“If you want to have clean water, send it through a filter,” a sales executive said recently. He was discussing the new deal desk function at his company, which consolidates and organizes information for non-standard deals, and makes decisions to keep the sales process moving. “We need visibility and a way to understand the impact of our decisions for non-standard deals. Our deal desk also helps us identify trends.”

Deal desks have been used by sales organizations for several years, but are gaining popularity because they create efficiencies in the sales organization and offer creative solutions for customers. In a recent SalesGlobe survey, 70% of companies had a deal desk in their sales organization; but nearly 30% of respondents had not yet heard of a deal desk. The deal desk function is making a difference for companies by providing a mechanism to support non-standard deal requests and is having a noticeable impact with adjacent activities – like pricing and contracts — that support the deal process. (read more…)

When you step up to speak, you hope what you have to say makes an impact on your audience, right?

That goal can sometimes lure you into giving a presentation that has the opposite effect: leaving listeners shell-shocked, overwhelmed, and unable to recall anything you said. That happens when you ask them to “drink from the fire hose,” and drown your audience with too much information.

Watch this video featuring Michael Richards of Seinfeld fame to see what this feels like to listeners.

You want your listeners to be blown away by your presentation, but this is probably not what you had in mind!

A while back, I experienced a “fire hose” presentation from a surprising source: a well-known author and marketing icon. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to talk with him prior to his workshop, and found his style to be clear and succinct. So image my shock when he announced his intention to teach us “37 ways to market our business.” Yikes! (read more…)

This post is sponsored by Biologics Consulting

Norman Baylor is the president and CEO of Biologics Consulting. He joined Biologics Consulting after 20 years with the FDA, where he most recently served as director of the Office of Vaccination Research and Review. In his previous position at the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, he was responsible for planning, developing and administering CBER’s national and international programs and operational activities involving vaccines and related products. In this interview, he discusses how consulting firms work with innovators and manufacturers throughout the product development and regulatory process.

Question: What are some of the challenges companies face in navigating the regulatory approval process?

Norman Baylor: Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are presented with a myriad of challenges due to the highly regulated environment within which they must operate. Over the past few years, the industry has seen a proliferation of regulatory changes they must observe to ensure ongoing compliance. (read more…)

The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization composed of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

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I need to “break up” with a business partner. Beyond the legal considerations, what can I do to approach this delicate situation successfully?

yec_Matt Doyle1. Be as honest as possible

This is always a hard situation, but nothing makes it harder on the person being let go than not getting honesty from the person they’ve fought beside and endured the same hardships with. Let them know exactly why they can’t be a part of this anymore, and have evidence to back it up. Those who truly cared about the business will often see reason. (read more…)

Aon’s most recent “Trends in Global Employee Engagement” reprises a familiar refrain:

“Companies continue to struggle with providing growth opportunities for employees and other top engagement drivers. Career opportunities is the top engagement driver globally; however, positive perceptions surrounding this driver have fallen 3 points, to 44%”

Yet again, organizations, talent professionals and leaders have to face the hard data and hard reality that we’ve still not cracked the code on what matters most to employees: career opportunities. It’s not for lack of effort. Companies are investing extraordinary resources in skills training, portals, online systems and processes designed to make this happen. And it all falls short. Here’s why.

Dated definitions: We continue to hold tightly to and perpetuate the illusion that career development operates via the old career ladder, which (in days gone by) allowed for the regular, progressive and consistent movement upward toward increasingly desirable positions. Unfortunately, the ladder no longer exists. (read more…)