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What's the secret to sales success? If you're like most business leaders, you'd say it's fundamentally about relationships-and you'd be wrong. The best salespeople don't just build relationships with customers. They challenge them. The need to understand what top-performing reps are doing that their average performing colleagues are not drove Matthew Dixon, Brent Adamson, and their colleagues at Corporate Executive Board to investigate the skills, behaviors, knowledge, and attitudes that matter most for high performance. And what they discovered may be the biggest shock to conventional sales wisdom in decades. Based on an exhaustive study of thousands of sales reps across multiple industries and geographies, The Challenger Sale argues that classic relationship building is a losing approach, especially when it comes to selling complex, large-scale business-to-business solutions. The authors' study found that every sales rep in the world falls into one of five distinct profiles, and while all of these types of reps can deliver average sales performance, only one-the Challenger- delivers consistently high performance. Instead of bludgeoning customers with endless facts and features about their company and products, Challengers approach customers with unique insights about how they can save or make money. They tailor their sales message to the customer's specific needs and objectives. Rather than acquiescing to the customer's every demand or objection, they are assertive, pushing back when necessary and taking control of the sale. The things that make Challengers unique are replicable and teachable to the average sales rep. Once you understand how to identify the Challengers in your organization, you can model their approach and embed it throughout your sales force. The authors explain how almost any average-performing rep, once equipped with the right tools, can successfully reframe customers' expectations and deliver a distinctive purchase experience that drives higher levels of customer loyalty and, ultimately, greater growth.
Four years ago, the bestselling authors of The Challenger Sale overturned decades of conventional wisdom with a bold new approach to sales. Now their latest research reveals something even more surprising: Being a Challenger seller isn't enough. Your success or failure also depends on who you challenge. Picture your ideal customer: friendly, eager to meet, ready to coach you through the sale and champion your products and services across the organization. It turns out that's the last person you need. Most marketing and sales teams go after low-hanging fruit: buyers who are eager and have clearly articulated needs. That's simply human nature; it's much easier to build a relationship with someone who always makes time for you, engages with your content, and listens attentively. But according to brand-new CEB research--based on data from thousands of B2B marketers, sellers, and buyers around the world--the highest-performing teams focus their time on potential customers who are far more skeptical, far less interested in meeting, and ultimately agnostic as to who wins the deal. How could this be? The authors of The Challenger Customer reveal that high-performing B2B teams grasp something that their average-performing peers don't: Now that big, complex deals increasingly require consensus among a wide range of players across the organization, the limiting factor is rarely the salesperson's inability to get an individual stakeholder to agree to a solution. More often it's that the stakeholders inside the company can't even agree with one another about what the problem is. It turns out only a very specific type of customer stakeholder has the credibility, persuasive skill, and will to effectively challenge his or her colleagues to pursue anything more ambitious than the status quo. These customers get deals to the finish line far more often than friendlier stakeholders who seem so receptive at first. In other words, Challenger sellers do best when they target Challenger customers. The Challenger Customer unveils research-based tools that will help you distinguish the "Talkers" from the "Mobilizers" in any organization. It also provides a blueprint for finding them, engaging them with disruptive insight, and equipping them to effectively challenge their own organization.
Ask the questions-and get the sale. As a salesperson your product knowledge is extensive, but that's not enough. If you fail to ask the right questions-the ones that uncover a customer's real needs-you will never close the deal. Questions that Sell reveals advanced questioning techniques that will help you sell your products or services based on value to the customer, rather than price-and increase your success rate as a result. Packed with powerful examples, exercises, and hundreds of sample questions for a wide range of buyer interactions, the revised and updated second edition now includes new material on how to: Use questions to qualify prospects (without insulting them) * Discover hidden customer needs and motivations * Raise delicate questions * Overcome stalls * Reinvigorate a stale relationship * Soothe anxious buyers * Accelerate the decision process * Upsell and cross-sell so you no longer leave money on the table * Prospect for new business * Pose intriguing questions to position yourself as a thought-leader on social media * Turn social media contacts into active sales leads * Identify dead-end opportunities * Secure referrals * And more Success is yours for the asking. Smart questioning will get you there.
