I recently read a white paper by a competitor that I’ve long known and long respected. The paper reflected the influence of The Challenger Sale on this company’s sales methodology. The concept of “Challenger” has captured the interest of the mainstream press and social media and sounds appealing to many sales leaders who are looking for new ways to drive business in a slow-growth economy. Several voices in our industry have argued against the Challenger sales training approach. My initial reaction was to recognize it as an approach that I didn’t buy into — live and let live. But the interest in Challenger sales training that I have seen has spurred me to add my voice.
When thinking about growing an account, it’s helpful to frame the sales opportunities for you to pursue in three selling modes: Respond. Shape. Create. Join Richardson’s CMO, Andrea Grodnitzky in this short video where she looks at the importance of each mode.
The Internet has forever changed the way companies interact with prospects and customers. And as Web technologies evolve, so do these interactions. Just think about what you do when faced with a buying decision. You go online to check features, prices, various vendors, and product reviews. It doesn’t matter whether you’re considering the purchase of something for the home — a TV, lawn mower, car — or for business.
Change may be a constant in business, but adoption of change within sales organizations can be a slow and often failed initiative if not approached properly. The key is to be aware of and address change on two levels: the organizational level and the individual level. This dual-level execution is essential for success and must be orchestrated systematically so the salesforce never misses a beat in delivering today’s results while also focusing on the future.
When making strategic changes in your organization, the implications can range from miniscule to far-reaching depending on the initiative. The changes could be triggered by market trends or forces, technology, competition, the economy, or the simple (yet complicated) need to shake things up.
Complimentary White Paper – Six Best Practices for Leveraging Strategic Accounts to Consistently Achieve Annual Sales Success
I recently read two alarming statistics that should be a wake-up call for sales leaders — and for the Learning and Development professionals they rely on to keep their sales teams well tuned and well trained.
The first comes from a McKinsey Quarterly article titled “Getting More from Your Training Programs”:
Just 25% of survey respondents said that their training programs measurably improved business performance.
Twenty-five percent? That means that 75% of the senior managers McKinsey surveyed believe that their training programs fail to contribute to the success of the business. That’s an unacceptable ROI by any measure, especially considering the money spent, time away from the job, and missed opportunities.
The second statistic comes from a study by the Executive Board’s Corporate Leadership Council:
More than half of line managers believe that shutting down the L&D function would have no impact on employee performance.
More than 50% see no value at all in L&D? This is serious and damning news, and not only for those in L&D whose budgets and jobs are at stake. It’s a big problem for sales leaders who are looking for ways to improve the performance of their sales teams … to increase sales effectiveness … and to drive business results.
What’s up with that?
Most L&D departments have never worked harder or had more learning tools and technologies available. So, where is the disconnect between capability and impact? I see two root causes.
1) Poor » Continue Reading.
Sales is a profession built on reputation and relationships, and both require credibility. It’s even more true for sales leaders, who must maintain credible connections with CEOs, colleagues, clients, and their circle of sales professionals.