Katz Business School Hosts Women’s Leadership Panel

August 18, 2017 § Leave a comment


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Katz School of Business
Image: business.pitt.edu

Diane Kaern has forged a successful career as a sales compensation and operations professional at many multinational corporations, including Hewlett-Packard. During her time at Hewlett-Packard, she was responsible for global sales compensation analytics and reporting and designed and implemented a streamlined global reporting process. In preparation for her career, Diane Kaern studied for her MBA at the University of Pittsburgh.

Recently, the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School of Business hosted a panel of executive women in leadership discussing the challenges and opportunities for women in today’s business climate. One topic of focus was the importance of going beyond your comfort zone, maintaining what is known as “learning agility.” By learning new skills, embracing new challenges, and being willing to take chances, women in business can keep their careers moving steadily forward.

How women can support each other, whether through mentoring or advocating for more inclusive workplaces, was among other topics discussed by the panel. Audrey Murrell, PhD, moderated the panel, which was comprised of Dr. Angela Hardy Isaac, a professor of finance and economics; Jackie Johnson, the founder and CEO of Corazon, Inc.; and Kelley Skoloda, a partner and the director of global brand marketing practice at Ketchum.

What Is Balance of Trade?

July 21, 2017 § Leave a comment


Balance of Trade pic

Balance of Trade
Image: investopedia.com

A graduate of the MBA program at the University of Pittsburgh, Diane Kaern is a skilled business leader with expertise in operations, sales analytics, and finance. Diane Kaern previously served in a management role at Hewlett-Packard, where she managed balance-of-trade reporting processes, in addition to other duties.

Balance of trade refers to the difference in imports and exports a country produces over a set time period. The measure is often used as a means to assess economic health, and is a primary component of the balance of payments. The balance of payments is a statistical measurement of all transactions that are executed between a specific country’s residents and the rest of the world.

Sometimes referred to as net exports or commercial balance, the balance of trade can indicate a healthy or a lagging economy. A trade surplus, or positive balance, is found when the balance of trade measure shows that exports exceed imports. A trade deficit, or negative balance, occurs when imports exceed exports and is generally seen as a negative economic indicator.

How to Improve Internal Communication in a Business

June 23, 2017 § Leave a comment

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Internal Communication
Image: forbes.com

A former sales compensation analytics and reporting manager at Hewlett-Packard, Diane Kaern is an experienced finance and business professional who most recently worked as a global sales operations finance director. In addition to possessing a creative and analytical mind, Diane Kaern is a talented communicator.

Businesses must focus on internal communications as much as communications with customers and partners. Here are some tips for improving internal business communications:

1. Make internal knowledge available. All businesses have internal knowledge related to business procedures and operations that all employees must understand. Such information should be easily available to all employees via a company handbook or intranet.

2. Limit meetings. Though meetings prove crucial for setting company aims and keeping track of project progress, too many meetings can waste employee time. Before calling a meeting, consider if communicating the information through other channels, such as email or a dedicated project management program, would be more efficient.

3. Plan external events. Large companies often maintain multiple divisions, many of which rarely interact during the course of the working day. By creating regular social events that bring together people from all areas of the company, a business can help employees build connections with others in the business and ensure that employees learn as much as possible about the work performed by other departments.

Hewlett-Packard among Forbes’ 2016 Most Valuable Brands Listing

October 26, 2016 § Leave a comment

Hewlett-Packard  pic

Image: forbes.com

A professional with over 20 years of experience in business administration including financial management and sales compensation, Diane Kaern has been proficient in leadership with skills for risk management, cost reduction, and business processing. Diane Kaern formerly served as a sales compensation analytics and reporting manager for the Hewlett-Packard Company, which was included in Forbes’ Most Valuable Brands 2016.

The annual listing identifies the world’s most valuable brands through a thorough examination of the financial statistics for more than 200 global brands. Forbes’ process for valuing brands begins with determining the revenue and earnings of each brand before taxes using company reports, industry authorities, and Wall Street research. Collected information consists of data spanning across a three-year period, and those numbers are compared against the brand’s capital employed and the capital of generic brands.

