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Selling is Dead: Moving Beyond Traditional Sales Roles and Practices to Revitalize Growth Hardcover – June 22, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (June 22, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471721115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471721116
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Is selling dead? Are salespeople, the traditional champions of growth, adding increasingly less value to both their employers and the buyers on whom they call? Has the faster cadence of business, change, and innovation made sellers less relevant at a time when their performance is most needed?

Whether you're a senior executive, a sales or marketing manager, or a salesperson, your personal and organizational success is tied to the answers to these questions. In this groundbreaking book, the authors examine why salespeople and selling teams must redefine their roles and adopt new selling frameworks—or risk obsolescence.

For major account sellers, traditional growth strategies have become increasingly ineffective in the New Economy. Innovation, the province of future profit, growth, and survival for many firms, is especially challenging to sell. New customers, the lifeblood of most organizations and the driving force behind real and significant growth, have also become more and more difficult for sellers to create. The paths to new customers have become more complex and less forgiving. In Selling Is Dead, two world-class sales consultants reveal that customer scarcity and the delayed and diminished returns from innovation are self-inflicted epidemics.

The key, argue major account sales experts Marc Miller and Jason Sinkovitz, is to transform your transactional sales team into a disciplined unit of "businesspeople who sell." The authors also identify multiple categories of large account selling, each with its own best practices, sales skills, and strategies. To sell successfully in this diverse environment requires a focused framework powerful enough to deliver significantly higher value to buyers—beyond the products and services being sold—yet flexible enough to adapt quickly to radically different types of buyer demands.

Drawing on their experiences with hundreds of companies, the authors present scores of case studies along with proven, research-based approaches that have enabled their clients to fuse their sales, marketing, customer service, and new product departments into sustainable, market-optimizing growth engines. You'll learn how to:

  • Understand and identify the multiple types of major account sales
  • Create a disciplined and strategic sales framework that mirrors the buyer's "demand type"
  • Master the sales process steps and skills that will advance your buyers to "yes"
  • Build management systems to maintain a cohesive selling effort across the organization

The old methods of large account selling may be dead, but you can still win the new customers that generate real growth, boost revenues, and send profits soaring. Take an eye-opening business journey in Selling Is Dead and learn how to accelerate revenue growth and sustain a higher level of sales productivity.

From the Back Cover

Praise for SELLING IS DEAD: Moving Beyond Traditional Sales Roles and Practices to Revitalize Growth

"A collaborative and commercial approach that is a key element of the growth journey. Selling Is Dead not only addresses the importance of a team-focused selling framework, but other critical success factors as well."
—Damian A. Thomas, General Manager and Corporate Sales Leader, General Electric Company

"Selling Is Dead is a wonderful blend of balanced, forward thinking, and practical common-sense guidance on how to mutually win with your customer in today's highly competitive marketplace. Planning from your buyers' point of view to make them more productive and competitive is critical in large account sales . . . and this book will show you how."
—David N. Townshend, Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Marriott International

"The authors articulate the dichotomy of the large sales challenge. Like most companies, our business units at Siemens have unique selling challenges. This is an insightful book that teaches salespeople how to identify, adapt, and adjust to the type of large sales in which they are engaged."
—Thomas Poole, Regional Vice President, Siemens Medical Solutions

"This book is a revelation that builds upon the progression of great books in the selling genre from Carnegie to Rackham. It neatly wraps the essential ingredients of strategies, tactics, organizations, and people into a framework that can continuously produce large sales for your enterprise."
—Jim Daley, Chairman, PCi Corporation

"Sales teams need a better road map for today's sophisticated customer. The authors have laid out a disciplined framework that gives selling teams a common language and logical market-facing structure. I consider this book to be a must-read."
—Ron Newcomb, Senior Vice President of Sales, Trimble Geomatics and Engineering

"Today's selling environment has changed dramatically, and sales teams need to adjust or risk obsolescence. Selling Is Dead teaches salespeople how to strategically adjust, add more value, and create customer abundance."
—David Peckinpaugh, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Conferon Global Services, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Great read, and enjoy the humor between the theory!
S. Wise
Other recommended books are SPIN selling, SPIN selling field book, Smart Calling by Art Sob, and ofcourse this one.
The key strategy set forth in the book is backed by research and case studies giving validation to the concept.
David Kelly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By D. Vranicar on September 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Selling is Dead" is one of 10 best books on sales effectiveness published in the United States in the past 20 years. It makes a strong contribution to sales effectiveness for sales reps and sales managers who are involved in complex sales in major accounts. It is especially valuable for companies that sell innovative solutions.

