Summary of Beyond the Sales Process

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Sales experts Steve Andersen and Dave Stein note that customers seldom deal with salespeople except during the active moment of purchasing. Since customers have little interest in their suppliers, they tend to commoditize their purchases. That makes the sellers’ job more difficult. Smart salespeople learn about their customers, who they are and what they need. They develop useful insights to share with clients to build better relationships, spend more time together, differentiate their products and sell more. getAbstract recommends this smart, practical guide to salespeople, sales managers and anyone selling at any scale.

About the Authors

Steve Andersen founded Performance Methods Inc., which provides customized sales management solutions. Dave Stein is the author of How Winners Sell.

 

Summary

The 2% Conundrum

Most customers devote less than 2% of their time dealing with the salespeople who supply the goods or services they buy. This 2% is where competition occurs between you and other suppliers.

To win, you need to increase your share of your customers’ time and attention. If you don’t, you cannot become a strategic partner. When customers understand that your interests align with theirs, you will become their go-to supplier.

“Engage-Win-Grow”

To win sales, you want to occupy more space in your customers’ minds. To win the battle of “customer mindshare,” utilize the engage-win-grow method. This approach calls for working through 12 proven strategies across three phases.

Phase 1: Engage

During the engage stage, you can drive “success before the sale” with these strategies:

1. “Research the Organization”

During the “pre-opportunity phase” of the sales cycle, study your customers. Although this phase is crucial, many salespeople ignore it. Become a devoted student of your customers. To conduct quality research, focus on 12 areas of each customer’s business:

  • “Organization” – What is the structure...

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