What Were We Thinking?

In Posts by Steve by Steve Andersen

INGMRF-00131426-001When Dave and I set out on our journey together more than two years ago, one of the questions that we had to ask ourselves was “Does the world really need another sales book?” Between us, Dave and I have read all of the sales books, and if you consider our earlier career experiences, we’ve been a customer of most of the better-known sales training and consulting firms out there today (we’re both former sales execs multiple times over).

And while we certainly didn’t set out to write “just another sales book,” the answer to the question posed above came back as a resounding “yes.” Why? Because while the events of the new millennium have shown a dramatic evolution in buying, the same unfortunately isn’t true when we look at selling, including those of us that consider ourselves sales professionals at any and all levels. We haven’t kept up, and there are some profound reasons why.

To keep up with more informed, skilled, and equipped buyers than ever before, sales needs to evolve beyond the tired approaches of the 80’s and 90’s and realize that we are in a battle for customer mindshare and preference in a world that has changed, is still changing, and will never be the same again. Today’s customers value relationships based on transparency, credibility, authenticity, and trust, and their feedback provides a compelling case for stronger alignment, collaboration, innovation, and mutual value creation in this exciting new era.

How do we know this? Because Dave and I went into the “belly of the beast” and looked at how top performers in some of the world’s leading companies are getting it right with their customers before, during, and after each sale, and their stories and case studies are compelling. Yes, we decided that the customer-driven world in which we live today, does indeed, need another book. But not yet another book that is focused on “sales in a vacuum.”

What is needed today is a book that is about much more than simply making the sale. The sales books of the future, starting now, must focus on the success of the two most important people in the room: you and your customer. Your customer spends a very small percentage of their time actually buying from you, and if you aren’t appropriately engaged with them before, during and after the sale, then you’re out-of-mind when they are making decisions that most certainly will impact your success.

Consider Beyond the Sales Process as the “sales book” for the new customer-driven world in which we live, and prepare yourself for the evolution that is inevitable if salespeople are going to keep up. And even if you aren’t willing to embrace these new ideas about how both you and your customer can be successful together, you should still read our book. Why? Because you are sure to soon find yourself competing against those that have equipped themselves for success in this new and exciting customer-driven world!

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