Halloween costumes that perfectly describe your sales process woes

Halloween is upon us, and with it comes a great excuse to let your imagination run wild. But there’s a darker side to Halloween that few people dare think about, let alone discuss in a blog post.

To the untrained eye Halloween may seem little more than a lighthearted occasion. But it’s actually the one time of year when humanity’s deepest, darkest fears are free to bubble to the fore.

And few things can be more of living nightmare for a sales director than the sales process gone wrong. If you think you can handle the ugly truth, read on to see how some of Halloween’s most popular costumes perfectly describe your sales woes.

Scarecrow, the abominable strawman.

Ever since Dorothy’s whirlwind adventure on Technicolor psychedelics, the scarecrow has been a Halloween regular.

Going anywhere dressed as a scarecrow is an itchy commitment (the straw inevitably ends up in all the wrong places), but it’s also indicative of a deep-seated anxiety caused by overbearing salespeople. Whether they were exposed to a flawed sales process at a young age or simply oversold a faulty product when feeling particularly vulnerable, the scarecrow at a party serves as a subtle reminder that people, like crows, are not easily fooled by empty promises or vaguely humanoid stick figures stuffed with grass.

Perhaps the only time a scarecrow is actually effective at seeming human is when you’re running from an axe-wielding madman through a cornfield in the middle the night. The straw figure’s silhouette is convincing enough to scare you senseless, but ultimately falls short of any actual threat. This is roughly what happens when a salesman jumps directly into a hard sell without properly researching his prospects. Sure he might be lucky enough to catch them at a moment of mortal terror, but even then their excitement for the product will rarely outlast the adrenaline and lead to a sale.

Zombie, brain enthusiast.

Just left of the scarecrow, you’re likely to see some version of the walking dead. While our modern incarnation of the zombie originated as social commentary on the rise of consumerism, it’s since become an all-pervasive subculture spanning across genres, media, and generations. But in the context of Halloween, the zombie costume is unwitting commentary on lifeless sales processes. These people have, at some point in their lives, been exposed to salespeople who do little more than wander around emitting the odd gargling sound while waiting for marketing to deposit a bunch of leads in their festering lap. While this fear may seem unusual, it’s remarkably common.

A company’s sales process needs to be more than an army of animated corpses falling over each other to get to brains on a platter. Your team needs to actively work with marketing to help qualify leads and share resources that bring more of them in. As the best undead sales teams know – the better the teamwork, the fresher the brains.

Nurse, the scantily clad social worker

For some reason, many people feel that professions like nursing or housekeeping are scary enough to inspire Halloween costumes. You’re likely looking at one now, flitting about, drink in hand, between selfies and group photos. But dressing up as an impractically sexualized version of an otherwise highly valuable professional communicates one very specific sales process woe – salespeople who talk the talk and look the part, but fail to follow through effectively and close deals. Sure they might look like a trained healthcare worker, but you know as well as I that it’s little indication of her ability to correctly dress an axe wound. To overcome this anxiety, sales teams should complement their dashing good looks with the right tools and tailored content for their sales proposals.

No matter your inner demons, Qorus can help you quell your fears and improve your sales process by facilitating better quality sales proposals. Download our free sales guide to learn more.



FINAL: Comets 7 vs. Senators 5

An offensive explosion ended 7-5 in the Utica Comets favor versus the Binghamton Senators Friday night at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. Hunter Shinkaruk’s two goals on the night gave him six goals in six games this season.

Shinkaruk (2-0-2), Blair Jones (2-0-2), Linden Vey (0-2-2), and Andrey Pedan (1-2-3) enjoyed multi-point nights for the Comets, while Ashton Sautner (0-1-1), Cole Cassels (0-1-1), and Joseph LaBate (0-1-1) all recorded their first points in the professional ranks. Jordan Subban (1-0-1) scored his first goal as a professional.

Just eight minutes into the game it would be rookie defenseman Subban who got the game’s first goal. After taking a pass from defensive linemate Pedan, Subban flicked a wrist shot on net. The puck seemingly had eyes as it navigated it’s way through several bodies in front and into the back of the net. LaBate also picked up an assist on the goal.

The early lead would not last, as the Senators tied the game back up just over two minutes later. A centered pass from Ryan Dzingel sprung Tobias Lindberg on a breakaway. Lindberg’s backhanded shot beat Comets’ goaltender Joe Cannata on the glove side.

The Senators took their first lead of the game when they capitalized on a Comets mistake deep in their own zone. Cannata, from behind his own net, coughed up a pass right to Dzingel, who quickly shot it into the vacated net.

With just 15 seconds left in the first period the Comets tied the game back up at two apiece. A four-on-one rush ended with a Jones wrist shot that beat Senators’ goaltender Matt O’Connor on the short side. Michael Zalewski, and John Negrin assisted on the tally.

Midway through the second period the Comets took advantage of a 5-on-3 power-play opportunity when Fedun walked into a slap shot from the high slot. Linden Vey and Alexandre Grenier picked up assists on the team’s third goal of the game.

