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Navigating the Hiring Landscape: Henry Regan on Recruitment

“For every person that comes through the door that wants to understand who we are as a company, we try to be honest. I want to be more and more honest. I think that is something we do well.”

Our (not-so-little) company is growing! 

In the last year, we have grown almost twice in size, and we have now finished recruiting a new Customer Success Manager who has joined the Carbon Global team. But recruitment is often daunting, even this time, we combed through 240 applications, all to find the best candidate for a single role at Carbon Global.

With one foot over the finish line, one of our Managing Partners, Henry Regan, discusses our recruitment process. 

What steps do you take to align the recruitment process with our company culture and values? This can be through the job description or during interviews.

I think it’s really important that if a company has a set of business values; you start there. 

For us, it’s important that we focus on the first pillar of our values, which is multi-dimensional innovation, the idea that different people from different walks of life and backgrounds come together to try and solve the same problem that instils, if you look down into our company, we have a culture that manifests itself into an ensemble. We have that. We are all moving together as one, but at the same time, individuals working together for the same goal. 

So when we look at who we’re trying to employ, we ensure to try to champion diversity. Now, diversity is put out there a lot by companies in terms of gender, ethnicity, and religion, but it doesn’t stop there. A person’s diverse background actually informs diverse thinking.

During this recruitment period, we tried to make our job description very clear. I think that’s important: we make sure the pay was on there, the benefits were on there, the synopsis of what the company does, as well as who we are and what our values are. We also aligned the KPIs for the job and tried to make it a little bit different. We put a twist on a regular CV, putting some funny things in there to highlight certain aspects. It was interesting to see the people who picked up on that because they tend to be the people we want to work with. That doesn’t mean they have to get our humour; it’s just picking up things that aren’t the ‘norm’ and highlighting them. That’s the personality we’re looking for, especially for this Client Success role, we wanted somebody who could pick up the things that a client may say offhand, and remember that.

More than anything, people had to align with our values. Following that, we looked at who they are and what they could bring to the organisation.

Can you describe our approach to diversity, equity and inclusion during the recruitment process?

I’m not sure many companies go far enough because equality is not enough, there has to be a sense of equity. A great example of this is our Business Development Manager role. This is not a sales role, but it can be seen in the job description as a sales role. Therefore, we get about 90% male applicants, and that’s hard because what we want to do is give the best candidate the job, and it’s very, very difficult to do that from a 90% to 10% split, for instance, in gender. 

We have to give some equity: we have to ensure that we are propping up the more disproportionate groups. Of course, no matter what, if they’re the right candidate, we put them through but sometimes it takes a lot of brainpower to go through 200 applicants, so trying to prioritise the disproportionate groups, by say looking through them first, can help. That doesn’t mean you don’t look at every single applicant, but I think it’s important that they start the list.

How do we ensure a positive candidate experience throughout the recruitment process?

First and foremost, as actors, we know what it’s like to not know what’s happening. We make sure everyone knows what is going on throughout the process: we give them clear guidelines on the day of their interview and when they’ll hear back either way. If they want feedback, they can absolutely request it. Typically, we give more and more feedback the further along the process they get. I think that’s incredibly important. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to do when you have 200 applicants, so the first cap tends to be “I’m sorry, you didn’t get the job this time; please look for more opportunities in the future.”

One thing that we do get praised for is our recruitment from a candidate perspective. I think people appreciate us being open and honest throughout the process. There has to be a good synergy and that has to work both ways. We want them to have a good experience because it could be the crucible moment for them to have a positive career with us. Everyone gets treated as a human: they spend a lot of time applying to us so we want to make sure that we give them the best possible opportunity to succeed during the interviews.

What would you like to see during future recruitment processes, either from our company or others?

I think it’d be nice for companies to represent themselves in the way they are rather than what they want to be. 

There’s no problem speaking about your vision during the process, but you have to be honest with who you are and what the role will entail. Some have boring elements that aren’t fulfilling, and that’s okay. There will always be a yin-yang. 

I think companies try to paint a beautiful picture of themselves when that might not be the case. From our point of view, we try as best to be as honest as we can. This isn’t the company for you if you want to make loads of money because corporations will always have that draw, but you don’t get treated as a person; you get treated as a number. Therefore, we get a lot of people who want a good work-life balance: and we still pay very well for the size we are.

We’re not a bell-ringing company that puts heavy loads on our colleagues’ shoulders. For every person that comes through the door that wants to understand who we are as a company, we try to be honest. I want to be more and more honest. I think that is something we do well.

As a growing company, our processes are something that we’re always working on. I think one thing that can definitely get better is our guidebook for recruitment, as our recruiting process is very good. It’s very tight; we know what we’re doing. But it takes a huge amount of work, so how do we make it less work for us?

Do we have any unique or ingenious aspects of our recruitment process that set us apart from other companies in the industry?

