Selling is Dead: Moving Beyond Traditional Sales Roles & Practices to Revitalize Growth


Praise for SELLING IS DEAD: Moving Beyond Traditional Sales Roles and Practices to Revitalize Growth

"A collaborative and commercial approach that is a key element of the growth journey. Selling Is Dead not only addresses the importance of a team-focused selling framework, but other critical success factors as well."
—Damian A. Thomas, General Manager and Corporate Sales Leader, General Electric Company

"Selling Is Dead is a wonderful blend of balanced, forward thinking, and ...

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Praise for SELLING IS DEAD: Moving Beyond Traditional Sales Roles and Practices to Revitalize Growth

"A collaborative and commercial approach that is a key element of the growth journey. Selling Is Dead not only addresses the importance of a team-focused selling framework, but other critical success factors as well."
—Damian A. Thomas, General Manager and Corporate Sales Leader, General Electric Company

"Selling Is Dead is a wonderful blend of balanced, forward thinking, and practical common-sense guidance on how to mutually win with your customer in today's highly competitive marketplace. Planning from your buyers' point of view to make them more productive and competitive is critical in large account sales . . . and this book will show you how."
—David N. Townshend, Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Marriott International

"The authors articulate the dichotomy of the large sales challenge. Like most companies, our business units at Siemens have unique selling challenges. This is an insightful book that teaches salespeople how to identify, adapt, and adjust to the type of large sales in which they are engaged."
—Thomas Poole, Regional Vice President, Siemens Medical Solutions

"This book is a revelation that builds upon the progression of great books in the selling genre from Carnegie to Rackham. It neatly wraps the essential ingredients of strategies, tactics, organizations, and people into a framework that can continuously produce large sales for your enterprise."
—Jim Daley, Chairman, PCi Corporation

"Sales teams need a better road map for today's sophisticated customer. The authors have laid out a disciplined framework that gives selling teams a common language and logical market-facing structure. I consider this book to be a must-read."
—Ron Newcomb, Senior Vice President of Sales, Trimble Geomatics and Engineering

"Today's selling environment has changed dramatically, and sales teams need to adjust or risk obsolescence. Selling Is Dead teaches salespeople how to strategically adjust, add more value, and create customer abundance."
—David Peckinpaugh, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Conferon Global Services, Inc.

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Editorial Reviews

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Moving Beyond Traditional Sales Practices To Revitalize Growth
According to sales experts Marc T. Miller and Jason M. Sinkovitz, the business of selling is currently going through a dramatic change due to the complexity of recent innovations. In Selling Is Dead, they examine why salespeople and selling teams should be ready to change the ways they approach their sales, and accept new selling frameworks to make complex sales. The authors do more than describe how traditional sales strategies are no longer as effective as they once were: They explain how organizations can transform a transactional sales team into a disciplined unit of "businesspeople who sell."

The solution to the problem of ineffective traditional selling methods described by the authors is an approach to selling that enables companies to combine their sales, marketing, customer service and new product departments into sustainable, market-optimizing growth engines.

Three Market Dynamics
The authors write that there are three primary market dynamics that are now working to devalue salespeople and selling as a whole. They explain that these "market forces that have stolen relevance from the sales roles and strategies originally created for a no-longer-existent marketplace" are:

  • The Cadence of Commoditization. Nearly every successful launch of an innovation simultaneously commoditizes another offering. What once took years to occur now occurs quarterly or even monthly. To overcome this hurdle, selling teams must get consistently good at selling innovation.
  • The Bend in Buying. Technology advances, time constraints and the drive for productivity gains in non-money-multiplying functional departments create a bend in buying. If you sell commodities and don't offer an additional source of bottom-line value, your buyers will need you less and less. Salespeople must now be able to sell the new applications and innovations that significantly impact a buyer's bottom line.
  • The Dissipation of Distance. Technology and the Internet are combining to eliminate the geographic boundaries that currently restrict commerce. This will lead to fewer salespeople being needed to achieve the same results. Increased specialization among sellers will be needed, and sellers will need to focus on more narrow niche markets unlimited by geography.

The authors write that their book is more about the resurgence of selling than the demise of selling that its title implies. The selling frameworks they offer describe how salespeople can reinvigorate sales productivity through more effective solutions to the challenges that are created by the three primary market dynamics. By presenting a new role for sales units as well as a new strategic framework for achieving greater value for both buyers and sellers, the authors provide a disciplined approach to restoring and advancing the relevance of sales teams.

Customer Productivity Experts
Major account sellers must become customer productivity experts, according to Miller and Sinkovitz. This entails adding much more significant value beyond the product or service that is currently being offered. To do this, they write, salespeople must understand the nature of buyer demand and how it affects sales strategy and "market-facing endeavors."

