Strategies That Win Sales, by Mark Marone and Seleste Lunsfors. |
Mark Lamendola, author of over 5,000 articles.
Today's selling environment is more complex than
ever. This complexity presents problems and opportunities. How to best
overcome the problems and take advantage of the opportunities is the
Strategies That Win Sales.
This book is based on a survey of 150 individuals
from 17 top companies. It's an inside look at what customers want and what
high-performance sales organizations are doing.
Strategies That Win Sales consists of ten chapters and three
appendices. Appendix A, "Five Roles for Successful Sales" is a
worthwhile read on its own. The introduction explains the methodology of
the survey, and how it relates to the content of the book. The first
chapter details the challenges facing today's sales force. These include
excessive price pressure, more competition (we're global, now), more
sales channels (often competing with each other), and even
better-informed customers who make more demands.
The result of the research behind
Strategies That Win Sales was the identification of seven
strategic areas that leading sales organizations use to win sales. One of
the most interesting of these areas is consultative selling (Chapter
Five). That kind of selling is not a "one size fits all" solution. If you
can identify the customers with whom that approach works, your sales can
benefit. But applying it to the wrong customers can hurt sales.
Strategies That Win Sales doesn't provide any "magic bullets" or
neat gimmicks an incompetent salesperson can apply to become an overnight
success. Nor does it provide any five-step solutions for sales managers
needing to turn an underperforming sales team into superstars. This book
is low on hyperbole, and heavy on real information. (Actually, it
has no hyperbole).
One thing today's successful sales practitioner has
in common with the sales champ of yesteryear is hard work. Another is the
ability to listen to the customer. That much hasn't changed, and probably
never will. But, the devil is in the details, and this book goes over them
On the downside,
Strategies That Win Sales is following a recent trend of
insufficient editing. The many grammar gaffes in
Strategies That Win Sales occasionally hide the meaning the
authors had intended. In some cases, I was unable to determine the meaning
at all. This book contains valuable information, and a second printing
would be good for all concerned--but not until the authors (or publisher)
retain a copyeditor to make the text conform to Standard Written English (SWE).
Strategies That Win Sales also contained an odd language
convention--I have no idea why. The authors used the word "impact" in odd
places, turning some sentences into farsical gibberish. Impact means "to
force tightly together." This is why we say teeth are "impacted" and why a
doctor prescribes laxatives if your diagnosis is that you are "impacted."
I fail to see the value of planning to "impact customers," though the
authors talk about this repeatedly. I can't imagine any sales person going
around and "impacting customers" without getting arrested rather quickly.
Sales has changed, but not that much.