Learning Provider Profile
Mr. Robinson is a Certified Learning Provider (CLP) at Appleton Greene and he has experience in management, marketing and sales. He has achieved a MS in Hydrogeology and a BS in Geology. He has industry experience within the following sectors: Consultancy; Mining; Oil & Gas; Manufacturing and Logistics. He has had commercial experience within the following countries: Canada and the United States of America, or more specifically within the following cities: Denver CO; Salt Lake City UT; Phoenix AZ; Toronto ON and Vancouver BC. His achievements include the successful research, development, and implementation of a tangible Sales Generation Process. His service skills incorporate: sales generation; sales & marketing; business development; project management and mergers and acquisitions.
Successes: Consulting Practice Development (Grass Roots to 175 multi-office practice); Managed Legal Cases -defended and won $200 million civil law suit Provided multiple expert witness testimonies; Supported Legal Depositions; Sales bonus’ always awarded Peabody Coal Company -Western Region Environmental Manager Owned a 175 man operation-focused on oil and gas industry built up from a fruit cellar-Sold in 1988
The first stage of the program is to understand the history, current position and future outlook relating to Sales Generation, not just for the organization as a whole, but for each individual department, including: customer service; e-business; finance; globalization; human resources; information technology; legal; management; marketing; production; education and logistics because sales has an impact upon all departments. This will be achieved by implementing a process within each department, enabling the head of that department to conduct a detailed and thorough internal analysis to establish the internal strengths and weaknesses and the external opportunities and threats in relation to Sales Generation and to establish a MOST analysis: Mission; Objectives; Strategies; Tasks, enabling them to be more proactive about the way in which they plan, develop, implement, manage and review Sales Generation, within their department.
01. Obtain a clear understanding of the core objective of Workshop 1. Time Allocated: 1 Month
02. Analyse the history of Sales Generation processes within your department. Time Allocated: 1 Month
03. Analyse the current position of Sales Generation processes within your department. Time Allocated: 1 Month
04. Analyse the future outlook of Sales Generation processes within your department. Time Allocated: 1 Month
05. Analyse internal strengths and weaknesses, relating to Sales Generation, within your department. Time Allocated: 1 Month
06. Analyse external opportunities and threats, relating to Sales Generation, within your department. Time Allocated: 1 Month
07. Identify and engage up to 10 Key Stakeholders within your department. Time Allocated: 1 Month
08. Identify a process that would enable your stakeholders to decentralize Sales Generation. Time Allocated: 1 Month
09. Estimate the likely costs and the ongoing financial budget required for this process. Time Allocated: 1 Month
10. Estimate the likely hours and the ongoing time budget required for this process. Time Allocated: 1 Month
01. Each department head is to personally set aside time to study Workshop 1 content thoroughly.
02. List the key projects that have been undertaken historically within your department and analyse how and if a Sales Generation process was used and where it was successful.
03. List the key projects that are currently being undertaken within your department and analyse how and if Sales Generation process is being used and where it is being successful.
04. List the key projects that are scheduled to be undertaken in the future within your department and analyse how a Sales Generation process can be used in order to ensure success.
05. Research internal strengths and weaknesses, relating to Sales Generation, within your department.
06. Research external opportunities and threats, relating to Sales Generation, within your department.
07. Review the files and resumes of employees within your department in order to identify those with Sales Generation experience.
08. Research and identify a process that would enable your stakeholders to decentralize Sales Generation.
09. Liaise with the Finance department to evaluate the likely costs and the ongoing financial budget required for this process.
10. Liaise with the Human Resource department to evaluate the likely hours and the ongoing time budget required for this process.
01. Read through the entire workshop content while making notes including: Profile; MOST; Introduction; Executive Summary; Curriculum; Distance Learning; Tutorial Support; How To Study; Preliminary Analysis; Course Manuals; Project Studies; Benefits.
02. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, in order to list and analyse historical projects.
03. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, in order to list and analyse current projects.
04. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, in order to list and analyse future projects.
05. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, in order to research and analyse internal strengths and weaknesses, relating to Sales Generation, within your department.
06. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, in order to research and analyse external opportunities and threats, relating to Sales Generation, within your department.
07. Set up interviews with employees within your department in order to identify those with a collaborative nature.
08. Implement a process that will enable your stakeholders to decentralize Sales Generation.
09. Set up an appointment with the Finance department to evaluate the likely costs and the ongoing financial budget required for this process.
10. Set up appointment with Human Resource department to evaluate the likely hours and the ongoing time budget required for this process.
The first stage of the program is to understand the history, current position and future outlook relating to Sales Generation, not just for the organization as a whole, but for each individual department, including: customer service; e-business; finance; globalization; human resources; information technology; legal; management; marketing; production; education and logistics. This will be achieved by implementing a process within each department, enabling the head of that department to conduct a detailed and thorough internal analysis to establish the internal strengths and weaknesses and the external opportunities and threats in relation to Sales Generation and to establish a MOST analysis: Mission; Objectives; Strategies; Tasks, enabling them to be more proactive about the way in which they plan, develop, implement, manage and review Sales Generation processes, within their department.
While lean thinking is increasingly being applied beyond the operations arena in many organisations, sales and marketing appears to have been particularly immune to the lean mantra. The reasons behind this are not particularly well documented or researched and probably include the reluctance of sales and marketing managers to view what they do as definable ‘processes’, a belief that they operate in a black box world of relationships and the art of selling and that all the ‘lean stuff’ is just for the shop floor.
At this stage it is worth noting that the term ‘sales and marketing’ covers a broad array of activities, including sales management, business development, advertising, market research and planning, product development, direct marketing, communication, PR, etc. Furthermore, there are different sectors – for example, FMCG, consumer durables, business-to-business (B2B) – each of which have their own approaches and methods. This program’s focus is the classic sales management and business development function in B2B relationships and while lean principles and techniques can no doubt be applied to all areas, a degree of adaptation will invariably be required.
Sales Generation – Methodology
Lean and process excellence enables relentless increases in business productivity. This doesn’t just mean eliminating waste. It also means increasing the value perceived by the customer. Lean thinking begins with what the customer wants, and works backwards from there. Four characteristics distinguish a Lean process approach to sales and marketing from traditional approaches:
Lean is Collaborative – Not a Canned Program
Traditional “sales consulting” artfully delivers a “canned” program for your salespeople. These approaches are about the training (or the CRM software), not about your business. In most cases, it takes a while to find out how much of the supplier’s content doesn’t really apply to you. The best approach – the Lean approach – begins by uncovering evidence and data around your prospect’s and customer’s and their problems. Then, it identifies the best means at your disposal of helping them realize, prioritize, and solve their problems. This requires a good plan for how your employees and channel partners will get them to take the actions you want them to take. Your people are the only ones who can fulfill your company’s promises, so they must develop the plan. They only want what works and makes their job easier. Not things that don’t apply or make their job harder.
Lean is About Data and Evidence – Not Opinion and Anecdotes
Traditional approaches to sales management do not offer a means of measuring cause and effect. Lean process excellence energizes your team by creating operating definitions of their key terms (such as “qualified prospect,” and “customer”). They identify the customer’s journey. They define the observable characteristics that make them more or less likely to buy from you. How do you get them to distinguish work that creates value from work that is wasted in sales and marketing?
Simple: If the customer takes an action you wanted them to take, value is created. The fact is, if you haven’t earned your prospect’s attention, their information, their respect, and their trust, you’re never going to earn any of their money. Most companies have not enabled their team to build on their customer knowledge to create a home-grown approach focused on the few, simple activities and measures that create the most value. The outcome is a unique, mutually-respectful agreement for how your team can do the work and measure the value, created by the best minds in your business. The Lean approach guarantees buy-in from salespeople.
Lean Deployment is Hands On – Not “Step Back and Watch” or “Wait and See”
Rather than stepping back to wait for results, a Lean approach requires the senior executive to participate in events where sales processes are designed and improved. They closely follow what works and doesn’t work in the field so they can clear the way for adjustments and improvements. Are prospects responding to the lead-generation offers? Is forecast accuracy increasing? Are decision makers responding to value propositions? Why, or why not? Curiosity and participation of the company’s leaders is the only way to ensure problems get surfaced – and dealt with.
Presidents or General Managers not interested leading and supporting this effort (in cooperation with the Sales VP, of course) shouldn’t bother with a Lean sales approach.
Lean Takes A Team – Superheroes are Welcome, Not Required
Traditional sales consulting approaches change nothing inside the company. They ask salespeople to do extra work (some of which might pay off occasionally). Swimming against the current is hard. Only superheroes can keep doing it for long. No wonder salespeople take what they like and leave the rest behind.
In contrast, Lean aims a team of marketers, sellers, technicians, and servicers at a specific class of prospects and customers. It asks them to learn how to help these prospects and customers to realize, prioritize, and solve their problems more quickly. Super-human efforts may be required occasionally, but not all the time. That’s because the point is to change something every day to make it easier on the inside – and more compelling on the outside for prospects and customers to want to work with you.
