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Rethinking the Sales Force: Redefining Selling to Create and Capture Customer Value

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2003

    Refreshing Breeze in Sales Force Optimization

    Neil Rackham and John R. De Vincentis masterfully divide their examination of selling into transactional sales, consultative sales, and enterprise sales that coexist in many organizations. Enterprise sales are also known under such terms as partnership and strategic alliance. Rackham and De Vincentis concisely look at the key challenges that sales forces face in dealing with increasingly sophisticated buying consumers and businesses that are ruthless in the definition of their value scale and options. Rackham and De Vincentis then examine the fundamental pillars that characterize each type of selling and how to be successful in each type of sales, even in times of drastic changes observed in the buying landscape. Rackham and De Vincentis rightly warn their audience against the temptation to move up from either transactional selling to consultative selling or from consultative selling to enterprise selling. Most consumers and businesses will not pay for what they perceive as beyond the value provided to them. In their examination of the sales process, Rackham and De Vincentis stress the importance of removing boundaries from product management to technical support that stymie the efficiency of both transactional and enterprise selling. In their analysis of the sales process behind consultative selling, Rackham and De Vincentis counter-intuitively but rightly observe that improvement lies in the creation of milestones reflecting results and not activities. They logically note that salespeople tend to do what is compensated rather than what is effective. Rackham and De Vincentis also help their readers rethink their channels of distribution for creating and capturing value as well as deal with channel conflict. Finally, Rackham and De Vincentis explore how to change a sales force for improving its performance in each type of selling and how to migrate that sales force from one type of selling to another following changes in buying patterns. Ultimately, the key value of Rethinking of the Sales Force lies in its mental combination with books like SPIN Selling, Major Account Sales Strategy, Managing Major Sales, and The New Strategic Selling. That combination is indeed powerful in devising a strategy that is actionable in the field to help differentiate one organization from its competition.

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