Category Archives: Research Paper

December 6th, 2016

The Importance of Aligning Sales Competencies with Training Initiatives

sales competencies and training

To get a better understanding of if and how companies are helping their sales professionals succeed, Training Industry Inc. and Richardson went to the source. In the fourth quarter of 2016, they conducted a study in which 228 companies participated by completing a confidential survey on sales competencies alignment with training initiatives.

The first post in this two-part series, “Are Companies Setting Up Their Sellers for Success?“, touches on market conditions that led to this inquiry and the focus of the questions. Part two switches gears from responses to insights.

It is undeniable that today’s sales environment has dramatically changed how customers and sellers interact, with both pros and cons. On a positive note, buyers are better informed about products and services than ever before. This can shorten the selling cycle, as customers may already be aware of which product is best-in-class and have eliminated other potential buying options before engaging with sellers.

Conversely, product positioning – and, by extension, positioning the company – and marketing collateral have grown in importance because they may form prospects’ first impressions as they search for options. In this complicated environment, sellers of all tenure in the profession must be armed with the competencies to meet customers where they are in their buying processes.

Sales Competencies Research Insights

Key to setting up sellers for success is the alignment of sales competencies with learning initiatives. Among » Continue Reading.

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December 1st, 2016

Are Companies Setting Their Sellers Up for Success?

How to create an environment for seller success

Selling has never been an easy profession. Sellers have always been faced with rising quotas, pricing pressures, new competitors or competitive technologies, and other roadblocks. But now, there are added degrees of complexity, with buyers just a web search away from answers they used to get from sales professionals.

The selling environment, the tools of the trade, and the sales cycle itself have been forever transformed by technology, globalization, and always-on connectivity. Yet, the foundational sales skills remain as relevant as they ever have been: preparation, needs dialogue, consultative selling, and so on.

Research: Aligning Learning and Development Initiatives with Sales Goals

Sales training and sales effectiveness have been a cornerstone of many company initiatives to grow profitable business, increase revenues, and drive efficiencies. What is needed now is for Learning and Development (L&D) to align the competencies of its sellers with the skills to succeed in dynamic environments. This involves the mastery of customer engagement strategies that are able to adapt to where each customer is along the path to closing a sale so sellers can participate in shaping opportunities and positioning their offerings accordingly.

Are companies currently setting up their sales personnel for success? Are they targeting sales competencies that reflect the 21st-century business landscape? To find answers, Training Industry Inc. and Richardson conducted a study in the fourth quarter of 2016: “Aligning Sales Competencies in Learning and Development.”

Participants

The confidential » Continue Reading.

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November 17th, 2016

New Sales Training Research: Aligning Sales Competencies in Learning and Development

sales training research for reaching business goals

Is your company setting up its sales personnel for success? Is it targeting sales competencies that reflect the 21st century business landscape? Our sales training research reveals some answers that might surprise you.

In Q4 of 2016, Richardson and Training Industry, Inc. partnered to perform new sales training research, surveying 288 companies across more than 14 industries that ranged in size from less than 100 to over 50,000 employees to examine organizations’ approaches to identifying and developing sales competencies.

Download the full report here.

The goal of this sales research project is to provide sales organizations and L&D professionals with insight to help them develop sales training programs that better align with the goal of helping sales professionals master the competencies that are most important for business success.

Sales Training Research Results

The study found that there are significant gaps between the sales competencies reported to be most important for business success and the competencies that are effectively developed through training. Specifically, the research suggests a widespread gap in the effectiveness of training for the following competencies:

Targeting buyers Prospecting opportunities Knowing the market Understanding customer needs Effective presentation skills Expanding current accounts

Potential causes of this gap are a mismatch between training goals and business goals and lack of consistency in training across departments.

Additional Research Findings

This research also offers insight » Continue Reading.

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September 22nd, 2016

The Future of Sales Training: Innovation for a Salesforce in Transition

The Future of Sales Training

Whenever I speak at conferences or with clients their training needs, I ask this question:

“What will it take to engage your learners?”

From London to New York to San Francisco, the answers are surprisingly similar, and whether I’m talking with sales leaders or corporate learning leaders, there is broad consensus about what is required:

To engage today’s learners, training has to be flexible, personalized, bite-sized, relevant, provide meaningful data, and be accessible on demand across a wide range of platforms and devices.

Significant innovation is necessary in corporate training in order to meet these expectations and address the changing needs of today’s sales organizations.

Not only are learners changing, but the business environment has changed significantly as well. Over the 37 years that Richardson has been helping organizations improve sales performances, the pace of business has grown faster, ultra-informed buyers come to the table having already researched their desired solutions, and productivity demands on sales professionals are considerably greater. Time has never been a more precious commodity, and sales professionals must spend it wisely, maximizing interactions with customers and minimizing days away from the field sitting in training classrooms. This makes it more important than ever to deploy the latest technology to efficiently train sales people and drive rapid, sustained, and measurable behavior change.

A Salesforce in Transition

A driving force behind the need for change is an emerging multi-generational salesforce increasingly comprised of members of 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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