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“We Aren’t In Kansas Anymore, Dorothy”

by David Brock on May 6th, 2013

If anyone has doubts about how much professional selling is changing, download and read Mike Schultz and John Doerr’s report, What Sales Winners Do Differently.  Mike and John were curious about the buyer’s perspective.  They interviewed hundreds of buyers to see what the winning sellers do and how it differed from those who competed, but weren’t selected.    The results are compelling.  I wish I could say surprising, but it’s what we and others have seen for years.  But now their data supports what many have been talking about qualitatively.

The report highlights a number of issues.  A couple leaped out to me:

Winners and those coming in second (let’s face it, the losers) are almost completely opposite in their approaches.  I extracted some data from their report (see the end of this post).  Of the 42 issues they studied, the top 10 issues for winners–none ranked higher than 19 with the “losers.”  The top factor assessed by buyers, “Educated me with new ideas or perspectives, ” was the greatest failure for “losers.”  What causes people to win is completely different from what others do!

The second thing is sales excellence can’t be attributed to one thing.  A lot has been made of insight.  Much of the thinking has been, “If we teach customers something new, that’s all we need to do to reposition ourselves.”  Insight and educating customers is critical, but winners do the whole job.  They engage customers differently, they create value in different ways, they develop deep relationships, and more.  Top performance is about doing the whole job well, not just part of it.

There should be no question about it.  Selling has changed–forever and for the better.  Buyers are driving that change.  The difference between how those who win and those who don’t is profound.  The message is clear, the choice is yours!  Make sure you read, What Sales Winners Do Differently.

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 Book CoverFor a free peek at Sales Manager Survival Guide, click the picture or link.  You’ll get the Table of Contents, Foreword, and 2 free Chapters.  Free Sample

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  1. Hi Dave, As a Researcher into Sales Performance, the RAIN Group report gives me a number of difficulties, which prevents me from recommending it.

    Not least in the table which you so powerfully presented above. They purport to compare winners to runners-up [second place], but the Table clearly shows a Comparison of Winners to Losers. Winners may have 1-2-3, but you will find in Validated, Reliable research Runners up have 2-3-4……not 42 -26 -41!

    I have identified more than 10 errors, in their ‘research’ and would give a Sales ‘Health Warning’ before accepting it.
    It may seriously damage your Sales.

    • Fair critique Brian! The research, however, is interesting, I think it actually broadens the Challenger discussion much more, looking at other areas Challenger hasn’t looked at. Whether you agree or not, as most good research does, it provokes questions and needed discussion. I, also, have some questions about the research, but it’s interesting to dive into, to better understand, get some new ideas, and views. Perhaps the real point is the research stimulates some important discussion and an attempt to look at key issues more closely.

      Thanks for your careful look at the research. I do like your “Sales Health Warning,” I think it applies not just to this research, but to much of what anyone writes (including myself). I think all of this should be viewed with a healthy degree of skepticism, and know one should “buy” into anything blindly. Whether it is the Challenger Research, Rain Group’s research, that of others, we should carefully study, understand, and analyze all of it. We should learn as much as we can, assess it against our own experience and needs, and apply judgmentally.

      As always, your point of view is always refreshing!

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