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Ovation Brands' new owner closes 74 underperforming locations

Nation's Restaurant News - Fri, 2016-02-05 09:34
Food Management Partners shutters more than 20 percent of buffet brands’ locations Food Management Partners shutters more than 20 percent of buffet brands’ locations

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Timo Rein of Pipedrive: SMB Sales Pros in U.S. Lag Behind Global Counterparts in Closing Deals

Small Business Trends - Fri, 2016-02-05 09:30

Sales is the universal language of business. Closing deals — and closing them efficiently — is key to the growth and success of any small business. But, according to a study done by Pipedrive, a cloud-based application aimed at helping SMBs close sales deals more efficiently, countries like South Africa, Brazil, Chile and others are finding higher levels of success closing deals than U.S.-based SMBs.

Timo Rein, co-founder and President of Pipedrive, shares with us more findings from the survey, including which countries close deals fastest, and are able to do so with minimal effort.  He also shares why he feels U.S. small businesses lag so far behind other countries in sales efficiency and effectiveness.  

* * * * *

Small Business Trends: Before we jump in and start talking about some of the survey research you guys did around the world’s best closers, when it comes to closing the sales deal, maybe you can give us a little bit of a background as to what you guys do over at Pipedrive.

Timo Rein: We’re building a software for people who work in B2B Sales, mostly, and are closing deals every day, and they have quite high volume deals in terms of their deal size. We do have customers literally from all over the globe, and that has given us a lot of encouragement that what we’ve been trying to do is something right for them.

Small Business Trends: You mention in a blog post that you have customers in at least 140 different countries, so this study you did really focuses on sales folks, in SMB businesses from around the world, right?

Timo Rein: Yeah, that’s absolutely right. That gives us a good view into how things are going in the world of sales.

Small Business Trends: I’m surprised, because maybe I look at it through the lens of somebody who’s pretty much focusing on the United States, but right off the top, “The world’s best closers are not in the USofA, they are in South Africa.” We’re not even in the medal consideration here, because Brazil is second, and Chile is third. Tell us a little bit about why South African sales folks seem to be the best closers.

Timo Rein: I need to give a bit of context around this, because the question we went in with was, “In just a wonder of how different is sales around the world, in terms of the work that sales people put in?” What we did was use the tens of thousands of users data, and analyzed metadata that we generate, and put that all together into a large database, which was literally the number of deals that people had and close, the number of activities that they initiate, mark complete, and so on.

Conversion pretty much means getting from one stage to another, through the whole sales process, so that when you talk to, let’s say 10 people, how many people you end up as your buyers, and whoever has a better conversion, has more buyers at the end. By that metric alone, when we look at it, South Africans are the best floaters, or they are the best converters, let’s put it that way.

You have Brazil, and Chile, and countries from Nordics, Denmark and Sweden right up there. Yes, US doesn’t even come close in that metric. It’s actually quite towards the bottom of the list, along with other countries, which are also large, like Russia, Canada, Poland in there.

Small Business Trends: Closing is one aspect, but what about efficiency, the average time to close? It looks like Brazil is actually in the top spot, and South Africa is following up from them. Tell us a little bit about the average time of closing and how everything works there.

Timo Rein: We knew going in that you can’t just take one metric, and say “Okay, that means that you are the best in sales.” There’s so many other things. Conversion rate, that was one. The second thing that we were really interested in was how much time it actually takes for a sales person to close the deal, from the very opening of the opportunity, and then finish with the sale. How many weeks, how many months?

That list actually had Brazil in the top. It seems that they get to the final “yes” quickest. It seems that it takes the least time for them to close a deal, but South Africa’s really up there, as well, along with Chile. The countries that don’t enjoy the quick road to “yes” are mostly European countries, along with Australia and Canada.

Small Business Trends: You have another thing here that you call, “Having the magic touch.” After looking at Brazil and South Africa, and Chile, who seem to be both efficient, and effective, in their closing, Spain is the one that comes up top with the magic touch. Maybe you could tell us what exactly the magic touch is, and why does Spain have it?

