Monthly Archives: October 2016

October 27th, 2016

Pitching as a Team

Pitching as a Team

Many large, complex sales require sales professionals to approach pitching as a team. Often, there is strength in numbers, but preparation and logistics become even more critical in order to show a unified front to the customer.

Preparation for Pitching as a Team

An important consideration is choosing who will handle the opening. The person opening has to be skilled in making an impact, commanding attention, and establishing an immediate hook. Typically, he/she will give opening remarks, a rundown of the agenda, introduce team members, and handle transitions.

It is vital to prepare specific roles and content for each member of the team. Every person should know what they’re going to say, and they should convey the value they bring to the table. Even though everyone has their own expertise, all must be aligned behind the same clear message during the sales pitch.

To anticipate and prepare for possible questions and objections, it helps for the team to brainstorm beforehand. What might be an issue? How will the team handle it? Who, specifically, will address questions in which areas? Each presenter should know which part of the overall story he/she is responsible for, along with how his/her content dovetails with what the other presenters are saying.

Presentation

Whether or not each person stands up to make his/her presentation depends on the circumstances. Sometimes, it’s natural to stand, even if everyone else is seated. Standing commands » Continue Reading.

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October 25th, 2016

6 Key Factors in Making the Right Sales Pitch

6 Key Factors In Making the Right Sales Pitch

Sales professionals have to nail their sales pitch all the time: over the phone, in person, with prospects, with established customers; a sales pitch can take place in any phase of the sales process.

But when a sales pitch involves large, complex sales, often with long selling cycles, or finals presentation as part of RFP processes, it pays to get them right. This is the time to demonstrate how thoroughly you’ve done your homework, how closely you’ve listened to the customer, what thought leadership and knowledge you possess in the customer’s industry, and how well your solution accomplishes its goals.

It is easily said, but it can be hard to convey when standing in front of the customer. What is needed is a plan that sets the stage for an effective sales dialogue at this important point in the selling process.

Making the Right Sales Pitch

(1) Tell their story: The pitch should be a story, with a beginning, middle, and end. It should help your customer visualize the current situation and the desired end state. Think about an appropriate visual to capture your customer’s interest and make the scenario relevant for him/her.

(2) Summarize your understanding: Review what you know about the customer: what he/she is looking to accomplish, the priorities of his/her stakeholders, challenges facing the industry, and whether or not he/she is differentiated in the market. Then, check to validate » Continue Reading.

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October 20th, 2016

Introducing Richardson Accelerate: An Innovative Approach to Sales Training

Online Sales Training Platform

Today’s learners don’t compare their training experiences to other training experiences. They compare them to all other formal and informal learning they have had, both in person and online. Expectations of training programs have changed significantly, and we now have to benchmark our offerings against a wider set of information sources, from other training programs, online universities and educational products, to YouTube, Google, and massive open online courses known as MOOCs.

Richardson Accelerate Raises the Bar for Online Sales Training Programs

Accelerate is an online learning platform designed to inspire sellers and accelerate growth. We believe the Richardson Accelerate Platform provides an innovative, sales training solution that is unmatched in the industry.

Within a single platform, learners can access an effective system for rapid and sustained behavior change that provides an enhanced user experience designed to be among the best. Learning opportunities are available anytime, anywhere, on desktops or mobile devices, reflecting the way people are increasingly accessing information in today’s digital world.

Richardson’s newest and most technologically advanced sales training delivery solution provides value to clients in two essential ways:

Accelerate time to skill mastery: Sellers get to learn on demand on their devices on their own time anywhere in the world, then try the skills in the field. Learning is reinforced with tools, reminders, and games so they become engaged and actually enjoy » Continue Reading.

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October 18th, 2016

Yes! Sales Leaders Can and Should Shut Their Door

Sales Leaders Focus on Strategy

Sales leaders are regularly advised to have an open-door policy. An open door lets their sales professionals know they can walk in at any time to ask for help, advice, or updates. There is a lot of value in showing your team you care enough to be available when they need you.

There also is value in knowing when to shut the door.

The 60-40 Rule for Sales Leaders

In my previous posts on sales leadership, Why is sales leadership so tough? And what to do about it and 5 Tips to Help Sales Leaders Develop Top Performers, I discussed how sales leaders need to devote 60% of their time to developing their people.

What about the other 40%? Whether you are a sales manager or senior vice president, you need to spend time reviewing and reflecting on the pipeline, sales numbers, and strategy. If you’re a senior sales leader and have a target of 15% organic growth over the next two years, you need to figure out how to make that happen.

Here’s the rub. You’re busy all the time. You have a lot of plates spinning in the air and nothing can drop.

So here’s the counter-intuitive solution for being the best sales leader you can be. Make time to be reflective about strategy, about performance, about what’s working and what isn’t. If you think shutting your » Continue Reading.

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October 13th, 2016

5 Tips to Help Sales Leaders Develop Top Performers

Tips for Sales Leaders

There’s no denying that sales leaders have a tough job. The span of responsibility encompasses selling, coaching, setting strategy, driving the business, and hitting sales targets through the efforts of others. As a sales leader, you have to be inspirational, energetic, and take an interest in your people.

Job #1 as a Sales Leader: Developing Your People

In my previous post, Why is sales leadership so tough? And what to do about it, I talked about devoting 60% of your time as a sales leader to developing your people. Now I want talk in more detail about what this entails.

Be the boss you wish you had Just about every person I talk to has a story about a bad boss. For me, it was a senior leader at a company I worked for years ago. He was the nicest person to you in public, but when alone with him, he became someone else entirely. He would chew you up and spit you out without hesitation. What I learned from him is that I never want to be that kind of boss. He was the anti-boss, and I decided to be the opposite. Manage up or manage out Your sales professionals need several things to improve their performance. They need training. They need ongoing coaching. They need to be measured. If a seller continues to fall short—if you know and they know they aren’t going to » Continue Reading.

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