“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.…

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Yesterday we profiled some of the technologies that were on display at this year’s TCEA conference in Austin, Texas. Today, we bring you part two of our special edition of Tech Showcase, TCEA 2016.

Bloomz is an app that uses social media functions to help teachers and parents better communicate. Teachers can share photos, news about class activities, important alerts, and reminders about upcoming assignments and deadlines. Parents can use the integrated class calendar to coordinate events, field trips and parent-teacher conferences. All communication is private and secure.

Promethean debuted its new ActivWall system, a widescreen, interactive display designed to support collaborative activities. ActivWall comes with whiteboard capability, Web browser and features for polling and notes capture. The system also includes a DLP solid-state projector, built-in speakers, wireless mirroring system and Promethean’s LaserView Technology.

PlanetHS is designed to help schools better manage extracurricular activities. The platform supports live streaming, student portfolios, electronic payments, data integration and analysis, monitored and audible communications, among other features.…

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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!…

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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.…

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Brand strategies from all corners of the food and beverage industry drew the interest of SmartBrief readers this week, with restaurants, consumer package goods firms and retailers shifting the strategies behind their identities. KFC traded Norm MacDonald’s Colonel for Jim Gaffigan’s and Taco Bell introduced its new Quesalupa menu item during Super Bowl spots, while Mondelez unveiled plans to turn its focus to social media to build up its e-commerce business and Target updated the packaging for its Market Pantry brand to give it a bolder design.

Expansion strategies were also popular stories in our food and beverage newsletters this week. Kroger opened the first store under its Main & Vine banner, Chobani decided it would not sell a majority stake to PepsiCo on its path to growth and Ensure’s parent company Abbott Laboratories launched a line of healthy snacks.

Check out the full list of this week’s 10 most-clicked stories:

  1. KFC unveils new Colonel in live-stream Super Bowl spot
  2. Kroger opens 1st Main & Vine store
  3. Chobani declines offer from PepsiCo, other investors
  4. Mondelez to prioritize e-commerce sales
  5. Mars tops Candy Industry’s list of best candy firms for 2016
  6. Ensure-maker Abbott Laboratories launches snack brand
  7. Chipotle to spend $10M to boost food safety
  8. Target gives Market Pantry brand a refresh
  9. Taco Bell takes the wraps off top-secret new menu item
  10. Kroger chooses new division presidents

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