One thing we at Richardson are hearing from many of our customers in sales leadership roles is that they are, or are considering, expanding their inside sales channel strategy. They see the shift in buyer behavior, with more customers conducting research online before engaging salespeople. They also see that an increasing number of customers are willing to interact with sales organizations, and even willing to make buying decisions, over the telephone. As a result, they are moving beyond utilizing inside sales for just their small-size customers and simple sales and including mid-tier customers that might also be serviced well by inside selling teams.
There are certainly cost benefits with this strategy, as well as the potential to reach more customers more quickly. In making this shift and adding greater demands for productivity from inside sellers, sales leaders need to consider and train for specific competencies. They need to think about how they develop an inside sales organization differently than field sales.
Obviously, many of the same selling skills are used in telesales as in the field. All sellers need to build rapport, ask great questions, listen actively, share insights, and articulate value. They need to position their solutions persuasively and close the deal. But when selling over the phone rather than face to face, sellers face higher barriers to engaging prospects and building credibility.
It’s that time of year when many sales organizations are either planning or organizing the last-minute details of a sales kickoff meeting.
Sales kickoffs are great opportunities to energize a sales team, ensure they are clear on the strategy and direction for the year, and cover some important operational and product updates. They’re also opportunities to train or introduce a training initiative.
There are a few considerations for sales and learning leaders who are thinking about including a training element as part of their kickoff.
1. The Sales Kickoff Meeting Agenda
Let’s face it, there are times where you can be very proactive, thoughtful, and strategic in planning the launch of a training initiative and carve out dedicated time at a sales kickoff meeting for a focus on upskilling. And then, there are times where you are just trying to fill a slot of time and take advantage of the rare opportunity of having all of the salespeople in person.
In the latter, the key is to just be realistic about the outcomes you can expect. If you only have 90 minutes, it will be very difficult to expect that your teams will walk out of that session ready to change their behavior. It might be possible if you are hyper-focused on one skill or topic and be very practical and hands on in your approach. Ensuring you break out in small groups is critical if you take this approach.
Learning needs are influenced by the selling environment. The current sales environment is demanding, filled with more informed buyers who expect increasing amounts of responsiveness and attention. Sellers need to upskill to meet the needs of their clients and ensure they are generating revenue for their companies.
In a recent interview with Chief Learning Officer Magazine, Richardson’s new CMO, Andrea Grodnitzky, took a moment to provide her insights into the trends that are likely to influence the learning needs of sales organizations in 2017.
Chief among these insights was a need for solutions that respect the time constraints sales professionals constantly face by finding innovative solutions that are as effective as they are convenient. Click here to learn more about 2017 trends in learning and development for sales organizations.
Best wishes for a happy holiday season and our sincere thanks for your loyalty and goodwill throughout the year!
This is the little-known story of how Albert Einstein changed sales performance forever*. And, though history may not be your thing, this story may help you strengthen your performance next year and beyond.
You have probably heard of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and how he defined insanity. What is not nearly as well known about Dr. Einstein is that he had a little brother named Bob. Bob sold time shares back in Germany and complained constantly about his goals, his customers, and his performance, so much so that his friends started to call him “Whine-stein.”
One year, after Thanksgiving dinner, as Albert and Bob watched football on TV, Bob begged his big brother for help. Albert promised to study the problem and get back with him before the new selling year began.
Dr. Einstein put his other work on hold and devoted himself to the study of Bob’s sales performance. What he found was that Bob put in the same strong level of effort each year; however, his quota kept increasing, and the external environment kept changing. This was the source of Bob’s frustrations. Thus, Albert Einstein developed what he called “The Theory of Sales Agility.” The theory held that:
For a salesperson to continue to make quota in a dynamic environment, he or she must continually evolve with these changes by committing to perfect one new aspect of client engagement per quarter – focusing on selling more effectively or » Continue Reading.