The Rhythm of the Seasons

Every spring, everything tumbles and crashes into one another in our business.  It's merely the rhythm of our consulting business when the excitement and optimism of the annual January sales meetings meets the reality of Q1 sales forecasts measured against actual results  Sometimes up, sometimes down, but never exactly as was planned, which then results in increased business for us at the firm.  It's just the rhythm of our business which always seems to align itself with the seasonal calendar rhythms of the year. 

Add to this cyclical rhythm the reality that the implementation of any new sales or marketing plan will always take a minimum of 90 days before any results are seen, which is why we always focus on Q2 as being the most important quarter of the year.  By the month of May, we know what's working and what's not, and there's still plenty of time to make adjustments that will pay off in Q4.  

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Tags: Sales Best Practices, HubSpot Tips, Teaching at Tufts University, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2024 sales and marketing best practices, 2024 Sales Planning, 2024 Business Planning, 2024 Marketing Planning

The Profession of Sales

I'm love being a salesguy!. I love what we do in our consulting practice working with companies in the rapidly changing environments of Sales and Marketing, plus the fact that I can explore those practices even more intently by teaching both subjects at the Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts provides a perfect flywheel of experiences with highly  positive results.  Personally, I can take out of the classroom and labs new ideas and bring them into our customers while many of our customers take advantage of three-month deep dives in perfecting their planning with my student teams of juniors, seniors and grad students. 

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Tags: Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, Sales Hiring Perfectly, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2024 Sales Planning, 2024 Marketing Planning

Jack's 3 Rules to his Graduating Students

Not sure how we got here so quickly, but here we are at the 12th week of a 13 week semester with all that's left being the end-of-semester final Marketing presentations of the student teams to their company managers over the period of the next two weeks. Those 90 minute presentations accompanied by detailed marketing plans account for 40% of the students' semester grade, and that 40% is determined by the company manager graded on the basis of how the student teams of five or six met their objectives.  All very exacting, all very real-world, all real-life detailing of Marketing strategies, tactics and accompanying expenses.  The reality of the hard work accomplished by the students is what's exciting for me and keeps me motivated.   



It's been a demanding, complex, fun and very exciting semester   The Science of Sales course has one more content week, and then their final presentations and detailed sales plans will unfold through the balance of the month into the first week of May.   

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Tags: Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2024 sales and marketing best practices, 2024 Business Planning, 2024 Marketing Planning

All The Marbles Today

This afternoon's Finals of the Tufts $100K Business Plan Competition started with 100s of February applications and countless hours of expert advice from hands-on-coaches which then moved to 30 Semi-Finalists three weeks ago and today will come down to the judging of 15 finalists for all of the marbles.  Along that path, our distinctive expertise in applying our own brand of "Entrepreneurship for the Rest of Us"is the uniqueness that we provide at The Derby Entrepreneurship Center.

 

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Tags: Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, Derby Entrepreneurship Center, 2024 sales and marketing best practices, 2024 Business Planning, 2024 Marketing Planning

Entrepreneurship for the rest of us!

An extraordinary day last Friday at The Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts watching, listening, reviewing and commenting on the semi-finals for our annual $100K Business Plan Contest.  Just as college basketball ramps up for March Madness, so do we accelerate for the biggest event on the Tufts campus for The Finals on April 5th.

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Tags: Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, Derby Entrepreneurship Center, 2024 sales and marketing best practices, 2024 Sales Planning, 2024 Business Planning, 2024 Marketing Planning

Marketing & the Importance of Events in an AI world!

In today's lightning-paced world of marketing, do events and conferences still hold a significant position in your marketing toolkit?

While they demand meticulous planning and often represent a hefty chunk of your customer acquisition cost, the answer is a resounding YES—events are indispensable!

 

In my continuing quest this year to simplify the definition of "What's Marketing?", what I absolutely know is that the essence of Marketing's success lies in one basic principle: "Generate qualified leads that yield desired outcomes at the lowest sustained cost!"

No fluff. No vague terminology. Just results-driven results, measured by expense over numbers of days.