The Comets doubled up their lead with three minutes remaining when Shinkaruk scored his fifth goal of the season. With the draw set-up to the left of the Senators’ net, Vey won it directly to Shinkaruk who quickly unleashed a shot that snuck past O’Connor. The assist marked Vey’s first multi-point game as a Comet.

It wouldn’t be long until Binghamton would cut the Comets lead in half. David Dziurzynski redirected a shot from Buddy Robinson past Cannata with just 1:12 remaining in the second frame.

Shinkaruk’s sixth goal in six games, and second of the night, came just 39 seconds into the third period. Pedan’s second assist of the game came when he found Shinkaruk all alone at the top of the crease. A shimmy, and a backhand later from Shinkaruk, and the Comets once again possessed a two-goal lead.

Dzingel struck again for the Senators, this time on the power play, to once again make it a one-goal game. After a pile-up in the Comets crease, the puck slipped out to the backside, right to Dzingel, who tapped it into the gaping net.

Just two minutes later the team’s once again found themselves tied. Lindberg took a breakaway pass from Dzingel and beat Cannata with a backhand from close range.

It would be Blair Jones with his second goal of the night that would put the Comets ahead for the third and final time in this game. From the half wall, Jones walked the puck in to the face-off dot to the right of O’Connor before he would unleash a wrist shot that beat the Senators’ goaltender to the short side. Ashton Sautner and Cole Cassels picked up their first professional points with assists on the goal.

Pedan added an empty-net goal to punctuate the game’s scoring.

Binghamton outshot the Comets 32-29, the third time this season the Comets were outshot by an opponent. The Comets power play converted twice on seven opportunities, and the penalty-killing unit allowed just one power-play goal on five kills.

With the win, the Comets improved to 3-3-0-0 on the season. The loss dropped the Senators to a 3-5-0-0 record.

The Comets three game road trip continues with a trip to Albany, NY on Saturday evening to take on the Albany Devils. Puck drop is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.

Amtrak may suspend rail service in mid-December

Add Amtrak to the list of railroads that may suspend some rail service if Congress doesn’t extend a Dec. 31 deadline for railroads to install positive train control (PTC) safety technology.

Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Boardman on Monday warned Congress that, as of Dec. 1, it will begin notifying passengers through the railroad’s reservation system of service disruptions that may occur if the PTC deadline isn’t postponed.

“There will be significant impacts to our service and on our customers and tenant railroads,” Boardman wrote in an Oct. 5 letter to Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. “The potential economic impacts would also be substantial, since a vast majority of our network would be inoperable without an extension of the deadline.”

Amtrak will work with state and local partners, commuter-rail operators and freight railroad to ensure that passengers and partners are aware of service disruptions that may occur, he added.

Amtrak is the latest passenger or freight railroad to notify Congress of a potential rail-service shutdown that could occur after Dec. 31. The rail industry has been warning Congress for years that railroads will need more time to implement the new technology.

Amtrak has said it will be able to meet the PTC deadline for most of the track it owns, which includes the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C.

However, most of the 21,000-mile national network that Amtrak operates is owned by other railroads, and those railroads are responsible for PTC installation on their infrastructure. Many freight railroads have said they may refuse to transport freight and may suspend passenger service on their track that is not PTC-compliant, Boardman’s letter stated.

“Based on information that we have gathered from the hosts, Amtrak will plan on suspending service on the national network beginning mid-December on routes that not PTC compliant,” he wrote.

The Senate included an extension in a broader transportation bill that hasn’t yet passed Congress. Meanwhile, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last week introduced a bill that would extend the deadline for three years.  House and Senate leaders have said that they are negotiating to get some legislation to President Obama this month, according to news reports.

Cuomo Says De Blasio Should Be More Like Bloomberg When It Comes To MTA Funding

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to get under Mayor de Blasio‘s skin yet again.

As CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported, Cuomo has made no secret about wanting de Blasio to cough up more dough for mass transit. But his latest demand came with a special twist of the knife, since it’s common knowledge there’s no love lost between de Blasio and the man he replaced, Michael Bloomberg.

“Mike Bloomberg invested in the MTA, and it was an investment that I think is going to go down in his legacy as one of the smartest moves he’s made as mayor,” Cuomo said on WNYC radio. “I think the same thing should happen for this mayor.”

Bloomberg is arguably de Blasio’s Achilles’ heel. De Blasio has led the charge to deny Bloomberg a third term, and he’s gone to great lengths to be the anti-Bloomberg in governing the city.

So demanding that de Blasio be more like his predecessor was a Cuomo jab guaranteed to provoke, irritate and annoy.

Read more on this feud

Remember to Breathe

DoubleU = W

the numbers look bad

the doctor pronounces

a life sentence

remember to breathe


love and affection cease

the death of anything

of real meaning

remember to breathe


redundancy upon redundancy

days blur together

endless, pointless

remember to breathe


another light is fading

the inevitable loss

comes ever closer

remember to breathe


it is the life I’m given

despite its trials

it’s up to me to

remember to breathe


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Denver airport to get commuter-rail stop in April 2016

The Regional Transportation District of Denver (RTD) will provide commuter-rail service from Denver Union Station to Denver International Airport starting April 22, 2016, the transit agency announced yesterday.

