–Certification Class of 2007, see all the names!
-SMEI & Puerto Rico Affiliate
Plus all of the regular columns! Get in now.
Brian Summerfield of Certification Magazine recently interviewed me for an article titled: "Management: Cultivating Certification Through Standards".
Managing the growth of our certification programs presents us with many opportunities and we are reluctant to grow just for the sake of expansion. Basing our growth on qualifications and standards will ensure that when you receive your "CSE", "CME" or "SCPS" designation they will have true meaning.
SMEI’s first founding principle is "Professional Standards and Identification". I thought it might be useful in this post to discuss standards.
A standard is something that can be used as a consistent form of measurement. For example, when a carpenter creates a pattern by cutting a piece of wood to a particular set of dimensions, they can use that pattern to mark subsequent pieces of wood for cutting with the assurance that all of the pieces of wood will match the pattern when cut. Ultimately, the patterned pieces of wood fit into a master plan that the carpenter is using to create a finished product. The master plan will already have been drawn to conform to industry accepted standards.
The carpenter will usually mark the pattern with a notation such as "P" or "Pattern" so that there is only one true pattern. This provides consistency and predictability in results.
The same is true for sales and marketing. SMEI’s certification programs are based on standards that are recognized by the academic and business world. By reviewing these standards and embracing them, you can be assured that when you develop your sales and/or marketing plan, you will be meeting the standard. You can measure your sales professionalism and your sales force professionalism against your sales plan with consistent results.
Certification testing is one way to determine if you or your organization are meeting the standard.
The self-study programs designed around the certification programs help you match up against the pattern. When I studied for my CSE exam I quickly determined the gap in my knowledge by reviewing the study materials and then focused on filling in the areas that needed help to match the pattern.
It is easy to fall into the trap of measuring against something that is not reliable or standardized. If we use the analogy of the carpenter, we could end up with a lop-sided house which is unappealing, unprofessional and unsafe.
Applying the standard learned through the certification process to my sales plan provided me with consistent and predictable results. Results that I could be proud of and processes that could stand the closest scrutiny because they met a recognized standard.
Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI) recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the free enterprise system through leadership and demonstrated expertise in the areas of selling, marketing, or business leadership. Honorees are business executives who have played a major role in founding or leading a company and have demonstrated their belief in the value of sales and marketing disciplines in that success.
The induction banquet is held in Oklahoma City each year, and includes a panel discussion with the honorees to draw out their conclusions on topics related to their success and the challenges they have overcome. The promotion of this event helps to raise awareness of the sales and marketing profession and communicates the elements essential for personal and corporate achievement.
The 2005 Honorees are:
Ambassador of Free Enterprise and Keynote Speaker for Induction Banquet:
Clifton Taulbert, President, The Building Community Institute, a noted speaker and Pulitzer nominated author for "The Last Train North”.
Pinnacle Award Honorees:
- Earl Graves Earl G. Graves Publishing, Founder and Publisher of Black Enterprise Magazine and listed by Forbes Magazine as one of the nation’s most powerful Black executives;
- Stanley Hupfeld, CEO, Integris Health, Oklahoma’s largest not-for-profit health care organization
- John H. Patterson, Founder, NCR (posthumous award); John H. Patterson’s sales management techniques built National Cash Register into the dominant force in its industry and had a major impact on the development of modern selling.
- John Sykes, Chairman, Sykes Enterprises, Inc. SYKES is a global leader in providing customer contact management solutions and services in the business process outsourcing (BPO) arena.
The 2005 Honorees will be recognized at a special induction Gala Banquet in Oklahoma City on April 9th, as part of the 16th annual SMEI Academy of Achievement event. While corporate America is being scrutinized, it is refreshing to see individuals with integrity being recognized for their leadership and contribution.