Timo Rein: Why they have it, I really don’t know, to be honest, but what it meant for the study was we just looked at how little a sales person has to do to close a sale. How many activities for the prospect you need to be completing, before you can close a sale? How many calls are placed, how many emails are sent, how many meetings are held, with each prospect, before the prospect decides to buy. In that respect, Spain seemed to have the magic touch in terms of they need the smallest amount of activities to close, and there’s Denmark, Netherlands, up there as well. Some other Nordic countries.

At the other end, you have Russia, and they almost double the amount of things to do before they take an action move to close. Again, U.S. is towards the bottom.

Small Business Trends: Looking at the conversion rates, the U.S. is on the bottom end of that. If we look at efficiency, we’re middle of the pack there. And then we don’t have the magic touch. Why do you think sales folks in the U.S., particularly SMB salespeople in the USA, are lagging behind some of these other countries?

Timo Rein: The obvious thing that comes to mind is that you have to look at the context of everything, and development of an economy, development of sales, development of the options that buyers have, that comes into play, and it is possible that the more competition you have in developed nations, that forces the sales cycle to be longer. Buyers have more options, and more sales teams competing for their attention. That all comes into play.

When you look at the conditions, I do believe that people in South Africa, Brazil, Chile, they seem to have it the easiest, one way or the other, when you look at just the condition. Let’s say that I want to come up with the perfect excuse why the U.S. doesn’t show up higher here in these metrics. Then we can say that it’s because of the toughest conditions, because United States, Canada, United Kingdom, to some extent, Australia, they have a slower pace, slower conversions, lots of activities to the deal.

I have two conclusions here. Where you sell comes into play. There’s more “no’s” probably in a country like the U.S., and more work to be done, to actually close a deal. What is important with the context, is anybody who’s globally selling, they have customers not only in the U.S., but also international. It would be a benefit to learn about the different conditions in different areas.

Second point, I also don’t think that these averages, across industries, or countries, really matter. Everybody’s thinking about their own sales. People are selfish, as we all are, and what matters most is that you breakdown your performance, and you look to improve. In that respect, that study still is a good kicker, because it could force you to look at some of the good things that you can do, and there are at least two great goals here. There’s, “Can I have a better conversion?” Let’s just put it that way. From one stage to another, can I get more people to talk to me after my phone call, for example, or meet with me after my phone call, and stuff like that.

Small Business Trends: Are you seeing high adoption rates of applications like Pipedrive in countries outside of the U.S.?

Timo Rein: I don’t think so. First of all, we haven’t run a specific study [on that], but when we look at the overall numbers, there’s not a lot of difference in terms of adopting it.

Small Business Trends: So technology may not be one of the leading drivers of why certain countries are ahead in conversions, and efficiency, and have the magic touch. Maybe it’s more of the business culture, and the way things are done in those countries, as opposed to the technology that they use?

Timo Rein: Yeah, exactly. Obviously sales is an interaction between people who are strangers to each other, at first. Getting to know each other, starting an open, candid talk between these parties, that might be different when you have a country like the U.S., or Russia, or Brazil, or South Africa. I’m not saying that there are less barriers, but maybe the people have a way in these cultures to go through these barriers quicker.

Small Business Trends: Timo, where can people learn more about some of the findings here, but also more about Pipedrive, in general?

Timo Rein: And you can sign up for a trial, or we have a blog,, which we use to publish the studies.

This article, "Timo Rein of Pipedrive: SMB Sales Pros in U.S. Lag Behind Global Counterparts in Closing Deals" was first published on Small Business Trends

ALIS Reaches Milestone As Largest Hotel Investment Conference In The World

Hotel Interactive - Fri, 2016-02-05 09:09
WASHINGTON, DC -- The Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) reached new heights this year with more than 3,000 registered delegates at ...

On-site Interview With Steve Joyce

Hotel Interactive - Fri, 2016-02-05 09:01
Choice CEO Weighs In On Issues Ranging From Cuba To New Brands

Mercedes sales rise 20% in Jan. on strong China demand

AutoNews - Fri, 2016-02-05 08:13
Sales of Mercedes brand cars increased by 20 percent in January to 150,814, buoyed by a 52 percent jump in China sales.
Categories: Latest News

TownePlace Suites To Open In Kanata, Ontario

Hotel Interactive - Fri, 2016-02-05 07:45
Kanata,Ontario –– The newly constructed 116-suite TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Kanata, Ontariois scheduled to open this Thursday, February 11, 2016. ...