Lean endures in manufacturing because it incorporates the kind of management practices required to improve results and sustain the gains. Over time, organizational silos diminish in a Lean environment. The daily work of your customer teams generates data around the high-impact, common problems preventing them from achieving their goals, so management knows where to focus and invest. Best of all, your company becomes known as a great place to work, so you can attract better talent and keep them happy.
A Lean process excellence approach doesn’t say you don’t need things like sales training, or CRM software. It says without evidence and data showing exactly how you will create value for your customers, you may be shooing in the dark.
Why Consider a Lean Sales Approach?
As you can see, Lean sales process excellence is not typical. Typical business people think they need a process, which they try to get from sales training or CRM software. Yet these are one-size fits all, and can become obsolete within a week. What business people really need is not a process, but a means of improving their process and their results. They need to make sure the way they are going to market is efficient and effective. They need to know their people can detect evidence of market changes and respond in the correctly short as well as the long term.
If your goal is to create the next sales dynasty in your business, and if sales and marketing is a determining factor in your success, you need the Sales Generation corporate training program. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better way.
Lean’s focus on identifying and delivering value to customers should make it a prime concern of sales and marketing people, who are generally charged with that task in many organisations. Most lean advocates would probably claim that the concepts and principles of lean are just as relevant to the sales and marketing function as any other part of the organisation, since the need for short lead times, high quality, even flow of activities, minimising waste, continually improving are just as applicable to selling the business’s products or services.
But why should sales and marketing people embrace lean? Well, at a fundamental level, lean promises to not only lower the cost of sales, but also improve sales growth. Of course, this is not guaranteed and there are several other factors that will influence matters, such as general market conditions and competitor behaviour, but the opportunity for this win-win situation should been enough to persuade sales and marketing sceptics to embrace lean ideas.
The key task is to engage with sales and marketing managers in a way that will make them want to positively adopt lean, so that they think in terms of processes and value streams and start to examine how they approach their work and re-design it along lean lines. The behavioural change required may be challenging, though appealing to self-interest certainly has a place, especially since the culture of bonuses and incentives is all pervading in the sales and marketing world and an improvement methodology that has the potential to make targets easier to achieve is bound to raise inquisitive eyebrows. Finding the right way to communicate is also critical, since the language of lean is a long way off the language of sales and marketing and so some translation is necessary to ensure that this does not become a barrier to acceptance.
“If you cannot define what you are doing as a process, you do not understand what you are doing”. W. Edwards Deming
One of the great system thinkers and influencers of lean thinking is W. Edwards Deming, so it is unsurprisingly that process thinking is at the heart of lean. It is not possible to develop a truly lean organisation if you cannot define what you do, how you produce or deliver, what the organisation does and how it does it. All organisations are built on processes, whether purposefully defined or not, and processes support the value stream and business strategy. Anecdotal experience suggests processes are often not fully understood in sales and marketing and particularly the case with senior sales and marketing managers. It is therefore important to bring process thinking into the centre stage of sales and marketing planning and the Sales and Marketing Process Model is an example of a vehicle to achieve this. The model emphasises the need to focus on four core sales and marketing processes: sales/market planning, new enquiry generation, sales conversion, and customer retention (which includes added value services). Sales and marketing management must ask the following questions about their capability to deliver:
How capable is the process to generate sufficient new enquiries of the right type (so you can actually produce and deliver the product/service offering profitably)?
How capable is the process at converting new enquires from either new or existing accounts into actual sales (the conversion rate)?
How capable is the process at maximising sales by offering additional product/service offerings to existing customers once a relationship is formed and trust established?
How capable is the process at retaining customers of the right type?
These processes drive sales and marketing performance and if one or more is not operating effectively, then the root causes need to be identified and addressed in order for it to improve. Lean thinking principles and techniques can be used to develop a performance improvement plan and maintaining customer focus – which will include, for example, identifying the root cause of problems, removing waste and bottlenecks, improving process flow and gaining a better understanding customer needs. Experience suggests that in SMEs the overall process is weak at the front end, with typical symptoms being an overreliance on one or more existing customers, a lack of selling skills and ability to develop relationships.
Internal Analysis – Workshop 1
- Part 1 Customer Services
- Part 2 E-Business
- Part 3 Finance
- Part 4 Globalization
- Part 5 Human Resources
- Part 6 Information Technology
- Part 7 Legal
- Part 8 Management
- Part 9 Marketing
- Part 10 Production
- Part 11 Education
- Part 12 Logistics
Welcome to Appleton Greene and thank you for enrolling on the Sales Generation corporate training program. You will be learning through our unique facilitation via distance-learning method, which will enable you to practically implement everything that you learn academically. The methods and materials used in your program have been designed and developed to ensure that you derive the maximum benefits and enjoyment possible. We hope that you find the program challenging and fun to do. However, if you have never been a distance-learner before, you may be experiencing some trepidation at the task before you. So we will get you started by giving you some basic information and guidance on how you can make the best use of the modules, how you should manage the materials and what you should be doing as you work through them. This guide is designed to point you in the right direction and help you to become an effective distance-learner. Take a few hours or so to study this guide and your guide to tutorial support for students, while making notes, before you start to study in earnest.
You will need to locate a quiet and private place to study, preferably a room where you can easily be isolated from external disturbances or distractions. Make sure the room is well-lit and incorporates a relaxed, pleasant feel. If you can spoil yourself within your study environment, you will have much more of a chance to ensure that you are always in the right frame of mind when you do devote time to study. For example, a nice fire, the ability to play soft soothing background music, soft but effective lighting, perhaps a nice view if possible and a good size desk with a comfortable chair. Make sure that your family know when you are studying and understand your study rules. Your study environment is very important. The ideal situation, if at all possible, is to have a separate study, which can be devoted to you. If this is not possible then you will need to pay a lot more attention to developing and managing your study schedule, because it will affect other people as well as yourself. The better your study environment, the more productive you will be.
Study tools & rules
Try and make sure that your study tools are sufficient and in good working order. You will need to have access to a computer, scanner and printer, with access to the internet. You will need a very comfortable chair, which supports your lower back, and you will need a good filing system. It can be very frustrating if you are spending valuable study time trying to fix study tools that are unreliable, or unsuitable for the task. Make sure that your study tools are up to date. You will also need to consider some study rules. Some of these rules will apply to you and will be intended to help you to be more disciplined about when and how you study. This distance-learning guide will help you and after you have read it you can put some thought into what your study rules should be. You will also need to negotiate some study rules for your family, friends or anyone who lives with you. They too will need to be disciplined in order to ensure that they can support you while you study. It is important to ensure that your family and friends are an integral part of your study team. Having their support and encouragement can prove to be a crucial contribution to your successful completion of the program. Involve them in as much as you can.
Distance-learners are freed from the necessity of attending regular classes or workshops, since they can study in their own way, at their own pace and for their own purposes. But unlike traditional internal training courses, it is the student’s responsibility, with a distance-learning program, to ensure that they manage their own study contribution. This requires strong self-discipline and self-motivation skills and there must be a clear will to succeed. Those students who are used to managing themselves, are good at managing others and who enjoy working in isolation, are more likely to be good distance-learners. It is also important to be aware of the main reasons why you are studying and of the main objectives that you are hoping to achieve as a result. You will need to remind yourself of these objectives at times when you need to motivate yourself. Never lose sight of your long-term goals and your short-term objectives. There is nobody available here to pamper you, or to look after you, or to spoon-feed you with information, so you will need to find ways to encourage and appreciate yourself while you are studying. Make sure that you chart your study progress, so that you can be sure of your achievements and re-evaluate your goals and objectives regularly.
Appleton Greene training programs are in all cases post-graduate programs. Consequently, you should already have obtained a business-related degree and be an experienced learner. You should therefore already be aware of your study strengths and weaknesses. For example, which time of the day are you at your most productive? Are you a lark or an owl? What study methods do you respond to the most? Are you a consistent learner? How do you discipline yourself? How do you ensure that you enjoy yourself while studying? It is important to understand yourself as a learner and so some self-assessment early on will be necessary if you are to apply yourself correctly. Perform a SWOT analysis on yourself as a student. List your internal strengths and weaknesses as a student and your external opportunities and threats. This will help you later on when you are creating a study plan. You can then incorporate features within your study plan that can ensure that you are playing to your strengths, while compensating for your weaknesses. You can also ensure that you make the most of your opportunities, while avoiding the potential threats to your success.
Accepting responsibility as a student
Training programs invariably require a significant investment, both in terms of what they cost and in the time that you need to contribute to study and the responsibility for successful completion of training programs rests entirely with the student. This is never more apparent than when a student is learning via distance-learning. Accepting responsibility as a student is an important step towards ensuring that you can successfully complete your training program. It is easy to instantly blame other people or factors when things go wrong. But the fact of the matter is that if a failure is your failure, then you have the power to do something about it, it is entirely in your own hands. If it is always someone else’s failure, then you are powerless to do anything about it. All students study in entirely different ways, this is because we are all individuals and what is right for one student, is not necessarily right for another. In order to succeed, you will have to accept personal responsibility for finding a way to plan, implement and manage a personal study plan that works for you. If you do not succeed, you only have yourself to blame.
