December 5th, 2017

Participate in Richardson’s Annual Selling Challenges Research Study

2018 selling challenges survey

As part of our ongoing effort to bring you the latest thinking in the sales performance improvement space, we are issuing Richardson’s Annual Selling Challenges Research Study.  As a thank you for your participation in this brief, 13-question survey, you will receive a free copy of the final report – including our insight and analysis of how to address the top selling challenges in 2018.

If you’re a Sales or Learning leader and would like to send your team a personalized survey link so that we can provide you with a specialized report of your team’s results, please click here to email us.

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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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November 17th, 2017

Project Aristotle and Best Practices for Sales Kick-off Meetings

The Harvard Business Review collected two decades’ worth of data on collaborative working environments. Their conclusion: “The time spent by managers and employees in collaborative activities has ballooned by 50% or more.” Findings like this only spark more questions — namely, what does all that time together accomplish? Ask a coworker, and you’re likely to hear, “not much.”

The challenge of improving meetings and the teams within them has become a million-dollar question — literally.

Google committed millions to Project Aristotle, an initiative to study hundreds of teams within the company. Google wanted to know why some fail while others succeed. After three years of research, they learned that certain norms predict success.

One such norm was psychological safety, the ability to fluidly exchange ideas without fear of embarrassment. As a reporter for The New York Times reported: “In the best teams, members listen to one another.” Creating an environment in which team members listen requires a more thoughtful approach to planning meetings. Doing so begins by developing a set of best practices.

One such practice, fostering positivity, borrows from Project Aristotle’s finding regarding psychological safety. Sales kick-off meetings are an opportunity to align goals and build a cohesive team. Rather than resorting to a list of demands, leaders can use positivity to urge the group to reach further. Consider designing the sales kick-off meeting as a resource event in which the team can » Continue Reading.

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November 15th, 2017

Team Selling Webinar November 21

team selling webinar

Excellence in Team Selling is critical to success for commercial selling organizations today. Customers bring more stakeholders to the table and expect to meet more than just the salesperson before making a commitment. To manage these moments effectively, salespeople need to ensure that all players are operating at peak performance – individually and as a unit- in those high-stakes meetings.

On November 21st at 2pm EST, Michael Dalis, Richardson Senior Training Consultant will present a webinar with SMM Connect on Winning the Team Sale: Building Selling Teams That Win Big, and we would like to extend an invitation for you to join us.

The webinar topics will include:

Why team selling is a trending topic among top-selling organizations The five stages of fielding a winning selling team The roles that effective salespeople play at each stage How getting great at Team Selling can increase deal size and close rate

We hope that you will join us.

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October 26th, 2017

Making Every Call Count: A Consultative Approach to Inside Sales

inside sales opportunity

Inside sales professionals have a constant focus on moving quality leads through the pipeline. By reaching out to contacts, they attempt to discover which ones have needs that fit within the scope of offered solutions. Those that qualify progress to the seller.

Inside sales sometimes known as telephone sales is a growing priority for businesses seeking a wider customer outreach through the cost-effectiveness and convenience of technology. However, inside selling cannot succeed on volume alone. More customer conversations will not move the needle unless the seller can adopt a consistent framework to yield value from each interaction.

Inside sales representatives must balance the rapid-fire style of inside sales with dialogue that connects with the customer. This connection is a crucial step lacking in most sales dialogues today, as seen by research from Gallup showing that less than half of customers believe that sellers adequately address their problems. However, a consultative approach offers a scalable framework for understanding customer needs within the structure of inside sales in three ways. First, through careful questioning balanced with insights; second, by eliciting feedback; and third, by practicing active listening.

In Richardson’s new white paper, Unlock the Potential of Inside Sales with a Consultative Approach, we look at how sellers use the consultative approach to turn volume into value. The white paper outlines:

How to form a faster connection through » Continue Reading.

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October 12th, 2017

How a 2017 Nobel Prize Winner Can Teach Sellers to “Nudge” the Sale

advance sale

Economic theories rely on the assumption that humans act as rational beings. Richard Thaler, professor of economics at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, is changing this belief. “In order to do good economics, you have to keep in mind that people are human,” he remarks. The idea, elegant in its simplicity, earned him the Nobel Prize in Economics this year.

Traditionally, economists have argued that a person’s purchasing decisions are, overall, driven by logic. However, Thaler shows that this idea only explains ordinary, frequent purchases, like groceries. However, bigger, less-common decisions present us with new complexity revealing flaws in our decision making. The energy needed to tackle these decisions may explain why “people have a bias toward the status quo.”

However, overcoming this inertia requires leveraging enough influence to create what Thaler calls a “nudge.” Doing so is less complicated than one might think because, as Thaler explains, there are consistencies in the ways in which people exercise irrationality. For example, all people facing a decision are highly influenced by the way in which choices are presented. This phenomenon — called “framing” — is so common that Thaler uses the phrase “choice architect” to describe those who regularly influence others with framing. “If you are a doctor and must describe the alternative treatments available to a patient, you are a choice architect,” offers Thaler.

These findings matter in » Continue Reading.

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October 10th, 2017

Join Us For a Webinar: Negotiating With the Modern Buyer

negotiation webinar

Successful sellers are moving beyond the adversarial approach to negotiating. Winning the sale today requires a consultative style. In the end, the relationship between the buyer and seller strengthens winning the sale today and tomorrow.

On October 30th, Miriam Abbey, Richardson Senior Training Consultant will present a webinar on Winning the Sale without Thinning the Sale: Negotiating with the Modern Buyer, and we would like to extend an invitation for you to join us.

The webinar topics will include:

Strategies and countermeasures needed to control and guide negotiation and successfully shape the perception of value to increase deal size, reduce discounting, and attain a higher win/loss ratio How sellers can avoid resorting to concessions by using questioning that converts inflexible customer demands into needs How sellers can influence the customer’s receptiveness to the value of a solution with “priming,” which, in turn, maximizes the scope of the solution

The webinar will take place on October 30th at 1:00 p.m. EST. If you are interested in attending or think that your colleagues may be interested, you can register here.

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September 27th, 2017

4 Guiding Principles of Consultative Negotiations

consultative negotiations

With a collaborative approach, sellers gain more information allowing them to satisfy the customer’s needs without “thinning the deal.” These 4 guiding principles of consultative sales negotiations will lead to better outcomes for your team and your client’s.

1. Build Trusted Relationships

Earning the sale starts by earning the customer’s trust. Doing so requires the seller to remain consultative by engaging in a dialogue rather than a competition. Trust emerges when a seller views a customer need as an opportunity to move the sale forward rather than a hurdle.

2. Use Persuasiveness as a Process of Promoting Value

Create a compelling connection between the value of the seller’s solution to the customer’s priorities. This process begins by converting demand to needs. Take the time to understand what basic goals reside beneath blunt statements like “I need a lower price.” Use this information to underscore how the solution addresses the issue. This is a critical step that should be exhausted before trading in which the seller gains an agreement through changing terms.

3. Maintain Control and Confidence

Manage reflexes. Sellers too frequently succumb to an impulse to trade before first fully exploring the customer’s needs. Take the time to consider a response to a demand before relinquishing a term. Sellers will be surprised to find that when they handle trading as a last resort, they can preserve their optimal outcome.

4. Focus on Arriving at Mutually Successful Outcomes » Continue Reading.

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