How Can We Make Sales Graphs More Scintillating?

Small Business Trends - Fri, 2016-02-05 07:30

I often like to write at my local public library. It’s got comfy leather chairs, it’s quiet, and there’s tons of material all around for inspiration.

This cartoon, for example, came from the back of a book jacket of some recent best-seller.

“This book has it all! Sex! Murder! Suspense …”

You get the idea.

So I thought it would be fun to take that and graft it on to something really really boring and then call attention to it.

If only sales graphs were that exciting …

This article, "How Can We Make Sales Graphs More Scintillating?" was first published on Small Business Trends

Renault-Nissan reports record EV sales in 2015 despite drop in Leaf demand

AutoNews - Fri, 2016-02-05 06:37
Renault-Nissan said global sales of battery-powered vehicles rose 2.5 percent to a record 84,754 last year even though there was a slowdown in demand for the Nissan Leaf, the world's best-selling electric vehicle.
Categories: Latest News

Wyndham Hotel Group Introduces Days Inn Brand To Indonesia

Hotel Interactive - Fri, 2016-02-05 06:11
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - Continuing its robust expansion in South East Asia, Wyndham Hotel Group today announced the opening of its first ...

Case study: despite bright spots, most campus food unhealthy

Topix - Fri, 2016-02-05 06:02

Only 12 percent of entrees and 36 percent of main dish salads served in and around California Polytechnic State University were found to be healthy, according to researchers at the university. The case study assessed California Polytechnic State University , a large public university in the Central Coast region of California, and found that only 36 of 314 entrees and 11 of 31 main dish salads were classified as healthy according to the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey , which focuses on the availability, affordability, and quality of healthful food choices.

Categories: Today's Food News

5 Things You Must Know About New AdWords App for Apple iOS

Small Business Trends - Fri, 2016-02-05 06:00

Last March, Google released an AdWords App for Android. I’ve actually never used it before, as I only use an iPhone. At the time, I lamented that the issue with an Android AdWords app was that search marketers overwhelmingly used iOS:

Yesterday, to my surprise, @adwords responded to my near year-old tweet letting me know that a new app is available for iOS!

I was mucking around with this thing in my Uber on the way home yesterday and back to work this morning (doing AdWords campaign management in a taxi I hailed from an app — wow!), and wanted to share my first impressions here.

AdWords App for iOS: Not Just a Reporting Tool

The new iOS AdWords app lets you make changes to keyword bids, as well as enable/disable AdWords objects like campaigns, ads, and ad groups. You can also act on various recommended actions (more on that in just a second).

Currently, you can’t do any other kinds of edits. For example, you’ll need to log into the Web app or use AdWords Editor to create new text ads or campaigns or add keywords manually. This isn’t terribly surprising, nor is it that big a deal — you probably wouldn’t want to write new text ads or create new campaigns on your iPhone anyway, but it’s something that Google may add in the future.

AdWords App for iOS: A Beautiful Reporting Tool

Visually, the AdWords app for iOS is beautiful. It features neat, clean dashboards that allow you to see overviews of your campaigns at a glance (and comfortably, even on a smaller screen). The app also features functionality you’d expect, such as customizable date ranges. You can also customize all of the columns in the app, allowing you to create individualized workflows that align with your campaigns and the data that’s most important to you.

AdWords App for iOS: Helpful Notifications

Sometimes you just want to check to see if there are any issues with an account. This can be a pain on desktop, but with the AdWords app for iOS, it’s a breeze, and one of the greatest strengths of the app overall.

I’m a firm believer in the Pareto principle — the concept that 80 percent of the results often come from just 20 percent of the work — especially when it comes to AdWords. This is where the AdWords app for iOS really shines.

Most of the time, AdWords campaign management focuses on smaller adjustments and minor tweaks. It’s precisely these kinds of changes that the AdWords app for iOS lets you handle on the go. The recommendations and alerts functionality is perfect for identifying these required adjustments, and the app lets you make these changes quickly and responsively.

Of course, there will always be times when more serious campaign overhauls are necessary. In these situations, it’ll be best to stick with AdWords on desktop. That said, Google realizes this, and the AdWords for iOS app doesn’t try to replace AdWords for desktop. Rather, it serves as a complementary tool that lets you manage your campaigns in a way that makes sense on the device you happen to be using.

