Category Archives: sales management

March 8th, 2016

How Effective are Your Sales Training Programs?

sales training programs

Why Do You Need to Measure Sales Training? 

We measure almost everything in our lives. Starting at birth, a baby’s height, weight, and length are measured. Parents count fingers and toes. They count age by weeks and months and, finally, years. In school, learning is measured by written tests and fitness levels by activity tests.

In sports, we keep score and statistics. Moneyball analysis has become a widely used strategy in evaluating baseball players. When we travel, we measure distance traveled and time to destination using maps and GPS. We wear Fitbits, keep food diaries, and use apps to track calorie intake.

The point is that we track just about everything. Measurement is an integral part of our lives. How can it not be an element of especially when so much is at stake, considering both dollars spent and the potential for performance improvement?

According to recent data, more than 55% of companies spend in excess of $2,000 per employee on training each year (CSO Insights). TrainingIndustry.com reported that, for 2013, the most recent numbers published, companies in North America spent approximately $142 billion dollars on training; globally, the investment in training was approximately $307 billion.

These are significant numbers. So, when someone asks me why they should have a strategy for measuring training effectiveness, my short answer is, “Why wouldn’t you?” How could any organization not grab the opportunity to measure progress made, » Continue Reading.

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February 16th, 2016

How to Transition from Sales into Sales Leadership

sales-leadership

The talent pool for sales leadership comes from successful sales professionals. Organizations often reward excellence in selling by promotion into leadership roles. But, what’s missing is the realization that different skill sets are required for selling vs. managing those who sell.

Sale leaders need to build on their understanding of the sales process by adding skills in developmental sales coaching. At Richardson, we define this as an effective and time-efficient incremental coaching process that achieves results and helps make sales professionals responsible for their own development. At its foundation, this involves a shift from being a boss who evaluates performance to becoming a coach who develops team members by empowering their own growth.

What I see most often in new sales leaders is a tendency to be driven solely by metrics. They focus on deliverables from their team: the number of sales calls made, reports filed on time, and sales forecasts. These new leaders have been successful in the field, and they want to continue that success. What they don’t realize is their ability to achieve greater success rests with their capability to effectively manage their team. They need to develop their observation skills to assess how their people are doing and where they might need help. They need to recognize what’s going well, coach to verifiable outcomes, and give constructive feedback to drive success for the individual, the team, and the organization.

Moving from individual contributor to sales » Continue Reading.

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February 12th, 2016

How Sales Leadership Can Drive Desired Behaviors

sales-leadership

Selling is a human activity. So, it makes sense for sales leadership to take a human approach to motivating their sales professionals.

On a business level, this means insuring your people have all the resources that they need to be successful and mitigating any obstacles that stand in the way.

On a personal level, it means taking the time to get inside the head of each member of your sales team to understand what is important to them and why. Do they value challenges? Do they look for recognition? Is being a part of a team important to them?

We are all different, with different strengths, and motivated by different things. The more you, as a sales leader, get to know the individuals on your sales team, the more effective you can be in articulating and driving desired behaviors. Performance for the individual and the team should improve, with your organization — and the customer — benefiting in the process.

Consider this typical leadership scenario: the ride along. Ideally, the ride along presents a mutual learning opportunity in which sales leaders see first-hand how their team members pursue a prospect or interact with a client, and sales professionals gain constructive coaching and feedback from their leaders.

What happens too often, however, is the sales leader reacts instead of responding appropriately: “I can’t believe you said that in the meeting. What were you thinking?” Or, sales leaders will jump straight to » Continue Reading.

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April 10th, 2014

“Just Say No!” Do Your Job, Not Someone Else’s

“Just Say No!” Do Your Job, Not Someone Else’s

You have a job to do. Most people are (or complain about being) overworked to some degree and are not looking for more to do. Yet, we often let ourselves get dragged into situations that distract from our primary responsibilities and fill up our calendars needlessly. What might seem like a harmless request (“Hey, Joe, do you have a minute?”) can quickly turn out to be a horrible drain on your time, energy, and productivity.

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November 8th, 2013

Creating the Skill and the Will to Unlock Sales Manager Coaching Power

sales-manager-unlock

Creating the Skill and the Will to Unlock Sales Manager Coaching Power

Sales managers are the force multipliers of productivity and key players for supporting change in your frontline sales force. Research from the Corporate Executive Board indicates that when training is complemented by in-field coaching and reinforcement, productivity is quadrupled from 22% to 88%. However, many sales managers are promoted based on their ability to sell, and the characteristics that contribute to a sales manager’s success as an individual contributor run counter to their role as a developer of others. Some sales managers lack coaching know-how and skill, while others don’t make time to coach.

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