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Get to work on your people strategy and watch your business grow


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People strategy? What? Seriously?
Believe it or not, there is one thing in business
that is under-utilized, not generally top-of-mind
and desperately needing attention in all industries.
We’re all in the people business.

Published in: Business
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Get to work on your people strategy and watch your business grow

  1. 1. and watch your business grow Get to work on your People strategy People strategy? What? Seriously?   Scott MacFarland | April 2019 Believe it or not, there is one thing in business that is under-utilized, not generally top-of-mind and desperately needing attention in all industries. We’re all in the people business.
  2. 2. First of all, let’s get straight to the point, businesses sell to people, and businesses are operated by people (B2B or B2C, H2H… it doesn’t matter). If we fail to establish relationships and trust with those people most important to us and also fail to connect and communicate effectively with those people, we fail to operate smoothly (internally and externally), fail to sell, fail to grow, and fail to work well together and excel – Basically, we fail to perform to our highest level. “CUSTOMERS WILL NEVER LOVE A COMPANY UNTIL THE EMPLOYEES LOVE IT FIRST.” Business isn’t only about attracting new customers. It’s also about employees, which some believe to be the most valuable asset in a company. Without employees, many businesses simply will cease to exist. So, take a good hard look at both your customer people strategy and your employee people strategy. Chances are, one of these is not clicking on all cylinders and is causing your business to underperform. According to an article published by, Four Reasons Employees Underperform (And What To Do About It), reaching optimum performance in your company starts with clear communication. People and performance go together. When people strategies are clicking on all cylinders, performance happens at all levels. – Simon Sinek What is a People Strategy? 1
  3. 3. I was able to catch-up with a personal friend Ray Theberge, Senior Vice President at Colonial Systems. Ray is the person who stimulated the idea for me to start researching and writing this ebook while we were enjoying a Red Sox Spring Training game in Florida. So, I figured he deserved to be one of the featured guests. Here’s what Ray had to say about the all-important people strategy. If you ever get the privilidge of meeting Ray, you will soon discover his ability to connect and communicate with people is unsurpassed. Whether you are in sales, marketing, or operations, you want your customers (existing and new) to view working with you as more than just a transaction. Strictly transactional, or commodity sales are not long- term sales. To ensure the long-term viability of your business, you need to look at each customer as a friend that you care about. Take their best interest at heart, and they will do the same for your business. People want to buy from people, specifically, they want to buy from people they like. But even more importantly, they are motivated to buy from people that make them feel good about buying from them. "You can’t expect anything from your customer (such as loyalty, appreciation, respect, etc.) that you haven’t already given to them." -Ray Theberge Customers Senior Vice President Colonial Systems Ray Theberge
  4. 4. True Value of People of consumers with an emotional connection to a brand recommend that same brand to others. 71% more will be spent by customers that continue to support your brand over time in comparison to new customers. 67% Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work. 4.6X 3 4 5
  5. 5. Okay, let’s take Ray’s comments from page 3 a step further. Ask yourself this question. Would you pay more because your “customer experience” during the purchase process was exceptional? In other words… your personal experience (online, in-store or in-person) made you feel so good, it stopped you in your tracks and you had warm-fuzzies, like, “wow, that was amazing, I'm totally blown- away with the way this company handles customers." “PEOPLE WILL FORGET WHAT YOU SAID. PEOPLE WILL FORGET WHAT YOU DID. BUT PEOPLE WILL NEVER FORGET HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.” As for me, when I feel great about a brand, how they interact with me and how they made me feel, it makes me want to purchase from them again and again. When a consumers' emotions take over, that is one secret to ensuring they purchase the first time as well as over and over again - That works for all of us. – Maya Angelou, Writer. Customer Experience of buyers will pay more for a better brand experience, but only 1% feel that vendors consistently meet expectations. 88% 6 Triggering emotions plays an essential role in attracting people to buy and keeping them as a long-term customer.