By far the most critical contribution to stress, is the feeling of not being in control. In the absence of planning we tend to be reactive and can stumble from pillar to post in the hope that things will turn out fine in the end. Invariably they don’t! In order to be in control, we need to have firm ideas about how and when we want to do things. We also need to consider as many possible eventualities as we can, so that we are prepared for them when they happen. Prescriptive Change, is far easier to manage and control, than Emergent Change. The same is true with distance-learning. It is much easier and much more enjoyable, if you feel that you are in control and that things are going to plan. Even when things do go wrong, you are prepared for them and can act accordingly without any unnecessary stress. It is important therefore that you do take time to plan your studies properly.
Once you have developed a clear study plan, it is of equal importance to ensure that you manage the implementation of it. Most of us usually enjoy planning, but it is usually during implementation when things go wrong. Targets are not met and we do not understand why. Sometimes we do not even know if targets are being met. It is not enough for us to conclude that the study plan just failed. If it is failing, you will need to understand what you can do about it. Similarly if your study plan is succeeding, it is still important to understand why, so that you can improve upon your success. You therefore need to have guidelines for self-assessment so that you can be consistent with performance improvement throughout the program. If you manage things correctly, then your performance should constantly improve throughout the program.
Study objectives & tasks
The first place to start is developing your program objectives. These should feature your reasons for undertaking the training program in order of priority. Keep them succinct and to the point in order to avoid confusion. Do not just write the first things that come into your head because they are likely to be too similar to each other. Make a list of possible departmental headings, such as: Customer Service; E-business; Finance; Globalization; Human Resources; Technology; Legal; Management; Marketing and Production. Then brainstorm for ideas by listing as many things that you want to achieve under each heading and later re-arrange these things in order of priority. Finally, select the top item from each department heading and choose these as your program objectives. Try and restrict yourself to five because it will enable you to focus clearly. It is likely that the other things that you listed will be achieved if each of the top objectives are achieved. If this does not prove to be the case, then simply work through the process again.
As a guide, the Appleton Greene Sales Generation corporate training program should take 12-18 months to complete, depending upon your availability and current commitments. The reason why there is such a variance in time estimates is because every student is an individual, with differing productivity levels and different commitments. These differentiations are then exaggerated by the fact that this is a distance-learning program, which incorporates the practical integration of academic theory as an as a part of the training program. Consequently all of the project studies are real, which means that important decisions and compromises need to be made. You will want to get things right and will need to be patient with your expectations in order to ensure that they are. We would always recommend that you are prudent with your own task and time forecasts, but you still need to develop them and have a clear indication of what are realistic expectations in your case. With reference to your time planning: consider the time that you can realistically dedicate towards study with the program every week; calculate how long it should take you to complete the program, using the guidelines featured here; then break the program down into logical modules and allocate a suitable proportion of time to each of them, these will be your milestones; you can create a time plan by using a spreadsheet on your computer, or a personal organizer such as MS Outlook, you could also use a financial forecasting software; break your time forecasts down into manageable chunks of time, the more specific you can be, the more productive and accurate your time management will be; finally, use formulas where possible to do your time calculations for you, because this will help later on when your forecasts need to change in line with actual performance. With reference to your task planning: refer to your list of tasks that need to be undertaken in order to achieve your program objectives; with reference to your time plan, calculate when each task should be implemented; remember that you are not estimating when your objectives will be achieved, but when you will need to focus upon implementing the corresponding tasks; you also need to ensure that each task is implemented in conjunction with the associated training modules which are relevant; then break each single task down into a list of specific to do’s, say approximately ten to do’s for each task and enter these into your study plan; once again you could use MS Outlook to incorporate both your time and task planning and this could constitute your study plan; you could also use a project management software like MS Project. You should now have a clear and realistic forecast detailing when you can expect to be able to do something about undertaking the tasks to achieve your program objectives.
It is one thing to develop your study forecast, it is quite another to monitor your progress. Ultimately it is less important whether you achieve your original study forecast and more important that you update it so that it constantly remains realistic in line with your performance. As you begin to work through the program, you will begin to have more of an idea about your own personal performance and productivity levels as a distance-learner. Once you have completed your first study module, you should re-evaluate your study forecast for both time and tasks, so that they reflect your actual performance level achieved. In order to achieve this you must first time yourself while training by using an alarm clock. Set the alarm for hourly intervals and make a note of how far you have come within that time. You can then make a note of your actual performance on your study plan and then compare your performance against your forecast. Then consider the reasons that have contributed towards your performance level, whether they are positive or negative and make a considered adjustment to your future forecasts as a result. Given time, you should start achieving your forecasts regularly.
With reference to time management: time yourself while you are studying and make a note of the actual time taken in your study plan; consider your successes with time-efficiency and the reasons for the success in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future time planning; consider your failures with time-efficiency and the reasons for the failures in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future time planning; re-evaluate your study forecast in relation to time planning for the remainder of your training program to ensure that you continue to be realistic about your time expectations. You need to be consistent with your time management, otherwise you will never complete your studies. This will either be because you are not contributing enough time to your studies, or you will become less efficient with the time that you do allocate to your studies. Remember, if you are not in control of your studies, they can just become yet another cause of stress for you.
With reference to your task management: time yourself while you are studying and make a note of the actual tasks that you have undertaken in your study plan; consider your successes with task-efficiency and the reasons for the success in each case; take this into consideration when reviewing future task planning; consider your failures with task-efficiency and the reasons for the failures in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future task planning; re-evaluate your study forecast in relation to task planning for the remainder of your training program to ensure that you continue to be realistic about your task expectations. You need to be consistent with your task management, otherwise you will never know whether you are achieving your program objectives or not.
Keeping in touch
You will have access to qualified and experienced professors and tutors who are responsible for providing tutorial support for your particular training program. So don’t be shy about letting them know how you are getting on. We keep electronic records of all tutorial support emails so that professors and tutors can review previous correspondence before considering an individual response. It also means that there is a record of all communications between you and your professors and tutors and this helps to avoid any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation. If you have a problem relating to the program, share it with them via email. It is likely that they have come across the same problem before and are usually able to make helpful suggestions and steer you in the right direction. To learn more about when and how to use tutorial support, please refer to the Tutorial Support section of this student information guide. This will help you to ensure that you are making the most of tutorial support that is available to you and will ultimately contribute towards your success and enjoyment with your training program.
Work colleagues and family
You should certainly discuss your program study progress with your colleagues, friends and your family. Appleton Greene training programs are very practical. They require you to seek information from other people, to plan, develop and implement processes with other people and to achieve feedback from other people in relation to viability and productivity. You will therefore have plenty of opportunities to test your ideas and enlist the views of others. People tend to be sympathetic towards distance-learners, so don’t bottle it all up in yourself. Get out there and share it! It is also likely that your family and colleagues are going to benefit from your labors with the program, so they are likely to be much more interested in being involved than you might think. Be bold about delegating work to those who might benefit themselves. This is a great way to achieve understanding and commitment from people who you may later rely upon for process implementation. Share your experiences with your friends and family.
Making it relevant
The key to successful learning is to make it relevant to your own individual circumstances. At all times you should be trying to make bridges between the content of the program and your own situation. Whether you achieve this through quiet reflection or through interactive discussion with your colleagues, client partners or your family, remember that it is the most important and rewarding aspect of translating your studies into real self-improvement. You should be clear about how you want the program to benefit you. This involves setting clear study objectives in relation to the content of the course in terms of understanding, concepts, completing research or reviewing activities and relating the content of the modules to your own situation. Your objectives may understandably change as you work through the program, in which case you should enter the revised objectives on your study plan so that you have a permanent reminder of what you are trying to achieve, when and why.
Prepare your study environment, your study tools and rules.
Undertake detailed self-assessment in terms of your ability as a learner.
Create a format for your study plan.
Consider your study objectives and tasks.
Create a study forecast.
Assess your study performance.
Re-evaluate your study forecast.
Be consistent when managing your study plan.
Use your Appleton Greene Certified Learning Provider (CLP) for tutorial support.
Make sure you keep in touch with those around you.
Appleton Greene uses standard and bespoke corporate training programs as vessels to transfer business process improvement knowledge into the heart of our clients’ organizations. Each individual program focuses upon the implementation of a specific business process, which enables clients to easily quantify their return on investment. There are hundreds of established Appleton Greene corporate training products now available to clients within customer services, e-business, finance, globalization, human resources, information technology, legal, management, marketing and production. It does not matter whether a client’s employees are located within one office, or an unlimited number of international offices, we can still bring them together to learn and implement specific business processes collectively. Our approach to global localization enables us to provide clients with a truly international service with that all important personal touch. Appleton Greene corporate training programs can be provided virtually or locally and they are all unique in that they individually focus upon a specific business function. They are implemented over a sustainable period of time and professional support is consistently provided by qualified learning providers and specialist consultants.