The agency made the announcement after receiving an official notice from Denver Transit Partners, the concessionaire in the public-private partnership that’s building what will be called the University of Colorado A Line, according to an RTD press release.

The line is 23 miles of new electric commuter-rail service, which is part of the Eagle P3 project, the nation’s first public-private partnership for transit. The $2.2 billion project is being funded with local RTD taxes, a $1.03 billion federal grant and $450 million from Denver Transit Partners.

“The opening of the University of Colorado A Line is a historic milestone towards the completion of RTD’s FasTracks program and continues our success rate of opening major infrastructure projects,” said Dave Genova, RTD’s interim general manager and chief executive officer. “We continue to transform the region and the University of Colorado A Line will connect the Denver metro area to the world.”

The University of Colorado A Line got its name as a result of the first sponsorship through RTD’s naming rights program.

Trains on the new commuter-rail line will travel at a top speed of 79 mph, RTD officials said. The line will serve eight stations, including Denver Union Station and the airport stop, which will be located at the south terminal.


Supply Chain Management Dashboards Growing

There’s nothing necessarily new about dashboards – software that serves as a control panels for enterprise applications and provides high-level views of a variety of performance and data-intensive information. But what’s clear is their growing importance for supply chain managers.

Dashboards got their start as windows into business intelligence (BI) applications. But like the applications they supported, the dashboards were generally too specialized to be of interest to supply chain managers and executives tasked with ensuring operations were running smoothly. Of course, over time, specialty vendors have been adding dashboard applications to their enterprise suites.

Until recently, dashboard solutions haven’t provided the capabilities supply chain managers need. In an online survey conducted by ec-bp.org, the overwhelming majority of respondents, or 86.3 percent, said supply chain management (SCM) solutions should have native dashboard user interfaces that unify supply chain metrics, data and information. Respondents were given the opportunity to expand on their views, and comments ranged from dashboards “saves time and makes you work smarter,” to “measuring KPI and tracking milestones are an important part of determining the health of a supply chain,” to the idea that dashboards reduce the need for integration into separate data warehouse or analytic platforms.”

Vendors offering supply chain solutions are adding dashboards to their suites. SAP, for example, provides dashboard capabilities in its SAP BusinessObjects Supply Chain Performance Management application. One customer, Coca-Cola North America, is now using the application in its North American region, according to a press release issued by  ITC Infotech, a global IT services and solutions company, which worked with SAP consulting to help Coca-Cola implement the solution.

It was dream begun almost 20 years ago – an all-volunteer effort to one day restore Hopewell Junction’s last standing railroad building – the one that gave birth to this community. While it was badly ravaged by fire and the elements, the building had tremendous character and history.

Our vision was to create a showcase for the community’s industrial past. The building was reopened in 2012 by an amazing all-volunteer effort. Its museum rooms were opened in 2013.

What is desperately needed now are restrooms for both our visitors and to serve Dutchess Rail Trail users.

To do that we must raise the funds needed to recreate the 1892 vintage Switching Tower #196 located opposite the restored Depot.

The Tower’s upper floor will be a museum room with replica control apparatus. The ground floor plan calls for two restrooms with composting flush toilets for school and civic groups, Depot visitors, and Rail Trail users.

Find out about their fund raising

Read More About Hopewell Junction Restoration

Read about the significance of Hopewell Junction


8 hurricanes that almost packed the punch of Patricia

Hurricane Patricia is now the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the eastern Pacific Ocean — and made landfall with 165 mph winds.

The storm is now rated a category 5, the highest on the Saffir–Simpson scale. Before landfall, it had sustained winds of 200 mph, and gusts of up to 250 mph. “This makes Patricia the strongest hurricane on record in the National Hurricane Center’s area of responsibility, which includes the Atlantic and the eastern North Pacific basins,” said the National Hurricane Center. Patricia currently has a minumum central air pressure of 880mb, the lowest air pressure ever recorded in that region. It had “weakened” to 160 mph late Friday, according to the hurricane center.

In fact, Patricia is so powerful, the name Hurricane Patricia may be retired.

US Air Force pilots from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron out of Mississippi experienced that power first-hand. They flew directly into Patricia. This storm is so powerful, it even made the pilots uneasy.

“They had quite a bit of turbulence going through the ‘eyewall’ which is the area of the strongest winds right before the center,” Lt. Colonel John Talbot, the squad’s chief meteorologist, told PRI’s The World. “They had a hard time fighting the aircraft and they were ready to head back after their three passes.”

Here’s a look at some other powerful hurricanes in the area, and how they compare to Patricia:

Hurricane Allen, 1980

Labor Day Hurricane 1935

Hurricane Gilbert, 1988 

Hurricane Linda, 1997

Hurricane Mitch, 1998 

Hurricane Wilma, 2005

Hurricane Katrina, 2005

1959 Mexico hurricane


Read more and see some great pictures