Leadership, Government and Technology: Excerpted Interviews From Our Annual Top Distributors Piece
The release of our annual top distributors list is only a few weeks away. It's exciting for me because it's one of the points in the year where I get some of my best interviews, talking to super-interesing people like Greg Muzzillo of Proforma and Jason Black from Boundless Network.
I thought it might be cool to release some of these interviews before they see print. Below is the full interview of one of my annual favorites, Jerry Mulligan, V.P. of sales/new business development of Chamberlain Marketing Group:
Promo Marketing: How do you set goals for yourself? For your business?
Jerry Mulligan: As this is an election year, I'll put our goal-setting strategy at CMG in political terms. We view goal setting as somewhere between a European social democracy, where everyone participates and collaborates, and a benevolent dictatorship on the other extreme where at the end of the day our sales team recognizes they have to accomplish certain minimally acceptable sales levels. We begin preparing for the new year's goals early in the fall with a review of current client's programs, sales and opportunities. Each salesperson submits both a financial sales goal as well as a "key strategies" plan account by account. We revisit the plan on a quarterly basis throughout the year. Other long term business goals are based on evaluating gaps in our current offerings, technology, personnel resources and developing department by department specific goals. In 2012 we are undertaking an extensive technology conversion to a new ERP platform ... it will require a monumental effort by all.
PM: What's the biggest way technology is changing your business? What do you expect the biggest technological change to be in the near future?
JM: Technology is both a blessing and a curse. There are now literally thousands of tools and applications that enable us to get to market better/faster/cheaper. So it's a great gain in productivity. The curse is that our clients now have higher expectations for new technology (social media, transparency, customization of reporting etc.). There is a perpetual cycle of ongoing investment in new technology. Additionally, the availability of international "sourcing" websites has allowed customers to conduct their own searches for lowest cost products—often times without properly vetting the reliability and compliance of the manufacturer. Finally, mobile shopping apps will continue to grow and explode in 2012 and beyond. It's estimated at 25 percent of the market now and will continue to grow.