- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Revised and Updated ed. edition (April 20, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 044669519X
- ISBN-13: 978-0446695190
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 126 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The New Strategic Selling: The Unique Sales System Proven Successful by the World's Best Companies Paperback – April 20, 2005
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The chapter on competition irked me. Their thesis implies that if you focus on their process, competition is irrelevant. That may be the case if you are the one to bring up your product/service to them in the first place. It is not the case if, for example, you are responding to an RFP. I wouldn't mind if they admitted that selling in highly competitive situations is outside of the scope of the book. Instead they insist that their method will work in all situations (implying that you should have been there before an RFP went out to help them design it). That may be true in fantacy land; but in the real world you will only find out about many potential deals after a customer has decided they are going to buy the product/service you offer. They just haven't decided their future vendor. Effective processes and strategies exist to help you win in these situations, and this book does not provide them.
Back in the late 90's we used this book as the foundation for a Strategic Selling System at a $500 million dollar chemical company, and it was a game-changer.
One of the biggest problems in B2B sales is either (a) selling to the wrong type of customer or (b) selling to the wrong people within the account.
This book tackles these issues head on.
Chapters 5 - 10: The best description ever written about how to successfully navigate the complex sale. Specifically, how to identify the four key buying influences, understand their receptivity to change, and create win-win deals.
Chapters 14-15: How to avoid wasting time with low-quality prospects and focus on ideal, best-fit customers.
Chapters 17-18: How to use the sales funnel to prioritize work, move deals forward at a steady, predictable rate, and avoid the roller coaster effect.
Bottom line is, if you sell products, services or software to other businesses --- or manage and support others who do --- this is required reading.
If you're involved in account-based marketing, it's double-required.
If I had to sum up the strength of this method in one word I'd have to choose, preparation.
When you go in armed with possible latent problems, have a mapped out 9-block strategy for active as well as latent opportunities, and a non-confrontational closing process that is based around a proposal and eval, you come across with so much confidence and professionalism it makes even some CEOs feel intimidated to speak with you -- instead of you cowering as a product pushing 'closer'.
You come across clearly as the obvious expert.
The only thing I don't like about this process is the idea of 'vomiting' some details about yourself and your company at the outset. My feelings are that if business owners and C-level execs want to know about your company's background, they will stop you and ask. No use starting off with that stuff in the beginning. Sounds self-centered and a little scammy.
I prefer to focus entirely on the prospect and their possible latent opportunities. Let them ask, or at the very least, wait until you've established value before going into a brief 'story' about your company's history.
Starting off a call with company history is a turn off when sales reps do it to me. I think 'here comes the dog and pony show' for that moment and my mind wanders. Always.
Stay focused on the prospect and use latent opportunities, and the nine-block, and the closing process... and you'll do well. Break out into a song and dance about yourself or your company and you will get stuck into that 'another snake oil salesman' category. And will be forced to dig yourself out of that hole you've dug just to prove you are not.
Aside from that part of the sales process, this sales approach is outstanding. Definitely recommended.