Monthly Archives: September 2015

September 29th, 2015

Sales Assessments Help Sales Managers Build on Strengths

sales-assessments

Sales Assessment Help Sales Managers Make Sure that they have the Right People in the Right Roles

The traditional role of a sales manager has evolved from being a boss to acting more as a coach. This change requires knowing your team and offering the right kind of feedback to help them be more successful.

What research tells us is that the focus of this feedback should be to build on existing strengths. Instead, managers are more likely to focus on weaknesses than strengths, and they’re frequently likely not to have a dialogue on either strengths or weaknesses (i.e., essentially ignoring a person) rather than talk about either strengths or weaknesses.

Author and researcher Tom Rath, who champions strength-based leadership, conducted a survey in 2004 to discover how a manager influences employee engagement or disengagement. From the results come these statistics: the chances of becoming actively disengaged were 40% if the manager ignored the employee; that figure shrank to 22% if the manager focused on the employee’s weaknesses, and it dropped to 1% when the manager focused on the employee’s strengths.

Similarly, numerous researchers have found that people who use theifr strengths at work perform better, have greater energy and higher self-esteem, are more engaged at work, experience less stress, and remain longer with their employers.

This strength-based approach seems counterintuitive to conventional wisdom about identifying weaknesses and correcting them. Time is often spent on trying » Continue Reading.

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September 24th, 2015

Predictive Sales Assessments Can Help Gauge Strengths

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Sales assessments increase win rates by 10% and decreased turnover by over 30%!*

What is in your wheelhouse — your area of expertise, the place where you operate with confidence and skill? Do you even know the areas in selling situations where you perform best? Most salespeople can’t articulate their strengths, and they rarely, if ever, receive feedback from sales managers about their strengths.

When it was once common wisdom to focus improvement efforts on eliminating weaknesses, research is now finding that building on strengths has better outcomes. Over the past dozen years or so, studies have found that focusing on strengths, sometimes called strength-based leadership, results in better performance on the job. Specifically, employees who focus on their strengths are more likely to achieve their goals, experience less stress, have greater energy, be more engaged on the job, have higher levels of self-esteem, and be more confident. Just as important, they are more likely to remain with their employer longer.

Too many salespeople avoid this type of self-discovery altogether, leaving development and coaching efforts to their sales manager. Instead, every salesperson should take responsibility to identify and understand their strengths in the selling environment, especially in today’s highly competitive and constantly changing business landscape.

A strength-based conversation is critical to the salesperson’s career and for his/her own personal satisfaction at work.

Many Richardson clients begin their journey in sales performance improvement by identifying core competencies. Then, they conduct assessments » Continue Reading.

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September 22nd, 2015

Win the War for Sales Talent

In the war for sales talent, finding and retaining good people is a continual challenge!

One way to stay at the forefront of sales talent management is through a strength-based approach: focusing on what people do well and tapping their natural talents, versus trying to improve their weaknesses.

The concept works in two ways. It supports the identification of strengths that you want to bring into your team, helping to make sure that you recruit the right people into the right roles. Secondly, research shows that when employees are given feedback related to their strengths and when their work plays to their strengths, they are more likely to remain with that organization.

I am currently completing a master’s degree in Positive Psychology, and in my work, I’ve found quite a lot of research and information on the subject of creating strength-based organizations and teams. As the experts say, people who use their strengths …

Perform better at work (Corporate Leadership Council, 2002) Are more likely to achieve their goals (Linley, Nielsen, Wood, Gillet & Biswas-Diener, 2010) Experience less stress (Wood, Linley, Maltby, Hurling, 2010) Have higher levels of energy and vitality (Govindji & Linley, 2007) Are more engaged at work (Harter, Schmidt & Hayes, 2002) Have higher levels of self-esteem (Minhas, 2010) Are more confident (Govindji & Linley, 2007) Stay longer with companies (Stefanyszyn, 2007)

In 2004, a survey by author and researcher Tom Rath found that when managers » Continue Reading.

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September 17th, 2015

The Danger of Asking Too Many, or Too Few, Sales Questions

sales-questions

Providing a balance between asking good sales questions and providing good insights

Back before the days of Internet searches, salespeople could start conversations with, “Tell me about your business and what keeps you up at night.” Now, the answer would be: “I’m not here to educate you. I don’t have time to be your onboarding department. You’re supposed to know this stuff.”

