Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

Why Resilient B2B Commerce Is the Only Way Forward for Manufacturers and Suppliers Post COVID-19
Aug06

Why Resilient B2B Commerce Is the Only Way Forward for Manufacturers and Suppliers Post COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has cast clouds of uncertainty in the business landscape and resulted in a shutdown of several economic activities. As a result, businesses are likely to witness a paradigm shift in supply chains, operating models, consumer behavior, and procurement and sales strategies. It is vital to take proactive steps to put your business in a secure position and accelerate the recovery process. Business resilience can go a long way in adapting to unforeseen circumstances and ensuring sustainability. Especially for players in the B2B commerce supply chain, uncertain times like these could present a “cat on the wall” situation. You may face a slump in the market or find it difficult to meet a surge in demand. While both situations can be equally distressing, manufacturers and distributors can rely on sound business continuity and resilience to counter the challenge and ensure unhindered supply in a pandemic of this size and scale. The current situation has compelled businesses to make structural changes in their go-to-market strategies. Here are some key focus areas that can help you ensure continuity and build a resilient front during the most devastating health crisis of the century. Disaster recovery: Businesses must estimate the impact of the pandemic on operational capabilities. As an immediate response, most businesses have established commercial nerve centers with cross-functional teams to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on sales operations. They have also made adjustments such as flexible credit terms to support their channel partners. While these initiatives can help meet […]

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Positioning: 5 Strategies to Stand Out From Your Competitors
Aug06

Positioning: 5 Strategies to Stand Out From Your Competitors

Positioning is one of the fundamental elements of marketing, both for consumer products and B2B (Business to Business). Positioning is a brand’s unique way of providing value to its customers. Where does a brand sit in the hearts and minds of customers? These associations that consumers hold with a brand reflect their positioning. This week’s blog topic explores positioning as a marketing strategy and how it relates to other marketing strategies. Five common positioning strategies are also discussed. “A position that takes into consideration not only a company’s own strengths and weaknesses, but those of its competitors as well.” (Ries & Trout, 2001) What Is Positioning? Firms use positioning to create an image of a brand’s product or service in the mind of a target customer. Positioning defines how the brand’s offering is unique, how it provides a distinct benefit to customers. Businesses use marketing to communicate their market position to customers and influence their perception of the brand’s products or services. Marketing establishes the brand identity, influencing consumer perceptions of its position in the market relative to the alternatives available from competitors. “Positioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect. That is, you position the product in the mind of the prospect.” (Ries & Trout, 2001) Before determining its position in the market, a firm should decide on a segment of the market that they want to target. This segment of the market should be profitable — either there […]

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CAL vs. PAL – Which Agile Leader Training Should You Take?
Aug06

CAL vs. PAL – Which Agile Leader Training Should You Take?

One thing that is critical for a successful Agile Transformation is training at all levels, especially agile leader training. Unfortunately, many leaders don’t believe they need training, even though I insist that they do! The two main leader offerings are the CAL and the PAL. Sounds friendly enough, right? Scrum Alliance is offering the Certified Agile Leadership training course or CAL and Scrum.org offers the Professional Agile Leader or PAL. Let’s dig into the details of each of these agile leader training courses. The Certified Agile Leadership (CAL) – Agile Leader Training Course The Certified Agile Leadership or CAL was introduced by Scrum Alliance in September 2016. The course development team included Pete Behrens, Steven Denning, Angela Johnson, Pollyanna Pixton and Simon Roberts. The CAL is a 2 or 2.5-day course, depending on the instructor preference. There are 17 contact hours of training and those hours may all be in class, or up to half of them may be completed via distance learning or reading case studies. I took the class in a 2-day format in 2017 from Michael Sahota. The target audience is identified as agile coaches and consultants, managers, executives and leaders. In the course I took in 2017, all participants were coaches. I think this affected the course and I would have liked to have had more managers and executives in class to better understand them, how they engage with the material and what they consider important and useful. I wasn’t sure how impactful it would be […]

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The Ultimate Onboarding Checklist
Aug06

The Ultimate Onboarding Checklist

Adding new people to your team can be very exciting, but it can also be stressful if you haven’t ironed out a clear onboarding process. Not only will having a solid onboarding plan make things easier for you, but it’ll also help your new hires as well. If you’ve ever had trouble integrating new hires, then this ultimate onboarding checklist is what you need. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about what you need to get a new hire set up for success. An Overview of Onboarding Onboarding is the process of bringing new hires into your business. This step ensures that new hires are set up in their respective roles so that they can work efficiently. It entails making new hires comfortable in their roles and giving them the tools and support they need to be productive. Full onboarding consists of four major steps: business overview, role and expectations, introduction and welcoming, endorsement and tools. We’ll detail them below along with the items that fall under each step. Step 1: Give New Hires a Complete Overview of the Business Candidates should always be given a brief overview of your business during the interview. It focuses on the goals of the role they are applying for and how this impacts the business overall. This time, give new hires a more in-depth overview of the business, including other roles that they will be interacting with and impacting. Review Your Business Mission, Vision and Values geralt / Pixabay Take […]

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5 Words to Use When Pitching a Product to a Buyer
Aug06

5 Words to Use When Pitching a Product to a Buyer

Words are incredibly powerful. They form the foundation of our communication with one another. When used effectively, words can influence people to act in ways that align with your goals. When used ineffectively, they can do the opposite. When you are pitching your product to a buyer or it’s an experienced sales rep, it’s important to choose your words carefully. With the right ones, you can finally close that sale you’ve been working towards. Below, you’ll find five words you can use when pitching a product to a buyer that will take your proposal up a notch. 1. “You” You is an incredibly important word to use when speaking with a prospective buyer for your product. However, most people use it incorrectly. Instead of saying ‘I think you would like X, Y, or Z” you should be saying “You would like to have X, Y, or Z”. Note the subtle shift here. In the first example, you’re speaking from your own perspective. In the second, you’re speaking from the buyer’s. By utilizing the word you in this way, you can appeal to your buyers on a much deeper level than you would be able to while speaking from your own perspective. 2. “Advantage” Advantage is another word that you should absolutely be using in your pitches. You want to make it clear to the buyer what your product does that sets it apart from others on the market. However, you need to do more than that. You also need to […]

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