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Standards and Expectations – Defining Performance Standards, part 1 of 8

StrategyDriven Standards and Expectations ArticleStandards and expectations define how work is to be performed; providing guidance for the consistent, efficient, value-based execution of tasks. At the outset, developing a comprehensive set of performance standards often appears to be an overwhelming and daunting task as employees within even the ‘least complex’ organizations perform countless different activities every day. However, it is not intended that performance standards be developed for every conceivable activity. Rather, standards should be formulated for those activities reflecting organizational values, implementing corporate strategy, and presenting significant risk. The documented basis behind this finite set of standards provides the guidance needed for employees to make rational judgments about the conduct of less significant activities.


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StrategyDriven Podcast Special Edition 21e – An Interview with Duane Sparks, author of Sales Strategy from the Inside Out

StrategyDriven Podcasts focus on the tools and techniques executives and managers can use to improve their organization’s alignment and accountability to ultimately achieve superior results. These podcasts elaborate on the best practice and warning flag articles on the StrategyDriven website.

Special Edition 21e – An Interview with Duane Sparks, author of Sales Strategy from the Inside Out explores how businesses employing a consultative sales method realize dramatically increased revenues. During our discussion, Duane Sparks, author of Sales Strategy From The Inside Out: How Complex Selling Really Works and Chairman and Founder of The Sales Board, shares with us his insights and illustrative examples regarding:

  • the five decisions individuals go through before making the final buying decision
  • how to bring other team members into the sales process and the benefits of this practice
  • determining the right number of client needs identification interactions before presenting a solution balanced with the client’s desire to hear the solution given their time investment
  • role of the sales professional in orchestrating solution presentations made by client personnel

Additional Information

In addition to the invaluable selling skills insight Duane shares in Sales Strategy From The Inside Out and this special edition podcast, please visit his company’s Sales Training or Sales Management site. To discover why this selling skill is so effective at maximizing sales productivity, purchase Duane’s book: Sales Strategy From The Inside Out.

Complimenting Sales Strategy From The Inside Out, are Duane’s four other books on the consultative sales process including:


Read a Summary of the above Sales Books.

Final Request…

The strength of our community grows with the additional insights brought by our expanding member base. Please consider rating us on iTunes by clicking here. Rating the StrategyDriven Podcast and providing your comments online improves our ranking and helps us attract new listeners which, in turn, helps us grow our community.

Thank you again for listening to the StrategyDriven Podcast!


About the Author

Duane Sparks, author of Sales Strategy From The Inside Out, is Chairman and Founder of The Sales Board, a Minneapolis-based strategic sales training company that has trained and certified more than 350,000 salespeople in more than 3,000 groups in the system and skills of Action Selling. He has written five sales books, personally facilitated more than 300 Action Selling training sessions and continues to engage in the business and art of the strategic sales process. Read Duane’s full biography and the history of Action Selling Sales Management Training.

The Dos and Don’ts of Networking

  • Do treat everyone you meet with respect.
  • Do ask questions of other people about their business.
  • Do try to meet 3-5 new people at every event.
  • Do carry business cards wherever you go.
  • Do follow up when you meet people you want to get to know better.
  • Don’t talk too much about yourself or your products or services the first time you meet someone (don’t sell).
  • Don’t stand or sit with people from your own company.
  • Don’t arrive late or leave early.
  • Don’t think meeting someone one time makes them part of your network.
  • Don’t talk about religion, politics, or the economy with those you just met.

About the Author

Thom Singer is the author of six books on the power of business relationships and networking, including: Some Assembly Required: How to Make, Grow and Keep Your Business Relationships (New Year Publishing, 2007), The ABC’s of Networking (New Year Publishing, 2007), Some Assembly Required: A Networking Guide for Women (New Year Publishing, 2008), and Batteries Not Included: 66 Tips to Energize Your Career (New Year Publishing, 2009). He also writes the Some Assembly Required Blog and is the creator of the free online Networking Quotient Quiz (www.nqquiz.com). Singer has over 18 years of sales, marketing, public relations, business development and networking experience in the business community, having worked for several Fortune 500 Companies and AM LAW 100 law firms. He regularly speaks at corporate seminars around the country teaching professionals the importance of cultivating business relationships to further their careers. Singer also leads training sessions as “The Conference Networking Catalyst” at large multi-day seminars focused on helping people make lasting connections with those they meet at the event. For more information about Thom Singer, visit http://www.thomsinger.com.

Top 5 Networking Tips if Your Company is Going Through Layoffs

  • Stay positive. Regardless of if you get laid off or stay in your job, your attitude will have an impact on your future. Try to look for the positive and find ways to cheer up others who might be having a tough time with the changes.
  • Start networking early. If you wait until you get the pink slip you will have missed the opportunities to forge strong relationships. If you only network when you need something (like a new job), then people will see you are one sided in your networking. Show up and try to help others with their goals before you need their help.
  • Do not say bad things about your company. If your company is experiencing tough times, do not be gossiping inside or outside the business about what is happening. People are always cautious about those who gossip and spread bad news. They worry about what you say about them when they are not in the room, and this will not lead them to help you later if you are in search of a new job. Who would want to hire someone who tells stories all over town about their last employer?
  • Be visible inside the company and around town. Out of sight is out of mind. Hiding in your cubicle and thinking that by being invisible will help you keep your job might backfire. Doing good work and completing your projects is very important in tough times, but do not rationalize that that is all you have to do to stay employed.
  • Make sure you have your resume and LinkedIn profile up to date. Do not wait until you are laid off to update these critical job seeking tools. Make sure that you have everything up to date so that you can immediately use them if you are suddenly laid off.

About the Author

Thom Singer is the author of six books on the power of business relationships and networking, including: Some Assembly Required: How to Make, Grow and Keep Your Business Relationships (New Year Publishing, 2007), The ABC’s of Networking (New Year Publishing, 2007), Some Assembly Required: A Networking Guide for Women (New Year Publishing, 2008), and Batteries Not Included: 66 Tips to Energize Your Career (New Year Publishing, 2009). He also writes the Some Assembly Required Blog and is the creator of the free online Networking Quotient Quiz (www.nqquiz.com). Singer has over 18 years of sales, marketing, public relations, business development and networking experience in the business community, having worked for several Fortune 500 Companies and AM LAW 100 law firms. He regularly speaks at corporate seminars around the country teaching professionals the importance of cultivating business relationships to further their careers. Singer also leads training sessions as “The Conference Networking Catalyst” at large multi-day seminars focused on helping people make lasting connections with those they meet at the event. For more information about Thom Singer, visit http://www.thomsinger.com.

Tactical Execution Best Practice 4 – Eliminate Redundant Work

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Best Practice ArticleWhether in an economic recession or boom, resources are always limited and redundant work always an unnecessary resource expenditure. Yet no matter how hard leaders try to eliminate redundant work, these practices seem to reappear; often the result of well intentioned actions to correct a performance deficiency or misguided adherence to a legacy practice. Therefore, all leaders from the C-suite to the shop floor must relentlessly wage an ongoing war against unnecessary duplicate work.


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