If you ask sales questions that are too basic, to which you would have known the answer if you’d done your homework, you risk annoying the customer. And, if you ask too many questions, even good ones, one after another, it becomes an interrogation.

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September 16th, 2015

Teamwork in Selling Research

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Richardson is completing a research project on teamwork in selling, and we are interested in your views. Please click here to complete this ten-minute survey. After completing the survey, you will have a chance to enter your contact information to receive a copy of the report, and to become eligible to win a Nike Fitbit. 

Thank you, in advance, for your interest and participation in this survey.

Survey Link – http://hubs.ly/H019W9_0

 

 

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September 15th, 2015

A Winning Sales Approach – How Sales Questions are like a Funnel

sales-questioning-strategy

Winning Sales Approach – Asking vs. Telling

Over the past year, I’ve been involved in a number of significant sales training initiatives at Richardson with companies that had first invested heavily in other types of sales performance improvement programs. Each had been trying to make fundamental changes in their sales approach to match the constantly evolving B2B buying environment.

As one of our clients, a recently relayed chemical distribution company’s salespeople had taken another flavor of sales training, and while they liked the training, there was no sustainment of the learning. They weren’t using their new skills or changing their behaviors. Implementation and execution had suffered, and so they approached Richardson for sales training in blocking-and-tackling skills that could help in delivering the expected results.

When I have asked other clients about their experiences and why they’re interested in Richardson’s Consultative Selling Skills, they say things like this: “My guys have been trying to provoke new thinking and ideas, but they don’t have the credibility. They’re 24-years-old and trying to tell executives how they should run their business instead of asking good questions and establishing a meaningful dialogue. They just end up sounding arrogant.”

Age isn’t the issue here; it’s strategy and preparation. At Richardson, we believe that the strategy of telling vs. asking, especially without the proper preparation, can chill many deals. We are, after all, human beings, and we typically prefer a dialogue over monologue.

A consultative selling strategy » Continue Reading.

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September 10th, 2015

Complementary Research Study – Why Sales Training Reinforcement is a Must-Have

sales-training-aberdeen

Why Sales Training Reinforcement is a Must-Have

Richardson recently partnered with the Aberdeen Group to provide you with complimentary access to its newest research, Once is Not Enough: Why Sales Training Reinforcement is a Must Have. This report is a “must-have” that identifies the organizational best practices that “post-training reinforcement” companies invest in to emphasize how sales training is not only as an event, but as a lifestyle, that can achieve measurably better results. Here are some key findings that we thought you might find some of the data interesting:

34% more of first-year sales reps achieve quota at organizations with post-training reinforcement Companies that perform post-training reinforcement see a customer renewal rate of 74% Post-training reinforcement companies are 64% more likely to collect sales lessons learned on the fly by the entire team and incorporate them into their sales methodology to promote cross- and up-selling

If you would like to access the entire report, please click on the banner below.

If you would like to discuss how a reinforcement process might help you gain better results from your training initiatives, please let me know.

Thanks in advance,

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September 9th, 2015

Preparation Is Key to a Successful Sales Questioning Strategy

sales-questioning-strategy

Preparation Is Key to a Successful Questioning Strategy

Asking good sales questions is a derivative of good preparation. That’s a given in my book. And I’ll give you a personal example that proves the point.

I was working on a sales opportunity with what has become one of Richardson’s largest clients. We were nearing the final presentation and would be going head-to-head against a major competitor in our industry. Our team would be presenting to a dozen people, and so we focused considerable energies on preparation. Before we even entered the room, we wanted to know what those 12 were thinking so that we could be sure to address their expectations in our questioning and presentation strategy.

I contacted each one of the 12 and was able to speak with ten people. In these individual conversations, I thanked them for their time and assured them that it would be time well spent because what is important to Richardson is what is important to them. I told them that I wanted to hear their individual views before meeting en masse so that I could understand their critical objectives for the meeting, what would be important for them to hear, and what they needed to walk away from the meeting knowing in order to make their decision.

When we all sat down together, our team had a good idea about the level of questions that we needed to pose and the insights that » Continue Reading.

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