March 22nd, 2018

Winning the Sale with Data and Storytelling

Sales professionals can leverage the skill of storytelling to compel a customer to buy.

In our latest white paper, Selling with Data and Storytelling, we look at how sales professionals close more deals with data to legitimize a solution and at the contextual power of a story to promote it. Specifically:

The importance of “right-sizing” data for clear, concise messaging The three factors that drive persuasion when using data How using “preattentive attributes” draws customers’ attention to key takeaways The five-part structure for building stories that persuade

Learn why when it comes to selling, data is the fuel and story is the engine.

If you would like to enable your sales professionals with the process and skills to tell a great story that will to more closed business, please contact us.

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March 16th, 2018

Sales Traits That Inform Great Training

Sales organizations need training solutions that resonate. Doing so is possible with a focus on engagement techniques that speak to all sales professionals.

In our brief, Sales Traits That Inform Great Training, we look at five specific characteristics of sales professionals and how they can shape great learning:

How to engage sales professionals’ competitiveness with gamification Why high-quality video content establishes a common vision of excellence How peer-to-peer learning invigorates the social aspects of learning and selling How real-time progress monitoring offers instant gratification sales professionals crave The benefits of paced learning for busy sales professionals in the field

For more information about Richardson’s customized sales training contact us at

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March 15th, 2018

What Neuroimaging Tells Us about Trust and Pricing

pricing and sales

Dr. Angelika Dimoka wanted to know more about how the brain functions under trust and distrust. So, she designed a study and found a few willing participants to subject themselves to a brain scan. Their compensation: $35.

With MRI technology, she was able to see images of brain activity based on blood flow changes. One of her findings was that “the brain areas associated with trust and distrust adequately predict price premiums.” This has important implications for sales professionals because in an increasingly competitive marketplace, it’s become difficult to protect the full value of the sale. Customers, with greater access to information and buying options, are demanding lower prices. Meanwhile, as differentiation diminishes, sales professionals have few places to go. Too often, they reduce the scope of the sale to meet pricing demands, or they relinquish valuable terms. Fortunately, Dr. Dimoka’s work offers some interesting ways for sales professionals to overcome this challenge.

After exhaustively reviewing the scans, she learned that “the neural correlates of distrust are stronger predictors of price premiums than those of trust.” What does this mean? It tells us that distrust is, in fact, likely to have a bigger effect on price than trust.

Why is this?

The answer may be hidden in the fact that additional research shows that “distrust usually involves a strong emotional component while trust does not.” These strong emotions invigorate the customer to hold firm on their demands for a » Continue Reading.

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March 13th, 2018

The Difference between Resolving and Overcoming Sales Objections

difference between resolving and overcoming sales objections

For most sales professionals, “objection” is a nasty word, but it shouldn’t be. An objection signifies that the customer is thinking about your solution; they’re envisioning how it would work in their world.

Though they see a problem, that only means that they’re thinking critically about the solution, which means you have their attention. Moreover, if they’re vocalizing such a concern, they’ve provided the ultimate clue to eventually closing the sale by explaining where the roadblock is.

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March 9th, 2018

Five Ways to Resolve Sales Objections

resolve sales objections

Customers are armed with more information than ever before. They’re using this information to form their decisions earlier in the buying process.

In fact, once the sales professional enters the scene, many customers already have a fully formed picture of what they believe is the best way forward. This trend has become a problem for two reasons.

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March 6th, 2018

How Effective Sales Professionals Resolve Objections

resolving objections

Every sales dialogue eventually leads to a customer objection. Therefore, sales professionals shouldn’t try to avoid them. Instead, they should sharpen their sales skills and come prepared to resolve objections.

The problem, however, is that different customers across various industries will have different objections.

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March 1st, 2018

Selling Challenges Brief: Gaining Higher Prices with Sharper Negotiation Skills

Factors like competition and commoditization are putting pricing pressures on sales professionals. Customers, armed with more information than ever before, are analyzing their options before their first conversation with the sales professional. When the dialogue begins the customer’s expectations of costs are fixed. The challenge of gaining higher prices or even maintaining the full value of the sale is increasing.

This trend was a key finding in our 2018 Selling Challenges Study which included survey responses from hundreds of sales professionals across industries.

