10 Essential Elements of Effective Teamwork

What is it with team work? Some teams seem to work better than others. Those teams that work well get consistent high level results and people love working in them.

Other teams wallow in never ending mediocrity. It’s like watching a horrible movie played out day after day after …

If you are responsible for leading teams, you obviously want one to be one that gets results. But how does that happen?

Fortunately, effective teamwork isn’t a great and obscure mystery. Here is an infographic that highlights the ten essential elements of teamwork:

 

10 elements of effective team work

Certainly, you don’t have to be the actual leader of a group to successfully lead a group, nor should you sit back and say “not my problem” and let the group collapse around you. Anyways, this is what I learned. What elements work for you? Share your insight in our comments section.

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The Secret to Hiring the Best Customer Services Reps

I believe that hiring the most productive customer service employees really comes down to hiring for attitude over skill.

I once heard a quote at a business conference I attended in Toronto, Ontario, Canada that is very applicable here: “Hire slowly, fire fast”. Taking your time with this decision is crucial, regardless of how badly you need the extra help. Think of the Japanese word “Kaizen” – it means taking a little time to get better every day.

Your mindset should be set on long term growth and success.  You want your business to be a kaizen. Think for 10 years from now. Sure, hiring the first person to crop up might solve a need short-term, but it will destroy you in the long run.

Here are a few tips to help you wield out the good recruits from the bad:

1. Are they making good eye contact?

If a person does not maintain great eye contact during an interview, you would never want to hire them for a customer service position. Customer service is all about being social and finding ways to connect with colleagues, management, and most of all, customers.

2. Can you hear empathy in their voice?

Another key trait of a great customer service rep is having an empathetic vocal quality that will have them practically drooling to make customers feel good and to feel comfortable. As well, their empathy should also be used to diffuse a bad situation before it escalates, i.e., a key customer terminates contract.

3. What kind of personality do they have?

The 4 most important things to learn during a phone screen are: 1. Is this person socially adept? and 2. Will this person get along with my company and my team? 3. Does this person speak with confidence and pride? 4. Is the person positively responsive to the information you provide?  Things like when to talk and when to listen, how to respond appropriately, and correct tone of voice are difficult to teach. You want someone who has those things down. And the phone screen will reveal this.

4. Create a profile of your ideal employee

Have a plan. Try to avoid simply hiring anyone that looks good or comes in with an application. Create a profile of what makes a good employee, and what makes a bad employee, and look for those that stick to that plan. Speak to friends and colleagues to see if they can refer someone to you.

5. Check References

You really need to check references carefully and do background checks. In the litigious society in which we live you need to pursue every avenue to assure that the people you hire can do the job, contribute to your growth and development, and have no past transgressions which might endanger your current workforce.

6. Simulations

Have your team engage with the interviewees as if they were customers. You can learn a lot and get to see if they were friendly or standoffish. If we were unable to get them to engage in conversation on the sales floor, it could be a sign that they may not bode well in your work environment.

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6 Mental Skills All Successful Sales Managers Have In Common

Looking to become successful in sales, especially if you are in a cut-throat, competitive industry? Here are 6 mental skills that all successful sales managers have in common. It would help you to have them as well.

 

1. Attitude

Successful sales managers realize that attitude is just a choice and that they should always choose the one that is positive. They view each prospect as an opportunity to compete and learn from their successes and failures. More so, they pursue excellence, as opposed to perfection, and realize that being a successful sales manager does not always mean being perfect.

 

2. Motivation

Successful sales managers realize the rewards and benefits of their work. They are able to persist through the difficult tasks and slow times, especially when the rewards and benefits are immediately imminent.

 

3. Goals & Commitment

Successful sales managers have goals that are realistic, both short term and long term. They are aware of how well they are currently performing and are able to develop detailed plans that will help lead them to their goals.

 

4. Self-Talk

Successful managers in sales are able to maintain self-confidence during slow times with realistic and positive self-persuasion. They would coach themselves as they would their best friends or colleagues. They would also use self-talk to control negative behaviors and thoughts during competitive and slow times.

 

5. People Skills

Successful managers in sales realize that they are part of a team and that they cannot prosper alone without the help of their teammates. When appropriate, the managers communicate their thoughts and feelings to the people that listen to them. They also have effective skills for dealing with difficult clients, opponents and colleagues.

 

6. Customer Intelligence

The best sales managers understand that their business cannot survive without customers, and the better they understand their customers, the more successful they are likely to be. They thereby create specific personas for their target customers.

 

To be successful in sales, you need access to a powerful tool that will enable you to measure and maintain your sales pipeline management. You need a tool that will allow you to quickly calculate such things as Number of Leads, The Average Cost Per Conversion and Drop Off/Win Rate. That’s InfoFlo! Click here to learn more about InfoFlo CRM.

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The Winner of Our “Get Organized for 2013” Twitter Contest Is…

As you may know, from Monday January 28th until February 4th, we held our first twitter contest. To enter, individuals simply had to follow us on Twitter @Infoflosoftware and tweet why they loved using our Infoflo CRM Software to win their choice of the Infoflo Core System plus two add-ons, or  any three add-ons of their choice.

