May 18th, 2012

Tweet Sales Success – Social Selling

By Jim Brodo, SVP Marketing

Using social selling in the sales process to accelerate revenue is a hot topic, but it requires an expert balance of art and science. It also greatly depends on your stage of the sales process.

How effective are you at selecting the right tools and using them at the right time in the sales process — in a way that delivers value to your prospects, your company, and your customers?

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May 10th, 2012

6 Traits for Successful Sales Leadership

sales leaders

Organizations need good management — no argument there. But high-performing sales teams are not a result of mere management. They are fueled by transformational leadership.

Think about it: Sales leaders either take their teams up the mountain — or into a ditch. Where do you want your team to go?

Check out Psychology Today’s take on the basics and sales leadership skills that lead to a successful career. I have found that there are six shared qualities of a good sales manager:

Live for work, work to live. Leaders are excited about being leaders. Whereas sales superstars thrive when they’re in the trenches selling, top sales executives excel in vision, coaching, and providing tools for their reps to exceed quota.Just be careful when you’re looking for a new sales leader — almost 85% of sales superstars who are promoted to sales management fail. When you promote a top performing sales rep, look for leadership and management potential. Some sales reps are best at being sales reps. Leaders lead well when they coach well. Legendary leaders aren’t necessarily great salespeople, but they are superior coaches. They use sales coaching to help members of their team continually improve. When a sales rep needs help, they don’t just take over for a quick resolution. They resist the quick fix and take the time to teach. They know individual sales are important but that long-term sales performance is what counts. That’s why the best » Continue Reading.

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April 18th, 2012

When Stepping in Does More Harm Than Good as a Sales Manager

Written by David DiStefano, President and CEO of Richardson

As a sales leader, what’s your first impulse when you see a member of your sales team in trouble?

If you answered, “Take over and do it for them,” pause and think for a moment. As Lain Ehmann (Selling Power) and Colleen Honan (OneSource) recently agreed:

The hardest part of sales management may be knowing when to step in and when to take a back seat as your reps learn the ropes, particularly in front of the customer. As tough as it is, it’s often critical for the development of individual reps — and your team as a whole — to let them pave their own way.

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April 11th, 2012

Video Blog: How Verifiable Outcomes Can Change Conversations

The use of verifiable outcomes can change the very nature of sales conversations between first line sales managers and their sales professionals. More than talking about a range of activities and lagging indicators of success, they can now focus on the few specific outcomes that are important in the sales process. Join Harry Dunklin, SVP of Richardson’s Sales Readiness Practice for his thought provoking video blog.

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March 20th, 2012

Train Sales Reps to Coach Themselves

sales coach

Effective sales coaching has been shown to significantly improve sales performance, but there are limitations to even the world’s greatest coaching practices.  You can’t be with every rep all the time, so what happens when something goes either unexpectedly wrong or remarkably right when you’re not there?  Is that coaching moment lost forever?

The answer is YES; you have missed the opportunity to provide the most powerful form of coaching — in the moment or in context.  This lost opportunity to coach in-the-action happens every day with every salesperson on your team.  Do the math yourself:  if you have 15 salespeople reporting to you, and each of them engages in a customer dialogue ten times per day, there are ultimately 39,000 customer interactions that you haven’t had the chance to observe or coach.  Do I need to say more about the importance of teaching your salespeople to self-coach?

Begin teaching your salespeople to self-coach by letting your reps see your coaching skills in action.  Through your own behavior and actions, demonstrate what you want them to do in your daily conversations, in role play scenarios, and during live sales calls.  When you are with your reps, allow them to see you go through the self-coaching process.  As humans, we rise to the level of the company that we keep.

Perhaps the most critical component of effective sales coaching is that it happens every time you engage with » Continue Reading.

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March 16th, 2012

Video Blog: Extraordinary Preparation

If you’re extraordinarily prepared, you can float insights, ideas, articles, and concepts in front of your clients to provide an extra layer of value. Join Andrea Grodnitzky, SVP of Richardson, for a Richardson Video short where she discusses how being extraordinarily prepared can differentiate you from your competitors. Learn more about Richardson comprehensive sales training and performance support solutions at http://www.richardson.com

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February 22nd, 2012

Questions: The Fabric of Effective Coaching Conversations

If you watched Super Bowl XLVI earlier this month, you might think that professional coaches, who manage winning teams, deploy a robust coaching strategy balanced between scowling and screaming. But look closer — professional sports coaches scowl and scream to motivate or “remind” their players of the need to execute the game strategy, in both real time (during the game) and beforehand in preparation for the game. While the game is being played, individual coaching does take place all around the head coach (on the field, in the booth, and on the sideline). It is no different in business, except maybe the screaming part. Business leaders know to use effective coaching conversations, not commands — and the fabric of effective coaching conversations is woven with questions.

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