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Beyond the Sales Process

Book Description

The average executive spends less than 5 percent of their time engaged in the buying of products and services. This means that in this post-recession business environment, sales professionals who focus solely on the moment of the sale have made a fatal miscalculation.

Featuring instructional case studies from companies including Hilton Worldwide, Merck, and Siemens, this evidence-based book provides readers with a proven methodology for driving success before, during, and after every sale. Embracing the entire customer life cycle, Beyond the Sales Process reveals 12 essential strategies, including:

    • Research your customer
    • Build a vision with them for their own success
    • Understand your customers’ drivers, objectives, and challenges
    • Effectively position and differentiate
    • Create and realize value together
    • Leverage your results to forge lasting—and mutually beneficial—relationships

    Reinforced by research from Aberdeen Group, SAMA, ITSMA, and other experts, this book will help you to grow with your customers—and take your sales performance to a whole new level.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Contents
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. Introduction: Why Read Beyond the Sales Process?
    1. Before, During, and After the Sale
    2. How This Book Is Organized
    3. What Matters Most to Customers
  6. SECTION I. Engage: Driving Success Before the Sale
    1. Strategy 1. Research the Organization: Becoming a Student of Your Customer
      1. What You Need to Know About Your Customer
      2. Where You Can Acquire and Capture Customer Knowledge
      3. How You Can Leverage Customer Knowledge
      4. Testing the Effectiveness of Your Research
    2. Strategy 2. Explore the Possibilities: Giving Your Customer a Reason to Engage
      1. Initiating the Customer Dialogue
      2. The Essence of Exploration: Curiosity and the Inquiring Mind
      3. What Does Your Customer Care Most About?
      4. Are You Willing to Make the Required Investments?
      5. Taking Inventory of Your Assets
      6. Testing the Effectiveness of Your Exploration
    3. Strategy 3. Vision the Success: Visualizing Future Potential Value with Your Customer
      1. A Vision of Customer Success and of Future Potential Value
      2. How Today’s Customers Define Supplier Value
      3. Understanding Your Customer’s Expectations of You
      4. Developing a Collaborative Vision of Customer Success
      5. Testing the Effectiveness of Your Visioning
    4. Strategy 4. Elevate the Conversation: Defining and Pursuing Customer Value Targets
      1. A Word of Caution About Your Customer Conversations
      2. Focusing on the Customer Value Target
      3. Elevating the Conversation
      4. Defining Your Customer Value Targets
      5. Evolving from Before to During the Sale
      6. Testing the Effectiveness of Your Elevation
      7. Case Studies
        1. Zurich Insurance Group
        2. Merck/MSD
        3. BNY Mellon
  7. SECTION II. Win: Driving Success During the Sale
    1. Strategy 5. Discover the Drivers: Understanding What’s at Stake for Your Customers
      1. What Is Discovery?
      2. The “Value” of the Value-Focused Question
      3. The Quest for Actionable Awareness
      4. The Focus of Your Discovery Efforts
      5. Testing the Effectiveness of Your Discovery
    2. Strategy 6. Align the Teams: Developing Customer Sponsors and Supporters
      1. Many Are Connected; Few Are Truly Aligned
      2. The Dimensions of Alignment
      3. Alignment Is As Valuable to Your Customer As It Is to You
      4. Testing the Effectiveness of Your Alignment
    3. Strategy 7. Position the Fit: Competing for Customer Mindshare
      1. Positioning Is All About the Fit
      2. To Position or Be Positioned? That Is the Question
      3. Start with Your Customer, Not with Your Product
      4. What Is Being Positioned?
      5. Planning to Win: The Intersection of Alignment and Positioning
      6. Testing the Effectiveness of Your Positioning
    4. Strategy 8. Differentiate the Value: Creating a Customer Preference
      1. Making Your Plan to Win a Reality
      2. Developing the Ideal Environment for Value Differentiation
      3. Activities for Effective Differentiation
      4. Proving Your Value: Building Customer-Specific Value Messages
      5. Testing the Effectiveness of Your Value Differentiation
      6. Case Studies
        1. Adecco
        2. Honeywell
        3. Panasonic
  8. SECTION III. Grow: Driving Success After the Sale
    1. Strategy 9. Realize the Value: Meeting and Exceeding Customer Expectations
      1. What Happens After the Sale?
      2. Delivering on Promises and Expectations
      3. Yesterday’s Future Potential Value Is Tomorrow’s Past Proven Value
      4. Value Realization, Consolidation, and Articulation
      5. Testing Your Effectiveness: Realize the Value
    2. Strategy 10. Validate the Impact: Measuring Success with Your Customer
      1. Measuring Success with Performance Impact Zones
      2. Benchmarking Performance from the Customer’s Perspective
      3. Testing Your Effectiveness: Validate the Impact
    3. Strategy 11. Adapt the Approach: Applying Lessons Learned with Your Customer
      1. Understanding How Your Customer Defines Success After the Sale
      2. Adapting Your Approach to Meet Your Customer’s Changing Needs
      3. Embracing Change and Making Needed Adjustments
      4. Validating the Impact on Your Business to Ensure Both Parties Are Successful
      5. Benchmarking Performance from the Seller’s Perspective
      6. Adapting Your Approach and Planning to Grow
      7. Testing Your Effectiveness: Adapt the Approach
    4. Strategy 12. Expand the Relationship: Leveraging Your Past Proven Value
      1. You and Your Momentum: In Motion and Growing Stronger
      2. Building Your Plan to Grow with Your Customer
      3. Ending with the Beginning in Mind
      4. Will Your Engage/Win/Grow Circle Be Unbroken?
      5. Testing Your Effectiveness: Expand the Relationship
      6. Case Studies
        1. Siemens AG
        2. Hilton Worldwide
        3. Securian Financial Group—Group Insurance
  9. Afterword
  10. Index
  11. About the Authors
  12. Copyright