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5 Ways Richardson Helps Sales Enablement Leaders Optimize Every Customer Interaction

Sales enablement

close sales skill gaps with tech and training

July 15, 2022Article

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Bridging Sales Capability Gaps with Sales Training and Technology

Success in sales enablement requires a focus on identifying and implementing technologies that ensure sales professionals can execute the right selling skills, at the right time, with the right buyer.

Ignoring skill development in favor of technologies (and vice versa) results in a sales execution gap that has dramatic implications on the performance of the sales organization.

In recent history, too many sales enablement teams have focused more on investing in tools to support their sellers, at the expense of building skills. Now is the time for enablement teams to balance the scales.

Leading industry analysts including McKinsey are emphasizing the need for a massive reskilling effort (especially in the B2B space). Their research shows sales teams need to make “seismic shifts” in the ways they engage with customers, position solutions and manage change. The execution of this strategy is rooted in building new sales capabilities that are distinctly aligned to buyers' needs in the modern era.

There is a clear path forward for making this “seismic shift,” following these 5 steps will better position your team to succeed where others fail.

  1. Identify capability gaps with relevant assessments
  2. Close capability gaps by strategically focusing on reskilling your sales team in the areas that will provide the greatest lift
  3. Execute capabilities training with a role-based approach to improve relevancy and practical application of skills
  4. Use conversational intelligence software to programmatically monitor performance and capture insights for coaching and continuous improvement
  5. Embed selling best practices into the flow of work with CRM Tools

In the following sections we provide more detail on how to execute these steps, but if you need help reskilling your team now – click here to contact the Richardson team and find out how partnering with us can accelerate the process.

Closing the Capability Gap with Sales Assessments

Our broad suite of sales skill and competency assessments helps your organization achieve its sales goals by providing insight into strengths and development needs at multiple levels of the organization.

Our different assessments identify the specific competencies that an individual sales professional, sales team or an entire Sales function should prioritize for development.

  • Competency assessments: Evaluate individual proficiency across sales and sales management capabilities
  • Program-based assessments: Measure baseline and post-training skill levels
  • Organization-level assessments: Evaluate the effectiveness of your sales function across multiple areas that drive your organization's overall revenue engine

Each of these assessments provides powerful insight into the development priorities that must be addressed to achieve your goals.

After identifying opportunities for improvement we help you to define what good looks like. This analysis guides the process of creating customized, role-based learning journeys to ensure your team builds skills that drive meaningful results.

We work with you to map the competencies required and the proficiency level needed for each sales role to bring your competency framework will come to life as seen in the example below.

Click here to read more about how you can use assessments to establish a baseline and measure progress along your development journey.

Building the Critical Sales Capabilities

To drive revenue growth in today’s environment, sales professionals need a wider range of capabilities to effectively adapt, compete and win. By developing these diverse capabilities, sales professionals become more agile in their pursuits. They are equipped to move with the increasing pace of change and adapt in the moment to the customer’s needs. Simply put, there is no single competency that drives sales excellence — rather, it is a collection of behaviors and skills across the selling process that needs to be honed and mastered.

Every sales capability falls into one of four categories:

  • Create opportunities
  • Win deal
  • Negotiate to maximize value
  • Grow accounts

These four high-level categories represent a collection of skills in which sales professionals need to be proficient. Click here to learn how we break down the specific skills that form each of these four types.

Implementing Role-based Sales Training

Many sales training initiatives fail, because organizations miss the opportunity to align training with role-specific needs. While there is a common set of skills, knowledge, and abilities that are required for each role to be successful, for example, the ability to be conversational, adaptable, and apply critical thinking, there is also a divergence when it comes to really digging into what is required to be successful in one role versus the other, based on the complexity and context of the selling situation.

When you consider that organizations are experiencing an unprecedented level of change in rapidly shifting markets and sellers are struggling to sell in an increasingly fast-paced and complex environment, a one-size-fits-all model quickly losses its appeal. Quite frankly, it is outdated thinking (actually, it likely never really worked) to think that everyone in the sales organization can be trained with a generic, blanket approach. Click here to learn the 3 key reasons you should be considering role-based sales training as a sales enablement leader.

Bridging the Skill Gaps Your Conversational Intelligence Platforms Identify

Many sales organizations are investing in conversational intelligence platforms. These platforms record and analyze sales conversations with customers and prospects and identify areas of improvement for the next customer interaction. To maximize the impact of these platforms, sales organizations need to understand the difference between good and great, need a common language around which to align sellers and managers, and need the means to develop and coach to the skills. Imagine a world where your platform identifies the skill gaps and you’re sales enablement function can easily deploy learning and reinforcement to the sales professional. Real lift comes from partnering technology with true skill development. Contact us here to learn more about how we can partner with you to get started.

Embedding Your Training into the Flow of Work with CRM Workflow tools

Many organizations have made significant investments in sales training and performance development, only to watch their sales organization fall back into old habits, limiting their ROI. Your sales professionals need a solution that embeds learned best practices and skills into the natural flow of work helping them to apply learning to active sales opportunities. These tools should be directly integrated into your CRM, simple, and powerful, and allow organizations to directly: measure the business impact that applied skills are having on the organization. Click here to learn about some of the tools we see work best.

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