In our latest brief, Gaining Higher Prices with Sharper Negotiation Skills, we look at specific ways sales professionals can design a negotiation strategy that captures the full value of the deal. We cover skills like:

Build trust to overcome commoditization Know the difference between concessions and trading Overcoming deadlocks with conceptual buy-in Promoting the value of the solution with “priming”

Check out the brief and jump-start your sales prospecting strategy today.

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February 22nd, 2018

New Research: Understanding Selling Challenges in 2018

biggest sales challenges 2018

Richardson has just launched a new research piece, “Understanding Selling Challenges in 2018.” This annual study of field reps, senior sales professionals, and sales leaders across industries aims to paint a clear picture of existing sales challenges and how they are evolving.

This year’s research paints a picture of intense competition for sales professionals as they work to achieve the momentum needed to win more complex sales.

As buyers become more sophisticated and increasingly aware of the breadth of options available, sales professionals are discovering that they need to respond with smarter strategies and renewed intensity.

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February 20th, 2018

Selling Challenges Brief: Creating a Targeted Prospecting Strategy

prospecting strategy

Technology is equipping sales professionals with more capabilities to source leads, but with more choices comes confusion. At the same time, more decision makers are entering the picture further complicating the prospecting process. The result: creating a targeted prospecting strategy is becoming a major challenge for sales professionals today.

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February 15th, 2018

6 Strategies for Asking for Referrals

asking for referrals in sales

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, overcoming the status quo is a central challenge for sales professionals. Part of this problem stems from diffused decision-making across an increasing number of stakeholders. Additionally, as competition rises, businesses need greater assurance of the ROI of a proposed solution. The barriers are significant. Overcoming them requires a strong start. Effective sellers do so by leveraging referrals.

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February 13th, 2018

Selling Challenges Brief: Overcoming the Status Quo

overcome the status quo in sales

Optimism runs high in American businesses. In fact, optimism among small businesses at the end of 2017 surged to their highest levels in more than 34 years. This sentiment is shared among mid-sized companies as well. A staggering 80 percent of those surveyed said they were optimistic, a 39 percent increase over 2016.

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February 6th, 2018

How Sales Professionals are Balancing Sales and Relationship Management

What happened to competitive advantage? There was a time when each business had one. Some had many. However, today, that seems to be disappearing. In 2009 The Harvard Business Review called competitive advantage “fleeting,” and less than six years later Wired called it “dead.” However, the disappearance of competitive advantages is motivating businesses to take a bold, innovative approach.

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February 1st, 2018

Uncovering the Buyer’s Decision-Making Process

uncovering the buyer's decision-making process

Information is more available today than ever before. However, if this is the case, why are sales professionals experiencing increasing difficulty when it comes to uncovering the buyer’s decision-making process.

Here’s the answer:

Increasingly complex business needs are outpacing the sales professional’s capacity for determining decision processes. These multifaceted problems involve a growing number of stakeholders. Moreover, these challenges change fast as competitive pressures rise. This “enterprise entropy” is characterized by a central challenge that becomes diffused across an organization as more people weigh in on how to move forward.

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January 25th, 2018

How SaaS Sales Professionals Can Prepare for Success

SaaS sales tips

More businesses today are moving to SaaS. Implementation is fast, systems are agile, and updates are less burdensome. Therefore, it’s no surprise that “SaaS is expected to grow sharply to nearly one-quarter (23%) of all enterprise workloads by mid-2018,” according to 451 Research. Effective SaaS sales professionals are learning to adjust to these changes.

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January 23rd, 2018

Selling the Cloud: Modern Solutions to Selling SaaS

selling the cloud

The complexity surrounding SaaS sales and software buying decisions is increasing. The reason: traditional software models based on one-time, upfront licensing fees have evolved to SaaS cloud solutions. Now, pricing is pay-as-you-go. Therefore, buyers expect value that extends beyond the closing of the sale. This change in the software market means that professionals selling the cloud need to redesign their approach to buyers. However, the buyers are also changing.

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January 11th, 2018

8 Ways to Measure Sales Training Impact

impact of sales training

Competition in sales continues to escalate. In response, more businesses are renewing their focus on sales performance initiatives. However, these directives leave little time for the most critical step: measurement. Even the best sales performance intentions will fall flat without measurement.

After decades of working with sales organizations across industries, we’ve determined a core group of eight sales metrics. These measurements are critical for getting an actionable read on how they’re performing as an organization, which is driven, in part, by sales performance initiatives. Some organizations will only need to use a few of these. Others may need them all. Here, we take a closer look at how each one works and why they matter.