  6. 6. Customer Experience of B2B CMOs report customer experiences to be very important. 86% of consumers indicated they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences. 80% of customers that receive unfriendly service take their business elsewhere. 60% of all data analytics projects will relate to an aspect of customer experience by 2020. 40% If you're still not convinced your customer experience is important, you may want read on. The stats below may help you see why your people strategy and customer experiences are linked and important for business success. 7 9 10 8
  7. 7. Customer Retention should also be part of your People Strategy. So let’s shift gears and talk about your people strategy as it relates to keeping your customers coming back. Businesses spend an enormous amount of time and money trying to capture the customer. Many times, once they are aboard, they are lost in the shuffle and forgotten. How does this affect ROI? Additionally, research suggests it can cost up to five times more to acquire a new customer than to keep your current ones. Wow, is this an endeavor and expense you want to be responsible for in your business unit? Hmm, I think not. Customer Rentention of companies agree that retention is cheaper to execute than acquisition. 82% of your future profits will come from just 20 percent of your existing customers. 80% 5.1 Consumers with an emotional connection to a brand stay with them for an average of 5.1 years. 11 12 13 “Customer retention is a two-way street. Find a way to see the business model from their viewpoint, from behind their “steering wheel”, not yours." "What are you doing to pave the way for customers to be drawn to you? Start by figuring out the various pathways that your customers currently take to get to you, and line those pathways with personalized, humanized, experiences that speak to the customers’ needs and communicate to them that they are valued." -Ray Theberge, Colonial Systems
  9. 9. Our goals as organizations should be to identify those people groups and define them as clearly as possible – then start using the tools and resources at your fingertips to connect and communicate with them. You will marvel at how just a few adjustments can make a huge difference. Why connecting and communicating with your employees is critically important for businesses to be healthy and also to achieve optimum growth. Connecting and Communicating But don’t forget, developing a people strategy and connecting to them doesn’t just mean your goal should only be to increase sales. That’s good, you want that, but this strategy can also be used to connect and communicate more effectively within your own team in your company – regardless if they are half-way across the world, across the state or across the hallway. employees Insights from John Olson Chief Operating Officer MDG Advertising
  10. 10. Staying connected through constant communication with your employees is critical in your business for many reasons. As a team leader in a service business, it is very important to have a good sense of how well our clients are being served, and to get ahead of any potential issues internally, or externally. I rely on brief daily check-in's to get updates not only on the accounts, but also on the individual employees as well. It is just as important to understand how your team members are doing and feeling as it is to understand what is happening with each account. At MDG, the process for how we do this is based on our core principals of constantly listening, creating, and improving. Connecting and Communicating with employees "We try to be very aware of how fulfilled our employees are in their work and we strive continuously show opportunity and potential for growth." -John Olson, MDG Advertising Chief Operating Officer MDG Advertising John Olson 21% Highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability.13a
  11. 11. Your customer experience stinks - here's why. As you have already seen, research shows that the customer experience is paramount if you want to attract, convert, close and keep your customers. So what next? Here are 12 of the most common mis-steps marketers/brands make because they are not thinking about the customer experience holistically, but granularly. My suggestion is to look at your entire ecosystem (online and offline) to see where the inconsistencies and breakdowns are. 1. Customer path 2. Forms & Landing page structure and layout 3. Content Marketing 4. Navigation 5. Mobile first website 6. Site speed 7. Exit pages 8. Message match from paid media to landing pages 9. Search results not helpful / site not searchable 10. Thank you pages 11. Time on pages that is very low in comparison to others 12. Understanding what your customer wants and why. This is last in the list not because it’s least important. If I put it first you would gloss over it and move on. This just might be the most important part of your customer experience. Tools and Resources of customers are retained when companies have a strong omni-channel customer engagement strategy. 89% of customers either leave or go to a competitor because of website issues. 56% 14 15
