The presentation of your vision and strategy may be a cursory nod from a fellow executive or it could be an approval process from an executive sponsor. Plus, if you need financing you will most likely have to go before the financial officer or executive. There are two different focuses here: business and finance. For business, you will need to be able to explain how the training department will support the organization and its initiatives for 2011, as well as continue to support your best customers. In the financial realm, you should be able to show how any expense on training will benefit the bottom line. But how you present these items depends on the personalities and functions of the people to whom you are presenting.

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Training Vision 6: Execution Plan

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On January 24, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Summary: You have a vision and strategy for training in the upcoming year and it’s taken quite a bit of time, assessment, and brainstorming. But the best strategy is useless unless you know how to execute it.

Visions and strategies can fail easily if there is not a solid plan for execution, especially if you need to present the vision and strategy to a decision maker. Also, when it comes to being a visionary and innovative training manager, it is absolutely necessary to think through the “how” by circling your strategy at a very low level. You may be able to do this alone, but if you have a training staff this is another time to bring them into the planning process. Many times the people who execute every day can see things that you might miss.

When it comes to your vision, remember that this statement or group of statements serve as a guide and a reality check for the upcoming year. But you translated your vision into a strategy, so the strategy should be your focal point for execution. As a training manager, you should also be able to put together a mental picture of the execution components as the vision and strategy are being discussed and brainstormed. To adequately plan execution, look at your strategy from the standpoints of technology, human resources, physical resources, “buy in,” and finance.

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Training Vision 5: Defining the Vision and Determining a Fit

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On January 17, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Summary: Now that you have brainstormed your ideas for the vision and strategy for 2011, it’s time to tighten the vision and determine if it fits in with the overall organizational initiatives.

The results of your brainstorming session are in: either on your own or with your staff, you’ve decided on the most important components of a vision and strategy for training in the upcoming year. In some cases, you’ve even developed a variety of options or choices for the vision and its implementation. Now it’s time to create a true vision for the training department for 2011 and create a strategy to go with it. Let’s look at determining the fit and then we can look at how to develop a vision and strategy.

You essentially have two sets of information: the information you’ve obtained from your assessment of the industry, your organization, and your customers, as well as the information you’ve gathered from the training department internally. How do you know if the two are a fit?

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Training Vision 4: The Training Vision

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On January 10, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Summary: Now that you have assessed the organization, the industry, and your most important internal clients, it’s time to take a good look at your vision for the training department.

You have assessed the organization in general, both the industry related to your organization and the training industry, as well as your internal customers. You may even begin to see a picture of how 2011 will be shaping up for you and your team. But before you make any solid commitments to a vision or a strategy for the upcoming year, it’s a good idea to create a training vision that is independent of your assessments. As you create this vision, you’ll be able to use your imagination and innovation to come up with a “wish list” of sorts. The main caveat in this type of planning is to remember that it is a wish list and that not everything on your list will become a reality. You may even want to involve the training staff in a brainstorming session, as each member of your staff is probably interested in a different training industry discipline.

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Training Vision 3: What Are Your Best Customers Planning?

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On January 3, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Summary: Training in the current environment is very much like sales, so it is absolutely necessary to find out what your best internal customers are planning for the upcoming year.

In the current environment, it’s a good idea to manage your best internal customers just as a sales manager would manage that pipeline. As part of your planning process for 2011, you will definitely want to make contact with your internal customers to find out what they are planning for the upcoming year – and why. And even more importantly, this contact serves to solidify your relationship as a solutions partner and not just a
service department. By discussing the upcoming year with your closest customers, you may even begin to see the overall organizational picture before anyone else does – and with this information you can certainly determine how your department will help the
organization move forward in 2011.

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Name your best customers

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On January 2, 2011 NO COMMENTS

“A while back I was in a meeting with a marketing leader of a Global 100 software firm. He shared a story about their new CEO at the time. The CEO asked 10 members of the executive team to write a list of their top-10 customers. Amazingly just 4 of the 10 executives got 5 of more of the customers correct! Their VP of Sales fared best, with correctly listing 8.

In the same meeting it was pointed out that the top-10 customers accounted for over 50% of their $300 million in revenue. The CEO immediately declared that, “we’re focusing on our customers first!” From that meeting they dubbed their new initiative as, “The Customer First Plan.” “

http://blog.startwithalead.com/weblog/sales_leads/index.html

Extraordinary sales comes from recognizing that your best customers are usually your biggest. Wanting to increase your market share? Start with those strategic accounts that already know you and your products, seek to deepen the relationships and the results will be greater sales and higher profits.