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January 9th, 2018

Increase Margins with Sharper Negotiation Skills

increase margins through successful sales negotiations

Sales leaders and business leaders are constantly chasing more business opportunities in the race to reach their number. However, more selling isn’t the only answer. Some are discovering that smarter selling can accomplish more. With sharper negotiation skills, sellers can preserve or even increase margins of the sales that they earn in order to make each closing count.

Effective negotiating occurs throughout the selling process. Sellers do this by shaping the customer’s perception of value and working to understand their needs. The result is a mutually beneficial outcome that allows for future business. Here, we look at a few specific negotiating skills that sellers can develop in order to increase the margins of their sales.

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December 29th, 2017

How 2017 Will Shape the 2018 Sales Organization

John Elsey, Richardson President & CEO

John Elsey, President and CEO of Richardson

As the CEO of Richardson sales training, I have the pleasure of speaking to some of the world’s top sales leaders as we support them in driving profitable revenue in their respective organizations.  Each year, these sales leaders face a host of challenges as they navigate people, process, and technology to deliver their number.  2017, in particular, delivered a dizzying pace of change that demanded agility from sales leaders who needed to assess their options quickly, distill what matters most, and in many cases, make bold moves to stay ahead and take advantage of opportunities in their markets.

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December 19th, 2017

The Three Key Principles of Retention

the key principles of knowledge retention in sales training

In our last post, we reviewed groundbreaking research from The University of California, Irvine. Researchers studying the “pretesting effect” determined that taking a test before exposure to the material enhanced learning, even when participants answered questions incorrectly. The act of pretesting outperformed the experience of having more time to study or even reading the test in advance. When learners put pencil to paper and attempted to retrieve information, they became more receptive to the content later. Their findings were definitive across five different studies. However, one question remained: why does pretesting work?

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December 7th, 2017

How to Onboard New Sellers Fast

onboard new sales reps

Many companies cobble together programs to onboard new sellers from existing company materials. The result looks like a hodgepodge because it is one. A company history. Compliance training. Technical reviews. Digital devices. A two-day sales program. There’s little consistency, and these companies are challenged to keep their curriculum up-to-date and to understand how everything should link together in order to create a greater impact.

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November 28th, 2017

Driving Better Results Starts with Better Baseline Skill Assessments

sales skill assessment

Increasing competition is reducing your business’s value proposition. Barriers to entry are falling in all industries, giving rise to new, aggressive players. Companies can no longer rely on branding to drive sales. Customers today seek fast, cost-efficient solutions, and many of these new competitors can deliver on those expectations. However, in their race to the sale, they’re ignoring one of the most pressing issues in sales today: customer interaction.

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November 17th, 2017

Project Aristotle and Best Practices for Sales Kick-off Meetings

sales meeting

The Harvard Business Review collected two decades’ worth of data on collaborative working environments. Their conclusion: “The time spent by managers and employees in collaborative activities has ballooned by 50% or more.” Findings like this only spark more questions — namely, what does all that time together accomplish? Ask a coworker, and you’re likely to hear, “not much.”

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October 26th, 2017

Making Every Call Count: A Consultative Approach to Inside Sales

inside sales opportunity

Inside sales professionals have a constant focus on moving quality leads through the pipeline. By reaching out to contacts, they attempt to discover which ones have needs that fit within the scope of offered solutions. Those that qualify progress to the seller.

Inside sales sometimes known as telephone sales is a growing priority for businesses seeking a wider customer outreach through the cost-effectiveness and convenience of technology. However, inside selling cannot succeed on volume alone. More customer conversations will not move the needle unless the seller can adopt a consistent framework to yield value from each interaction.

Inside sales representatives must balance the rapid-fire style of inside sales with dialogue that connects with the customer. This connection is a crucial step lacking in most sales dialogues today, as seen by research from Gallup showing that less than half of customers believe that sellers adequately address their problems. However, a consultative approach offers a scalable framework for understanding customer needs within the structure of inside sales in three ways. First, through careful questioning balanced with insights; second, by eliciting feedback; and third, by practicing active listening.

In Richardson’s new white paper, Unlock the Potential of Inside Sales with a Consultative Approach, we look at how sellers use the consultative approach to turn volume into value. The white paper outlines:

How to form a faster connection through » Continue Reading.

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