Made to Order: How Customized Sales Training Pays Off: As Seen in Selling Power Magazine
Richardson in Selling Power magazine
Selling Power magazine is a premier magazine for sales and marketing professionals. Linda Richardson is often asked to participate as an expert resource for the publication. The following are just a few of the examples of Ms. Richardson's work in the publication.
06.01.07 — Change Your Training Mind-Set
"Sales managers expect alot from sales training. They want to keep the team current with the newest skills, to change sales behavior to meet new market needs, and to ensure that the sales process causes revenue and profit to grow apace. Accomplishing all these multiple goals at the same time requires strategic thinking, and there are a few "secrets" to how sales managers should allocate their training resources to create maximum results."
03.01.07 — Steps to Better Sales Training
"One way to measure the effectiveness of sales training is to ask the people being trained whether the training is appropriate and helpful. This is important because if the sales reps (and their managers) don't view the sales training as critical to their future success, they're highly unlikely to put the training into actual practice. Course evaluations thus provide a more 'human' way of measuring the impact of the training."
12.01.06 — Training Solutions
As sales has become more a profession than a job, sales training has become far more sophisticated, but this process of transformation is far from over. According to our experts, much remains to be done in order to adapt sales training to the rapidly changing role of sales in today's corporate environment.
One key trend in sales training, as identified by Linda Richardson, that will continue to develop over the coming year is that skills training will increasingly be conducted eletronically. Now that classroom training is beginning to focus on larger issues, such as solution building, training in specific sales skills will need to move onto the Internet.
10.01.06 — Blended Sales Training
"Successful sales professionals combine three major elements into a unified selling method: 1) detailed product knowledge, 2) the ability to craft that knowledge into a customer solution, and 3) a wide variety of interpersonal skills. Here's the challenge for sales organizations: providing training for this three-pronged approach without breaking the budget. While most sales managers realize there's an ever-growing need for better skills and product knowledge among the sales team, few firms can afford to send sales reps to several weeks of classroom training, even once, let alone every year. Fortunately, it is now possible to combine classroom instruction, on-line learning, and web conferencing to simultaneously reduce training costs and increase retention. This can result in sales training programs that are far more effective than ever before."
06.14.06 — A Quick New Way to Gauge Your Reps' Selling Skills
Every sales manager knows that to cultivate performance improvements and maintain a team of satisfied reps he must leverage his reps' strengths and work on their weak areas. But, short of going on every sales call, how should a busy sales manager go about determining areas of strength and weakness? And, importantly, how can you do it quickly and accurately?
Those questions were the genesis of Richardson's new portfolio of online salesforce diagnostic tools, Richardson SkillGauge(TM).
06.01.06 — Train with an Edge
"Sales training will only have the maximum impact if the new skills are constantly reinforced. In many cases, though, there's little understanding on the part of the sales managers and lead sales reps on how to make this happen. In most cases, it will require the ability of the team leaders to effectively coach the rest of the team until the change in behavior is permanent."
04.17.06 — Train Your Sales Team: Establish a Coaching Chain
"Coaching is the process of preparing people to succeed in achieving their objectives by providing the resources, tools, and development they need to acheive their goals. Coaching is a way to accelerate productivity. While coaching is a well-understood role in the world of sports (every great athlete has one or more coaches), in the world of business, coaching is almost always neglected. Moreover, it has become muddled with the process of performance evaluation. While the same manager must do both, evaluation and coaching are almost opposites."
01.15.06 — Great Strategies for Sales Success
"Strategy 1: Train your managers to be coaches. One of the most important duties of a sales manager is to provide coaching to the sales team. However, it's not really reasonable to expect sales managers - most of whom have a background in sales, not training - to act effectively as coaches. Unfortunately, many sales managers wrongly believe that coaching consists of telling people what they did wrong - feedback that is demotivating at best. Coaching is a complex process that is both emotional and time consuming. Companies that want their sales managers to be good coaches must provide training in how to coach effectively.
Strategy 2: Implement customized training. It's a myth that one sales method - however insightful or sophisticated - can adapt to every sales organization. Off-the-shelf, standardized sales effectiveness training assumes that all markets and all industries are the same. However, if your company has a unique value proposition (and it should) and if your company has a unique go-to-market strategy (and it should), then you'll need a unique, custom-built, sales training program."
01.01.06 — Results Oriented
Selling Power: What sales skills set is the most neglected or most needed among today’s average sales teams? And why?
