Global business consulting services and revenue growth expertise

Blue Sky Strategies for Marketing and Sales

Welcome to KCI

Marketing SolutionsSales PerformanceRisk Management

Can you make money in this economy? Absolutely. Do you need to change the way you do business to succeed? Very likely, and KCI can help you determine where to spend your valuable time and limited resources.  We are a management consulting team who has worked extensively with the Fortune 500 but equally with many SMEs, focused on creating new levels of success for our customers in very specific ways while helping them remain true to their core value proposition.  We creatively collaborate with you on your marketing, sales and risk strategy, then introduce the processes and recommend the right technology so you will:

Connecting Global Sales and Marketing

Measurably Improve Customer Loyalty and Drive Growth

Obtaining a good customer is hard work and retaining them can be just as challenging.  We can help you measure your progress as your customer truly perceives it and fuel your organization with the information you need to create an amazing customer experience.

Increase Profitability and Save Money

The goal scenario is to drive low-cost growth and fully utilize the talent and resources you have at hand and then invest wisely where marketing and sales success is proven.  We can help you sell more to your current customers and grow your new business by targeting the right prospects that look like your current best customers and with good credit.

Improve Sales Performance and Increase the Predictability of your Revenue

In order to run your business effectively, you need predictable growth, governed by meaningful metrics.  We will help you improve sales performance by first evaluating your current strategy, then developing best practices and metrics designed to drive that strategy forward, leveraging the latest technology as needed.

In today’s economy, businesses need to have a clear strategic plan to accomplish these goals. KCI will help you build that plan. Contact us today for a consultation and let’s start growing your business together.

March 25, 2009   Comments Off

7 “What To Expect”s When You Are Expecting: Getting Real About Your First Email Campaign

Unfortunately, there are a lot of preconceptions about email marketing, some truth and some dirty rumours, too. When used properly, email marketing is a fantastic way to supplement other forms of direct marketing, including direct (snail) mail and telemarketing. It is not a miracle drug to cure revenue loss and isn’t a replacement for your sales team, either.

After 20 years of direct marketing for my own businesses as well as for many customers, I have learned to get very realistic about my expectations. A 3% direct mail campaign can be a celebration if conducted with a pure prospect database, but an utter failure if it is an upsell/cross sell campaign to your customer base. How about a 3% response using email for prospects? Don’t count on it! Try .3% on your first wave, unless you have the only stock of umbrellas during the rainy season.

OK, you are still reading and not discouraged by that number – excellent! Let’s talk about how you can make your first foray into email marketing a success:

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October 27, 2011   No Comments

Selling in a downturn : Playing to win over the competition

Reduced spending by consumers and businesses expected through 2011”… “Household wealth falls by trillions”.. “Another increase in jobless claims”. These are the business headlines of today. They can strike fear in our hearts – we the executives and business owners, managers and entrepreneurs that are trying to succeed in this economy or they can be used to fuel the fire that put us in this seat in the first place. The key is understanding the marketing, sales and finance levers available to our business, creating a strong plan, and driving it forward fearlessly.

Are you playing to win… or playing not to lose?

I recently read an excellent Harvard Business digital article by James Allen and Darrell Rigby entitled “Winning in Turbulence: Clarify strategy: choose where and how to win.“ In this piece written for CEOs and business owners, the authors state:

The goal of strategy in a downturn is to help you end up on the right side of the mortality tables-not just surviving but poised for growth, as Darwinian forces eliminate weaker competitors. To build that strategy, you need to know exactly where you will compete, how you plan to win and how you will mobilize the organization to implement the strategy.“

To adopt this viewpoint is to move from a space of fear and indecision to one of control and ascendancy. When a competitor fails, your sales team must be ready to win over their customers and take over the relationships. You must also understand which of them are going to be profitable and add to your growth, and which you should avoid. But how do I look ahead and think big when my sales are down, even some of my best customers are paying me later than ever and my operating costs are at best, flat?

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May 20, 2011   2 Comments

5 low cost ways to identify and find more “best customers”

It’s a lot of work trying to please all of your customers, isn’t it? The fact that it is such hard work might tell you that something is inherently wrong with that strategy. Effective companies focus primarily on pleasing their best customers, not all of them. They also spend their marketing and sales dollars on prospects that look just like their best. I was recently reminded of this and the 80/20 rule, or Pareto principle, when reading an excellent business and lifestyle book, The 4- Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris.

You spend time and valuable resources building the best products on the market and then aim to provide world-class service for your customers. However, providing service is also very expensive so let’s ration it. I met one of the founders of LOVEFiLM (similar to Netflix for US readers), William Reeve, at a Customer Loyalty show in the UK who spoke on this topic. His company measured the number of calls for service per month per customer and grouped customers by the expense they drove. If you called too often, you were valued differently, as a perfect customer buys the most product at the least cost for you. Smart.

Here are 5 stepping stones to sanity when it comes to understanding who truly are your “best customers” and finding more of them.

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October 26, 2010   2 Comments

An Employee Exodus?

In a recent edition of the Kiplinger Letter there was a disturbing fact stated. “As a business owner or manager, you should be worried about losing critical employees as the economy recovers. Some companies are now working to pick off the cream of the crop. Surveys show 20% of all employees wants to switch jobs as soon as they can.” The letter goes on to explain that when the unemployment rate drops to under 7%, the floodgates will open.

Now is the time to act to take preventative measures. There are several actions you can take to ensure retention- and more importantly- engagement of your employees:

1. Survey the employees to find out what the current climate is
a. Do the employees feel like their opinions are valued
b. Does your team understand their role in the mission of the company
c. Do the employees feel like their contribution is vital and valued
d. Does your team feel that they are working for an ethical company that reflects their personal values
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April 15, 2010   No Comments

Be a Star, Not a Sales Pretender

There are millions of sales people in the world, yet 20% of them drive 80% of the sales revenue and profits. Why is that? Why do so few drive the volume while so many just go through the motions?

The Sales Executive Council ™, a few years ago, published a white paper on research of how the Star sales person distinguished themselves from the core sales person.

Learning from the Stars

1. An emphasis on pre-sales activity – call planning and preparation – allows high performers to approach opportunities better armed than the core.
2. High performers focus customer facing time on relationship building, not on logistics or low value service details.

Avoiding Time Sinks

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January 5, 2010   No Comments

Does email marketing (still) really work?

Does email marketing really still work these days?  In one word: YES! Now that we are all connected to our email seemingly 24 hours a day via either the office or a mobile device, we business professionals are using email communication more than ever.  However, does this mean that it’s easier or more difficult to get in contact with prospects via email marketing?  Actually, it’s easy to get in contact with them, but harder to capture their attention.  Many times when we receive email from an unfamiliar source we simply hit the delete button without even thinking about it.  The majority of email spam I get is from either from retail companies of whom I am a customer offering me 20% discounts or ridiculous offers from overseas mystery people claiming that if I email them my personal information, I’ll be in line for 20 bars of gold from a mine in Africa.  Rarely do I get an email that is actually focused on my own business and one that is asking me to please reach out and learn how their company might possibly be able to help me grow my business or cut costs.  Also, I can count on one hand the number of actual calls I have received advising me to be on the lookout for an email and to please open it. We’ll get to that aspect later!

So why is email marketing effective? Well, let’s think about the obvious reasons:

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September 10, 2009   1 Comment