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Benchmarks Verify Progress in Learning

Multitasking. Mobile meetings. Doing more with less. Slimmer windows of opportunity. Today’s sales environment is faster, more demanding, and infinitely more challenging than ever before.

Sellers need 21st-century skills, but time is too precious a commodity to spend much of it in training classrooms. When sales organizations do invest in their people, they demand results and ways to measure progress.

At Richardson, we constructed our new blended-learning, cloud-based platform, Accelerate™, with numerous measurement benchmarks. These both track and motivate each learner’s performance while giving leaders desired insights into individual and team progress.

Sales organizations have long used the Richardson SkillGauge™ diagnostic tool to assess and validate skills. Now, we are taking a similar approach in Accelerate in the form of Baseline Check, which occurs at the launch of the training program, and a Final Check several months after the program’s conclusion.

  • The Baseline Check is an assessment that benchmarks each seller’s starting point and prepares them to learn.
  • The Final Check validates learning progress and shows exactly how far each learner has come.

Between these two points in time, as learners work through activities and exercises, Accelerate delivers formative quizzes that check progress and redirect effort. Through confidence scoring on each activity, learners self-identify where they feel strong and where things are a bit shaky. They can then go back and review concepts needing more attention.

The ability of Accelerate technology to measure and inform turns data into actionable insight. Learners gain a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses; they see how well they are learning; they see where they need to apply more effort. Leaders gain visibility into what is, or is not, being learned and by whom. They can see where learning and coaching interventions are needed. Leaders can tap the analytics for a snapshot of an individual’s performance or the overall view of their entire teams.

Each assessment check presents learners with scenarios of real-life sales challenges and requires them to make decisions. This behavioral-based approach clearly identifies skill gaps, allows for meaningful feedback to learners, and provides decision-making intelligence to leaders. Assessments are based on Richardson’s nearly four decades of experience in tracking best practices and working with world leaders across industries.

Best-in-class benchmarks set expectations and often raise them. In developing Accelerate, Richardson looked to new benchmarks to meet learner expectations. No longer would other training programs be the comparator, because sellers don’t measure their training experiences against other training experiences. They take into consideration all the formal and informal learning experiences they’ve had, whether in person or online.

With Accelerate, we have set the bar higher. Our best-in-class benchmarks to meet — and exceed — learning experiences are derived from digital spaces, where people are spending more and more time. We now assess Richardson training in general, and Accelerate specifically, against a wider set of competitors, including training programs, online universities, educational products, YouTube, Google, and massive open online courses known as MOOCs.

For sellers to acquire and hone 21st-century skills takes a 21st-century approach — and benchmarks that measure and motivate progress along the way.

About the Author

Richardson is a global sales training and performance improvement company. Our goal is to transform every buyer experience by empowering sellers with critical skills so they can create value to buyers and drive meaningful conversations. Our methodology combines a market proven sales and coaching curriculum with an innovative and customizable approach to learning that ensures your sales teams learn, master, and apply those behaviors where and when it matters most — in front of your customers. It’s our job to anticipate change in your industry so that your sales team can focus on fostering long-term relationships, becoming indispensable partners for their buyers.

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