  12. 12. Sometimes your people strategy is not what you think it is. Take a look at these 3 tools that just may accelerate your strategy and also your business goals. Here are a few tools to use so you can start defining and connecting. Remember, get to know your people groups and their characteristics. This provides benefits in countless ways, more than just in sales and marketing. Remember that old adage “work smarter, not harder?”– these tools adapt to that phrase perfectly. LinkedIn Showcase Pages: Yeah, I know, we’ve all heard for years that LinkedIn is a valuable tool for connecting and communicating with other professionals. Did you know it’s even better than ever? LinkedIn has what’s called Showcase Pages. This feature enables you to create a specific page for different areas of your business and they can have their own personalized messages and even audience segments. Instead of one big connection pool getting everything, you can segment your content – now that’s truly connecting with people the way they want. Tools and Resources 16
  13. 13. Crystal: This is a tool I could talk all day long about and never get uninterested. Crystal is a very special Ai tool/resource that provides insights about an individual’s behavior, likes and dislikes, communication preferences, DISC analysis and what that means when talking to them. It even has a remediation tool that tells you what to say, how to say it, what cadence to use while speaking (slow or fast), and what words to use to the other person you are trying to engage at a deeper level. Crystal is creepy awesome for those of us who like data and are always looking for better ways to get the upper hand. It’s great for sales, marketing, human resources, fundraising, start-ups, investors, even Individuals looking for jobs… this is a goldmine. It’s available online or you can use it as a plug-in with LinkedIn. I happen to like the LinkedIn version myself. Tools and Resources 17
  14. 14. SnapCell: I am almost certain you have not heard of this company yet. SnapCell is a relatively new concept that launched a very useful sales communication video engagement-connection tool that is activated as a smartphone app and is delivered via text or email. I’ve seen it in action and it cuts through all the clutter while creating differentiation between your sales team and the competition. Zoom: There are many video conferencing solutions like Zoom out there, but is there a video conference tool better than this? Zoom helps you get things done and cleans-up your fragmented communications and apps even when you have multiple teams, locations, content to be shared, you name it. When communication becomes this easy, you do more of it and do it better. What better way to engage in and also succeed in your people strategy than to communicate with a tool that lets you see, hear and communicate on-the-move wherever you or your team are located. Oh, I did fail to mention, this is so easy your 4-year old could use it? Tools and Resources 18 19
  15. 15. and watch your business grow Get to work on your People strategy Regardless of the industry, you work in every day… fashion, real estate, education, retail, software, automotive, luxury goods, pharma, biotech, you name it, if you’ve come to the conclusion that all businesses (including yours) can’t thrive without a people strategy -- you’re correct. Congratulations, that’s the start of truly understanding the value of the people that make your business thrive! About the author: Scott MacFarland is a lifelong marketer with a passion for smart business, content, marketing, digital, analytics, and all things that lead to successful conversions. Scott is currently the Director of Marketing for HMY Yachts in Jupiter, Florida. Follow Scott on YourBrandExposed, LinkedIn or Twitter
  16. 16. Sources and Photo Credits: Cover- Photo by from Pexels 1153213/ Page 2- Photo by bruce mars from Pexels 927022/ 1. Forbes ur-reasons-employees-underperform-and-what-to-do-about- it/#22c9a39d1a0c Page 3- Photo by from Pexels 1081228/ Page 4- 3. statistics 4. edelman Trust-Barometer-Canada_ENGLISH.PDF 5. Forbes statistics-about-the-connection-between-employee-engagement- and-wellness/#75d5166422a0 Page 5- 6. USA Today customers-spending-more/1851773002/ Photo by: Christina Morillo board-1181533/ Page 6- 7. Accenture 8. Epsilon impact-of-personalization-on-marketing-performance/1 9. PWC human-touch-in-customer-experience/s/c89725e4-7b3f-4535-a70f- 8f834be0a5f5 10. Gartner Photo by: Christina Morillo board-1181533/ Page 7- 11. eConsultancy 2014-reports/ 12. SmallBizTrends 13. PRNewswire marketers-under-leverage-emotional-connection-300720049.html Page 8- Photo by from Pexels 1483907/ Page 9- Photo by from Pexels sitting-facing-laptop-on-desk-1451447/ Page 10- 13a. Gallup satisfaction.aspx Photo by from Pexels 1246743/ Page 11- 14./15. Superoffice Photo by Pixabay from Pexels 266176/ Page 12-Business/LinkedIn 16. pages/showcase-pages Page 13- 17. Crystal Page 14- 18. SnapCell 19. Zoom zcid=1173&creative=85176081601&keyword=zoom&matchtype=e&net work=g&device=c&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIn5i0gIv- 4AIV0bjACh2xGgSrEAAYASAAEgIdD_D_BwE Page 15- Photo by from Pexels boards-1059116/ Many thanks to my good friend Ray Theberge who inspired me to research and write this eBook. His amazing ability to integrate and nurture people strategies in personal and professional environments are a gift I have never seen before. Ray and his family have blessed my family with his love of life, people, and desire to teach and nurture others while providing life experiences beyond compare . Thank you Ray.Authored by: Scott MacFarland | April 2019 Design tool: Canva Photo Credits: CC0 License