Linda Richardson: Salespeople should develop the skill sets needed to expand relationships. Too often they miss the chance to leverage their full platform of products and services, because they don't create a relationship strategy, probe for additional needs, and leverage their team members. This results in leaving business on the table and increases their vulnerability to competitors who are more proactive. Another skill set we find lacking is the ability to position a story so that what the sales reps says is persuasive and tailored to a client's needs. The skill we find most lacking, however, is questioning and the ability to probe and drill down to uncover customer needs.
06.01.05 — Expert Advice: How to Take and Use Notes
How can salespeople take better notes? First, by doing it every time you meet or talk by phone with a client. "Some salespeople fail to take notes at all," says Linda Richardson, Founder of a Philadelphia sales training firm called simply Richardson. "They feel it puts them in a subservient position, or they think they'll remember what the client is saying - or should already know it." she says. Not so. By recording crucial information, you're showing clients that what they're saying is important, and that you're committed to follow-up.
04.10.05 — Warm Up to ROI-Driven Sales Training
Rolling out a major training campaign is a large undertaking, so your prospective sales-training firm should have the stuff to do the job correctly. Be certain the instructors have the background that will command respect among your sales team. Somebody who sells millions of dollars of product a year isn’t likely to listen to a freshly-minted MBA who’s still wet behind the ears – but that’s only the start. “Find out who is going to be creating, customizing and supporting your training effort,” suggests Linda Richardson, president and CEO of Richardson, a seminar and elearning sales-training firm located in Philadelphia, PA. “Are they full-time employees of the sales-training firm or just ‘stringers’ who’ve been hired part time?"
03.10.04 — Train to Win
"Sales training firms should be able to help you
with the research that will be required to sell training to upper management. Sales managers should talk to the training firms about results and get an idea of how much the training will cost. Sales managers should also visit their human resources group, see what is allocated for training, and then try to get a champion inside senior management. Ideally this should be somebody from outside the sales management chain who is willing to go to the CEO and drum up support for the sales training."
10.10.03 — Close More Sales
"Salespeople can close more business and build stronger customer relationships if they follow an "Always Be Checking to Close" strategy. Here is how it is done in five easy steps. 1. Cultivate the right Mind Set. 2. Set the objectives for the customer meeting. 3. Constantly check to see if you are on target. 4. Make a final check for understanding. 5. Ask for the business."
08.01.03 — Made to Order: How Customized Sales Training Pays Off
"The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based training firm Richardson offers training product it calls "blended learning." CEO Linda Richardson, who also teaches at the University of Pennsylvania's prestigious Wharton School, has been in the training business for 25 years. In that time, her company has built a strong foundation in basic training. Add to that the blended approach, and her company promises flexibility, reinforcement and cost savings. In other words, more train in less time for less money and longer-lasting results in the field."
07.08.03 — Be Prepared
"Top salespeople, says Richardson, are always preparing - both before and after each customer meeting. She suggests developing a preparation strategy to shorten your preparation time and increase your effectiveness."
06.01.03 — Linda Richardson provides expert advice in Selling Power Magazine
"How can salespeople take better notes? First, by doing it every time you meet or talk by phone to a client. Some salespeople fail to take notes at all, says Linda Richardson, President of a Philadelphia sales-training firm simply called Richardson. 'They feel it puts them in a subservient position, or they think they'll remember what the client is saying.'"
03.31.03 — Secrets of Sales Giants
"Secret #4: Couple Centralized Support with Field Autonomy “When you have a really large sales force, there are processes. They are better equipped. They have better tools,” says Linda Richardson, an instructor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and founder of Richardson, a sales-training company. Whether it’s corporate intranets; dynamic, applicable sales training; or other processes, policies and programs; centralized resources can arm sales people to focus on what they do best: selling."
03.03.03 — Motorola Calls on eLearning
"When Motorola came calling for an online sales training solution, Richardson was quick to answer. Motorola’s Commercial, Government and Industrial Solutions Sector organization has selected the Philadelphia-based consulting firm to provide comprehensive Web-based sales training.
The e-learning sales training solution will provide more than 3,000 Motorola dealer sales representatives with an on-demand, online sales training curriculum that addresses all phases of the sales cycle – from first call to closing."
05.01.02 — How to Present Like a Well-oiled Machine
"Balancing speakers can be a challenge, too. If you're thinking, 'No problem - everyone gets 10 minutes,' think again, says Linda Richardson, founder and CEO of Philadelphia-based Richardson, a sales performance development company, and author of Winning Group Sales Presentations (McGraw-Hill, 1991). 'Presenters don't get equal time,' she says. 'Presentations should be weighted according to what's most important to the client.'"
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