What we did this time, which was interesting, was we got all the CVs in and decided to get everyone to send a voice note. They also had the option to write their answers but unless there is a good reason, sometimes that is telling enough. It’s important that we hear them, their personality and their quirks; that’s super interesting for us as we work within a sphere that focuses a lot on psychology and rhetoric. We asked them ten questions, such as “would it be okay for you to come to the office twice a week in a hybrid work environment?”, “are you okay with the wage?”, but also, “why did you apply to Carbon Global?”. 

We had somebody who looked like a very good candidate, but they started talking about carbon offsetting: they hadn’t looked at our website. So, they applied for us, sent this voice note, and then hadn’t even looked at our website. We can use that to look at who wants the role and who doesn’t, who’s picking up on those tiny little things that we put in the job description, who’s really invested in us. I think that was a great thing that we did, and a lot of people said, “I’ve never had this before and it’s great.” 

What KPIs do you track to understand how effective our recruitment process is, for example, employee retention?

Since 2017, when we incorporated, we have been relatively reactive in the ways that we have run recruitment, especially within tracking operational recruitment. Recruiting is one thing that we’re very proud of: we have a great team but our process is still quite reactive. We’re in a three-month consolidation period as a company, where what we are doing is plateauing in terms of the number of clients rather than trying to grow. We try to make sure that we understand all of our clients and our client’s needs to make sure that everything is sailing as it should be before we start another growth period.

It also allows us to do whiteboard sessions with operations to understand where the cracks may be in our process map. One thing I identified is we don’t know much about our recruitment process past the point of giving somebody the job. We obviously care about our staff: we do three monthly reviews and monthly one-to-ones, and we understand who they are and what they’re doing. But we don’t understand the lifetime employment of each person, and how we can make sure that we, from a process point of view, number one, retain our staff and get the best candidates possible.

If you’re interested in working for us, please check our LinkedIn for vacancies.

 

Gee Stencel | They/Them

Strategic Operations Manager

Carbon Global

The AI Revolution: Harnessing the Power of Artificial Intelligence in Business

With the rise of AI, should we encourage businesses to ditch their humanistic DNA to be heard by the masses?

Artificial intelligence has made tremendous strides in recent years, with breakthroughs in machine learning and natural language processing. One of the most impressive examples is ChatGPT, a large language model developed by OpenAI. ChatGPT is a cutting-edge AI system designed to mimic human conversation, using its vast knowledge base to generate responses to user queries. With its ability to understand natural language, ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionize the way we communicate with machines and provide new insights into how humans process language. In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of ChatGPT, including its development, capabilities, and potential impact on our daily lives.

That was ChatGPT, one of the many AI systems taking the world by storm. A simple prompt can effortlessly generate essays, reports, and even blog posts within seconds. It’s hard not to be tempted. But with the rise of AI, should we encourage businesses to ditch their humanistic DNA to be heard by the masses?

Whatever your feelings on AI, it’s clear that it will play a massive role in our lives, personal and professional. However, it is up to business leaders to decide whether they use it for the greater good of their companies. As we step into this brave new world of artificial intelligence, it’s imperative that businesses, especially business leaders, approach AI with both caution and thoughtfulness, understanding its potential and implications. However, it would be naive to stay behind the curve of technological advancements, especially with business development. If you’re still hesitant, here are some ways leaders can use AI systems like ChatGPT to improve their business.

Crossing Language Barriers

The Internet has allowed companies to reach other businesses and customers in every corner of the globe. While this is incredibly valuable, the ultimate challenge is overcoming language barriers.

In the UK, only 6% of the population can speak a second language and on a global scale, just 43%.

Internationally expanding a business can be a perfect opportunity for growth, but this can be a challenge, as companies need to integrate into each country they operate in. Translators are hard to come by, and manually translating websites, brands, and other company materials can take time, effort and money, hindering a smooth and seamless integration. However, AI systems can quickly and accurately translate multiple documents within seconds, giving you time to keep up your Duolingo streak.

Content Creation

While some people may use these systems to take over content creation, AI can be a valuable source of inspiration for a business’ marketing and can even get the public to engage with your brand. Companies like Innocent Drinks recently published a Twitter marketing campaign asking the public to vote on their favourite advert, with one written by ChatGPT and the other by a human.

It’s important to remember that directly duplicating from ChatGPT can implicate your business. But it can be excellent for streamlining brainstorming sessions and creation processes. Equally, these systems can monitor the engagement your marketing campaigns receive and thus provide accurate reports on their overall success, ultimately assisting in improving future postings and ROI on paid promotions.

Of course, it may be easier to take a back step and let AI run your next marketing campaign, but unlike an actual human, AI cannot know your business inside and out.