We loved seeing all of the tweets! It was great to hear why people loved our CRM software, and how they were using it to organize their businesses and improve their sales. Take a look at a small sampling of great tweets from our happy customers:

The winning tweet, (chosen by http://textmechanic.com/Random-Line-Picker.html) was:

We enjoyed this Twitter contest so much, we’re thinking about doing another one. Tell us what you think!

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Join Our Twitter Contest: Get Organized For 2013

 Infoflo Software “Get Organized for 2013”  Twitter Contest
Terms and Conditions

NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO PARTICIPATE

Infoflo’s   “Get Organized for 2013” contest starts on Monday January 28th, 2013  at 12pm  EST and ends on Monday Februrary 4, 2013  12pm EST.  The winner will be notified by a Twitter direct message. The winner will have 7 days to respond before an alternate is chosen.

How to Enter:

Entering is free. Just use your Twitter account to complete both steps below:

1) Follow us @InfofloSoftware*
2) Post a tweet about why you love using InfofloSoftware. You must include @InfofloSoftware and the hashtag #CRM in your tweet to be entered into the contest.**

Please note:

*If you don’t have a twitter account, you can get one for free at http://www.twitter.com
**If you have not tried InfloFlo CRM software, you may download a free trial at http://www.carmelvision.com/downloads.htm

Eligibility:

This contest is open to anyone who is currently an infoflo user. No purchase is necessary.   If you have not purchased Infoflo software, you may download a free trial here, http://www.carmelvision.com/downloads.htm , try it and enter the contest.

Prize: 

One follower  will win The Core Infoflo System with free lifetime updates, plus any two add-ons.  Approximate Value: Up to $237.  If the winner already owns the Core Infoflo system then they may have three add-ons of their choice. Approximate Value: Up to $207

Additional Rules:

  • You may only use one account to enter the contest. Anyone found using multiple accounts to enter will be ineligible to win.
  • Tweet only once per day. Multiple Entries in a single day will not be accepted.
  • Be sure to include our username (@infoflosoftware) and the hashtag #CRM  in your tweet so that we will see your entry.
  • Chances of winning are unknown. It will based on the number of tweets.
  • The contest begins on Monday January 28th, 2013  at 12pm  EST and ends on Monday Februrary 4, 2013  12pm EST.  Winners will be announced on Tuesday, February 5.
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How to Profit with Contact Management Software

Contact management software choices can be quite baffling when you consider what’s available. Making the best choice for maximizing profit can be even more difficult. For businesses with existing CRMs, owners may be only skimming the surface when it comes to profit potential. With a few hints and tips however, you can yield the return your investment deserves.

First, contact management software is most beneficial to business when it’s easy to use. The less cumbersome the better. Simple systems are easier to learn which will decrease the time it takes to get things up and running, and what saves time, saves money. Beyond that, the ability to streamline communication between different users- clients, customer service, execs and bookkeepers – is best achieved with the least complicated CRM software available. Better communication means, you guessed it, better profits.

Data security features should be top priority when considering how to profit with data management software. Contact management software can only be profitable when it’s as safe and secure as possible. Without the right security features in place, the risk of having information stolen or mishandled can outweigh any legitimate investment costs, so be sure to include this factor when selecting the right CRM for your business. For CRMs already in use, stay ahead of the curve by equipping your system with the latest updates frequently.

All in all, how to profit with contact management software can be summed up with one word: flexibility. Go beyond being synched with Outlook and shoot for software that transcends functionality limitations across as many different platforms as possible. If you’ve already selected your software solution, try to increase usefulness by ensuring that top execs are are well-informed of the system’s quirks and functions and are willing to lead the way forward with implementation and improvements down the line.

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Successful Email Marketing with your Contact Management Software

Email Marketing is still the most popular medium when trying to send a personal message to your leads or customers. Sure, social media is easier to use and can instantly reach all of your desired recipients, but it is missing that personal touch included in an email marketing campaign. This personal touch at the very least should include the recipients first and last name and should give the feeling that each recipient is the only one receiving the email. Most contact management software solutions should include such an email marketing tool and if they don’t, I would recommend switching to one that does.

The alternative would be to use a 3rd party software that only does email marketing, but this presents many problems. The most prominent problem is that it creates inefficiencies and becomes very time consuming. Rather than using a single software for your email marketing needs, you would now need to export the contact list from your contact management software to your 3rd party email marketing software every time you want to update your list. Another problem would be that you could not view all email communication between yourself and the recipient but rather than only view the bulk emails sent out. If you have an integrated contact management software with email marketing, you could view all these emails within the software.

When sending a bulk email please remember to include links to all of your social media accounts, such as your Twitter and Facebook so that interested recipients could follow you on Twitter and like any of your posts on Facebook. If you have any videos promoting your product, it would also be beneficial to include a link to them, or even better, create your own YouTube channel, upload all of your videos to there and send a link to your YouTube channel.

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