Viewing Posts for: Richardson Sales Training

January 23rd, 2018

Selling the Cloud: Modern Solutions to Selling SaaS

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.

Simply put: IT buyers are only a segment of the group. With more business functions depending on SaaS capabilities, multiple stakeholders are entering the buying process. Cloud computing service providers need to engage various needs while articulating how the solution brings value to the business.

While these challenges are significant, so are the rewards. According to Gartner, “As of 2016, approximately 17 percent of the total market revenue for infrastructure, middleware, applications, and business process services had shifted to the cloud.” Moreover, “through 2021, this will increase to approximately 28 percent.” The future isn’t up in the air — it’s in the clouds.

Here, we look at five best practices for selling the cloud.

Selling SaaS Solutions to New Buyers

Today, IT stakeholders have moved to an influencer role, while business-unit stakeholders and C-level executives occupy the primary buying position. As a result, the sales cycle is increasing amid divergent objectives within the same organization. Each » Continue Reading.

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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.

Win Rate: A team or company’s win rate serves as the primary indicator of market competitiveness. As an all-encompassing measurement, the number is easy to track and easy to baseline. This is a simple gauge of how many new pursuits close with a win status. However, win rates should not be viewed in isolation because the measurement is often a starting point, telling leaders where else to look for clues on business performance. Quota Attainment: When leaders want to compare performance with expectations, they turn to quota attainment as a measurement. This qualitative number answers, “What percent of the sales team is meeting their goal?” This figure serves to judge performance against expectations and is a function of how all initiatives are operating. Time to Productivity: Like a » Continue Reading.

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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.

Six Negotiation Skills That Increase Margins “Prime” the Negotiation with Preparation

In any selling environment, the customer is likely to link their impression of the seller with their perceived value of the product or solution. For this reason, the seller must be prepared to illustrate their value by delivering industry-relevant insights.

This approach helps to “prime” the conversation, prompting the customer to see the seller in a positive light. As a result, trust develops at an early stage, creating an environment that’s conducive to successful negotiations.

The reason: trust signals fairness. Research published in Psychology & Marketing echoes this fact, noting that “priming a consideration for fairness, a seller can increase a customer’s satisfaction without sacrificing profit.” » Continue Reading.

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January 4th, 2018

Complimentary Webinar – Volume Doesn’t Equal Value: Unlock the Potential of Inside Sales with Consultative Telephone Selling

Join Richardson and AA-ISP as we kick off the New Year with a complimentary webinar, Volume Doesn’t Equal Value: Unlock the Potential of Inside Sales with Consultative Telephone Selling.

Inside Sales is quickly becoming the engine of growth for businesses today. Advancements in sales and marketing automation mean that sellers can reach more customers in less time. However, volume doesn’t equal value. Winning the sale still requires compelling solutions that connect with deeper customer needs.

The webinar topics will include:

How to add value to customers by identifying and pursuing cross selling opportunities How to inspire action from customers in order to close the business or advance the sale How to use active listening in order to get a clearer read on the customer’s needs How to prepare in a systematic and efficient manner with a clear sales objective for each call How to demonstrate credibility quickly and connect with customers in order to engage in a meaningful dialogue

The webinar will take place on January 11th at 2:00 p.m. EST. If you are interested in attending or think that your colleagues may be interested, you can register here.

We hope that you’ll join us.


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December 20th, 2017

Happy Holidays From Richardson!

May the joy of the season stay with you throughout the year.

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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?

The researchers theorized that pretesting works by building retrieval routes that prime the learning process. Additionally, they suggest that pretesting might encourage “deep processing” of the question, giving learners a jump start on encoding answers. Here, we take these questions as inspiration to explore what makes learning stick. Answering this question begins with an understanding of why we forget in the first place.

For over 100 years, a finding called the Ebbinghaus Curve influenced theories about how we remember information. The curve — a downward, sloping line — shows that retention of information fades over time. Some also call it the Forgetting Curve.

UCLA psychologists in the 1980s, however, discovered an interesting characteristic hiding within Ebbinghaus’s research. They discovered that the original test subjects failed to remember the material because they were asked to recall a string of nonsense words like “sok” and “dus.” The participants couldn’t » Continue Reading.

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December 14th, 2017

It’s Ok to Fail — In Fact, Science Tells Us It’s Necessary

the importance of pretesting in sales training

The Importance of Pretesting in Sales Training

For most learners, the goal is to “ace” the test. Recent research, however, shows that the goal should be to just take the test.

Traditionally, tests serve as a tool for measuring what we know. For most of us, this kind of assessment instills anxiety, but a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology may finally lay that anxiety to rest. Researchers from the University of California, Irvine have uncovered what they call the “pretesting effect.”

The researchers examined if failing a test can improve future learning. To do so, they evaluated the benefit of testing content before learning. This “pretesting” meant that participants were likely to answer the questions incorrectly given that they had not yet learned the material. After taking this pretest, the participants were given the opportunity to read a selected passage, which covered the pertinent material. Then, they were tested again, with both the pretest questions seen earlier and new questions.

The results were striking. “Although participants largely failed on the initial test (answering 95% of the questions incorrectly), the effect of those failures was to increase retention of studied content.” Failure set the stage for success.

Moreover, the success of the pretest group outpaced a second group that did not receive a pretest. Instead, they were given 10 minutes to study the passage before the first test. This group underperformed the pretest group on the final test. » Continue Reading.

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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.

The result: new hires fail to live up to their potential, and the longer it takes them to learn the ropes, the more opportunities are delayed or lost to competitors. Meeting your revenue goals likely means you are frequently tasked with replacing or adding new salespeople to your team, so a faster, more effective onboarding solution is necessary for success.

What Does it Take to Onboard New Sellers Fast?

One critical element of sales onboarding programs is the ability to ramp quickly. Time to proficiency is critical for new sellers because long-term success often depends on the confidence that comes with early wins. New hires must start learning on day one.

Not only is it important for sellers to start learning, they must also start learning quickly. The key to getting new sellers to start learning quickly is to employ a variety of learning techniques to reduce the cognitive load on learners and make concepts easier to absorb and recall.

Finally, a successful onboarding program for sellers is supported by a learning sustainment plan and ongoing sales coaching. Selecting a » Continue Reading.

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