The evolution of selling systems

The first documented selling system, developed by John Henry Patterson at NCR, used the following basic process: Present Handle the inevitable stalls and objections Close This process held for nearly a century until a behavioral psychologist named Neil Rackham spent 12 years observing and documenting the difference between most salespeople and top salespeople. He described some of his findings in SPIN Selling, one of the … Read more

This is a sales call

It’s no secret that most people want to avoid sales calls. Once people figure out they have a salesperson on the line, they can’t wait to get off the phone. Traditional sales advice is to cajole them to staying on the phone. But forcing someone to give you their time is unlikely to bring about a positive response. Instead, when I call a prospect, I … Read more

The Karate Kid

In The Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi explained that you could walk on the right side of the road and you would be fine. You could walk on the left side of the road and you would also be fine. But if you walk in the middle of the road you would be squished like a grape. He was advising his young student that he could … Read more

Why Sales Forecasts Are Still Off in 2019

Forecasting sales is hard. Getting an accurate forecast is even harder. Why? Because most forecasts are arbitrary. Pick a number 1 through 10, and that’s how you might forecast the number of deals you’ll close this quarter. Sounds like a joke, but the truth is sales forecasts are often made up because reps, and sales managers, don’t have a clear sales process that allows them … Read more

Mindful Selling

Carl Jung is often credited with saying, “Until we bring the unconscious to the conscious level, it will control our lives and we will call it fate.” Selling is best viewed as the facilitation of mindfulness. Most of us have tried to solve a problem, only to find that after extensive, extended effort, we cannot. Out of frustration we ask someone for help. To our … Read more

Sales Success = Timing X Territory X Talent (Mandatory Update)

Those who argue that talent trumps process, point to examples like: Stevie Ray Vaughn, who learned guitar by ear Jim Furyk, who has an unorthodox golf swing Natural salespeople I humbly suggest, for most sales leaders, it is better to follow the example of: Edgar Degas, who said, “It takes great effort to make it look effortless.” Urban Meyer, who said, “Average leaders have quotes. … Read more

7 Insights from Top Sales Leaders

How do you create a high performing sales culture with communication, accountability, clear vision, competition, and agility?  Take advice from eight outstanding sales leaders. Eric Hay, Director, Field Engineering Use sales-call role-playing as a method of training before setting the sales person loose so that there is no possible negative impact on an actual deal.         Tom Zohar, Solutions Architect,  Training … Read more

Building the Business Case: Real World Sales Conversations

In Building the Business Case: Financial Decision Makers, I suggested that, to translate technical wins to revenue, we have to ask questions that: Connect the buyer’s need to enterprise priorities (the arrow labeled 3 below) Quantify the financial impact (the arrow labeled 4 below). If you need help on how to translate the Need Diagnostic outline into real world selling, here are questions that I … Read more