You will have a designated Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and an Accredited Consultant and we encourage you to communicate with them as much as possible. In all cases tutorial support is provided online because we can then keep a record of all communications to ensure that tutorial support remains consistent. You would also be forwarding your work to the tutorial support unit for evaluation and assessment. You will receive individual feedback on all of the work that you undertake on a one-to-one basis, together with specific recommendations for anything that may need to be changed in order to achieve a pass with merit or a pass with distinction and you then have as many opportunities as you may need to re-submit project studies until they meet with the required standard. Consequently the only reason that you should really fail (CLP) is if you do not do the work. It makes no difference to us whether a student takes 12 months or 18 months to complete the program, what matters is that in all cases the same quality standard will have been achieved.
Please forward all of your future emails to the designated (CLP) Tutorial Support Unit email address that has been provided and please do not duplicate or copy your emails to other AGC email accounts as this will just cause unnecessary administration. Please note that emails are always answered as quickly as possible but you will need to allow a period of up to 20 business days for responses to general tutorial support emails during busy periods, because emails are answered strictly within the order in which they are received. You will also need to allow a period of up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Please therefore kindly allow for this within your time planning. All communications are managed online via email because it enables tutorial service support managers to review other communications which have been received before responding and it ensures that there is a copy of all communications retained on file for future reference. All communications will be stored within your personal (CLP) study file here at Appleton Greene throughout your designated study period. If you need any assistance or clarification at any time, please do not hesitate to contact us by forwarding an email and remember that we are here to help. If you have any questions, please list and number your questions succinctly and you can then be sure of receiving specific answers to each and every query.
It takes approximately 1 Year to complete the Sales Generation corporate training program, incorporating 12 x 6-hour monthly workshops. Each student will also need to contribute approximately 4 hours per week over 1 Year of their personal time. Students can study from home or work at their own pace and are responsible for managing their own study plan. There are no formal examinations and students are evaluated and assessed based upon their project study submissions, together with the quality of their internal analysis and supporting documents. They can contribute more time towards study, when they have the time to do so and can contribute less time when they are busy. All students tend to be in full time employment while studying and the Sales Generation program is purposely designed to accommodate this, so there is plenty of flexibility in terms of time management. It makes no difference to us at Appleton Greene, whether individuals take 12-18 months to complete this program. What matters is that in all cases the same standard of quality will have been achieved with the standard and bespoke programs that have been developed.
Distance Learning Guide
The distance learning guide should be your first port of call when starting your training program. It will help you when you are planning how and when to study, how to create the right environment and how to establish the right frame of mind. If you can lay the foundations properly during the planning stage, then it will contribute to your enjoyment and productivity while training later. The guide helps to change your lifestyle in order to accommodate time for study and to cultivate good study habits. It helps you to chart your progress so that you can measure your performance and achieve your goals. It explains the tools that you will need for study and how to make them work. It also explains how to translate academic theory into practical reality. Spend some time now working through your distance learning guide and make sure that you have firm foundations in place so that you can make the most of your distance learning program. There is no requirement for you to attend training workshops or classes at Appleton Greene offices. The entire program is undertaken online, program course manuals and project studies are administered via the Appleton Greene web site and via email, so you are able to study at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home or office as long as you have a computer and access to the internet.
How To Study
The how to study guide provides students with a clear understanding of the Appleton Greene facilitation via distance learning training methods and enables students to obtain a clear overview of the training program content. It enables students to understand the step-by-step training methods used by Appleton Greene and how course manuals are integrated with project studies. It explains the research and development that is required and the need to provide evidence and references to support your statements. It also enables students to understand precisely what will be required of them in order to achieve a pass with merit and a pass with distinction for individual project studies and provides useful guidance on how to be innovative and creative when developing your Unique Program Proposition (UPP).
Tutorial support for the Appleton Greene Sales Generation corporate training program is provided online either through the Appleton Greene Client Support Portal (CSP), or via email. All tutorial support requests are facilitated by a designated Program Administration Manager (PAM). They are responsible for deciding which professor or tutor is the most appropriate option relating to the support required and then the tutorial support request is forwarded onto them. Once the professor or tutor has completed the tutorial support request and answered any questions that have been asked, this communication is then returned to the student via email by the designated Program Administration Manager (PAM). This enables all tutorial support, between students, professors and tutors, to be facilitated by the designated Program Administration Manager (PAM) efficiently and securely through the email account. You will therefore need to allow a period of up to 20 business days for responses to general support queries and up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies, because all tutorial support requests are answered strictly within the order in which they are received. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Consequently you need to put some thought into the management of your tutorial support procedure in order to ensure that your study plan is feasible and to obtain the maximum possible benefit from tutorial support during your period of study. Please retain copies of your tutorial support emails for future reference. Please ensure that ALL of your tutorial support emails are set out using the format as suggested within your guide to tutorial support. Your tutorial support emails need to be referenced clearly to the specific part of the course manual or project study which you are working on at any given time. You also need to list and number any questions that you would like to ask, up to a maximum of five questions within each tutorial support email. Remember the more specific you can be with your questions the more specific your answers will be too and this will help you to avoid any unnecessary misunderstanding, misinterpretation, or duplication. The guide to tutorial support is intended to help you to understand how and when to use support in order to ensure that you get the most out of your training program. Appleton Greene training programs are designed to enable you to do things for yourself. They provide you with a structure or a framework and we use tutorial support to facilitate students while they practically implement what they learn. In other words, we are enabling students to do things for themselves. The benefits of distance learning via facilitation are considerable and are much more sustainable in the long-term than traditional short-term knowledge sharing programs. Consequently you should learn how and when to use tutorial support so that you can maximize the benefits from your learning experience with Appleton Greene. This guide describes the purpose of each training function and how to use them and how to use tutorial support in relation to each aspect of the training program. It also provides useful tips and guidance with regard to best practice.
Tutorial Support Tips
Students are often unsure about how and when to use tutorial support with Appleton Greene. This Tip List will help you to understand more about how to achieve the most from using tutorial support. Refer to it regularly to ensure that you are continuing to use the service properly. Tutorial support is critical to the success of your training experience, but it is important to understand when and how to use it in order to maximize the benefit that you receive. It is no coincidence that those students who succeed are those that learn how to be positive, proactive and productive when using tutorial support.
Be positive and friendly with your tutorial support emails
Remember that if you forward an email to the tutorial support unit, you are dealing with real people. “Do unto others as you would expect others to do unto you”. If you are positive, complimentary and generally friendly in your emails, you will generate a similar response in return. This will be more enjoyable, productive and rewarding for you in the long-term.
Think about the impression that you want to create
Every time that you communicate, you create an impression, which can be either positive or negative, so put some thought into the impression that you want to create. Remember that copies of all tutorial support emails are stored electronically and tutors will always refer to prior correspondence before responding to any current emails. Over a period of time, a general opinion will be arrived at in relation to your character, attitude and ability. Try to manage your own frustrations, mood swings and temperament professionally, without involving the tutorial support team. Demonstrating frustration or a lack of patience is a weakness and will be interpreted as such. The good thing about communicating in writing, is that you will have the time to consider your content carefully, you can review it and proof-read it before sending your email to Appleton Greene and this should help you to communicate more professionally, consistently and to avoid any unnecessary knee-jerk reactions to individual situations as and when they may arise. Please also remember that the CLP Tutorial Support Unit will not just be responsible for evaluating and assessing the quality of your work, they will also be responsible for providing recommendations to other learning providers and to client contacts within the Appleton Greene global client network, so do be in control of your own emotions and try to create a good impression.
Remember that quality is preferred to quantity
Please remember that when you send an email to the tutorial support team, you are not using Twitter or Text Messaging. Try not to forward an email every time that you have a thought. This will not prove to be productive either for you or for the tutorial support team. Take time to prepare your communications properly, as if you were writing a professional letter to a business colleague and make a list of queries that you are likely to have and then incorporate them within one email, say once every month, so that the tutorial support team can understand more about context, application and your methodology for study. Get yourself into a consistent routine with your tutorial support requests and use the tutorial support template provided with ALL of your emails. The (CLP) Tutorial Support Unit will not spoon-feed you with information. They need to be able to evaluate and assess your tutorial support requests carefully and professionally.
Be specific about your questions in order to receive specific answers
Try not to write essays by thinking as you are writing tutorial support emails. The tutorial support unit can be unclear about what in fact you are asking, or what you are looking to achieve. Be specific about asking questions that you want answers to. Number your questions. You will then receive specific answers to each and every question. This is the main purpose of tutorial support via email.
Keep a record of your tutorial support emails
It is important that you keep a record of all tutorial support emails that are forwarded to you. You can then refer to them when necessary and it avoids any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation.
Individual training workshops or telephone support
Tutorial Support Email Format
You should use this tutorial support format if you need to request clarification or assistance while studying with your training program. Please note that ALL of your tutorial support request emails should use the same format. You should therefore set up a standard email template, which you can then use as and when you need to. Emails that are forwarded to Appleton Greene, which do not use the following format, may be rejected and returned to you by the (CLP) Program Administration Manager. A detailed response will then be forwarded to you via email usually within 20 business days of receipt for general support queries and 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Your tutorial support request, together with the corresponding TSU reply, will then be saved and stored within your electronic TSU file at Appleton Greene for future reference.
