Chapter 22: Richardson

R-logo

Richardson is a sales training and sales effectiveness solutions company founded by Linda Richardson in 1979. Linda created a program, Consultative Selling, to train sales professionals to focus their conversations on the customer’s needs and work collaboratively on the optimal solution. This was a big change from the practice of selling product features and benefits, which was prevalent at that time. The success of Consultative Selling opened the door for Richardson to add additional programs, tools and services to support its clients.


Focus

Richardson has a comprehensive solution set and strong customization capabilities, which allow it to service large companies with sophisticated needs. Sales training companies that offer heavy customization are often a better fit for large clients because they can spread the customization cost across a large learning audience. Richardson is especially strong in dialogue skills training, and have a number of programs ranging from foundational to advanced, along with the coaching and tools to reinforcement skills post-training. For these reasons, Richardson tends to work with large companies that sell a high-value solution, such as financial and business services, technology, insurance and industrial equipment.

Featured Clients and Case Studies

Richardson’s website features clients from financial services, technology, insurance, manufacturing and professional services. Richardson further segments its financial services clients into asset management, commercial banking, investment banking, private wealth management and retail banking. This granularity demonstrates that Richardson really understands the nuance of the industry and has a lot of experience. Richardson offers a number of case studies, but they can be difficult to find on its website.

 
Richardson’s website features a number of impressive client logos from companies such as Fidelity, HSBC, GE, Wells Fargo, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Cargill, Cummins and Merck.

Awards

Richardson has received many substantial awards, including being named to Trainingindustry.com’s “Top 20 Sales Training Companies” for the past six years, and being named a “Top 20 Leadership Training Company” for the past two years. They have also gone the extra step to earn a “Best in Class” SmartChoice® Certification from the well-known research and analysis firm Brandon Hall. SmartChoice® speaks to the soundness of Richardson’s client support, cost of ownership, functionality and capability.

Core Sales Training Programs

Richardson’s comprehensive sales curriculum provides practical processes, strategies and skills. Course offerings complement each other for continuous improvement, and are available both at beginner and advanced levels. Through an integrated “building block” approach, Richardson is able to leverage its discrete, integrated modules to efficiently develop programs that address your specific needs. Its most popular programs include:

  • Consultative Selling Skills helps sales professionals plan and execute a sales call with a sophisticated buyer from open to close. This includes building rapport, uncovering needs, developing solutions collaboratively, resolving objections and closing.
  • Richardson Selling with Insights™ teaches seasoned sales professionals to leverage thought-provoking content and advanced dialogue skills to share insight that raises awareness of unrealized needs and shapes the customer’s thinking toward your strengths.
  • Developmental Sales Coaching teaches sales managers to offer continuous support by asking questions that help the salesperson to uncover obstacles and create their own solutions to the challenges they face.

The following is a subset of the methodology and skill programs Richardson offers:

  • Generate Opportunities: Strategic Prospecting, Prospecting with Insights, Networking and Referrals
  • Win Opportunities: High Performance Selling, Winning Sales Presentations, Consultative Negotiations
  • Manage Relationships: Service to Sales, Exceptional Customer Care
  • Expand Relationships: Trusted Advisor, Collaborative Account Development

Delivery Options

As you would expect from a full-service firm, Richardson offers many delivery options, such as live instructor led training, virtual instructor-led training, Train-the-Trainer and eLearning.

The Full Solution

Richardson packages its full solution into its Sales Effectiveness System™, which bookends its training programs (i.e., “develop”) with solutions to “define” needs and “drive” behavior change.

These include:

  • Define: Sales Process Consulting, Sales Leader Preparation, Skill Benchmarking, Talent Audits and Project Management Services
  • Drive: Knowledge Retention through QuickCheck® mobile reinforcement and eLearning, Skill Application through deal and account coaching, CRM enablement through Sales Process Pro® and measurement programs.

Advice for Sales Training Buyers

It is very important for you to understand your needs and be honest about your sales team’s sophistication and your organization’s ability and willingness to support change. There are many sales training companies that can run a great program and do so at a low price point. However, if you need to drive a larger shift in how you sell, then you need to consider a more comprehensive solution similar to the type that Richardson offers. These types of solutions take time, money and commitment to do properly, but this is hard work and there are no shortcuts.

Richardson sales training solutions

You have written an excellent piece. I do not say that lightly

VP of SALES, $3 Billion Revenue Co.

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