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Selling Is Dead. Companies Still Using Sales Techniques To Make Sales May Die Soon, Too.


There is a revolution occurring in sales which every executive must understand. New scientific studies find new models are creating a transformation in the way we view selling, leading to a new framework and an urgent need for new skills. Companies that adapt quickly see sharply increased revenue – and profits.

In every company, sales pays for everything else. So why is it that in a recent study, 92% of sellers were judged by those who manage them to be selling at extremely low levels? The study pointed to ineffective management of sales opportunities as the principal cause.

Count on it: An unskilled sales force, or one that isn’t aligned with the market, results in:
1. Resistance, skepticism and even distrust;
2. Difficulty attracting and converting new prospects;
3. Much longer prospecting and sales cycles; and
4. Sales and opportunity costs that are too high and take too long to develop.

Research shows that there is a revolution occurring in sales which every executive needs to understand. The research is based on scientific study instead of opinion-based surveys. The new models uncover a transformation in the way we view selling, leading to a new framework and skills that make a quantum leap by becoming more aligned with current realities.

More importantly, companies adopting the new, 21st century models find remarkable success as soon as they draw on the research to change the way they relate to customers or clients.

Five Key Success Points

Conclusions from the research lead to five key findings, creating the new framework and skills needed to compete successfully in 2008.

Team Synergy – It was discovered that team synergy and cooperation rank among the highest reasons for successful selling. Team synergy is a total alignment between a strategic marketing plan, the selling team and upper management, each working to achieve and support the other’s goals using empowering processes and relationships.

Active and Dormant Demand – Active Demand is a dissatisfaction that is intense enough to kick-start the buying process. Dormant Demand is a dissatisfaction that is perceived to be low on the prospect’s priority list and therefore not acted upon until circumstances require it to become a priority. It’s important to note that top sellers work with dormant dissatisfaction; order takers – much of what passes for sales today – work with active dissatisfaction.

Top sellers are able to identify dormant dissatisfaction that relates to their goods and services. They are able to transform it into active dissatisfaction, elevating it on the prospect’s priority list and thus leading them to take action.

Demand Creation Programmes – The new, scientific-based research led to the virtual elimination of the most dreaded, most costly and inefficient of all sales activities: Prospecting. “Demand Creation Programmes” are exponentially more effective and cost far less than traditional prospecting and mining. Basically, demand creation leverages the prospects dissatisfaction, priorities and curiosity in a way that leads a potential customer or client to not only welcome a business dialogue with a seller but, if done well, leads to prospects actually call to do business with your company.

The Buying Sequence – Top sellers manage the “buying sequence;” they never sell. The buying sequence is a predictable progression all buyers go through to arrive at a buying decision, and top sellers use it to pilot any buying situation with pin point accuracy to a favorable conclusion.

Facilitative Probing – Top sellers use a series of probing models and a strategy to apply them to uncover a buyer’s dormant demand. Using this “discovery” model and the buying sequence together allows top sellers to ask thought-provoking questions that lead prospects to think through the right course of actions for themselves culminating in a decision they are committed to.

Fuelling The Revenue Engine

Selling is the engine that drives every company.

That’s why every executive – from the owner or CEO to the sales manager – must take a long, hard look at how sales is functioning. Is there synergy among the various parts that make up your connection with the market? How much will you benefit from moving your sales force to the next level?

Savvy sales leaders are proactive, not waiting until the wolves are at the door. They take on the responsibility of constantly elevating their company to the next level.
Published: 2008-03-18
Author: Charley James

About the author or the publisher
A former assistant editor of "Business Week" magazine, and a television news producer and reporter before that, Charley James began writing when he was about eight and hasn't stopped.

Now, he covers and writes news articles including his own independent investigative reporting, writes articles, websites and newsletters for clients, drafts speeches, creates and writes ad copy, and crafts humorous essays about things people encounter every day.

Charley has been published in many magazines.

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