Meeting Management

Systems like Otter.ai and ChatGPT can help streamline business meetings by summarising the discussion, making it easier for business leaders to share information with employees who couldn’t attend. Pre-meeting,  these systems can create specific agendas from a short prompt and can go so far as to identify action points post-discussions. Ultimately, it can optimise everyone’s time and productivity during important meetings. The pressure to quickly write everything down alleviates, allowing all attendees to focus on the speaker, so no more sore fingers.

Whilst we may be years away from ‘the singularity’, the point when AI-based technology becomes smarter than humans, it’s vital to recognise the impact these systems have. Artificial intelligence holds immense potential for business growth and innovation. By harnessing it as a strategic enabler, leaders have the ability to complement human capabilities with technology, helping to drive sustainable and successful business growth in an ever-evolving digital society.

Gee Stencel | They/Them

Strategic Operations Manager

Carbon Global

Quiet Quitting and the Employee Experience

…many have said goodbye to the hustle and hello to coasting culture. A phenomenon which has seen workers across the globe reassess how they find meaning and understand their worth in the workplace.

“Do you hate your job, and you’re thinking about quitting? Well, maybe try being lazy instead.”

– Byran Creeley

It all started with a YouTube Video and a TikTok trend in March 2022 by a man called Byran Creeley, a career coach based in the United States. One reshare after another, the term ‘quiet quitting’ became a sensation, even being featured in the Collins Dictionary’s top 10 words of the year for 2022. 

Since the term went viral, many have said goodbye to the hustle and hello to coasting culture. A phenomenon which has seen workers across the globe reassess how they find meaning and understand their worth in the workplace. 

So what is ‘quiet quitting’? 

In simple terms, it’s quitting your job without actually quitting your job: essentially putting a boundary in place to preserve both physical and emotional energy in the workplace that may have never existed. It has been coined as a passive-aggressive way of communicating workplace dissatisfaction. Quiet quitting can come in many forms: for some, it’s starting and finishing on time, not volunteering for extra work, or even becoming isolated from the team and working social events. But with more than 50% of employees in the United States quietly quitting, what once was a TikTok trend is now becoming a terrifying reality. But long before the term was coined people were quietly quitting. 

With COVID redefining where and how we work, even transparency on mental health, there is little room to question why quiet quitting has become so popular. There is less pressure on defining worth based on career success, which had previously resulted in frequent burnouts in the workplace. 

 For businesses, quiet quitting presents severe consequences, with the number of unengaged employees rising by 68%, resulting in low productivity and employee morale. Quiet quitting can also hugely impact the business’ profitability: employees who are more engaged with their work are 23% more likely to improve their business’ profitability comparable to those who aren’t. Quiet quitting is a pandemic within itself: it’s contagious. Once one employee begins, it spreads like wildfire amongst your team. After some time, it can lead to high employee turnover, which ultimately stunts your business’ growth.

Despite its controversy, quiet quitting provides business leaders with a unique opportunity for company growth. By listening to what your employees need, rather than ignoring the problem at hand, you’re increasing workplace transparency, which has been previously proven to increase employee morale and engagement. Asking for employee feedback on current processes and expectations highlights their value in the workplace, which can help tackle the need to quietly quit, you’re providing them with a safe space to voice their dissatisfaction. Your employees should understand that their legacy is valued in the company, especially when 65% of employees feel as though their work goes unrecognised

It’s also vital to prioritise the well-being of your employees since that is a key deciding factor in whether someone does or does not quietly quit. Weekly check-ins or coffee mornings can go a long way in improving employee well-being, and again, helps your workplace become more transparent. Even being flexible with working arrangements can be highly beneficial in tackling quiet quitting.

Quiet quitting is a huge learning curve for business leaders. But, by being transparent with employees, you are not helping them feel valued and improve their employee experience, you are also helping your business grow. 

Your employees will thank you, even if they do thank you quietly.

Gee Stencel | They/Them

Strategic Operations Manager

Carbon Global

Debunking Lead Generation Myths

Over the last few years, sales strategies have drastically changed. From cold calling to LinkedIn prospecting, there is a "no one size fits all" approach to marketing.

Over the last few years, sales strategies have drastically changed. From cold calling to LinkedIn prospecting, there is a “no one size fits all” approach to marketing. 

But, 50% of business leaders consider lead generation a top priority for their marketing campaigns. 

Despite this, many seem hesitant to integrate lead generation into their business. For some, it’s simply a lack of knowledge; for others, it’s wanting to remain with tried and tested methods that have been working for years. However, there seems to be some discourse on the effectiveness of lead generation, with the term often shrouded by misconceptions.

As a result, lead generation is often misunderstood and utilised in the wrong way. Here are some popular myths surrounding lead generation:

Myth 1: All Leads are Good Leads

The quality of your leads can either make or break your business’ ROI.

Unfortunately, all leads may not necessarily be good leads. In the same breath, more prospects do not equal more revenue. Here, leads represent an opportunity but never a guarantee; it takes time to generate a winning lead. 