Forbes’ list consists of 100 brands that span 16 countries and 19 broad industry categories. Brands included in the list are restricted to those with a substantial presence in the U.S., eliminating some major bands and multinational companies. Forbes released its 2016 list of Most Valuable Brands in May.

Overcoming Three Common Communication Problems in the Workplace

August 1, 2016 § Leave a comment

Communications pic

Image: smallbusiness.chron.com

Diane Kaern is the former worldwide sales compensation analytics and reporting manager with Hewlett-Packard, representing a sales volume of approximately $127 billion. During her time with HP, Diane Kaern has demonstrated analytical knowledge and excellent communication skills.

Because miscommunication can have serious implications for a company’s bottom line, it is no surprise that clear communication is one of the most valued skills in the workplace. Here are three common communication issues in the workplace, as well as strategies for overcoming them:

Cultural differences: it is human nature to want to spend time with members of one’s own culture, but this can create conflicting small group dynamics in the workplace. Managers can overcome this problem by mixing up employees and making sure all perspectives are being heard.

Listening problems: almost every workplace has one or more employees who interrupt co-workers and fail to listen to what anyone else has to say. By stressing the importance of good listening skills before discussions, managers can create a workplace culture that values expression and dialogue.

Ego: when employees refuse to take ownership of their role in problem situations, no progress can be made toward solving the issue. While employees often need to have their egos “checked” by a manager, sometimes the best course of action is simply to let people disagree and move on.

What Is the Difference Between Sales and Marketing?

June 11, 2016 § Leave a comment


Sales and Marketing pic

Sales and Marketing
Image: marketing.about.com

A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Diane Kaern is a former Hewlett-Packard employee with a background in finance and sales. Prior to assuming her role with Hewlett-Packard, Diane Kaern served as Finance Manager for Siemens Medical Systems, where she forecasted, reported, and controlled expenses for the firm’s worldwide sales and marketing team.

In a business setting, sales and marketing are often grouped together into one department, but the operations of the two teams have different objectives and methods for achieving established goals. Sales is primarily a two-way communication between representative and customer, whereas marketing tends to be a one-way line of communication from representative to customer. While the fundamentals of sales stay the same no matter what is happening in a given industry, marketing requires quick adaptation to the new technologies and social psychologies that shape markets.

While marketing takes a broad, conceptual approach when attempting to reach a wide audience, the sales aspect of a business is more focused and appeals to individual customers by honing in on specific circumstances and needs. In keeping with this concept, the broad calls of marketing may motivate potential customers to seek out more information, but the tactics used in sales will be the reason that a potential customer chooses to do business with a company.

Dos and Don’ts of Managing a Sales Pipeline

February 9, 2016 § Leave a comment

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Sales Management
Image: inc.com

According to the Sales Management Association, more than half of executives recognize deficient sales pipeline management within their companies. Every company should utilize a sales pipeline to guide prospective customers through the many stages of product purchase. As such, it is important to remember a number of dos and don’ts that will help you successfully manage this crucial process at your firm.

Do define your sales pipeline
You need to clearly establish the sales pipeline that will help you manage the services specific to your company. Bring together your team and map out each buyer phase, ranging from pre-sale to post-sale. Making sure that each employee is on the same page will help ensure a successful pipeline for all potential clients.

Don’t neglect sales forecasting
Sales forecasting is a crucial part of managing your company’s sales pipeline, as it allows you to gain a unique perspective of the entire sales process. In addition, you will be able to assess potential challenges before you encounter them, which will help you better control your pipeline. Better organization will help you efficiently and successfully acquire your sales prospects.

Do follow your leads
Most consumers do not receive efficient or proper follow-up from companies vying for their business. It is important not only to follow your leads, but to complete this step early on in your pipeline. In fact, a 2011 Harvard Business Review study found that companies are six times more likely to acquire a lead if they respond to the client within an hour of initial contact.

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