Subject line of your email
Please insert: Appleton Greene (CLP) Tutorial Support Request: (Your Full Name) (Date), within the subject line of your email.
Main body of your email
1. Appleton Greene Certified Learning Provider (CLP) Tutorial Support Request
2. Your Full Name
3. Date of TS request
4. Preferred email address
5. Backup email address
6. Course manual page name or number (reference)
7. Project study page name or number (reference)
Subject of enquiry
Please insert a maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Briefly outline the subject matter of your inquiry, or what your questions relate to.
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Please note that a maximum of 5 questions is permitted with each individual tutorial support request email.
* List the questions that you want to ask first, then re-arrange them in order of priority. Make sure that you reference them, where necessary, to the course manuals or project studies.
* Make sure that you are specific about your questions and number them. Try to plan the content within your emails to make sure that it is relevant.
* Make sure that your tutorial support emails are set out correctly, using the Tutorial Support Email Format provided here.
* Save a copy of your email and incorporate the date sent after the subject title. Keep your tutorial support emails within the same file and in date order for easy reference.
* Allow up to 20 business days for a response to general tutorial support emails and up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies, because detailed individual responses will be made in all cases and tutorial support emails are answered strictly within the order in which they are received.
* Emails can and do get lost. So if you have not received a reply within the appropriate time, forward another copy or a reminder to the tutorial support unit to be sure that it has been received but do not forward reminders unless the appropriate time has elapsed.
* When you receive a reply, save it immediately featuring the date of receipt after the subject heading for easy reference. In most cases the tutorial support unit replies to your questions individually, so you will have a record of the questions that you asked as well as the answers offered. With project studies however, separate emails are usually forwarded by the tutorial support unit, so do keep a record of your own original emails as well.
* Remember to be positive and friendly in your emails. You are dealing with real people who will respond to the same things that you respond to.
* Try not to repeat questions that have already been asked in previous emails. If this happens the tutorial support unit will probably just refer you to the appropriate answers that have already been provided within previous emails.
* If you lose your tutorial support email records you can write to Appleton Greene to receive a copy of your tutorial support file, but a separate administration charge may be levied for this service.
How To Study
Your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant can help you to plan a task list for getting started so that you can be clear about your direction and your priorities in relation to your training program. It is also a good way to introduce yourself to the tutorial support team.
Planning your study environment
Your study conditions are of great importance and will have a direct effect on how much you enjoy your training program. Consider how much space you will have, whether it is comfortable and private and whether you are likely to be disturbed. The study tools and facilities at your disposal are also important to the success of your distance-learning experience. Your tutorial support unit can help with useful tips and guidance, regardless of your starting position. It is important to get this right before you start working on your training program.
Planning your program objectives
It is important that you have a clear list of study objectives, in order of priority, before you start working on your training program. Your tutorial support unit can offer assistance here to ensure that your study objectives have been afforded due consideration and priority.
Planning how and when to study
Distance-learners are freed from the necessity of attending regular classes, since they can study in their own way, at their own pace and for their own purposes. This approach is designed to let you study efficiently away from the traditional classroom environment. It is important however, that you plan how and when to study, so that you are making the most of your natural attributes, strengths and opportunities. Your tutorial support unit can offer assistance and useful tips to ensure that you are playing to your strengths.
Planning your study tasks
You should have a clear understanding of the study tasks that you should be undertaking and the priority associated with each task. These tasks should also be integrated with your program objectives. The distance learning guide and the guide to tutorial support for students should help you here, but if you need any clarification or assistance, please contact your tutorial support unit.
Planning your time
You will need to allocate specific times during your calendar when you intend to study if you are to have a realistic chance of completing your program on time. You are responsible for planning and managing your own study time, so it is important that you are successful with this. Your tutorial support unit can help you with this if your time plan is not working.
Keeping in touch
Consistency is the key here. If you communicate too frequently in short bursts, or too infrequently with no pattern, then your management ability with your studies will be questioned, both by you and by your tutorial support unit. It is obvious when a student is in control and when one is not and this will depend how able you are at sticking with your study plan. Inconsistency invariably leads to in-completion.
Charting your progress
Your tutorial support team can help you to chart your own study progress. Refer to your distance learning guide for further details.
Making it work
To succeed, all that you will need to do is apply yourself to undertaking your training program and interpreting it correctly. Success or failure lies in your hands and your hands alone, so be sure that you have a strategy for making it work. Your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant can guide you through the process of program planning, development and implementation.
Interpretation is often unique to the individual but it can be improved and even quantified by implementing consistent interpretation methods. Interpretation can be affected by outside interference such as family members, TV, or the Internet, or simply by other thoughts which are demanding priority in our minds. One thing that can improve our productivity is using recognized reading methods. This helps us to focus and to be more structured when reading information for reasons of importance, rather than relaxation.
When reading through course manuals for the first time, subconsciously set your reading speed to be just fast enough that you cannot dwell on individual words or tables. With practice, you should be able to read an A4 sheet of paper in one minute. You will not achieve much in the way of a detailed understanding, but your brain will retain a useful overview. This overview will be important later on and will enable you to keep individual issues in perspective with a more generic picture because speed reading appeals to the memory part of the brain. Do not worry about what you do or do not remember at this stage.
Once you have speed read everything, you can then start work in earnest. You now need to read a particular section of your course manual thoroughly, by making detailed notes while you read. This process is called Content Reading and it will help to consolidate your understanding and interpretation of the information that has been provided.
Making structured notes on the course manuals
When you are content reading, you should be making detailed notes, which are both structured and informative. Make these notes in a MS Word document on your computer because you can then amend and update these as and when you deem it to be necessary. List your notes under three headings: 1. Interpretation – 2.Questions – 3. Tasks. The purpose of the 1st section is to clarify your interpretation by writing it down. The purpose of the 2nd section is to list any questions that the issue raises for you. The purpose of the 3rd section is to list any tasks that you should undertake as a result. Anyone who has graduated with a business-related degree should already be familiar with this process.
Organizing structured notes separately
You should then transfer your notes to a separate study notebook, preferably one that enables easy referencing, such as a MS Word Document, a MS Excel Spreadsheet, a MS Access Database, or a personal organizer on your cell phone. Transferring your notes allows you to have the opportunity of cross-checking and verifying them, which assists considerably with understanding and interpretation. You will also find that the better you are at doing this, the more chance you will have of ensuring that you achieve your study objectives.
Question your understanding
Do challenge your understanding. Explain things to yourself in your own words by writing things down.
Clarifying your understanding
If you are at all unsure, forward an email to your tutorial support unit and they will help to clarify your understanding.
Question your interpretation
Do challenge your interpretation. Qualify your interpretation by writing it down.
Clarifying your interpretation
If you are at all unsure, forward an email to your tutorial support unit and they will help to clarify your interpretation.
The student will need to successfully complete the project study and all of the exercises relating to the Sales Generation corporate training program, achieving a pass with merit or distinction in each case, in order to qualify as an Accredited Global Supply Chain Development Specialist (AGSCDS). All monthly workshops need to be tried and tested within your company. These project studies can be completed in your own time and at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home or office. There are no formal examinations, assessment is based upon the successful completion of the project studies. They are called project studies because, unlike case studies, these projects are not theoretical, they incorporate real program processes that need to be properly researched and developed. The project studies assist us in measuring your understanding and interpretation of the training program and enable us to assess qualification merits. All of the project studies are based entirely upon the content within the training program and they enable you to integrate what you have learnt into your corporate training practice.
Sales Generation – Grading Contribution
Project Study – Grading Contribution
Customer Service – 10%
E-business – 05%
Finance – 10%
Globalization – 10%
Human Resources – 10%
Information Technology – 10%
Legal – 05%
Management – 10%
Marketing – 10%
Production – 10%
Education – 05%
Logistics – 05%
TOTAL GRADING – 100%
A mark of 90% = Pass with Distinction.
A mark of 75% = Pass with Merit.
A mark of less than 75% = Fail.
If you fail to achieve a mark of 75% with a project study, you will receive detailed feedback from the Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and/or Accredited Consultant, together with a list of tasks which you will need to complete, in order to ensure that your project study meets with the minimum quality standard that is required by Appleton Greene. You can then re-submit your project study for further evaluation and assessment. Indeed you can re-submit as many drafts of your project studies as you need to, until such a time as they eventually meet with the required standard by Appleton Greene, so you need not worry about this, it is all part of the learning process.