Because of its focus on selling innovative solutions, the book cites examples that tend to be skewed toward sales of technical solutions and especially of information technology. But the book also carries useful advice for selling less innovative products and services.

Of course selling isn't dead, literally. But it's changing in major ways, the authors say. Sales teams are underperforming because they are ineffective. The cost of sales people has risen much higher than their productivity. If selling isn't exactly dead, it's broken. The authors say the main reason is that sellers are generally unable to cope with the quickening pace of innovation.

"Sales teams rarely falter when selling commodities because buyers see commodities as safe, comfortable, existing applications," they say. "However, once a company's core business has matured and the market for those commoditized offerings has become saturated, organizations must turn to innovation for growth and survival. Unfortunately, there is powerful evidence that the transition of sales teams from selling commodities to selling innovative new platforms is difficult and fraught with failure. The real challenge in selling is selling innovation."

The authors' answer, in part, is to develop sales people into "business people who sell.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. jones on July 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is THE best book I've ever read (and I have shelves full of them) on the sales process as it applies to products and services which fall outside of being mission critical to the buying organization.

If a company has to have some form of what you sell even though they don't have to have your's this book would be of some value. If your offering falls in to the elective category - people like it, think it would helpful, has a wow factor - by which I mean it is a nice to have but the buying organization doesn't absolutely have to have it in some form to continue doing business this is a must have book.

The writing style is a bit stiff to the point of being slightly academic at points but this is a reflection of the process which has yielded their step by step methodology. If you've been in elective style sales such as much of the software world you will find that this book helps you think more systematically.

I have found help in making this my primary sales process resource and in making the "Advanced Selling" podcast my primary personal motivation resource.

If you are a student of sales you will welcome this addition to your library.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In today's corporate world, the performance of a company's sales team can determine if they will sink or swim. The sales team is responsible for seeking out opportunities from current customers and creating opportunities from potential customers. In the new book "Selling is dead" by Marc Miller and Jason Sinkovitz, the Ohio-based authors explain the importance of hiring the right salesperson, recognizing the type of demand that is needed, and monitoring the progression of each sales stage.

"Selling is dead" introduces a new way of approaching potential customers based on four types of demand: new application demand, aggregate demand, continuous improvement demand, and economy demand because the authors believe that customer decision-making changes from one demand to another. According to this book, an informed salesperson should be able to recognize the demand type and respond accordingly.

This book is at its brilliant best when it explains the Buyer Psychological Model, the importance of creating demand, and how to overcome traditional objections such as a potential client's budget constraints. It also serves as a wake-up call for sales managers who employ mediocre salespeople who are ineffective at creating demand or selling to prospects who are satisfied with existing products or services.

However, there are a few problems with this book that may cause its words to fall on deaf ears. The first is that it reads like a dissertation and contains complicated language (i.e. the cadence of commoditization) that may cause the average salesperson without a college degree to run for cover. Next, the book is written from a very strategic point of view and lacks more needed tactical instructions.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Kelly on August 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have read dozens of "sales" books in the past 10 years. Normally I would skip over a book like this but the title caught my eye so I dove in. After reading the first few chapters, I quickly realized Miller's book was different. There are real strategies and tools in Miller's words.

The idea of separating key accounts from everyday sales is not a new idea but a very important strategy for all businesses. A lot of people and books talk about strategies for this but few give you specific and effective tools to do it. The key strategy set forth in the book is backed by research and case studies giving validation to the concept. But more importantly, I found this book to be very focused on how to use the research and case studies to develop sales strategies AND salespeople.

I would recommend this book to those who truly want to develop their own skills or their team's skills. This book is a solid read and well worth the time!
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More About the Author

MARC T. MILLER is the founder and CEO of Sogistics Corporation of Twinsburg, Ohio. He founded Sogistics in 1988 as a sales productivity improvement firm specializing in the large sale. Considered a thought leader in the field of complex sales, he resides in Boston Heights, Ohio with his wife Janet and six children.

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