The Train Begins Here — How to Manage Every Step of the Training Process

The Train Begins Here — How to Manage Every Step of the Training Process

Quoted from Selling Power magazine

The December issue of Selling Power magazine features an article called The Train Begins Here. The article features sales-training experts who explain how to manage every step of the training process. Richardson's Founder & CEO, Linda Richardson, participated as one of the experts. Some of her comments include:

SELLING POWER: The art of science of selling constantly evolves. In your view, what sales skill is the most needed among today's sales teams?

LINDA RICHARDSON: There's a big deficit in the area of coaching and feedback. The problem begins with the promotion of top performers into sales management roles without providing them with the necessary preparation and support for their transition to the role of a manager and coach. This results in junior sales reps not getting the developmental coaching and feedback they need to hone their skills and sales strategy. With appropriate coaching, even a bad sales call can be a learning experience.

SELLING POWER: With the economy slowly recovering, what can sales managers do to ensure that they get the appropriate budget dollars for sales training?

LINDA RICHARDSON: I recommend that sales managers take an incremental approach. Request funding for a small initiative, and then measure results before and after the training. It may also be effective to find some lower-cost alternatives such as interactive e-learning. While budgets are being carefully spent, we are seeing a significant increase in the number of small and large companies allocating larger budgets to sales training.

SELLING POWER: Our magazine recently featured Arnold Schwarzenegger as an example of sales excellence. In your view, who else in today's popular culture would make a great sales rep?

LINDA RICHARDSON: There are many celebrities who are powerful communicators and have other qualities that would make them great additions to any sales team. For example, Tom Hanks is so "boy next door" that he is very empathetic to many people. Oprah, of course, is persuasive and can get people to believe what she believes. Katie Couric is so perky and smart that lots of female sales reps emulate her look. But if I were going to choose one, it would have to be Clark Kent, because he comes across as humble, is diligent and concerned, gets the job done, but in a pinch he's super human.

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