Archive for August, 2007

Mid-Market Companies Face Talent Shortage. Hello, Interim Managers.

Posted on August 15, 2007. Filed under: alternative staffing, interim management, marketing recruitment, Mid-market |

It’s a great day when you find statistics to back up a thesis. I’ve long experienced that mid-market companies have a difficult time accelerating their growth because of a lack of the right talent. I think this is true in nearly every field, but especially evident, based on my observations, in Marketing and Engineering. Interim marketing managers, this is your cue. Mid-market companies, this is your chance to leave the old models behind and look at how interim management in the marketing department can give your organization an amazing level of energy and flexibility.

In July The Economist magazine published, in association with CIT, a report that looked at the economic outlook for U.S. middle-market companies (by their definition companies from $25M to $1Bn annual revenue). Perspectives from America’s Economic Engine: US Middle Market Outlook 2007 is available for free download.

An excerpt from the report:

“When it comes to obstacles to growth, a shortage of talented staff is cited most frequently (35%), followed by labour costs (25%) and market saturation (25%). The lack of high calibre staff is especially felt by the healthcare and IT industries.”

In other words, a shortage of talent and the cost of talent are obstacles #1 and #2 for mid-market companies. Shake off your TOBMs (tired old business models) and look at the wealth of super-skilled, super-experienced, super-motivated interim managers that are available to your organization right now.

-CB

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Interim Managers Can Align Marketing and Sales

Posted on August 9, 2007. Filed under: interim executive, interim management, marketing, temporary executive |

In over six years as a marketing consultant and interim exec I’ve had many occasions to pro actively work with the head of Sales or Sales Operations to re-engineer opportunity pipelines (aka lead funnel, sales pipeline, etc.). MarketingSherpa and Marketo recently collaborated on an article about how Sales & Marketing can better align to generate and close more leads. The points they make in the article are good advice.

I’ve been successful in this for several reasons. Other interim marketing managers take note.

  1. As a “new guy” I can establish a trusting, working relationship with Sales free of any past acrimony and angst. Plus, I’m objective and bring fresh thinking to the situation.
  2. I share a sense of urgency with Sales; I’m anxious to make improvements quickly because my engagement time is limited. Believe me, Sales appreciates marketing folks who have a sense of urgency.

I also follow an effective process for re-engineering the opportunity pipeline.

  1. I was taught some time ago that the key to defining stages of a pipeline is to identify “observable customer behaviors” that dictate where the opportunity is within the pipeline. Did the customer take the factory tour, or not? Did they request a proposal or not?
  2. Once the stages and triggers of the entire lead gen and sales process are mapped out, I work collaboratively with ales to apply metrics, the conversion ratios between each stage. Yes, this can be tricky.
  3. With metrics in place and knowing what our average revenue per sale or per deal is we can calculate how many contacts, suspects, leads, prospects, etc. we need to generate hit our revenue number. Yep, you may need a separate pipeline for each brand, or product line.
  4. Then, we work collaboratively to assign strategies and tactics to each stage, plus ownership for each. A marketing action plan and sales support plan are the outcomes, not to mention a clear understanding of the process, and a shared vocabulary.
  5. The final steps are making sure the CRM system supports our pipeline stages, and training everyone in sales & marketing on it.
  6. Act, measure, adjust, act, measure, adjust.
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Marketing Job Outlook Strong

Posted on August 5, 2007. Filed under: marketing, marketing resource management |

By Charles Besondy

In my never-ending quest for wisdom and enlightenment I browsed the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition published by the Department of Labor. http://www.bls.gov/oco/oco2008.htm

According to Uncle Sam the demand for our profession looks rosy except in manufacturing. This report doesn’t concern itself with interim managers or temporary managers, but I strongly believe in the theory that a rising tide lifts all boats. So if there is consistent demand for marketers, the demand for interim marketers should also be strong. An excerpt from the report follows.

Advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales manager jobs are highly coveted and will be sought by other managers or highly experienced professionals, resulting in keen competition . . . In particular, employers will seek those who have the computer skills to conduct advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales activities on the Internet.

Employment of advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers is expected to increase faster than the average for all occupations through 2014, spurred by intense domestic and global competition in products and services offered to consumers. However, projected employment growth varies by industry. For example, employment is projected to grow much faster than average in scientific, professional, and related services, such as computer systems design and related services, and in advertising and related services, as businesses increasingly hire contractors for these services instead of additional full-time staff. By contrast, a decline in employment is expected in many manufacturing industries.

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You Could be in My Interim Management Book

Posted on August 1, 2007. Filed under: alternative staffing, Besondy, Executive staffing, fractional management, in-sourcing, interim executive, interim management, marketing, staffing alternatives for marketing, temporary executive, temporary management |

I have decided to write a book on the topic of interim management for the marketing function, and you can play a part. If you have hired or have considered hiring IMs for marketing roles I’d very much like to interview you for my book. Please post a comment if you have something to say on this topic and would like to be interviewed. For the rest of you, if you think a particular topic should be covered in the book, let me know.

There are some good books on interim management in general, but the focus of my book will be on the marketing department. I feel strongly that smart companies see IMs as excellent tools for staying nimble and quick within highly dynamic markets. IMs give companies the ability to bring in the perfect blend of experience and expertise at C-level, VP-level and Director-level positions. When the requirements change, it’s easy and painless for the company to change the talent mix. Not enough companies are using this model, however.

I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas.

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    A Discussion of Interim Management for Marketing and Sales Functions by Charles Besondy

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  • About this Blog

    This blog is devoted to the topic of interim management for marketing functions within large and small corporations. Interim management as a staffing concept is well-understood and widely utilized in Europe. However, here in the colonies we are just beginning to open our eyes to the business benefits of being flexible and nimble when it comes to staffing senior-level marketers. (c) 2006 - 2012 Charles Besondy
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