Solution Selling: Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets (Anglais) Relié – 1 septembre 1994
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``Solution Selling is the most comprehensive sales and sales management process available today. Mike Bosworth has the best understanding of sales process in corporate America.'' (Fisher, Jeffrey M. Vice President, Symix Computer Systems)
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Contenu: 1) 10 faces of pain, 2)Strategies to facilitate, influence and control the buying process, 3) Solution selling in action.
La partie 2, la plus développée, se découpe en 10 stratégies de vente:
1. recognize the 3 levels of buyers needs,
2. features, advantages and benefits,
3. participate in the buyer's vision
4. solution selling tools,
5. align with the buyer's shifting concern,
6. lead the buyer and stay strategically aligned,
7. advance the buyer's vision with justification,
8. control the process, not the buyer,
9. draw the line in price negociation et
10. Implement the solution selling process
La grande qualité de Bosworth est de couvrir l'ensemble de la problématique. On peut dire qu'il aborde tous les sujets, y compris la mise en oeuvre pratique de sa méthode. Cette dernière partie donne d'ailleurs lieu à des développements intéressants sur la qualification des prospects en fonction de leur maturité.Lire la suite ›
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HOWEVER, in order for these ideas to actually be effective, you must plan on implementing the ideas and putting in a lot of work. Bosworth shows you, tells you, gives you an outline, gives you specific questions and just about anything else you could need to be successful after implementing his process. But this is not a book you can simply read and be successful. It takes practice, practice, practice.
Since I have institued his process in my selling (and I STILL practice the process), my sales calls have dramatically improved. Most notibly, Bosworth shows you how to position yourself and ask questions in such a way so that the customer feels in control of the process. I actually have had prospects close themselves.
The ideas and plans in 'Solution Selling' require a great deal of hard work for the sales person to implement, but trust me, it will pay off. Not only that, if you love sales like I do, it will help sales be fun again.
3 additional drawbacks that are worth commenting on regarding the book: First of all, despite what Mike might claim, the book is biased towards selling products or products and services as opposed to pure services. Secondly, I think customers are more intelligent than what Mike gives them credit for. He presents them as being generally unaware of solutions for their problems, but discusses them in the context of being shrewd buyers. My experience is that most customers are fairly well-read and informed through journals and periodicals and even the hype (even for their "latent needs") - and this information has not necessarily been shaped by a competitor that entered the process earlier. Additionally, I have not found my customers to be as vicious price negotiators as Mike portrays them to be in his examples. Finally, my impression is that Mike's selling process assumes some level of brand recognition in favor of the seller's product/company. I think companies have a harder time letting you shape their vision if they have never worked with you before or heard of you!
For those that are aware of SPIN selling - the concept is very similar but the implementation is unique to the way Mike perceives and describes the problem. Even so, the book is insightful and worth a read!
As CEO of an internet language translation startup, Worldlingo.com, we didn't have any established sales processes or procedures. So I figured lets do what successful sales organizations do - hence the request for advice.
Anyhow to cut a long story short, he frequently referenced this book and the process contained therein. Here are some of the key things he mentioned:
- Many top sales people tend to intuitively follow this Solution Selling process, but many other sales people work just as hard but do not achieve the same results. This book guides those others through a proven sales process.
- As a CEO you need to be able to accurately forcast sales, but traditional "pipelines" are not very accurate. The framework laid out in this book will give you a much better guide.
- This framework will make it much easier to identify where sales people are tripping up and help them to improve that part of their performance.
- Shows you how to apply lessons from your existing customers to improve your selling efforts.
So I read the book and found it every bit as good as my friend said it was. We are going to adopt this Solution Selling methodology at Worldlingo.com and think it will provide a solid foundation for our sales group.
I gave it 4 stars rather than 5, because I thought the last quarter of the book which focused on case studies was not as good as it could have been.
But the first three quarters was very good.
I am an experienced consultant who has just taken on sales and market development responsibilities within my company. I had a definite idea of what sales meant, and I was not at all sure that I liked it. One of my colleagues recommended Solution Selling as a good book to help build some perspective on my new position.
Many people talk about solution sales, but when you come right down to it they do little more than attempt to move hardware. I was delighted to see the same techniques and skills that I use in consulting coming back as the sales skills in the Bosworth book. His steps and tools seem both intuitive and logical.
I have a feeling that this is a book that I will be going back to in the coming year!