Equally, it’s not sustainable to have an over-saturated leads campaign. In fact, that can do more harm to your business than good. It’s important to differentiate between a lead that is relevant to your campaign, to the one that isn’t. Regardless of the approach, sales are only made with qualified leads. 

At the same time, it’s crucial to utilise leads your business already has rather than trying to obtain new ones, as your business may be losing out on a game-changing opportunity. As the saying goes: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Myth 2: Lead Generation Companies Aren’t Worth It

The term “outsourced” seems to be enveloped in negativity, but that certainly is never the case. 

We may be biased, but lead generation companies are valuable assets with your prospecting campaigns. After all, they are the experts in generating the right leads that win work. 

Lead generation companies have the means and experience to develop precise targeting campaigns, saving time and allowing you the freedom to focus on other projects. They are masters of customisation, adapting your campaigns, and can dedicate enough time to calling, emailing, and Linkedin to the individual prospect. In fact, 44% of businesses struggle to find the time to follow up on leads, which is why outsourcing a lead generation company can be incredibly beneficial for your campaigns. 

Generally, in-house teams are used as a “one size fits all” for business and lead generation, whilst preparing and delivering pitches. Even if the pitches are good, they may not necessarily have the time to maximise the leads coming through. Using six people, for example, cutting between jobs is the most agile and efficient way of using time wisely as you can compartmentalise the attributes of each person to achieve a well-thought-out, repeatable and efficient process.

Whilst they incur a small cost, lead generation companies produce invaluable results.

Myth 3: Social Media is Not Effective

When used right, social media can be a powerful tool for lead generation. Many business leaders have avoided utilising social media as part of their prospecting campaigns, yet, 68% of businesses have said that social media has helped them to generate more leads.

With 4.76 billion people using social media, your sourcing pools are infinite, allowing you to pursue more opportunities. It’s no lie that social media has high rates of engagement, so dismissing its versatility and usefulness in lead generation would be essentially throwing away business opportunities. 

Myth 4: Cold Calling is Dead

Whilst marketing methods have evolved over the years, cold calling has remained a stable figure in prospect outreach. As previously mentioned, it’s the backbone of B2B and B2C sales.

With the rise of social media campaigns, it is easy to see why many would argue that cold calling is essentially “dead”. However, according to a survey by RAIN Group, cold calling is the second most popular way to contact potential leads following email outreach. Over the years, cold calling has evolved to be more personable and engaged with the prospect rather than reading the same lines from a script, and still are highly successful in finding those quality leads.

Lead generation is nothing to be cautious of with B2B marketing. In fact, it might even be the best fit for your company. Sometimes, taking a leap of faith into the unknown can help your business flourish. 

Gee Stencel | They/Them

Strategic Operations Manager

Carbon Global

Read All About It: Carbon Global Wins Best Team Training and Development

“I always think when you win an award, it's a great time to go "well done" and pat yourself on the back, but then think where can we go from here? How can we be even better?”

We are pleased to announce that Carbon Global has won Best Team Training and Development at the Business Awards UK for 2022/23! 

We’re extremely proud to offer a bespoke training and development programme to all our staff, so we are absolutely thrilled to be recognised for our hard work. 

In light of this fantastic achievement, we’ve met with one of our Managing Partners, Henry Regan, to further discuss Carbon Global’s training and development techniques, and why he thinks this sets us apart from other lead generation companies.

Both you and our other Managing Partner Sam, pride yourselves on training all business development managers like actors. But, why do you train like actors compared to a regular training session? 

When we came into the role many moons ago, we discovered that our acting experience translated nicely to lead generation. Things like breathing, improvisation and script work perfectly align with our work in lead generation and business development. We have translated that into a training programme at Carbon Global, where we’ll go to the park and do breathing exercises or talk about yoga and stretching. Simple things like that we learnt from our training we’re translating over to business.

We found that not only does it help productivity, but it also helps the culture and the happiness of everyone involved. It’s about being honest and truthful. In business, it’s all about putting your best foot forward, yet, in a rehearsal room, you’re trying to make mistakes because if you make a mistake, you will not do that again. Using that and putting that into our work, we have bred not only meetings but valuable meetings and therefore work for our clients, which has kept us in business and growing at the rate that we have been for the last six years.

How have Carbon Global’s KPIs evolved since using this training method from starting the business to today?

When we talk about KPIs, we usually discuss the ones which are external to the client. But we need to talk about the ones that are internal, just as a business, and then we talk about the individual KPIs. These should be things that are controllable. We ask two things: what does actual success look like and what does perceived success look like? That’s a hard conversation to have, but it’s those hard conversations I like to have.

We run our company like an ensemble and that extends to the clients as well. This is a collaboration. 

What is required to run a successful training and development session?