Praise for Exceptional Selling "Thull's leading-edge thinking makes this book extraordinary. This straightforward guide to communicating across all cultures with credibility and respect will give you a significant competitive advantage in a complex and crowded global marketplace." —Guenter Lauber, Vice President, Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc., EA Systems "Exceptional Selling may be one of the most important books written on sales and marketing communications for high stakes sales. It shows you how to stand apart from your competition, communicate with great clarity, and position your solution as the most compelling choice for the long term." —Rob Mancuso, Senior Vice President, Investors Financial Services Corp. "Thull has taken consultative and collaborative sales to new heights. The knowledge in this book is priceless. The trust and respect created by the diagnostic process is a must-have for success here in Asia and around the globe. It enables us to differentiate ourselves early and achieve long-lasting success." —Tay Chong Siew, Major Customer Director, North Asia, BOC Gases "Having achieved exceptional success by working with Thull and implementing the strategy and process in his first two books, I'm astounded that his leading-edge thinking is captured in yet more detail in another brilliant book. The conversation examples of his powerful diagnostic approach will bring even greater success to our organization. Truly exceptional!" —Alberto Chacin, Director of On Demand Services LAD, Oracle USA "Exceptional Selling is a dramatic departure from the vast majority of sales books. It scares me to see all the ways in which we can self-sabotage our sales opportunities-but that's only chapter one. Throughout the book, Thull describes compelling examples of how to succeed in a cluttered marketplace." —Steven Rodriguez, Senior Vice President, Ceridian Corporation "Thull has again extended the concepts and thinking he developed in The Prime Solution and Mastering the Complex Sale. This is an essential read for anyone working to understand his customers in a complex world." —Wayne Hutchinson, Vice President of SalesMarketing and Consulting, Shell Global Solutions International B.V.
What do winners of major sales do differently than the sellers who almost won, but ultimately came in second place? Mike Schultz and John Doerr, bestselling authors and world-renowned sales experts, set out to find the answer. They studied more than 700 business-to-business purchases made by buyers who represented a total of $3.1 billion in annual purchasing power. When they compared the winners to the second-place finishers, they found surprising results. Not only do sales winners sell differently, they sell radically differently, than the second-place finishers. In recent years, buyers have increasingly seen products and services as replaceable. You might think this would mean that the sale goes to the lowest bidder. Not true! A new breed of seller—the insight seller—is winning the sale with strong prices and margins even in the face of increasing competition and commoditization. In Insight Selling, Schultz and Doerr share the surprising results of their research on what sales winners do differently, and outline exactly what you need to do to transform yourself and your team into insight sellers. They introduce a simple three-level model based on what buyers say tip the scales in favor of the winners: Level 1 "Connect." Winners connect the dots between customer needs and company solutions, while also connecting with buyers as people. Level 2 "Convince." Winners convince buyers that they can achieve maximum return, that the risks are acceptable, and that the seller is the best choice among all options. Level 3 "Collaborate." Winners collaborate with buyers by bringing new ideas to the table, delivering new ideas and insights, and working with buyers as a team. They also found that much of the popular and current advice given to sellers can damage sales results. Insight Selling is both a strategic and tactical guide that will separate the good advice from the bad, and teach you how to put the three levels of selling to work to inspire buyers, influence their agendas, and maximize value. If you want to find yourself and your team in the winner's circle more often, this book is a must-read.
