Thanks for a great 2015; on to 2016!
  • sales
  • Blog post

Thanks for a great 2015; on to 2016!

As we wind up 2015, I’d like to give shoutouts to some of my colleagues here at Rapid Learning Institute who have contributed to what’s turned out to be a remarkable year for the company and for online sales training:

Evidence-based content
In the past year, we committed ourselves even more firmly to creating evidence-based learning modules — content based on rigorous scientific inquiry. We dug up eye-opening academic research in fields ranging from communication theory, persuasion and influence, negotiation, motivation and other disciplines that can change how we think about selling and sales management.

One of my favorite research-based Quick Takes — and also a favorite among our viewers — came from my colleague Rick Mitchell, who reported on a relationship-building technique first described by Ben Franklin (which is not to be confused with the “Ben Franklin close”). Research has proven the value of Ben’s simple yet powerful technique, which is one of the best ways I’ve seen to turn “just okay” customer relationships into something deeper. You can learn the technique here.

My colleague Dave Clemens — who’s not only a talented writer but an experienced sales guy — found a study involving prisons of all things, with surprising implications for your closing efforts. Check it out here.

A new look
We also set out at the beginning of this year to radically change the look of our Quick Takes. We moved away from traditional e-learning production tools in favor of studio-quality animation tools that have allowed us to use visuals much more effectively as a learning tool. Here’s an example.

The reception from customers has been overwhelmingly positive. Kudos to our genius graphics team: Lindsay Roach and Eugene Ewing. In 2016, they’ll also be working on updating the look of our entire sales library.

A new sales process
Our own sales and marketing process has changed profoundly as well. As every sales trainer knows, getting buy-in and widespread adoption is perhaps the toughest challenge with any training initiative.

Microlearning — which is what we offer — has tremendous potential to solve that problem, but we’ve learned that companies often aren’t sure how best to implement it. So our sales team is now working closely with clients to help to roll out the Selling Essentials platform in their organizations and create a culture of learning. As you might expect, clients have responded enthusiastically. Congrats to our entire sales team, including Mike Catini, Norina Deegan,
Colin Delaney, Jackie Dickisson, Patrice Gaul, James Haak, Matt Kaisner and Jim Rosenbaum — and to Jim Hughes and Frank Donny, the architects of our new sales approach.

Thanks also to our business development, customer service and marketing teams, who’ve contributed mightily to that effort. I’d name them all, but I see the red light is blinking.

Take a bow
And most of all, thanks to you, our loyal readers and customers — not only for helping to keep the lights on here, but also for your feedback, comments and suggestions. You’ve been generous with your time and thoughts. When I talk to customers, or read any of the thousands of survey responses for our Quick Takes (and I do try to read them all), I’m energized and inspired. And I’m privileged to serve customers who share our enthusiasm for a new approach to learning, who believe in what we’re trying to accomplish and who are so obviously rooting for us.

We have some big news coming for 2016. I can’t share the details yet, but marketing whiz Diana Bernecker is hard at work on a new project that will have a big impact on how sales training is designed and delivered. Her work will not only serve our customers, but will be of keen interest to anyone who’s interested in how sales training will be designed and delivered in the future. So stay tuned!

P.S.: And thanks, too, to Paul McCarry, our Web and e-mail expert, who works hard behind the scenes to gets these posts to you on time and in good shape.

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