What makes success is regular and bespoke training sessions. However, to have a successful team, you need to have employees from every walk of life, meaning you cannot do a training session that caters to everyone. 

All of this is important because everyone needs to be catered to individually. Equally, you can lead a horse to water, but they have to be able to go “I need this specific help”, with them suggesting problems and potential solutions for them to learn and grow. We’re always looking at how we make these things better. 

Why is the human touch an essential player in the training and development of our business development managers?

I think the human touch is imperative; we are all individualistic. When we talk about the human touch, we don’t just mean being in front of each other: we mean understanding where the person is in their life and where the person is in their work because there may be things happening that are affecting them at work.

But this is something that we’re fighting with a hybrid system; it’s often hard to do things over Zoom. It’s nice to see the whites of eyes of somebody else. 

I think the human touch always wins. 

Why do you think Carbon Global’s training and development set you apart from other lead and demand generation companies?

We treat people like human beings, number one, and we value them. Not only does that extend to our employees, but to our clients also; we do care. We work as an ensemble when [other companies] work as individuals. We’re big fans of teaching each other how to fish or having dance captains of projects where they can get the help of other people in the organisation. When there is a big weakness, we all care about it

Collegiality is one of our core values here. 

How do you prepare for a training session?

Our training sessions, at the moment, are typically quite reactive to the need; we’re very sector-agnostic. It’s valuable to think about the strategy around that by listening to our mentors within the industry, our clients, and prospects about what they need is or what gaps they need to fill. But, you can’t just do a session here, and a session there. It needs to be ongoing. 

I think when you win an award, it is a great time to go “well done” and pat yourself on the back, but then think, where can we go from here? How can we be even better? I would love to be more proactive in the strategy around training sessions and catching things months before they become an issue. I think we can do that, but the world in the last three years has changed a lot, and it’s changing so quickly it’s about being agile.

Gee Stencel | They/Them

Strategic Operations Manager

Carbon Global

Mindset Matters: Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health in the Workplace

An exhaustive study by Workable Surveys revealed that 92% of employees experienced a mental health challenge, which impacts their work.

It’s a known fact that, at any given moment, 1 in 4 adults suffer from a mental health illness. Yet transparency is still a huge issue, both personally and professionally. Suffice it to say admitting we need help can be difficult.

In many ways, 2022 was a game-changer in addressing mental health in the workplace. For the first time, organisations and high-profile professionals came forward to discuss their strategies for becoming more open to mental health in the workplace and improving their employee experience. As we move into the next quarter of 2023, it is crucial to have the same momentum, much in the same way we have with movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter. 

An exhaustive study by Workable Surveys revealed that 92% of employees experienced a mental health challenge, which impacts their work. It would be naïve to negate that these challenges only affect the quality of work produced: friends, family, and even relationships in the workplace would be, also. Yet, many are avoiding the situation at hand. 

The phrase “mental health” is haunted by stigma, no matter where or with whom it’s mentioned. Culture clashes and huge age gaps between employees have caused us to avoid the subject entirely. With that in mind, is it a mystery that discussing mental health in the workplace has gone amiss? For 56% of employees, stress and mental health in the workplace are key deciding factors in whether or not they remain in their current positions. This is a significant growth compared to four years ago when it was only a deciding factor for 40% of employees.  

Whilst companies are becoming more open and transparent, over 35% of business leaders have not yet approached their employees on improving mental health practices. 

So why is it valuable to be transparent about mental health in the workplace?

There are benefits both from an employee experience and a business development perspective. Simply talking about mental health in the workplace is not always the best solution. Actions speak louder than words. From an employee perspective, having specific processes to help with any mental health challenges can improve productivity, lower sick days taken and helps them feel valued by their leaders. Given that we spend at least one-third of our lives at work, business leaders must take the time to ensure that the level of care for their employees is first-rate. After all, ignoring the problem can result in employees burning themselves out.

If employees feel as though they are truly valued by the company they work for, they’ll also be more likely to be loyal to the business ultimately improving employee retention.

Being transparent and improving mental health policies has a significant benefit for a business’ ROI; on average, $1.68 is saved per employee for every mentoring programme or process that’s in place. Furthermore, businesses that have outstanding mental health policies are globally recognised: Pinterest, Barclays, and even Unilever have implemented various processes, which have witnessed their employee productivity grow as well as their market value. Of course, there comes a cost in running in-person workshops and hiring speakers, for example, but in the long term, these will help a business boom in the current market. Whilst that is a small cost, unaddressed mental health challenges can cause a business to lose anywhere between $17 to $44 billion a year. With employee morale and revenue at a low, it becomes impossible for a business to grow or even maintain a good reputation, which can encourage stress, anxiety and depression. 

As we move forward into 2023, it’s important to assess how we approach neurodiversity in a business environment. Workplace culture needs to become more adaptable as the world rapidly evolves, or risk perpetuating a stigma which is built to disadvantage everyone. 