When marking project studies, Appleton Greene is looking for sufficient evidence of the following:
Pass with merit
A satisfactory level of program understanding
A satisfactory level of program interpretation
A satisfactory level of project study content presentation
A satisfactory level of Unique Program Proposition (UPP) quality
A satisfactory level of the practical integration of academic theory
Pass with distinction
An exceptional level of program understanding
An exceptional level of program interpretation
An exceptional level of project study content presentation
An exceptional level of Unique Program Proposition (UPP) quality
An exceptional level of the practical integration of academic theory
Womack & Jones in their seminal book Lean Thinking proposed five ‘lean principles’ that can be used as a framework to guide lean implementation. These principles can be readily adapted and used in an sales and marketing context and provide an overarching framework for developing a lean sales and marketing approach. The first principle – understanding what the customer actually wants – (the voice of the customer – VoC) is central to lean thinking and, not surprisingly, equally fundamental to sales and marketing . As those closest to customers, the sales and marketing function, is usually tasked with understanding their needs and defining the detailed offering, though how much of the understanding is based on objectivity and how much on subjectivity is a moot point. A further complication is that in some sectors actually identifying the customer is problematic, as buyers are not always the final consumers of the product. The second principle is about ensuring that all the elements of the sales and marketing process are integrated and flow along the value stream. The four core processes of the value stream are the key drivers, each with specific phases of activity which should only comprise of value adding activities.
Waste removal can be achieved by undertaking a mapping exercise that enables non-adding value activities to be highlighted and considered for elimination. Value stream mapping is a valuable skill for individuals and teams. There are many types of mapping tools and having an appreciation of where and when to use the appropriate mapping tool can prove a real benefit to improving sales and marketing performance. For example, the Big Picture Map might be used to scope out and gain a high level overview of a situation – it copes easily with the bigger issues and enables a wider perspective of an overall picture to be achieved. At a smaller scale, a four field map might be used to design or redesign a quotation process with the objective of reducing the time taken to process and enquiry. The third principle is about flow and many lean thinkers contend that this is the essence of lean – ensuring that value adding activities flow quickly and smoothly through the value stream. From an sales and marketing perspective, it is about making sure that all elements in each part of the four core processes exhibit continuous flow in order to make them efficient and effective. Common symptoms of a lack of flow in sales and marketing processes include: Overburdening of people through excessive work load backlogs in specific parts of the process; Excessive variation in process that are meant to be relatively standard; Unevenness of the workload demand. • Too much non-value adding activity (waste) in processes.
Typical non-value adding (wasteful) examples include: using substantial resources to collect customer information, for example from surveys, and then not being able to interpret it or gleaning no insights from its analysis; having a customer care programme which is misaligned to the specific needs of the market; spending significant resources generating sales leads for the wrong type of customers; giving too much attention to customers of the wrong type; producing reports that are not read, do not lead to action or do not inform decision making; multiple approval sign-off levels.
Principle four is only take action at the ‘pull’ of the customer. The opposite of pull is ‘push’ – that is, trying to give the customer something that may not be valued. Pull in classic lean manufacturing terms is about ensuring that a product is only made for known demand, avoiding a make to forecast mentality (some even contend that forecasts are either ‘lucky or lousy’!). In the sales and marketing world, the benefits of adopting this approach are specifically related to work patterns throughout the process, in that work is organised only in response to pull, or real demand, from the customer. Specific benefits include: highlighting issues with workflow, including backlogs; enabling an alignment of skilled resources to demand; highlighting opportunities for continuous improvement.
The fifth principle – in pursuit of excellence – is where every activity undertaken by every person in every part of the sales and marketing process is focused on adding value aligned to the needs of the customer. It is an ongoing mission, where those working on sales and marketing processes are trained to recognise and then remove successive layers of non-value added activities as part of continuous improvement practice. This represents a cultural shift, requires behaviour changes and takes time to embed.
Sales and marketing managers seeking to improve performance will find that adopting a lean approach offers them an effective and appropriate set of tools and techniques to help in realising their goals. When considered as part of a wider integrated lean transformation programme, the benefits will be felt across the business.
The benefits are primarily based on introducing process thinking and understanding to sales and marketing staff. Process thinking has not generally been part of the vocabulary of sales and marketing managers, who perhaps consider it as confining and restrictive, stifling the creativity required in their work.
However, it can be argued that adopting lean ways and ‘managing by fact’ does assist in creative thinking and defining direction. For example, ‘visioning’, is a key part of effective direction setting and strategy formation and by gaining a much clearer picture of what customers’ value, sales and marketing managers will be able to better align their offerings with the needs of their customers and more effectively than their competitors.
Understanding the concept of the value stream can offer real benefit to the sales and marketing manager, as this clarifies what actually does and does not add value from their customers’ perspectives. Having the ability to visualise value streams and the processes within them, helps in root cause analysis and helps convert reactive behaviour, where processes are out of control, to highly focused and proactive behaviour where processes are in control. And of course, processes in control will flow more effectively.
Lean’s focus on customer value as a route to competitive advantage should sit very comfortably with the sales and marketing community, since this should be their prime task in any business and getting a good understanding of the VoC has the potential to be a real differentiator and order winner. There are a range of VoC tools to help the sales and marketing practitioner gain deep insights into customer value, as well as develop strategy, refine existing products and define new products. Lean is applicable to sales and marketing since sales and marketing is made up of processes, just like other parts of a business; and once activities are viewed and analysed as processes, then the opportunities for improvements are revealed. The particular advantage of this in sales and marketing is that resultant productivity improvements can not only reduce the resources required to generate sales, but also increase sales through a better understand of customer needs.
Behavioural change will probably be necessary in most situations, which is invariably challenging and not without risks and the development of lean culture is a long term journey. However, important immediate gains can accrue as soon as there is a detailed understanding of sales and marketing processes and clearer appreciation of customer value, paving the route for the development of a sustainable, continuous improvement sales and marketing way.
Course Manual – Customer Service
Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation. The importance of customer service may vary by product or service, industry and customer. The perception of success of such interactions will be dependent on employees “who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest,” according to Micah Solomon. From the point of view of an overall sales process engineering effort, customer service plays an important role in an organization’s ability to generate income and revenue. From that perspective, customer service should be included as part of an overall approach to systematic improvement. A customer service experience can change the entire perception a customer has of the organization. Some have argued that the quality and level of customer service has decreased in recent years, and that this can be attributed to a lack of support or understanding at the executive and middle management levels of a corporation and/or a customer service policy. To address this argument, many organizations have employed a variety of methods to improve their customer satisfaction levels, and other key performance indicators (KPIs). Good customer service involves developing bonds with customers, hopefully leading to long term relationships. It creates advantages for both customers and the business alike. Customers benefit because the business is providing a service that meets their needs. The business benefits because satisfied customers are likely to be repeat customers. They will stay with the business. However, good customer service is not easily achieved. It takes time to establish. It requires investment to deliver consistent standards. A large part of customer service success is creating a seamless experience. Customer needs are anticipated; systems are in place; employees are trained. The company runs like a well-oiled machine. But what happens when the unexpected happens? Customers have an unusual request or they simply don’t know the rules of the system? The unexpected, provides the opportunity to stretch the system, improve the system, or even forget the system and impress a customer.
Consistently deliver upon promises
Customers are more likely to feel loyalty towards a company if they can be sure they are going to get exactly what they need from the company without any delays or problems. The company should not make promises that they cannot keep as this may damage their reputation.
Focus in detail
Very often it is the little things that make customers feel valued by a company and therefore they are likely to remain loyal. Small touches such as addressing customers by their name and showing a genuine interest in the customers can make all the difference.
If customers know they can rely on the product or service and it is going to serve their needs then they will continue to use it. The company may need to adapt the product or service as required in order for it to continue to meet customer needs.
Reward loyal customers by letting them become the first to know about any upcoming offers or promotions that the company is offering. This can be extended by making special deals available to selected customers before they are rolled out to everyone.
Exceptional customer service is a great way for a company to earn loyalty from its customers. Customers will remember your brand when you go out of your way to help them. It is this kind of experience that customers will share with others.
Experiencing problems with a product that customers have purchased from a company may not in itself be a disaster, especially if the customer is loyal and has had no previous problems with the company. What can cause a problem though is if the customer finds it difficult or time consuming to rectify the issue.
A loyalty program where the customer can accumulate points which can be redeemed for money off purchases can be the difference if the customer is choosing between two similar businesses. Customers like to feel rewarded for their loyalty. This kind of program can also be used as a marketing strategy.
Customers can tell if an employee is really dedicated to the company they work for or whether they are only there for the money. An employee’s enthusiasm for the company and for the products or services they offer can be infectious. This will create a more enjoyable experience for the customers and make them more likely to return.
This will serve two purposes. Firstly it will make the customers feel engaged with the company which will enhance their feelings of loyalty. Secondly it can give the company the chance to see what they are doing right and if there are any areas where they can improve.
Companies spend a lot of money on marketing in order to devise strategies that will attract new customers. While these strategies are important, then remember that they will be most effective when they are implemented with the needs of the customers in mind. As much effort should be put into retaining existing, loyal customers as there is in attracting new ones.
Sales Generation – Internal Analysis
The core objective of the Customer Service section of the course manual is to enable the Head of the Customer Service Department to implement a process within their own department, with a view towards undertaking a thorough and detailed internal analysis into the history, current position and future outlook for Sales Generation within their department. In other words, we need to ascertain how much the Sales Generation process has been used within Customer Service projects, how successful it has been and how things could be improved. Is the department centralized or decentralized in its management structure. In other words, is corporate strategy developed from the top down, or from the bottom up? This will directly impact upon the way in which Sales Generation process is used and interpreted. Remember: Sales Generation process improvement is an approach that actively engages program stakeholders in the evaluation process. When stakeholders collaborate with evaluators, their understanding increases and the utility of the evaluation is often enhanced. So, you will need to select either a large project that has recently been undertaken within your department, or number of smaller projects that have been recently undertaken within your department, identify who the program stakeholders were in each case and then consider how the Sales Generation process was used, whether it was successful and how it could be improved.
