Archive for the 'Sales Efficiency' 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!

Proactive Selling. Control the Process – Win the Sale: second edition. William “Skip” Miller.

Greek letters used in mathematics, science, an...

Proactive Selling. Control the Process – Win the Sale: second edition. William “Skip” Miller.2012   ISBN 9780814431924.   The first edition was put out 10 years ago and it was very good.  This is now a very up to date and more valuable book for salespeople and sales managers. I know this stuff works and will work for many more years. I took my time reading it as each page contained such nuggets that fit into a very coherent whole.   One metaphor sticks out. There are three languages spoken in any business.   The user speaks Spanish,  their managers/VPs speak Russian and the C level speaks Greek. A sales person must be fluent in all the business languages if they are going to sell beyond price.  If you want to be a top producer, buy the book, read it many times and do not let it out of your sight.

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.

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

Achilles

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.

Insightful Selling. Learn the s.a.l.e.s. formula to differentiate yourself and create customer value. Adon T. Rigg

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

Insightful Selling. Learn the s.a.l.e.s. formula to differentiate yourself and create customer value. Adon T. Rigg. 2011. ISBN 9781466428607. On first look, this is an ideal  Sales 101 book, for the new and aspiring salesperson who wants to be up to date.  Clearly written, it covers all the bases wrto sales.  The uniqueness of this book is the clarity with which the author covers the language of business and how to find and deliver business value. He includes a valuable chapter on how to  read financials in order to match what you are selling to the needs of the target client. He is all about targeting and being a smart sales person. He quotes from Selling to the C Suite ( Read & Bistrite) where 82% of CEOs said they would take a sales meeting if it was recommended by someone internally.  This is a good addition to today’s sales library.

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.

The Accidental Salesperson. 2nd ed. Chris Lytle.

SALE

The Accidental Salesperson. 2nd ed.Chris Lytle.2012. ISBN 9780814430866.  The first ed. sold 50 000 copies and the 2nd has  been updated to include the new tools available.  To me the basics never grow old. Very few of us in sales started out intending to be salespeople. We could not go to school to learn how to.  We accidentally became salespeople.  This is a book for all of us who still want to become all that we can be as salespeople.  This is how to be efficient and effective at the same time.  I like his focus on the buyer.  The author really hits the nail on the head and makes this book eminently readable and usable.  The system and process laid out  is potent medicine in the hands of an individual salesperson and dynamite in the hands of a sales manager.   See www.theaccidentalsalesperson2012. com  for more gems and useful bits.  This book is great for a 4 hour plane trip (ea way) but plan on being engrossed in it. I am thinking this is the salesbook of the year for me.

25 Toughest Sales Objections. Stephan Schiffman

Sale

25 Toughest Sales Objections. Stephan Schiffman.2011. ISBN 9780071767378. Another of this prolific sales trainers books. It is worth the read. His approach is logical, simple and straightforward.  The basics of selling have not changed and his material is directed at making salespeople effective as well as efficient. We have all heard these objections and his suggestions are designed to strengthen the sale and the salesperson.  His comments on cost objections are bang on:

  • A product only costs too much if the customer believes its value is below its price.
  • The sales mans job is to fix a dollar quantity to the problem that the product solves
  • Negotiation is not just about price
  • Discounting is not a strategy its a tactic

Best line to ask your team. “Is making the sale more important than the terms of the sale?”

Do you know before going in :

  • How your price compares to  comparables in the industry?
  • The last price your client paid for this product/service?
  • Are prices set by you or a competitor?
  • Are prices rising or falling?
  • Your walkaway number?
  • The client consequences if he does not buy from you?

Good book to have beside your phone.

Make the Sale Happen Before Lunch/ The Power of Positive Selling. Stephan Schiffman

A Rolodex file used in the 1970s.

Make the Sale Happen Before Lunch/ The Power of Positive Selling. Stephan Schiffman. 2012.  ISBN 9780071788687 & 9780071788700.  Two books from a prolific writer/sales trainer.  These are both “give em a jolt of reality” type sales books.  They are to be read and reread as a pick up when the sales did not go the way you thought it would. He could be like Jeffrey Gitomer and his help. I liked both these books.

Make the Sale Happen Before Lunch – helps a sales person hone his craft with doing the basics better.  Useful comments for me:

  • Move at least one deal forward each day
  • People live their life two weeks at a time
  • The power of the story
  • The greatest practice  players become the greatest players
  • Know when to move on
  • Find out what makes sense to the buyer
  • No Rolodex is up to date
  • Make 15 cold/prospect calls every  day

He has one of the better sets of tips with leaving voice mail -

The Power of Positive Selling.  If your heads not in it you are not in it.

  • Believe in what you are selling
  • Help the client solve a problem
  • Approach everything with a positive attitude
  • Everyone wants something and everyone wants something different

This book also has some great ideas for follow-up emails.

Both books are worth your reading them. As he says, you should spend  your time 40% prospecting, 20% presenting, 20% on product knowledge  and 15% on professional development.