Archive for the 'Sales Effectiveness' Category

Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success. Connect with customers and get results. Colleen Stanley.

Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success. Connect with customers and get results. Colleen Stanley.2013. ISBN 9780814430293. I admit I am one of those dinosaurs that has been discounting the role of EQ in sales.  Over the past few years I have been asked to review books on EQ and…… I never did it.  (Stupid , stupid,  stupid )  Boy was I wrong and wow is this book ever bang on. If you wanted to describe someone with poor impulse control, that would be me when I first started selling. This just may be the 2013 sales book of the year. Stanley wraps up so much of what we know about selling in today’s market with thoughtful , insightful,  useful and funny strategies and tactics. I expect you will have as much fun as I did reading this book – its not preachy its direct and on the money.  The quotes are worth the price of the book. I defy any sales person or manager with a brain to read this book and not immediately start to sell more for more.  Get it read it , use it and read it again. Pass it along to your team.   If it makes a difference send 1% of your increased bonus to a good charity!

Winning Body Language for Sales Professionals. Control the conversation and connect with your customer – without saying a word. Mark Bowden & Andrew Ford.

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Winning Body Language for Sales Professionals. Control the conversation and connect with your customer – without saying a word. Mark Bowden & Andrew Ford. 2013. ISBN 9780071793001.  I had read Mark Bowden’s Winning Body Language sometime back and found it valuable.  This book has really taken the topic  up a notch.  It is current (encompassing the Challenger Sale as well as new media )  and immediately useful.   From every situation – face to face, online, video conference, group presentations  Bowden gives you the tools to improve. I appreciated his effective way of explaining why this works so well. This book is every sales person and sales manager who wants to improve and sell more.

How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett. Tom Searcy and Henry Devries.

Cover of "Whale Hunting: How to Land Big ...

How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett.  Tom Searcy and Henry Devries.2013. ISBN 9780071801652. Tom Searcy is the author of Whale Hunting and RFPs Suck! He is no stranger to hunting the big deals. The book is well written, clear and holds your attention.  You will learn more about Buffett and also about some of the toughest selling tasks ever. The book is useful at two levels. Every salesman , sales manager would benefit from how Searcy lays out “the Hunt”.  A CEO who was not a past hunter would learn the shear amount of work involved and all the ways that the deal can go away that are out of your control.   I liked it.

The Journey to Sales Transformation. 25 Axioms for becoming a Trusted Partner to your Customers. Bob Nicols Jr.

Slovenščina: Nicolova prizma.

The Journey to Sales Transformation. 25 Axioms for becoming a Trusted Partner to your Customers. Bob Nicols Jr.  2011. ISBN 9781466388550.  A sales parable that talks to the sales manager/CSO.  The teaching power of these stories is strong and effective.  If you are the type of person who appreciates “stories” that teach, then this is your book.  The points the author makes are very true and he does a great job at showing where today’s sales organizations go off track. I appreciate his point on the need for process, structure and people in sales.  We see poor process to be at the root of most poorly performing organizations.  The summary at the back of 25 axioms (and the order in which you proceed) is worth the price of this book.  Recommend to all high performing sales professionals

Winning the Battle For Sales. Lessons on closing every deal from the world’s greatest military victories. John Golden.

Cover of "SPIN Selling"

Winning the Battle For Sales. Lessons on closing every deal from the world’s greatest military victories. John Golden.2013. ISBN9780071791991.   From the company that brought you Spin Selling comes a very interesting take on sales lessons. The power of story and metaphor is a known component of successful selling. Here it is used to  wrap good sales advice around the telling of a battle.  The point is clear and more importantly the lesson sticks.  Golden is the CEO of Huthwaite, a company I know is doing interesting things in sales execution. It turns out that the author is quite a  writer as the stories and lessons flow very well. I was surprised how much I enjoyed and appreciated this book.  You will learn a lot.  The advice is very up to date – being based on knowing more about your customer and the buying journey he/she is going through  than your sales process.  A few nuggets about  useful sales pipelines.

  1. It is not the dollar amount in your pipeline that matters – it is the dollars associated with opportunities that are being worked on and are progressing.
  2. It is not the number of opportunities in your pipeline that matters – it is the number of opportunities that have a realistic chance of closing.
  3. It is not how many sales calls your sales salespeople have that matters-it is how many sales calls that end with a customer commitment that moves the opportunity forward.

Sales efficiency is about the tactics/activities that most quickly get you in front of the right buyer. Sales effectiveness is how to maximize results when you are there.  Quite different.

This should be on every sales managers shelf , any sales training organizations library, and in your library if you want to be a top producer.

Contagious Selling. How to turn a connection into a relationship that lasts a lifetime. David A. Rich

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Contagious Selling. How to turn a connection into a relationship that lasts a lifetime. David A. Rich. 2013. ISBN 978 0071796958.  A small but quite valuable book. The writer is skilled at showing you how to click with your customers. He makes the distinction that there can be two kinds of business relationships., one built on price and one built on a relationship.  There is a good analysis and  steps provided for a sales person to become more valuable to their clients (and not to forget post sale activity as well) .  A small treasure in this book is his section on what I have  called  the ten tips they teach in buyers school.   This section is worth way more than the price of the book.  I liked his question., ” Mr Buyer someone will always give you a lower price , but I can give you a lower cost ( ie greater value) “.   In these tough selling times a good book to boost your activities.