Think of AdWords for iOS as a way to handle the small stuff quickly, and an alert system that lets you know which areas of your account to work on when you get back to your desk. To me, this workflow makes a ton of sense and aligns closely with my approach to AdWords campaign management in general.

The Opportunities (Recommended Actions) Tab in AdWords for iOS

Currently, there are two types of AdWords opportunities (recommendations) supported. Surprise, surprise — they both involve raising keyword bids.

Sometimes, these actions not only make sense, but genuinely are the right course of action. However, it’s no accident that the two recommended actions provided by the AdWords app for iOS will both result in you spending more money on AdWords.

As I mentioned earlier, we’ll probably see additional functionality added to the app further down the road, but for now, this is what we have to work with.

AdWords for iOS: Blazing Fast, Slick UX

I’m blown away by how fast this thing goes. To really kick the app’s tires, I tried loading some of my largest accounts, and to my genuine surprise, it was much faster than the full-featured Web version. I could easily traverse the various campaigns and ad groups using a pretty easy-to-use interface — much easier than the Facebook Ads app, where I often find myself getting lost on mobile.

New AdWords App for iOS: Summary / TLDR:

I’m super impressed by this new AdWords app for iOS. Over the last six months, I’ve increasingly been checking my social ad campaigns using Facebook Ads and Twitter Ads in their respective apps, and I have no doubt this new AdWords app will help me manage AdWords campaigns on the go. It definitely won’t replace AdWords for desktop — but it’s not supposed to.

Download the new app from the Apple App store and try it out today!

This article, "5 Things You Must Know About New AdWords App for Apple iOS" was first published on Small Business Trends

RLHC Announces Hotel RL New-Build Planned For New York City

Hotel Interactive - Fri, 2016-02-05 05:55
SPOKANE,WA -- RLHC (Red Lion Hotels Corporation) announces its third new-build Hotel RL—and eighth locationoverall—in Long Island City, New York, set ...

Sun Capital Partners, HuHot Mongolian Grills partner to grow brand - Fri, 2016-02-05 04:30
HuHot currently has 57 locations, with more than six restaurants slated to open this year.

GRA CEO Karen Bremer Named One of Georgia Trend’s 100 Most Influential...

PR Web - Fri, 2016-02-05 04:30

Karen Bremer, CEO of the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA), was named as one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Georgians.

(PRWeb January 27, 2016)

Read the full story at

Budget Blinds Announces New Achievements and Recognition in the New...

PR Web - Fri, 2016-02-05 04:30

Window Covering Franchise Continues to Make Strides as a Leader in the Home Improvement Industry

(PRWeb January 27, 2016)

Read the full story at

Search Optics Leads Industry with Most Google Certifications

PR Web - Fri, 2016-02-05 04:30

New Google Certifications Milestone Supports Digital Marketer’s Best-in-Class Platforms and Services to Deliver Top-Notch Results for Global Clients

(PRWeb January 27, 2016)

Read the full story at

Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty Brings Cutting-Edge Headquarters...

PR Web - Fri, 2016-02-05 04:30

Rand Realty's Main Office Moves to Nanuet

(PRWeb January 27, 2016)

Read the full story at

Leading CRM System Firms Recognized for January by 10 Best CRM

PR Web - Fri, 2016-02-05 04:30

10 Best CRM, an organization that reviews customer relationship management software, has determined the best CRM systems on the market. Winners for the month of January are Insightly, SalesForce, and...

(PRWeb January 27, 2016)

Read the full story at

Drink-driver nabbed by police after falling asleep at fast-food drive-through

Topix - Fri, 2016-02-05 01:18

A 30-year-old drink-driver has been arrested in the drive-through lane of a Darwin fast-food restaurant after falling asleep behind the wheel while waiting for his order. McDonalds Ludmilla staff were unable to wake the man, who fell asleep in the driver's seat with the engine running at the pick-up window.

Categories: Today's Food News

VW launches ad campaign without 'Das Auto' slogan

AutoNews - Fri, 2016-02-05 01:01
Volkswagen is launching an advertising campaign in Europe this month that will also roll out globally aimed at winning back trust and sales lost through its diesel emissions-cheating scandal.
Categories: Latest News