Richardson - Sales Training or Coaching Program of the Year



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Company: Richardson, Philadelphia, PA
Company Description: Richardson ( is a leading sales training company. We accelerate the productivity of salespeople by ensuring they have the skills, strategies, and processes to achieve their objectives. Utilizing our proprietary customization process and comprehensive sales curriculum, coaching, and consulting, we help develop the critical skills sales organizations need to win.
Nomination Category: Sales Awards Achievement Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Sales Training or Coaching Program of the Year

Nomination Title: Cargill Sales Effectiveness Initiative Makes Valuable Impact

Tell the story about your organization's sales training and/orvcoaching program since the beginning of July 2015 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

Cargill is a privately-owned, international producer and marketer of food, agriculture, financial, and industrial products and services. The global sales organization is made up of nearly 10,000 salespeople, with numerous sales teams operating in 69 business units across four regions. There is a mix of experience and ability within teams, and they sell different products and services to a wide variety of customers, ranging from individual farmers to large corporations.

To enhance the customer experience and evolve sales practices from demand fulfillment to demand creation, Cargill launched a Sales Effectiveness initiative aimed at improving selling efforts across the world. This initiative intended to maintain Cargill’s number one position, expand market position, grow shares of business in key accounts, and increase margins to drive profitability.

The Sales Effectiveness initiative focused on aligning sales functions around consistent sales knowledge and skills, establishing a common sales language, and putting in place key practices for how salespeople qualify leads, position the Cargill story, and serve a diverse range of customer needs. The entire solution is supported, reinforced, and sustained by a Sales Manager Development program, with the specific goal of building strong sales coaching cadence and skills.

Working with Richardson, Cargill evaluated its existing sales processes, compared strengths against best practices, and established a sales cycle that would resonate among all teams. The Cargill Sales Framework addressed six stages of the sales process: Explore, Discover, Create, Present, Close, and Strengthen and Expand Relationships. For each stage, high-impact activities and specific measures of success were defined. Additional goals included delivering rapid value to the organization in three main areas: customer satisfaction, market share, and overall financial return.

In addition to the comprehensive instructor-led training, Cargill employs diagnostic instruments as well as post-training sustainment tools, including gamification, manager-led reinforcement sessions, newsletters, e-learning, and webinars. All of these assets are used as part of a measurement system in accordance with Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Impact Model.

Cargill’s Learning and Development team designed a comprehensive change-management strategy to ensure long-term program success and to get crucial buy-in from leadership of each business unit. Their Sales Effectiveness program guide summarized goals, details, workflows, timelines, change-management models and served to gain executive sponsorship.

To measure program impact, Cargill surveyed 250 salespeople between November 2015 and January 2016. The results revealed significant relationships between skill improvement and performance:
• Participants who reported stronger skill development and application of Richardson’s Six Critical Skills and the Cargill Sales Framework also reported stronger business results.
• Participants who were in the top 25% of performance, based on their combined volume, margin, and year-over-year results, reported the skills they learned in the program enhanced achievement of their results.
• Participants who rated coaching as Significantly or Extremely Beneficial reported higher performance achievement than those who either rated coaching as Slightly or Not Beneficial or did not receive any coaching. Coaching also was rated as more beneficial to those who achieved greater than 105% of profit goals than for those under 105% of goals.

As for ROI and year-over-year performance, those reporting an increase in results directly related 30%, on average, to their ability in applying Sales Effectiveness skills. This translates to approximately $100,000 in growth-per-person, based on conservative estimates correlating actual increases reported by participants and the percentage credited to new skills. Other examples of attributed outcomes include:

“Before Sales Effectiveness, I rushed into the Present stage rather than discovering customer needs. Since then, I have been able to slow down and ask more questions to better understand the needs of the customer.”

“As a sales manager, I coach a number of sales professionals. The pre-call preparation discussions have improved greatly, and the stage assessment plan has greatly improved our success rate.”

With participants continuing to report significant success in gaining, keeping, and growing accounts based on improving their selling skills and coaching, the Cargill Sales Effectiveness initiative has proved to be a tremendous asset.