The best-practice strategic selling frameworks for large sales that the authors present are based upon these five structural elements:

  1. Suppositions. These guiding beliefs dictate how an organization philosophically chooses to face its market. Sales leadership has to manage these beliefs.
  2. Strategies. Strategies are the broad plans for achieving sales objectives. A formal set of strategies must be included in the broad sales framework, and employed uniformly across the sales team.
  3. Steps to "yes." The best path to buyer commitment has multiple steps. Each sales opportunity has its own sequence of steps because each buyer is unique.
  4. Skills. Selling large offerings that represent greater risk to buyers requires its own set of competencies.
  5. Systems. Rigorous management systems maintain a cohesive selling effort across an organization.

Why We Like This Book
By countering the common pitfalls of traditional selling with a clearly defined road map for selling large offerings to increasingly sophisticated customers, Selling Is Dead offers salespeople and sales teams a well defined way to make large, complex sales. The authors also present numerous case studies from successful companies that demonstrate how their sales techniques work in the real world. Copyright © 2006 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471721116
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/27/2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 807,582
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

MARC T. MILLER is the founder and CEO of Sogistics Corporation of Twinsburg, Ohio. He founded Sogistics in 1988 as a sales productivity improvement firm specializing in the large sale. Considered a thought leader in the field of complex sales, he resides in Boston Heights, Ohio with his wife Janet and six children.

JASON M. SINKOVITZ is the Director of Sogistics Learning Solutions. His research, learning design, and integrated learning delivery solutions have impacted client growth in a multitude of industries, including IT, business services, healthcare, construction, engineering, and hospitality. He lives in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Neil Rackham, Author of SPIN Selling.


Part I: Building Your New Growth Engine.

Is Selling Dead?

1. Customer Abundance.

2. Yesterday’s Most Complete Buyer Psychology Model.

3. Diverging from Tradition: Understanding How Organizations Buy Your High-Risk Innovations.

4. From Entry to Closure: Models and Frameworks for Creating and Managing New Selling Opportunities.

Part II: Igniting Your Growth Engine.

5. FOCAS: The Language of a Businessperson Who Sells.

6. Bridging the Divide.

7. Navigating the Final Stages to a Consensus “Yes”.

8. The REAP Strategy for Harvesting Active Needs.

Part III: Sustaining Your Growth Engine.

9. For Chief Growth Officers Only: Tying Your Framework Together.

Epilogue: Selecting Talent to Execute Your Large Sale Framework, Lisa Banach, Director of Assessment Services, Sogistics.



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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2005

    Good stuff!

    Most books on selling enterprise products and services seem to be pushing a proprietary solutions selling methodology so that the author can sell more sales training days. While Miller certainly wants sell training services many of the new ideas in this book are strategic in nature and apply to any sales approach. The home run concept from my perspective is the idea that sales people have to become part of the over all value proposition and the company needs to put in processes that help their channels achieve this objective. While the book is an interesting read, it is a little on the academic side in parts, but the time spent understanding the nuances of the new concepts and ideas is well worth it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2005

    Out of box selling....Excellent!

    Traditional selling is a thing of the past and this book uses an approach that will set you and/or your sales personnel apart from your competition. I recommend this book to anyone in sales that wants to take there profession to the next level...if you don't believe me, read the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2005

    Selling is Dead - couldn't agree more

    This book reiterates what I've long thought - that selling, at least in the traditional (pushy, gimmicky) sense, is completely outmoded for today's much more complicated exchanges between buyers and sellers. The title caught my eye and I found that Selling is Dead addressed the issue of growing complexity (especially when dealing with innovative sales offerings) in a useful and very applicable way. The authors not only explain the theory behind the work, but also provide plenty of case studies to illustrate, and different questioning strategies for the different types of sales offerings. For anyone who A) realizes that selling is dead and wants to take advantage of a better way to exchange offerings or who B) doesn't realize that selling is dead and can't understand why the old tricks aren't working. Great read, and enjoy the humor between the theory!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2005


    I've read a lot of books on sales, but this one is a standout. Drawing on research and previous authors like Neil Rackham, the authors make an excellent case for how salespeople need to behave differently now and in the future. The concept of 'businesspeople who sell' is especially relevant. Also, the authors go beyond the common trap of 'finding pain' as a single dimensional stategy, instead looking at other methods salespeople can use to help buyers see the need for innovation, etc.... Overall, an excellent book for the complex or 'large' seller who is looking for new and fresh idea's in a category where creativity often lacks.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2005

    Potentially Groundbreaking

    ¿Selling is dead¿ has the potential to be a groundbreaking book. The authors understand the psychology of supply and demand, the pressures of a sales manager, and the need to move salespeople from inertia. But the success of this book will be determined by the buying public¿s willingness to make a major paradigm shift in the sales process and the hiring process and a clear understanding in the psychology of how purchasing decisions are made. This book makes an interesting and informative read but it will be even more interesting to see if salespeople worldwide accept or reject it.

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