 

Gee Stencel | They/Them

Strategic Operations Manager

Carbon Global

Why LinkedIn Prospecting Can Help Your Business Development Efforts Flourish

LinkedIn has over 875 million users as of January 2023. That is 875 million opportunities. In fact, B2B and Lead Gen businesses have found that 80% of their successful leads come directly from LinkedIn.

For as long as the telephone has been around, so has cold calling. It’s the backbone of B2B and B2C marketing; everyone is familiar with it. 

For decades cold calling has been an essential player in prospect sourcing, so it would be naïve to ignore its effectiveness in B2B and B2C sales. After all, how would’ve businesses grown in a pre-social media world? 

Whilst cold calling is incredibly beneficial for gaining prospects, it is a huge undertaking and the consistency needed to see results is time-consuming. Hiring a business development agency, like us, for example, can take that pressure of calling from your business. But you may also want to try sourcing prospects through other methods, like social media. We have found that combining both cold calling and LinkedIn sourcing has helped us connect our clients with some amazing prospects, often leading to them winning work. As the current market shifts, perhaps it’s time to start utilising multiple methods of sourcing to optimise your business’ chances of obtaining prospects.

LinkedIn has over 875 million users as of January 2023. That is 875 million opportunities. In fact, B2B and Lead Gen businesses have found that 80% of their successful leads come directly from LinkedIn. Whilst LinkedIn is a social media site, it’s unique in the fact that it solely connects you with other professionals. You’re constantly networking, with easy access to other businesses and their employees. Your sourcing pool is immediately accessible, all at the click of a button. Through a filter, or two, you can easily find the decision-makers of a particular organisation, or even fully view a person’s profile and assess if they will truly be a great prospect for your business. Furthermore, you’ll be able to see who directly interacts with your brand, so you can easily see who is interested in what you have to offer. 

By sourcing through LinkedIn, you’re giving your prospects the opportunity to respond in their own time, not forcing them to give you a response straight away to your pitch, essentially the time to digest all the information you have provided. There’s also less opportunity for miscommunication: all the information is laid out clearly in front of your prospect. 

LinkedIn also allows your business to experiment with ‘digital personalisation’, something which has been proven to be successful with 62% of customers globally. In the current market, customers are wanting business reps to completely engage with them and their contexts: like discussing any significant work that the prospect is currently doing, and how your business can assist them. People are constantly updating their LinkedIn with current projects, awards and achievements, or even new job roles, all of which are, again, easily accessible. By staying up to date on potential or even warm lead prospects, it highlights you’ve dedicated the time to them. Congratulate them on that achievement or promotion, and then bring in your pitch. Over time, you’ll be able to build authentic relationships, which can often be difficult to achieve over a phone call. Adaptability is key to winning on LinkedIn. 

Even if you do happen to get a “no” from your prospect, they may connect you with someone more relevant. Like cold calling, Linkedin sourcing can bring so much good to your business.

That’s the beauty of LinkedIn: once you start connecting with people, you never stop.

 

Gee Stencel | They/Them

Strategic Operations Manager

Carbon Global

A Guide to Implementing Sustainable Business Growth

Long-term, sustainable growth can attract investors, higher business net worths, and market shares. Your business will have the time to establish clear goals and priorities, ultimately helping you to understand your business' needs.

It is an undeniable fact that business growth is crucial for any company. 

It’s important to remember that growth comes in many forms and that fast, ‘growth hacking’ may not be the best suited for your business. As we have mentioned before, progress doesn’t happen immediately overnight. A longer-term, more sustainable growth may be more valuable for you and your business. That doesn’t necessarily mean sustainable growth has to take years to achieve; your business’ growth goals can happen over a few weeks or quarters. 

While both ‘growth hacking’ and sustainable growth have their advantages, the latter can allow your business to develop without the worry of unexpected operational or financial obstacles. It gives you and your staff time to strategise for potential stumbling blocks. Long term, this growth can attract investors, higher business net worths, and market shares. Your business will have the time to establish clear goals and priorities, ultimately helping you to understand your business’ needs. 

Here are four tips to inspire sustainable growth for your business:

1) Create a Sustainable Pipeline of Leads

For your business to grow, you may need to reassess your approach to managing your pipeline of leads. Many companies begin by growing organically through their established networks and referrals, but this approach will eventually lead to a plateau and stagnation of growth. Many organisations struggle to get the next step right as they don’t either have the knowledge or skillset to begin the cold end of lead generation. To help avoid this, this is where a business development and lead generation agency can really add value. 

