Viewing Posts for: Rosalie Pope
When we work with clients to create a common language and sales process, that’s just the start. A process by itself is just a process. It needs to be absorbed and put into practice. It needs to become part of day-to-day behaviors. It needs to be second nature.
Depending on the organization, this can be straightforward or complex, depending on how well sales professionals understand what they’re doing as they go from one step to the next.
That’s where Richardson sales training, reinforcement, and coaching come in. By linking the sales process and sales training, participants can see what they are currently doing, how it fits within the desired behaviors, and where adjustments are needed. A process that may have seemed overwhelming to start becomes a welcome roadmap that breaks down each step, and they can see how the things that they currently do fit within the overall scope.
At the end of training sessions, I’ve had participants tell me the structure of the sales process is “awesome” because now they have something to guide what they’re doing. They know that they can always refer back to the steps of the sales process and make adjustments, as necessary, for their specific situation.
It certainly is possible to train sales people without linking content to a sales process. The training would incorporate information from interviews with sales professionals and managers of the activities in the process of » Continue Reading.
How Can a Common Vocabulary Create Shorter Sales Cycles?
At Richardson, we place great stock in creating a common language and a customized sales process for consistency across a client organization. The reason is simple: results. We continually see benefits in terms of creating sales success and shorter sales cycles.
Why does language — vocabulary — matter so much? What is the big deal if one person talks about pursuing a lead, while another talks about prospects, and a third an opportunity. They all mean the same thing, don’t they?
Similarly, some sales teams talk about a close, others about gaining agreement or signing contracts. Again, are they the same thing? Maybe or maybe not.
Whenever members of the same team use different words to describe what may be similar activities, they can confuse clients and coworkers, particularly those who work in global organizations.
Consider the case of a large US company that has grown by acquisition, with local offices in Europe and Asia. Say the company then contracts with a global supplier that also has a US headquarters and branches around the world. The expectation at the headquarters level is for consistency across all locations in terms of service, the relationship, and the overall value provided. But, if the local offices in Japan or India hear different vocabulary than what was used in the US, it can make the supplier look unorganized and create confusion with the client. » Continue Reading.
The Best Sales Process Comes from Successful Sellers
One thing we know about successful sales organizations is that they take guesswork out of the equation for sales professionals. They establish a consistent sales process and language, and this means that sales professionals don’t have to recreate the wheel or figure things out as they go along. Instead, they are able to follow a process that has been tested, prove its value, and provide a roadmap to next steps.
A critical challenge for sales organizations in onboarding new hires is the length of time before they become productive. They have to learn the product that they’re selling, the company’s culture, the clients, and the prospects. Any steps to shorten that coming-up-to-speed period contribute to the productivity of sales professional and the organization.
At Richardson, we believe a common language and sales process helps bring sales professionals up-to-speed faster and serves them better throughout their career. By telling them, “This is how we do it, step by step,” sales professionals get better and quicker at turning a sales lead into a successful deal.
The way that Richardson works with clients to create and validate an effective sales process — one that clearly identifies leading indicators of success — begins with what we call an affirmative inquiry. We interview senior leaders and then ask them to nominate sales professionals who consistently perform at top levels. The goal is to determine what » Continue Reading.
Aligning Key Stakeholders in Rolling out Global Sales Training Programs
“Not invented here” is probably the leading challenge facing the rollout of global sales training programs.
What happens in too many cases is that someone or some group in corporate headquarters says, “We need a training program for all our locations. We will develop it here, in our home country, and then roll it out around the world.”
It doesn’t matter where that corporate headquarters is located. If a training program comes solely from any one place, the rest of the world will say, “That won’t work in our country.” It could even be that the proposed program is exactly what they themselves would recommend, but the fact that it came from somewhere else makes it tainted.
The resistance to a program developed in Country A being implemented in Country B, C, or D is high and often justified because the targeted customers — their communication styles, their customs — are different. Overcoming this resistance is possible and can be relatively easy. It just takes collaboration and alignment of stakeholders.
The people in Country B, C, and D should be considered stakeholders, not recipients, of the proposed training. Taking the time and effort to ask their input may not significantly change the construct of what the program would have been without their involvement, but it will make a huge difference in adoption.
The stakeholders will feel » Continue Reading.
5 Key Elements for Rolling out a Global Sales Training Initiative
I am an American who has lived outside the US for 27 years. I’ve worked in 42 countries, lived in the Far East for eight years, in Europe for the last 19 years, and am now based in the UK. At Richardson, Europe Limited, I am a consultant, facilitator, trainer, and coach. I work with European firms, FTSE 100 global companies, and many, many foreign subsidiaries of US companies around world.
A Global Sales Training Program Can Be Challenging, but it’s Worth It!
Global companies often have global customers, which creates certain global expectations. While customers desire customization on the local level, they require consistency across countries. Often, customers negotiate a global agreement so that they can have similar terms around the world, regardless of their volume in different countries — and they expect supplier representatives in all countries to understand the agreement and to know how to support local differences in applying the agreement.
The challenge is that the people who develop the sales relationship and service the account in one country are not the same people who do the same job in other countries. As a result, unless they’ve all been trained the same way, the sales experience for customers of a global supplier will be all over the map.
The need for a consistent sales process across domestic and foreign subsidiaries is clear. To achieve this, global companies need to implement a global sales training program that brings the same skills, methodology, and process to those who work with or support customers around the world.
Equally true is the need for consistency in companies that are expanding their geographic reach to find new business. Often, these growth-oriented companies want their customer experience in new countries to be based on the same best practices developed where the headquarters is located. This means replicating » Continue Reading.
The Best Sales Leaders Understand Their Dual Roles
It’s fair to say that most sales leaders got promoted to their jobs because they were good salespeople. And, as we all know, being a good salesperson isn’t the same as being the best sales leader. In fact, sometimes the best salespeople don’t make good sales managers; and sometimes, the best sales leaders were not good salespeople.
The trick is to recognize the difference between being a super salesperson and being a leader of salespeople.
To understand your role as a sales leader, you also have to understand your role as leader because they’re intertwined.
A leader is someone who shows the way. A sales leader shows the way and helps his/her salespeople to get there on their own.
The problem with this dual role is the tendency for sales leaders –– who were super salespeople –– to take over. They want to step in and solve their sales reps’ problems by doing it for them rather than coaching them in the skills needed to do it on their own. The sales managers feel that salespeople will learn how to succeed through observation.
In the sales leader role, there’s quite a lot to grasp about what it really means to achieve results through others. If you want the accelerated impact of sales success from ten people vs. just yourself, you have to start by thinking about what you did that made you successful. Also consider » Continue Reading.
Sales Leaders Have a Role in The Retention of Sales Training
“Only 32% of respondents rate their organization effective at sustaining the impact of their sales training program.”
That sobering statistic comes from a recent research report by Richardson and Training Industry, Inc.
As a sales leader, you can have an impact on the retention of sales training, and it’s not as hard as it sounds. All you have to do is ask.
If you send a group of salespeople to sales training, and you want them to retain and use that training, you need to ask them what worked for them and how they’re using it. And, you have to do this repeatedly. People will give you what you ask for.
You might ask, “What is your plan is to use this particular piece of the training this month?” Then, the following month, you ask how it went — and what things are they going to work on next month.
The thing about salespeople is, if you give them a target, they’ll nearly kill themselves to achieve it.
The same is true about retention of training. If you ask them to apply it, and then ask them to share with you how it has worked — and then to give you additional examples of how it worked — that lesson will become embedded in the day-to-day workflow. Then, you move to the next skill » Continue Reading.