Course Manual – E-Business
e-business, is the application of information and communication technologies (ICT) in support of all the activities of business. Commerce constitutes the exchange of products and services between businesses, groups and individuals and can be seen as one of the essential activities of any business. Electronic commerce focuses on the use of ICT to enable the external activities and relationships of the business with individuals, groups and other businesses. The term “e-business” was coined by IBM’s marketing and Internet teams in 1996. Electronic business methods enable companies to link their internal and external data processing systems more efficiently and flexibly, to work more closely with suppliers and partners, and to better satisfy the needs and expectations of their customers. The internet is a public through way. Firms use more private and hence more secure networks for more effective and efficient management of their internal functions. In practice, e-business is more than just e-commerce. While e-business refers to more strategic focus with an emphasis on the functions that occur using electronic capabilities, e-commerce is a subset of an overall e-business strategy. E-commerce seeks to add revenue streams using the World Wide Web or the Internet to build and enhance relationships with clients and partners and to improve efficiency using the Empty Vessel strategy. Often, e-commerce involves the application of knowledge management systems. E-business involves business processes spanning the entire value chain: electronic purchasing and supply chain management, processing orders electronically, handling customer service, and cooperating with business partners. Special technical standards for e-business facilitate the exchange of data between companies. E-business software solutions allow the integration of intra and inter firm business processes. E-business can be conducted using the Web, the Internet, intranets, extranets, or some combination of these. Basically, electronic commerce (EC) is the process of buying, transferring, or exchanging products, services, and/or information via computer networks, including the internet. EC can also be beneficial from many perspectives including business process, service, learning, collaborative, community. EC is often confused with e-business.
E-Business systems naturally have greater security risks than traditional business systems, therefore it is important for e-business systems to be fully protected against these risks. A far greater number of people have access to e-businesses through the internet than would have access to a traditional business. Customers, suppliers, employees, and numerous other people use any particular e-business system daily and expect their confidential information to stay secure. Hackers are one of the great threats to the security of e-businesses. Some common security concerns for e-Businesses include keeping business and customer information private and confidential, authenticity of data, and data integrity. Some of the methods of protecting e-business security and keeping information secure include physical security measures as well as data storage, data transmission, anti-virus software, firewalls, and encryption to list a few.
Privacy and confidentiality
Confidentiality is the extent to which businesses makes personal information available to other businesses and individuals. With any business, confidential information must remain secure and only be accessible to the intended recipient. However, this becomes even more difficult when dealing with e-businesses specifically. To keep such information secure means protecting any electronic records and files from unauthorized access, as well as ensuring safe transmission and data storage of such information. Tools such as encryption and firewalls manage this specific concern within e-business.>/p>
E-business transactions pose greater challenges for establishing authenticity due to the ease with which electronic information may be altered and copied. Both parties in an e-business transaction want to have the assurance that the other party is who they claim to be, especially when a customer places an order and then submits a payment electronically. One common way to ensure this is to limit access to a network or trusted parties by using a virtual private network (VPN) technology. The establishment of authenticity is even greater when a combination of techniques are used, and such techniques involve checking “something you know” (i.e. password or PIN), “something you need ” (i.e. credit card), or “something you are” (i.e. digital signatures or voice recognition methods). Many times in e-business, however, “something you are” is pretty strongly verified by checking the purchaser’s “something you have” (i.e. credit card) and “something you know” (i.e. card number).
Data integrity answers the question “Can the information be changed or corrupted in any way?” This leads to the assurance that the message received is identical to the message sent. A business needs to be confident that data is not changed in transit, whether deliberately or by accident. To help with data integrity, firewalls protect stored data against unauthorized access, while simply backing up data allows recovery should the data or equipment be damaged.
This concern deals with the existence of proof in a transaction. A business must have assurance that the receiving party or purchaser cannot deny that a transaction has occurred, and this means having sufficient evidence to prove the transaction. One way to address non-repudiation is using digital signatures. A digital signature not only ensures that a message or document has been electronically signed by the person, but since a digital signature can only be created by one person, it also ensures that this person cannot later deny that they provided their signature.
When certain electronic resources and information is limited to only a few authorized individuals, a business and its customers must have the assurance that no one else can access the systems or information. Fortunately, there are a variety of techniques to address this concern including firewalls, access privileges, user identification and authentication techniques (such as passwords and digital certificates), Virtual Private Networks (VPN), and much more.
This concern is specifically pertinent to a business’ customers as certain information must be available when customers need it. Messages must be delivered in a reliable and timely fashion, and information must be stored and retrieved as required. Because availability of service is important for all e-business websites, steps must be taken to prevent disruption of service by events such as power outages and damage to physical infrastructure. Examples to address this include data backup, fire-suppression systems, Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) systems, virus protection, as well as making sure that there is sufficient capacity to handle the demands posed by heavy network traffic.
Common security measures
Many different forms of security exist for e-businesses. Some general security guidelines include areas in physical security, data storage, data transmission, application development, and system administration.
Despite e-business being business done online, there are still physical security measures that can be taken to protect the business as a whole. Even though business is done online, the building that houses the servers and computers must be protected and have limited access to employees and other persons. For example, this room should only allow authorized users to enter, and should ensure that “windows, dropped ceilings, large air ducts, and raised floors” do not allow easy access to unauthorized persons. Preferably these important items would be kept in an air-conditioned room without any windows. Protecting against the environment is equally important in physical security as protecting against unauthorized users. The room may protect the equipment against flooding by keeping all equipment raised off of the floor. In addition, the room should contain a fire extinguisher in case of fire. The organization should have a fire plan in case this situation arises. In addition to keeping the servers and computers safe, physical security of confidential information is important. This includes client information such as credit card numbers, checks, phone numbers, etc. It also includes any of the organization’s private information. Locking physical and electronic copies of this data in a drawer or cabinet is one additional measure of security. Doors and windows leading into this area should also be securely locked. Only employees that need to use this information as part of their job should be given keys. Important information can also be kept secure by keeping backups of files and updating them on a regular basis. It is best to keep these backups in a separate secure location in case there is a natural disaster or breach of security at the main location. “Failover sites” can be built in case there is a problem with the main location. This site should be just like the main location in terms of hardware, software, and security features. This site can be used in case of fire or natural disaster at the original site. It is also important to test the “failover site” to ensure it will actually work if the need arises. State of the art security systems, such as the one used at Tidepoint’s headquarters, might include access control, alarm systems, and closed-circuit television. One form of access control is face (or another feature) recognition systems. This allows only authorized personnel to enter, and also serves the purpose of convenience for employees who don’t have to carry keys or cards. Cameras can also be placed throughout the building and at all points of entry. Alarm systems also serve as an added measure of protection against theft.
Storing data in a secure manner is very important to all businesses, but especially to e-businesses where most of the data is stored in an electronic manner. Data that is confidential should not be stored on the e-business’ server, but instead moved to another physical machine to be stored. If possible this machine should not be directly connected to the internet, and should also be stored in a safe location. The information should be stored in an encrypted format. Any highly sensitive information should not be stored if it is possible. If it does need to be stored, it should be kept on only a few reliable machines to prevent easy access. Extra security measures should be taken to protect this information (such as private keys) if possible. Additionally, information should only be kept for a short period of time, and once it is no longer necessary it should be deleted to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. Similarly, backups and copies of information should be kept secure with the same security measures as the original information. Once a backup is no longer needed, it should be carefully but thoroughly destroyed.
Data transmission and application development
All sensitive information being transmitted should be encrypted. Businesses can opt to refuse clients who can’t accept this level of encryption. Confidential and sensitive information should also never be sent through e-mail. If it must be, then it should also be encrypted. Transferring and displaying secure information should be kept to a minimum. This can be done by never displaying a full credit card number for example. Only a few of the numbers may be shown, and changes to this information can be done without displaying the full number. It should also be impossible to retrieve this information online. Source code should also be kept in a secure location. It should not be visible to the public. Applications and changes should be tested before they are placed online for reliability and compatibility.
Security on default operating systems should be increased immediately. Patches and software updates should be applied in a timely manner. All system configuration changes should be kept in a log and promptly updated.
System administrators should keep watch for suspicious activity within the business by inspecting log files and researching repeated logon failures. They can also audit their e-business system and look for any holes in the security measures. It is important to make sure plans for security are in place but also to test the security measures to make sure they actually work. With the use of social engineering, the wrong people can get a hold of confidential information. To protect against this, staff can be made aware of social engineering and trained to properly deal with sensitive information. E-businesses may use passwords for employee logons, accessing secure information, or by customers. Passwords should be made impossible to guess. They should consist of both letters and numbers, and be at least seven to eight digits long. They should not contain any names, birth dates, etc. Passwords should be changed frequently and should be unique each time. Only the password’s user should know the password and it should never be written down or stored anywhere. Users should also be locked out of the system after a certain number of failed logon attempts to prevent guessing of passwords.
