What is an Internal Customer?

internal customers definition

The Difference Between Internal and External Customers   Several years ago, I was asked a very simple question: “Who is your customer?”   Perhaps I was naïve, or maybe just ignorant, but I replied to the simple question with an equally simple answer: “The people who pay our company money for our products and services.”  He clearly expected my response, because the

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7 Types of Capture Strategies That Help You Win

types of capture strategies

A Good Capture Strategy is More Than Just a Good Price Last week, I sat through a disappointing capture strategy meeting.  The sales manager responsible for the territory was presenting a new proposal to the management team and walked us through the opportunity.  Financially, the business case looked good.  The level of risk seemed low, and the proposal was for a customer

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6 Management Lessons We Get Each Fall

What we learn from the Fall season

As the air begins to cool and the days start to get shorter, we begin to see the first stages of fall settle in.  For some, it’s a welcomed sign; for others, it may mark the end of a great summer.  But for everyone, the arrival of the fall season is inevitable and simply part of life.  And with the

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The Art of the Executive Summary

Executive Summary

How to Create an Executive Summary Raise your hand if you have ever sat through a presentation and walked away not understanding its message.  Now, raise your hand if you’ve ever asked an employee to give you a project briefing, only for them to bury you in data, facts and graphics.  Finally, raise your hand if you’ve ever picked up

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How to Design an Office – 8 Tips for Managers

breadth development assignment

8 Tips for Remodeling Your Office for Managers Doing it Themselves Full Disclosure: I am not an architect, an interior designer, or a Ph.D candidate in inter-office psychological dynamics. Rather, I am just a manager of a 75+ employee department. Due to some recent restructuring in my firm, we had to remodel our office in order to accommodate additional employees

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7 Reasons Why Your Research and Development Is Falling Short

preliminary design review

Technology Development Tips for Product Managers In today’s marketplace there is ever-growing pressure on companies to remain innovative and for them to bring new products and services to customers. But in order for your research and development efforts to be successful, your objectives need to be focussed and must target your “big bets.” Moreover, a successful research and development campaign

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How Hiring the Right People Leads to Profit

managers resource handbook

How Do You Hire? Many organizations make hiring decisions in very practical terms: Are they willing to relocate? Do they have the required education? Do they possess the minimum number of years of experience per the job requirements? These are all valid questions to ask yourself and are certainly variables to consider when making hiring decisions. But few organizations, in

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The Impact of Technology on Business

Boarding a Flight

        As I waited for my flight to Amsterdam today, I grabbed a bite to eat at the nearby café. It was a late afternoon flight that would get me in around 7PM. Just enough time to get dinner with an old friend, who was to pick me up at the airport. The flight was set to

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The Power of Incremental Progress

Take Small Steps To Reach Big Change

Every year, companies establish goals and objectives for their business.  Some firms may plan further out – as far as 5 years – in order to obtain a certain sales targets and other corporate metrics.  Unfortunately, many businesses stop there and lack a strategy for how they will actually achieve the goals.  As a result, the lofty numbers on the

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From the Front Lines: Changing an Organization’s Culture in 14 Months

Two years ago, I took the management role for an organization of about 40 people.  My predecessor had been asked to leave the business as the team’s performance had gradually lost its way.  My task was to turn the team organization around, no small feat when you’re an outsider.  Morale was low after a series of various setbacks, the culmination

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Hire for Will, Train for Skill

managers resource handbook

Have you ever tried to hire someone to fill an open position and have it not work out? Hiring new employees can be a lengthy and complex process for a manager, so making sure you hire the right people is essential to your success. But how do you do this? How do you assess job-seeking candidates to make sure they’re

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You Can’t Be the Worst at Everything: How Understanding Your Value Proposition Can Increase Revenue

managers resource handbook

Companies compete on a daily basis for business and revenue.  Whether you’re a small business, big business, B2B or B2C firm, you will compete every day for the next sale, the next contract or the next service appointment. It goes without saying, though, that not all businesses are the same.  Some businesses are more expensive than others.  Some will have

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How Are You Communicating With Your Customers?

  When it comes to working with customers, there are numerous ways to make a lasting impression.  Sometimes a friendly tone of voice over the phone is all it takes to win a customer over.  Perhaps your quick response time is all the customer needs to give you their business.  And in some industries, taking on some level of risk

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Your Results Matter Just as Much As How You Get Them

managers resource handbook

    I recently sat through a regional meeting for a large corporation, during which a series of presentations were made.  At the conclusion of the meeting, the regional manager got up to share a short set of slides that were presented at the annual corporate summit she had recently attended. The company has been undergoing a series of transformations

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Why Making Your Employees Fail Makes You A Better Manager

managers resource handbook

Call it tough love.  Maybe it’s a form of parenting.  We as managers are responsible for our team’s success and getting a job done.  Further, we are charged with the growth and development of our employees.  What does this mean? Developing employees is not just sending them to a training class, or giving them feedback once a year during their performance review.  Developing employees

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Doing Martial Arts Today Can Make You a Better Manager

It was late on a Friday when an employee came by my office to check in before he left for the weekend.  It had been a busy week and we had hardly crossed paths over the previous five days.  This employee was one of my best – hardworking, trustworthy, dedicated. My team had been under tremendous pressure to finish a large project.  And despite the

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Mexico vs. Japan: The World Cup of Business

I recently read a newspaper article about World Cup football, which was great because it listed all the funny pairings of nations in various matches.  The article went into detail about various styles of play, which got me thinking about how such different countries work together. Having spent most of my career working overseas with clients and colleagues, I have witnessed

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How Establishing Specific Metrics Strengthens Your Business

Every business has metrics.  We track our financial investments to see how they grow.  Runners continually push themselves to shave seconds of the time it takes them to run a mile.  And some people monitor their vehicle’s gas mileage to help determine when they need an oil change.  The point is that we establish metrics to track performance over time. Business Metrics In the same

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Create a Technology Growth Strategy That Wins

preliminary design review

A recent article by Professor Karan Girotra at INSEAD University discusses 4 myths to a technology growth strategy.  The entire article is a great read, but Myth 1 “It’s about a BIG idea” caught my attention. Having spent my career in the technology and engineering fields, I’ve seen several different approaches to technology growth.  In some instances, the growth strategy could be described

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Six Tips to Make an International Business Trip Successful

  In the modern business environment, working with international partners, customers, or suppliers is inevitable.  Sometimes an international project will be brief and short lived; in other instances your working relationship can last several years as you acrue thousands of frequent flier miles. Perhaps you will end up on an expat assignment for a couple years. When traveling abroad for business it is important

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