Monthly Archives: December 2015

December 22nd, 2015

Happy Holidays from the Richardson Team

Wishing You the Very Best this Holiday Season!

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December 17th, 2015

Sales Leaders and Their Leaders

sales leadership

This three-part series on the sales management process began with Part I: Why Sales Leaders Need to Craft and Control It and Part II: Team Cadence Builds Accountability and Results. Now, I’ll address the remaining, critical element of communicating upward by scheduling one-on-one reviews with senior leaders.

There are many reasons for maintaining regular and scheduled one-on-one meetings with your senior leader. Within the hierarchy of your organization, your leader is an essential link to the next higher levels of management, often to the C-suite itself. Rule of thumb is to never surprise your boss, positively or negatively; but, beyond that guidance, you need to keep them informed of your plans, your progress, and how you are addressing any challenges. Think of your leader as your champion, representing your work and value to higher levels of the organization. At the same time, your leader is your conduit to those higher levels, funneling key information from above and providing key updates on initiatives back to you.

One-on-one meetings allow you to have a consistent touch point in which you can convey the status of each component involved in the sales management process. Your updates should be comprehensive, spanning what your team has accomplished since the last meeting, pipeline results, and activities underway that will lead to future results and provide value.

Meetings provide a framework to discuss how you are managing your team, what your people do, where they » Continue Reading.

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December 15th, 2015

Implementing a Sales Team Cadence to Build Accountability and Results

sales team cadence

In my previous post on the Sales Management Process — Why Sales Leaders Need to Craft and Control It — I talked about the necessity for sales leaders to have such a sales process and the foundational element of account planning sessions.

In Part II, I’ll focus on the people factor and developing a sales team cadence of engagement that builds accountability and results. There are a number of elements involved in developing a regular and reinforcing rhythm of events to refocus every member of your sales team on what needs to be done and when.

Pipeline and forecast reviews provide regular touch points to track the progress of opportunities in the pipeline, improving the accuracy of forecasts. As a sales leader, these reviews offer the chance to assess how well your people are performing, their strengths and skill gaps, along with the ability to coach in the moment as deals move or get delayed in the pipeline. Additionally, such reviews allow you as the leader to hold your people accountable by setting the right expectations around forecasting.

Individual development planning sessions are a natural extension of annual development plans that should be developed collaboratively between sales leaders and their direct reports, although such development should ultimately be owned by the sales professionals themselves. They are the ones who should be responsible and accountable for their own professional development, proactively identifying what they want to focus on in the » Continue Reading.

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December 11th, 2015

2016 Sales Challenges

sales challenges

Each year, Richardson conducts a survey on the Sales Challenges that your sales organizations may anticipate facing in the upcoming year. We would appreciate if you could complete the survey and forward the link below to your sales team to complete. Your team’s input is critical to the success of the study, and we appreciate your time and honesty in responding to the questions.

For submitting the survey, you will receive a free copy of the final report and become eligible to win a new Fitbit.

Link to participate: https://www.research.net/r/9L3MZQG

Thank you in advance for your participation.

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December 10th, 2015

Why Sales Leaders Need to Craft and Control the Sales Management Process

sales leaders need to control the sales management process

I am such a hard-core believer in the value of having a sales management process because I know without it, long-term success will not happen. My loyalty stems from watching a mentor from earlier in my career construct and implement a process that became a motivating force for achieving results. When I transitioned from sales into management, I followed his lead and began incorporating this critical element into my work. I now credit it for my success.

How to Control your Team with a Simple Sales Management Process

Simply put, a sales management process is a disciplined approach to driving multiple facets of performance, with regularly scheduled touch points along the way. By defining such a process, specific to the goals and culture of your own organization, you can drive both execution and accountability over the long term.

I recommend this type of a process for any sales leader, whether you are responsible for a team of direct-reporting individuals or a larger global team. Even senior sales leaders should institute their own consistent, repeatable management process so that everyone can under them — every individual, every line of business, and every division — becomes aligned and committed to the same strategic path.

Sales Management Process Implementation Priorities

When you introduce a defined process into your organization, know that it’s not a short-term exercise running over a 30- or 90-day cycle. It takes discipline » Continue Reading.

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December 8th, 2015

How Valid Is Your Sales Process?

sales-process-validation

In my previous posts — Sales Process? You Should Probably Call It a Pursuit Process  and Dynamic Sales Process Leads to Dynamite Results  — I talked about the value of a dynamic sales process that helps sales professionals pursue opportunities in an optimal way.

In this post, I take the discussion a step further by talking about validation of the sales process. After all, if your sale process isn’t valid, if it doesn’t reflect the way your sales team should be pursuing opportunities, or if it doesn’t engender confidence about opportunities in the pipeline, then it really doesn’t matter if the salesforce uses it or not.

There are several ways to validate a sales process, and the one I can speak to most effectively is the methodology we use here at Richardson when creating a customized and dynamic process for clients. Over four to six weeks, we collaboratively work through a multiphase methodology:

Phase 1: Data Collection – We begin by meeting with the company’s top performers, sales leaders, and other stakeholders who can provide insights into the sales or account management cycle. Phase 2: Development of the Branded Sales Process – We develop a customized sales process that aligns with the company’s sales cycle and buying patterns, and we map it out in a matrix that identifies specific accountabilities. Phase 3: Validation and KPI Phase – We validate the sales process itself with line stakeholders in a workshop » Continue Reading.

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December 3rd, 2015

Dynamic Sales Process Leads to Dynamite Results

dynamic-sales-process

In my previous post — Sales Process? You Should Probably Call It a Pursuit Process  — I talked about the different types of sales processes that companies have, if they have one at all.

In this post, I’ll add some proof points that speak to the value of using a dynamic sales process within your organization.

In my current role, I sit in countless interviews with top-performing sales professionals while in the process of working with companies to develop their own customized and dynamic sales processes. I get to hear what those who excel do and do well to get results, and these approaches become part of that company’s dynamic sales process. What they do might also be considered best practices that can be adapted and more broadly applied.

For example, in a recent interview, one top performer talked about considering not just his external clients but his internal ones as well. Imagine that! These were the company’s experts who he would be touching base with for their input and feedback as he assessed the prospect’s needs and his potential solution. He said that most sales professionals tended to look at their sales organization and the prospect’s organization, but there was great benefit in developing relationships with internal sources who might support the sale or provide key insights. His recommendation as a best practice: identify internal experts who should be a part of the process.

Whether or not this » Continue Reading.

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December 1st, 2015

Sales Process? You Should Probably Call It a Pursuit Process

sales process

What do you think is the intent of your company’s sales process? Maybe I should step back and ask: does your company even have a sales process?

What I’ve found is that many clients interpret the purpose of a sales process to be overcoming objections or outlining the skills necessary to close a sale. Those certainly are elements of a sales process, but the real value comes from an overall framework for pursuing opportunities — beginning with initial research and ending with negotiation, closing, and expanding the relationship. In essence, the sales process is really a pursuit process.

In many companies, if there is any kind of sales process at all, it’s usually random or informal, and few people follow it consistently. Some individual sales professionals may have their own processes, relying on tried-and-true formulas that they’ve used throughout their careers, but there isn’t a single process that is followed by everyone in the company or is based on outcomes that have been proven to be successful.

Some companies do have formal sales processes, but they may be so rigid that few stick with them in practice; instead, the process might become a reference or a template for adding opportunities to the pipeline.

Then, there’s the dynamic sales process, which provides both structure and latitude for sales professionals to determine where they are in the pursuit of an opportunity, how to move to the next steps, and how to » Continue Reading.

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