When it comes to security solutions, there are some main goals that are to be met. These goals are data integrity, strong authentication, and privacy.
Access and data integrity
There are several different ways to prevent access to the data that is kept online. One way is to use anti-virus software. This is something that most people use to protect their networks regardless of the data they have. E-businesses should use this because they can then be sure that the information sent and received to their system is clean. A second way to protect the data is to use firewalls and network protection. A firewall is used to restrict access to private networks, as well as public networks that a company may use. The firewall also has the ability to log attempts into the network and provide warnings as it is happening. They are very beneficial to keep third-parties out of the network. Businesses that use Wi-Fi need to consider different forms of protection because these networks are easier for someone to access. They should look into protected access, virtual private networks, or internet protocol security. Another option they have is an intrusion detection system. This system alerts when there are possible intrusions. Some companies set up traps or “hot spots” to attract people and are then able to know when someone is trying to hack into that area.
Encryption, which is actually a part of cryptography, involves transforming texts or messages into a code which is unreadable. These messages have to be decrypted in order to be understandable or usable for someone. There is a key that identifies the data to a certain person or company. With public key encryption, there are actually two keys used. One is public and one is private. The public one is used for encryption, and the private for decryption. The level of the actual encryption can be adjusted and should be based on the information. The key can be just a simple slide of letters or a completely random mix-up of letters. This is relatively easy to implement because there is software that a company can purchase. A company needs to be sure that their keys are registered with a certificate authority.
The point of a digital certificate is to identify the owner of a document. This way the receiver knows that it is an authentic document. Companies can use these certificates in several different ways. They can be used as a replacement for user names and passwords. Each employee can be given these to access the documents that they need from wherever they are. These certificates also use encryption. They are a little more complicated than normal encryption however. They actually used important information within the code. They do this in order to assure authenticity of the documents as well as confidentiality and data integrity which always accompany encryption. Digital certificates are not commonly used because they are confusing for people to implement. There can be complications when using different browsers, which means they need to use multiple certificates. The process is being adjusted so that it is easier to use.
A final way to secure information online would be to use a digital signature. If a document has a digital signature on it, no one else is able to edit the information without being detected. That way if it is edited, it may be adjusted for reliability after the fact. In order to use a digital signature, one must use a combination of cryptography and a message digest. A message digest is used to give the document a unique value. That value is then encrypted with the sender’s private key.>
Sales Generation – Internal Analysis
The core objective of the E-Business section of the course manual is to enable the Head of the E-Business Department to implement a process within their own department, with a view towards undertaking a thorough and detailed internal analysis into the history, current position and future outlook for Sales Generation within their department. In other words, we need to ascertain how much the Sales Generation process has been used within E-Business projects, how successful it has been and how things could be improved. Is the department centralized or decentralized in its management structure. In other words, is corporate strategy developed from the top down, or from the bottom up? This will directly impact upon the way in which Sales Generation process is used and interpreted. Remember: Sales Generation process improvement is an approach that actively engages program stakeholders in the evaluation process. When stakeholders collaborate with evaluators, their understanding increases and the utility of the evaluation is often enhanced. So, you will need to select either a large project that has recently been undertaken within your department, or number of smaller projects that have been recently undertaken within your department, identify who the program stakeholders were in each case and then consider how the Sales Generation process was used, whether it was successful and how it could be improved.
Course Manual – Finance
Finance is a field within economics that deals with the allocation of assets and liabilities over time under conditions of certainty and uncertainty. Finance can also be defined as the science of money management. A key point in finance is the time value of money, which states that one unit of currency today is worth more than one unit of currency tomorrow. Finance aims to price assets based on their risk level and their expected rate of return. Finance can be broken into three different sub-categories: public finance, corporate finance and personal finance. Corporate finance is the area of finance dealing with the sources of funding and the capital structure of corporations and the actions that managers take to increase the value of the firm to the shareholders, as well as the tools and analysis used to allocate financial resources. Although it is in principle different from managerial finance which studies the financial management of all firms, rather than corporations alone, the main concepts in the study of corporate finance are applicable to the financial problems of all kinds of firms. Corporate finance generally involves balancing risk and profitability, while attempting to maximize an entity’s wealth and the value of its stock, and generically entails three primary areas of capital resource allocation. In the first, “capital budgeting”, management must choose which “projects” (if any) to undertake. The discipline of capital budgeting may employ standard business valuation techniques or even extend to real options valuation; see Financial modeling.
The second, “sources of capital” relates to how these investments are to be funded: investment capital can be provided through different sources, such as by shareholders, in the form of equity (privately or via an initial public offering), creditors, often in the form of bonds, and the firm’s operations (cash flow). Short-term funding or working capital is mostly provided by banks extending a line of credit. The balance between these elements forms the company’s capital structure.
The third, “the dividend policy”, requires management to determine whether any un-appropriated profit (excess cash) is to be retained for future investment / operational requirements, or instead to be distributed to shareholders, and if so in what form. Short term financial management is often termed “working capital management”, and relates to cash-, inventory- and debtors management.
Corporate finance also includes within its scope business valuation, stock investing, or investment management. An investment is an acquisition of an asset in the hope that it will maintain or increase its value over time. In investment management – in choosing a portfolio – one has to use financial analysis to determine what, how much and when to invest. Financial management overlaps with the financial function of the Accounting profession. However, financial accounting is the reporting of historical financial information, while financial management is concerned with the allocation of capital resources to increase a firm’s value to the shareholders. Financial risk management, an element of corporate finance, is the practice of creating and protecting economic value in a firm by using financial instruments to manage exposure to risk, particularly credit risk and market risk. (Other risk types include Foreign exchange, Shape, Volatility, Sector, liquidity, Inflation risks, etc.) It focuses on when and how to hedge using financial instruments; in this sense it overlaps with financial engineering. Similar to general risk management, financial risk management requires identifying its sources, measuring it and formulating plans to address these, and can be qualitative and quantitative. In the banking sector worldwide, the Basel Accords are generally adopted by internationally active banks for tracking, reporting and exposing operational, credit and market risks.
Capital, in the financial sense, is the money that gives the business the power to buy goods to be used in the production of other goods or the offering of a service. (The capital has two types of resources, Equity and Debt). The deployment of capital is decided by the budget. This may include the objective of business, targets set, and results in financial terms, e.g., the target set for sale, resulting cost, growth, required investment to achieve the planned sales, and financing source for the investment. A budget may be long term or short term. Long term budgets have a time horizon of 5-10 years giving a vision to the company; short term is an annual budget which is drawn to control and operate in that particular year. Budgets will include proposed fixed asset requirements and how these expenditures will be financed. Capital budgets are often adjusted annually and should be part of a longer-term Capital Improvements Plan. A cash budget is also required. The working capital requirements of a business are monitored at all times to ensure that there are sufficient funds available to meet short-term expenses.
Financial economics is the branch of economics studying the interrelation of financial variables, such as prices, interest rates and shares, as opposed to those concerning the real economy. Financial economics concentrates on influences of real economic variables on financial ones, in contrast to pure finance. It centers on managing risk in the context of the financial markets, and the resultant economic and financial models. It essentially explores how rational investors would apply risk and return to the problem of an investment policy. Here, the twin assumptions of rationality and market efficiency lead to modern portfolio theory (the CAPM), and to the Black–Scholes theory for option valuation; it further studies phenomena and models where these assumptions do not hold, or are extended. “Financial economics”, at least formally, also considers investment under “certainty” (Fisher separation theorem, “theory of investment value”, Modigliani-Miller theorem) and hence also contributes to corporate finance theory. Financial econometrics is the branch of financial economics that uses econometric techniques to parametrize the relationships suggested. Although closely related, the disciplines of economics and finance are distinctive. The “economy” is a social institution that organizes a society’s production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services,” all of which must be financed. Economists make a number of abstract assumptions for purposes of their analyses and predictions. They generally regard financial markets that function for the financial system as an efficient mechanism (Efficient-market hypothesis). Instead, financial markets are subject to human error and emotion. New research discloses the mischaracterization of investment safety and measures of financial products and markets so complex that their effects, especially under conditions of uncertainty, are impossible to predict. The study of finance is subsumed under economics as financial economics, but the scope, speed, power relations and practices of the financial system can uplift or cripple whole economies and the well-being of households, businesses and governing bodies within them, sometimes in a single day.
Financial mathematics is a field of applied mathematics, concerned with financial markets. The subject has a close relationship with the discipline of financial economics, which is concerned with much of the underlying theory. Generally, mathematical finance will derive, and extend, the mathematical or numerical models suggested by financial economics. In terms of practice, mathematical finance also overlaps heavily with the field of computational finance (also known as financial engineering). Arguably, these are largely synonymous, although the latter focuses on application, while the former focuses on modelling and derivation (see: Quantitative analyst). The field is largely focused on the modelling of derivatives, although other important sub-fields include insurance mathematics and quantitative portfolio problems.