Category Archives: Sales Assessments

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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November 28th, 2017

Driving Better Results Starts with Better Baseline Skill Assessments

Increasing competition is reducing your business’s value proposition. Barriers to entry are falling in all industries, giving rise to new, aggressive players. Companies can no longer rely on branding to drive sales. Customers today seek fast, cost-efficient solutions, and many of these new competitors can deliver on those expectations. However, in their race to the sale, they’re ignoring one of the most pressing issues in sales today: customer interaction.

Only one in 10 executives perceive that they are getting value from meetings with salespeople, according to Forrester. Additional research from Gallup and Accenture echo this finding. The bottom line: the competition isn’t interacting with the customer the way that they need to. Herein lies the opportunity to differentiate the buying experience with sales dialogue excellence.

Improving sales dialogue skills requires expedience and incisiveness. Expedience is vital because sellers need to acquire new skills fast so that they can get back to selling. Incisiveness is crucial because it identifies which sales skill improvements will yield the highest return on your organization’s investment. Zeroing in on these areas requires analysis rather than hunches or instincts.

Skill Optimization Assessment Process

A Sales Skill Optimization Assessment is designed to analyze every layer of a company’s sales force. We interview the Sales Leaders while also administering an online skills assessment to the sales force. This information provides a complete picture of the selling capabilities. Our assessment will:

Identify how » Continue Reading.

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September 29th, 2015

Sales Assessments Help Sales Managers Build on Strengths

sales-assessments

Sales Assessment Help Sales Managers Make Sure that they have the Right People in the Right Roles

The traditional role of a sales manager has evolved from being a boss to acting more as a coach. This change requires knowing your team and offering the right kind of feedback to help them be more successful.

What research tells us is that the focus of this feedback should be to build on existing strengths. Instead, managers are more likely to focus on weaknesses than strengths, and they’re frequently likely not to have a dialogue on either strengths or weaknesses (i.e., essentially ignoring a person) rather than talk about either strengths or weaknesses.

Author and researcher Tom Rath, who champions strength-based leadership, conducted a survey in 2004 to discover how a manager influences employee engagement or disengagement. From the results come these statistics: the chances of becoming actively disengaged were 40% if the manager ignored the employee; that figure shrank to 22% if the manager focused on the employee’s weaknesses, and it dropped to 1% when the manager focused on the employee’s strengths.

Similarly, numerous researchers have found that people who use theifr strengths at work perform better, have greater energy and higher self-esteem, are more engaged at work, experience less stress, and remain longer with their employers.

This strength-based approach seems counterintuitive to conventional wisdom about identifying weaknesses and correcting them. Time is often spent on trying » Continue Reading.

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September 24th, 2015

Predictive Sales Assessments Can Help Gauge Strengths

thumbs-up-sales-assessments

Sales assessments increase win rates by 10% and decreased turnover by over 30%!*

What is in your wheelhouse — your area of expertise, the place where you operate with confidence and skill? Do you even know the areas in selling situations where you perform best? Most salespeople can’t articulate their strengths, and they rarely, if ever, receive feedback from sales managers about their strengths.

When it was once common wisdom to focus improvement efforts on eliminating weaknesses, research is now finding that building on strengths has better outcomes. Over the past dozen years or so, studies have found that focusing on strengths, sometimes called strength-based leadership, results in better performance on the job. Specifically, employees who focus on their strengths are more likely to achieve their goals, experience less stress, have greater energy, be more engaged on the job, have higher levels of self-esteem, and be more confident. Just as important, they are more likely to remain with their employer longer.

Too many salespeople avoid this type of self-discovery altogether, leaving development and coaching efforts to their sales manager. Instead, every salesperson should take responsibility to identify and understand their strengths in the selling environment, especially in today’s highly competitive and constantly changing business landscape.

A strength-based conversation is critical to the salesperson’s career and for his/her own personal satisfaction at work.

Many Richardson clients begin their journey in sales performance improvement by identifying core competencies. Then, they conduct assessments » Continue Reading.

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September 22nd, 2015

Win the War for Sales Talent

In the war for sales talent, finding and retaining good people is a continual challenge!

One way to stay at the forefront of sales talent management is through a strength-based approach: focusing on what people do well and tapping their natural talents, versus trying to improve their weaknesses.

The concept works in two ways. It supports the identification of strengths that you want to bring into your team, helping to make sure that you recruit the right people into the right roles. Secondly, research shows that when employees are given feedback related to their strengths and when their work plays to their strengths, they are more likely to remain with that organization.

I am currently completing a master’s degree in Positive Psychology, and in my work, I’ve found quite a lot of research and information on the subject of creating strength-based organizations and teams. As the experts say, people who use their strengths …

Perform better at work (Corporate Leadership Council, 2002) Are more likely to achieve their goals (Linley, Nielsen, Wood, Gillet & Biswas-Diener, 2010) Experience less stress (Wood, Linley, Maltby, Hurling, 2010) Have higher levels of energy and vitality (Govindji & Linley, 2007) Are more engaged at work (Harter, Schmidt & Hayes, 2002) Have higher levels of self-esteem (Minhas, 2010) Are more confident (Govindji & Linley, 2007) Stay longer with companies (Stefanyszyn, 2007)

In 2004, a survey by author and researcher Tom Rath found that when managers » Continue Reading.

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