Sales in the Information Age: Build Your Sales Tribe is a business book that describes how organisations can sell successfully in the Information Age.
In the Information Age, sales people for ‘simple sales’, those by most business-to-consumer (B2C) and some business-to-business (B2B) organisations, are becoming redundant.
Buyers of products and services are empowered by a vast array of tools and information specific to the things they want.
Sales people in this context are just order takers, if they are human at all.
BUT, the right approach to more complex sales in the B2C and B2B world will become essential as the world ‘gets smaller’ for suppliers and buyers of products and services. An approach that needs to have value for both buyer and seller.
This book is about how a company should structure itself to sell and excel in that environment, using the Information Age to its advantage.
What about the Sales People?
It is increasingly more difficult to find ‘good’ sales people. This book seeks to provide a structure to allow organisations to set themselves up for commercial success. To make the right people their sales representatives.
Who should read this book?
The book is for entrepreneurs, CEOs, investors, and management of supplier businesses. It is for them to use to run sales as a well drilled unit alongside, and integrated with, their other company functions. It should also be read by sales people.
What is the structure of the book?
The book contains advice that is directly actionable. We have included ‘Projects and Actions’, ‘Tips and Tricks’, and some Stories/Illustrations from personal experience and links to the blog.
The idea is that the reader can read a chapter, take the advice, and then be provided with a framework to make it work for their own organisation.
It is not designed to be read in one sitting but to be dipped in and out of as the reader needs support.
After setting up the basics in Chapter 1 and introducing an example software company profile which may benefit from the book, we deal with the Attitude and Approach that should be adopted by your sales people in Chapter 2.
The next chapter deals with commercial roles and how to fill them. Here we discuss the types of characteristics of sales people, the job descriptions and how to interview to fill those positions.
In Chapter 4, we explore commission, whether it should be paid, how it should be structured, the effect it can have and who should be eligible.
Next we discover why becoming an expert is a critical element in modern sales and how to establish your whole organisation as an authority in your business sector, to support your sales efforts.
In Chapter 6, we explore the Ideal Customer Profile and how to make that work for you – the crucial building block to working out which deals to sign for growth, success and internal harmony before you even engage with customers. This will ensure the deals that are brought are deals you want to sign.
Next up we explore pricing. Pricing can be complicated and people struggle to get it right. Here we look at the basics of pricing and how to approach it in modern times.
A lot of people say ‘make selling a process’ but what does that mean?
Sales process is the topic of Chapter 8. It is important that you make the sales process suit your company – not your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
Here we also explore how to advance deals through the sales process.
Now we have worked out how we want to approach our sales function, it is important to explore how to structure targeted engagement with prospective customers. Here the Information Age can help us enormously but, only if we approach it the right way. The Engage chapter looks closely at that.
Selling is a measurable activity and using metrics and targets will help manage the team to execute a sales process. This are discussed in the next chapter so we can bring the tools available to work for us.
A lot of deals get stuck before they are finished – the Finishing a Deal chapter explores how to get the deal over the line and some negotiation tactics for complex deals.
Lastly, we look at Account Management.
As existing business models for products and services are challenged, looking after and growing a commercial relationship with customers is paramount for success. Even more important than getting new business in some cases.
An online blog
This is complimented by an online blog – there a deep links through the the book. The blog contains further information and addition tools, tips and information to update as we the Information Age moves us forward at pace.
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