Win more deals with the perfect sales story! “Power Messaging is a foundational element in our global marketing campaigns and sales training programs. We believe the concepts are core to engaging in customer conversations that are focused on their outcomes and what they want to achieve.” —Karen Quintos, CMO and SVP, Dell Inc. “The concepts outlined in this book are critical skills to building a world-class presales organization.” —Ken Hamel, Senior Vice President, Global Solutions and Presales, SAP “Our new messaging, using the approaches presented in this book, is great and is being widely used by our sales team. We’ve never had a year end sales meeting with content that was met with such widespread acceptance and enthusiasm.” —Jerry D. Cline, Senior Vice President, Retail Sales and Marketing, AmerisourceBergen Drug Company “The best salespeople sit across the table and make change easy for their customer by creating a succinct story and vision for what to change, how to change it, and how it will impact customer results. An enterprise focus on sales messaging, using the concepts in this book, is the hidden secret to driving incremental sales productivity and overwhelming customer success!” —Ken Powell, Vice President, Worldwide Sales Enablement, ADP “The Power Messaging techniques in this book are the foundation of how our marketing team creates our sales messages, as well as the process our field sales teams use for delivering that message in a unique and compelling way. At Kronos our results are a reflection of the power of the tool.” —Aron Ain, CEO, Kronos About the Book: In today’s highly competitive world of complex sales, commoditization of your brand is one of the greatest dangers. You must differentiate yourself from the competition—or you will lose out. And the way to do that is through customer engagement. Rather than sell your own corporate story and brand message, you need to tell customers their story—the one in which they are the heroes and they achieve success. Erik Peterson and Tim Riesterer have been developing and honing their Power Messaging sales technique for more than 20 years, and now they reveal all their secrets in Conversations That Win the Complex Sale. Presenting a catalog of facts or playing 20 questions with prospective customers is the surest way to lose the sale. Peterson and Riesterer provide the tools you need to recraft your message into a compelling story that wins more deals. With Conversations That Win the Complex Sale, you’ll learn how to: Differentiate yourself from the competition by finding your “Value Wedge” Avoid parity in your value propositions by creating “Power Positions” Create a message that can literally double the number of deals you close Spike customer attention and create “Wow” in your conversations Prove all your claims without resorting to lists of boring facts and statistics Your competitors are out there telling their own corporate story—a story customers don’t want to hear. Now is the time to seize the moment. This book is the one and only source you need to reframe your sales story and turn the tables on the competition by fully engaging their would-be customers. Conversations That Win the Complex Sale helps you create and deliver messages that customers care about, giving your brand the clear edge in today’s crowded markets.
Praise for Mastering the Complex Sale "Jeff Thull's process plays a key role in helping companies and their customers cross the chasm with disruptive innovations and succeed with game-changing initiatives." —Geoffrey A. Moore, author of Crossing the Chasm and Dealing with Darwin "This is the first book that lays out a solid method for selling cross-company, cross-border, even cross-culturally where you have multiple decision makers with multiple agendas. This is far more than a 'selling process'—it is a survival guide—a truly outstanding approach to bringing all the pieces of the puzzle together." —Ed Daniels, EVP, Shell Global Solutions Downstream, President, CRI/Criterion, Inc. "Mastering the Complex Sale brilliantly sets up value from the customer's perspective. A must-read for all those who are managing multinational business teams in a complex and highly competitive environment." —Samik Mukherjee, Vice President, Onshore Business, Technip "Customers need to know the value they will receive and how they will receive it. Thull's insights into the complex sale and how to clarify and quantify this value are remarkable—Mastering the Complex Sale will be required reading for years to come!" —Lee Tschanz, Vice President, North American Sales, Rockwell Automation "Jeff Thull is winning the war against commoditization. In his world, value trumps price and commoditization isn't a given, it's a choice. This is a proven alternative to the price-driven sale. We've spoken to his clients. This stuff really works, folks." —Dave Stein, CEO and Founder, ES Research Group, Inc. "Our business depends on delivering breakthrough thinking to our executive clients. Jeff Thull has significantly redefined sales and marketing strategies that clearly connect to our global audience. Read it, act on it, and take your results to exceptional levels." —Sven Kroneberg, President, Seminarium Internacional "Jeff's main thesis—that professional customer guidance is the key to success—rings true in every global market today. Mastering the Complex Sale is the essential read for any organization looking to transform their business for long-term, value-driven growth." —Jon T. Lindekugel, President, 3M Health Information Systems, Inc. "Jeff Thull has re-engineered the conventional sales process to create predictable and profitable growth in today's competitive marketplace. It's no longer about selling; it's about guiding quality decisions and creating collaborative value. This is one of those rare books that will make a difference." —Carol Pudnos, Executive director, Healthcare Industry, Dow Corning Corporation

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