If we opt to include events in our marketing arsenal, acknowledging their substantial cost, we must exercise even greater discipline: 

  1. Direct Sales Capability:
    Events should offer opportunities for immediate product sales. Consider a recent B2C pop-up event for our Tufts entrepreneurs, where hundreds purchased products, providing both revenue and valuable feedback.  https://derbyecenter.tufts.edu/

  2. Uniqueness: Stand out from the crowd! Whether it's a symposium on climatetech or an annual conference, differentiation is key. I recall how HubSpot, in its infancy, captivated attention with everyone wearing orange jumpsuits and providing short innovative demos using iPads.

  3. Expense Management: Beyond venue and fees, scrutinize necessity.  Ask: "How many attendees are essential?" and "Do all sales representatives need to attend?"  Rationalize expenses to maximize ROI.

  4. Defined KPIs Consensus: Establish clear, measurable goals. Determine prospect interest indicators, follow-up protocols, messaging strategies, and conversion rates—all within a rapid time frame. Without strict KPIs, event participation lacks purpose, and just maybe, you shouldn't attend at all.

This week's highlights showcase the power of impactful events:

At my Wednesday's Tufts Marketing class, we were honored to host David Meerman Scott, renowned for his expertise encapsulated in our course bible:  "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" His visit was nothing short of transformative, from AI insights to engaging anecdotes about The Grateful Dead.

The session was met with enthusiastic participation, culminating in a standing ovation—a testament to David's unmatched prowess in the field.

In my two decades of teaching marketing, David stands out as an unparalleled luminary in the field.

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Tags: Teaching entrepreneurship, Teaching at Tufts University, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2024 sales and marketing best practices, 2024 Sales Planning, 2024 Business Planning, 2024 Marketing Planning

Leap Year, March 1st & Q1 Sales Quotas

Unless you're one of the 362,900 people in the U.S. born on yesterday's Leap Day, like rapper JaRule or motivational speaker Tony Robbins, the day was "just a day", except, of course for all of us salespeople with only one more month to meet our Q1 Quota. 

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Tags: Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2024 sales and marketing best practices, 2024 Sales Planning, 2024 Business Planning, 2024 Marketing Planning

Startup Basics...You Gotta Sell Some Stuff!

Two years ago, I met the well-known Provost of Research at Tufts, Simin Meydani, and she had a question. 

Not about her 10 years of ground-breaking nutrition research on healthier living, reducing cancer risk by 25%, increasing life span by 50% and reducing weight gain, but a technical question on company formation.

As a result of that discussion and hundreds of others, we launched FulLife Nutrition  with two other co-founders who are deep into the science of nutrition, FDA regulations, the early-stage engineering of food, and, of course...marketing.  We then extended our unpaid team to startup food and beverage experts from the many people in the Tufts food and beverage community.

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Tags: Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2024 sales and marketing best practices, 2024 Sales Planning, 2024 Business Planning, 2024 Marketing Planning

Folklore, Forecasting & Punxsutawney Phil

Today it's all about Punxsutawney Phil!

The famous prognosticator has been making weather predictions from his Gobbler’s Knob home in Punxsutawney PA since 1887.  And with Groundhog Day 2024 here this morning, the pressure is on for Phil to once more deliver his prediction about how many dark and icy days are ahead.   

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Tags: Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2024 sales and marketing best practices, 2024 Sales Planning, 2024 Business Planning, 2024 Marketing Planning

The Marketing of Prostate Cancer

For a cold Friday morning at the end of a very busy and shortened week, hopefully the title of this morning's blog gets some attention...because it should.  Terrible news with what has occurred over the last two weeks regarding Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's complications from his prostrate surgery.  He has already stated that there are actions he should have taken that would have provided better communication and better met protocols. 

 

And unfortunately, given the current Washington environment of rabid finger-pointing and heightened political back-stabbing, there are now calls for his resignation.   

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Tags: Making Tough Choices, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2024 sales and marketing best practices, 2024 Sales Planning, 2024 Business Planning, 2024 Marketing Planning