RFPs Suck! How to master the RFP system once and for all to win big business. Tom Searcy.

Whale Hunter

RFPs Suck! How to master the RFP system once and for all to win big business. Tom Searcy.2009. ISBN 9780982473962.  One thing we are noticing with increasing conservatism among buyers is the growth in the use of RFPs.  Where previously if a company had not been able to help write an RFP , they could decide not to participate, now an RFP is a given in many more markets large and surprisingly small making ignoring RFPs less of an option.   Searcy (The Whale Hunter – good sales book) , has created a short but very important guidebook around RFPs.  He starts with how to qualify the RFPs to make sure it is worthwhile for you to pursue it.  Then he leads you through every part of the RFP – where to slavishly follow the guidelines and where you can successfully stray. The last section looks at several failed RFP responses and where they fell down, to help you recognize how theory translates into practice.   A very good addition to a marketplace that has relied so far on Tom Sant for good material.   This is a must buy for every B2B sales person and sales leader.

Conversations That Win Complex Sales. Erik Peterson & Tim Riesterer

2010 Barrett Jackson Auction - Scottsdale - 23

Conversations That Win Complex Sales.  Erik Peterson & Tim Riesterer. 2011. ISBN 978007175090. We know that competition is fierce and your  prospects are being overwhelmed by information. Every now and again a book comes along that synthesizes and summarizes what you just know is happening in selling situations and then proves clear insight into what you can do. This is one of those books.  Their Point of View is based on what is going on in the mind of the receiver while your are in the middle of a pitch, and how we usually  faili miserably in helping clients move forward.  Based on lots of research and experience the authors will show you how to make much better use of your selling time, become a much more valuable resource to your clients and move those stalled deals forward.   Did you know :

  • Your Old Brain views the simple approach and stories as coming from much more intelligent people – park the jargon
  • In the Hero story, your job is to make the client the Hero
  • The first and last ten minutes of a presentation are gold – do not waste it by telling the client about your self.
  • Tie approaches  to the techiques taught in the  The Challenger Sale, You need to challenge the prospects status quo – to prevent the do nothing response.
  • You are presenting stories and conversations not a pitch  (again the buy is emotional first than logical)

Terrific book. Needs to be in the kit of high performance salespeople. Perfect for a 4 hour plane ride.

revenue disruption. Game changing sales and marketing strategies to accelerate growth. Phil Fernandez.

You see these about every 10 meters on the roa...

revenue disruption. Game changing sales and marketing strategies to accelerate growth. Phil Fernandez.2012. ISBN 9781118299296. At last!!!! Someone has written a book on how to align sales and marketing toward revenue.  The author of this easy to read book is CEO of Marketo – which offers software to compliment this alignment.  Despite his vested interest this is a very good book.  He is right,  each sales resource is very expensive and it should be talking to highly qualified leads. Our firm has been working on this topic for ten years and we have the scars and data to show that it works. Why do it?  Here are some scary stats of waste that needs to be taken out  (this leaves over $1 Trillion a year on the table) :

  • 94 % of all marketing qualified leads will never close
  • Sales reps spend 68% of their time not talking to customers
  • The ave. sales team will make 1000 telephone calls to close one sale
  • 52% of sales reps in US do not achieve quota.

Once you look at Revenue generation (integrating sales and marketing)  you come up with the different marketing sales metrics to track

  1. Flow – How many people entered each pipeline stage in a given period.  Trend up or down?
  2. Balance – How many people in ea pipeline stage? How many accounts? Do they vary by lead type? are nos going up or down?
  3. Conversion. What is the conversion rate from stage to stage? Which types of leads have the best conversion rate?
  4. Velocity. What is the average “revenue cycle” time? How does it break down by stage?

This ties exactly with what our company believes in and practices with clients.  Most companies just waste their sales and marketing dollars.  And it is so fixable….

Negotiating with Backbone. Eight Sales Strategies to Defend Your price and Value. Reed K. Holden.

CORAL GABLES, FL - FEBRUARY 10:  Verizon sales...

Negotiating with Backbone. Eight Sales Strategies to Defend Your price and Value. Reed K. Holden. 2012. ISBN 9780133064766. The author is an experienced salesperson who is also a serious academic researcher on pricing. His premise for this clearly written book is that procurement departments are becoming increasingly important and skilled in getting as much value for as little as possible from suppliers.  This book is is attempt to level the field.  He does the sales profession two great services.   First he identifies the types of buyers  ( Price, Relationship, Value and Poker Players)  and gives you a how-to guide to negotiate with each of them.  Second he stresses where you have strengths ( Advantages Player – you bring value) or not (The Rabbit – pricing roadkill), which gives a good salesperson the knowledge of when to walk away from the deal.  He closes by noting that the situation will just become more aggressive and sales teams need to become better skilled in this.  We agree and are finding that scenario based selling tools ( using Holden with Docters Contextual Pricing ideas)  are helping our clients quickly regain stronger margins and better sales.   This book is a must buy and read for sales managers and top performing sales people.