In order to achieve sustainable growth, there needs to be a constant and steady supply of outreach to your defined prospects. These will often be people with decision-making abilities, those who hold the budget and the willingness to explore new solutions or partnerships. These should be the people who will uplift your business. Dedicating enough time to calling, emailing, and Linkedin prospecting these consistently several times a week is the only way to create an extensive and varied pipeline. Concentrating your efforts on a handful of companies will always lead to big dips in your revenue if your business isn’t winning any work or the projects face delays or cancellations, so always adhere to the old adage: variety is the spice of life. 

Establishing the wishlist companies to target based on your experience and the market opportunity is also essential. Divide these into different campaigns that should or could be encompassed, such as companies where you already have work but would like to spread it into other areas. Perhaps they could be ones that explicitly align with a case study or experience and, finally, dream companies where you have no established connection but know the project size and content could be aligned. Timelines for beginning projects and the lead time it takes to get engaged once the work’s won vary dramatically from company to company. In order to smooth these bumps out throughout your fiscal year, you need to have a consistent rolling pipeline nurtured until the time is right for each prospect. 

This sustainable pipeline not only allows for new work to be won in the areas you see fit but also means that you can forecast your steady growth over the year, predict projects, revenue and, as such, company resourcing.

2)  Focus on Client Satisfaction

Client retention should be at the core of every business. Ultimately, client satisfaction is the key to long-term success. As part of your growth plan, consider taking your current client relationships to the next level: follow up with your clients following a sale or completion of a project, have weekly or bi-weekly meetings to address any challenges or targets, or even offer any insights into your business plans, and how this may affect your clients. Communication and honesty in a relationship go a long way. Businesses that retain their clients are likely to have a higher ROI, as they are statistically more likely to invest more of their time and money into your business’ services. 

The more positive a relationship with a client is, the more likely they will recommend you to friends and family. In fact, 68% of clients are willing to do business and brand referrals to those around them. Word of mouth has the power to either grow or ruin a business. Rather than immediately focusing on obtaining new clients, focus on how your current clients can be satisfied – since it will highlight how much your business cares about business-to-client relationships, making your company desirable for prospective customers. Eventually, your business will have increased sales revenue, a better reputation and growth of clients. 

3) Be Open to New Ideas

Sometimes, tried and tested formulas may be optimal for rapid business growth, but if you’re looking to implement sustainable growth, these methods might not be as effective. When looking at your business, collaborate with your staff, as they have ideas which could make your company flourish. You may even find your next decision-maker, which can be extremely valuable for company growth. Thus by encouraging open-mindedness, you’re also allowing room for personal growth. Furthermore, by incorporating open-mindedness in your business growth, you develop the skill to objectively look at multiple pieces of evidence in terms of your business’ performance – for example, you might see that a previously implemented strategy is no longer helping your business move forward, despite it being well-liked across the company. Socrates once said, ‘true knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing’, so being open-minded transforms you, as a leader, into a sponge, ready to absorb everything and anything, ultimately helping your business to succeed. 

Showing that you and your business are unafraid of embracing change or even experiencing failure will set your company apart from the ones that are closed-minded, thus allowing you to grow in the long term. Your business will become adaptable to any situation. Being open to new ideas shows your business will consistently stay ahead of the curve, trying new trends and redefining how your business stays relevant in an ever-changing environment. 

4) Practise Sustainable Hiring

To practise successful long-term business growth, your business needs to have a strong, sustainable hiring strategy. To put it in context, think about the current tech layoffs: many tech companies like Meta and Google experienced rapid growth during the pandemic, and this acceleration was predicted to be a permanent feature, so more people were hired to compensate for this growth. However, these companies are now facing periods of stagnation, so the businesses are no longer growing, and, as such, people are having to be laid off as their positions are no longer required. The result? Loss of time, money and employee satisfaction.

To avoid this, your business should develop a long-term hiring strategy. It’s important to assess both your current and future company needs. Invest in your employees now by setting realistic goals and KPIs, as they provide a gateway into understanding your hiring needs long-term. If your team are superseding all goals, and your business has obtained several more clients, there is a need to grow your employee base as a result of the new revenue and workload. However, if your business is hiring as you have the spare budget, but may need that money down the line, then your business is going to struggle to retain employees and thus, struggle to grow. Not only that, but one bad hire can cause a drop in productivity and morale, ultimately hindering your sustainable growth. 

In order to have sustainable growth, the business must remember its core values. Growth isn’t a competition and cannot be compared to another business’ as, just like people, every business is unique. 

 

Gee Stencel | They/Them

Strategic Operations Manager

Carbon Global

Introducing Diversity and Inclusion into your Lead Gen or B2B Company

Going into 2023, Diversity and Inclusion are still a hot topic for many business leaders. A business' stance on having a diverse and inclusive working culture is a deciding factor for 83% of job applicants*.

The working world is very different to how it was a decade ago, and that’s not necessarily bad, either. People change, so why shouldn’t businesses? In one way or another, we evolve. 

