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Posted May 1, 2002
Built To Last Major Account Sales Strategy
Unlike most developers of major account sales strategy, Neil Rackham methodically backs up his analysis of the buyer circle with in-depth research. To develop his major account sales strategy, Rackham has observed and analyzed a large number of high dollar value sales made around the world. Rackham convincingly shows that effective selling strategy is built on a thorough understanding of customers and the concerns they can have at each phase of a sale. Mastering that strategy, of course, requires, a lot of hard work and practice from salespersons determined to make the difference at the end of the day. Rackham successively reviews these phases that he has identified as: account entry strategy, recognition of needs, evaluation of options, resolution of concerns, sales negotiation, as well as implementation and account development. 1. In analyzing ¿Account Entry Strategy¿, Rackham successively explores the focus of receptivity, the focus of dissatisfaction, and the focus of power as well as the pitfalls associated with them. Because coaching, in our culture, has a positive connotation, few professionals will turn down the chance to demonstrate to a fellow professional their expertise and the usefulness of their connections. For that reason, successful salespeople identify, nurture, and leverage their sponsor(s) to ultimately get access to the different buying influences. Because of possible shifts in the account on the buyer side, Rackham rightly recommends that no salesperson rely on only one individual to penetrate an account. Rackham also reminds his audience about the critical importance of uncovering implied needs to turn them into expressed needs. Successful salespeople make their contact(s) at the level of dissatisfaction aware of the urgency and severity of the problem(s) to be addressed so that these contact(s) eventually feel obliged to help them get access to the leverages of power. 2. In looking at ¿Recognition of Needs¿ and ¿Evaluation of Options¿, Rackham first briefly explores his SPIN questioning strategy that is explained in a luxury of details in his other book ¿SPIN Selling.¿ Basically, successful salespeople usually first ask the buyer situation questions, secondly problem questions, thirdly implication questions, and finally need-payoff questions to uncover implied needs for turning them into expressed needs that require action. Rackham also reminds his audience that successful salespeople prepare their sponsor(s) to help these sponsor(s) sell the sellers¿ solution in their own words if they are denied access to the focus of power. Furthermore, successful salespeople not only help the buyer identify needs but also influence him/her in the definition of the differentiation factors and their perceived importance to sort out the different options being offered to him/her. Rackham urges his audience to keep a broad definition of competition in mind. Finally, Rackham explores the three strategies that can help salespeople overcome their vulnerabilities and the dangers associated with these strategies: I Change the decision criteria (overtaking, trading-off, redefining, or creating alternative solutions), II. Increase their strength through correction of misunderstanding or negotiation, and III. Diminish the competition directly or indirectly. 3. In examining ¿Resolution of Concerns¿, Rackham reviews the hidden and expressed concerns that can push buyers to get ¿cold feet¿ in the decision-making process leading to an eventual purchase order down the road. As Rackham pertinently observes, price is often a convenient excuse that the buyer uses to hide his/her other, real concerns from the salesperson. Successful salespeople need to leverage their relationship with the buyer for uncovering the eventual areas of concerns, clarifying these concerns, and helping the buyer resolve them. Finally, Rackham warns salespeople about the three deadly sins of handling concerns: I. Minimizing. II. PrescribiWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 22, 2011
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