Going into 2023, Diversity and Inclusion are still a hot topic for many business leaders. A business’ stance on having a diverse and inclusive working culture is a deciding factor for 83% of job applicants*. 

People love diversity. As the saying goes, if you and everyone else were the same, life would be very dull. There are many benefits to diversifying the workplace: from immersing yourself in different cultures and having a larger talent pool to having new ideas and perspectives that may ultimately help your business grow.

Here are five simple steps a business can take to welcome inclusivity in the workplace.

1) Review Your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Policies

Businesses having an up-to-date DE&I policy encourages a more welcoming atmosphere and drive employee engagement. From an employee perspective, having a DE&I policy that reflects them allows them to experience a sense of belonging within the company and feel a sense of pride for their employer, as they are a champion of diversity. There is also a direct correlation between the growth of diversity and an increase in sales revenue for the company, with a growth of anywhere between 3% to 9%**. In one way or another, diversity helps promote business growth.

2) Share Resources

Educating yourself, and your employees, are the best way to create a more inclusive workplace. Charities like Stonewall, Black Minds Matter and Equally Ours have plenty of resources and workshops that employees and business owners may find beneficial. Education is the key to progress.

Don’t be afraid to share news articles, interesting blog posts, or updates from DE&I charities in your Slack or Teams channels. These resources will also allow for productive conservations surrounding DE&I and may even motivate further business growth. 

3) Be Aware

Making sure the business follows its DE&I policies is a team effort: employees should stay vigilant for micro-aggressions, discrimination and unconscious bias against other colleagues. There are several ways to approach this: one-to-one meetings, company-wide meetings, (un)anonymous surveys. Highlighting these issues can help businesses develop a strategy to tackle them. Also, it’s valuable for employers to stay abreast of the latest news on the Equality Act, as this can help with the upkeep of a business’ DE&I policies. 

4) Celebrate All Holidays and Events

Not everyone celebrates Christmas, nor does everyone celebrate Hanukkah or Eid-Al-Fidr. To celebrate and recognise each holiday in the workplace is to also celebrate diversity. Some ways to do so is to introduce flexible PTO when these holidays are based on lunar movements or even decorate the office. With events like Pride and Black History Month, bring in speakers, run workshops, or even consider partnering with a charity. Make it clear that within the business, every person is celebrated.

5) Focus on Employee Retention

The challenge of maintaining an inclusive culture is ensuring that the company retains their diverse workforce. If a company doesn’t act on its diversity policies, its employees will look elsewhere for a business that does. However, if the company frequently assesses their DE&I policies, ensuring each member of staff feels valued and has zero tolerance for discrimination, the likelihood of the employees staying increases. There is also the opportunity to diversify management from retained employees, which is a win for the company. Allowing people from underrepresented communities to succeed in management positions highlights their value within the company and, thus, will encourage more people to apply to the business, ultimately creating a continuous cycle of diversity and inclusion.

Start small. Progress never happens overnight, but taking the steps to empower diversity within the workplace is life-changing.

Resources

Sometimes, finding the right resources can be difficult. Here are some that we recommend: 

Stonewall | https://www.stonewall.org.uk/

For the last thirty years, Stonewall has been working with LGBTQIA* across the globe. They have three dedicated workplace resources that can help your business, including:

Black Minds Matter | https://www.blackmindsmatteruk.com/

BMM UK focuses on ensuring that mental health resources and topics are relevant for black individuals. 

They offer: 

Equally Ours | https://www.equallyours.org.uk/ 

Equally Ours aims to advance human and equality rights by connecting organisations with people. 

Here are some resources: 

Gee Stencel | They/Them

Strategic Operations Manager

Carbon Global

 

* Why Recruiting a Diverse Workforce is Critical for Your Business, SurveyMonkey

** Workplace Diversity Through Recruitment: A Step-By-Step Guide, Ideal

The Self-Care Routines & Practices Of Busy Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders

“Staying connected to my family and friends and the people that mean the most to me is incredibly important. The five people you spend most of your time with in your life or the truest reflection of yourself. I spend time with them to take care of myself. When I’ve been mentally unfit they are the ones who have kept me afloat.”

Henry Regan - Business Development and Lead Generation

Our Managing Partner, Henry, was interviewed by Maria Angelova, CEO of Rebellious Intl. Authority magazine about ‘The Self-Care Routines & Practices Of Busy Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders’.

In this fascinating article Henry explores many aspects of his approach to running businesses in Lead generation, Accent and Dialect, and Property, as well as sharing how he prioritises taking the time needed to re-energise. It’s a great read for business owners and self care supporters alike and gives an insight into how this mindset impacts our Business Development agency’s ‘Human-first’ approach to helping you grow your business.

Read the full article here:

https://medium.com/authority-magazine/henry-regan-of-carbon-global-on-the-self-care-routines-practices-of-busy-entrepreneurs-and-2dd6edaadb5a