The Axioms of Selling Blog

12 Sep by Bob Sanders

According to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, each year more than 30,000 new consumer products are launched and 80 percent of them fail. There are a myriad of reasons for this, not the least of which is that the sales organizations aren’t getting what they really need from new product training so they can, you know, sell the new product!

Unfortunately, most product training often bypasses the important step of teaching salespeople how to have solution-oriented conversations in favor of a features-based approach that sales reps then regurgitate in the field. 

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05 Sep by Bob Sanders

Perhaps you recall the Seinfeld episode "Little Kicks" in which Elaine Benes dances at a party in a fashion George describes as a "full bodied dry heave set to music." To be sure, what Elaine lacked wasn't just a well orchestrated set of movements and perfect timing, but timing certainly compounded her general lack of ability. Which brings me to sales transformation.

Perhaps you've read our white paper on Sales Transformation and are considering a project for your organization. Or possibly, you're looking to improve results and sales transformation is one of several possible approaches you're evaluating to achieve this end.

Maybe you're simply curious about a term that is fast becoming one of the most talked about initiatives in business. Whatever the stage of your interest, you can quickly see that achieving trusted advisor status with your customers, and the corresponding impact on revenue and margins, involves more moving parts than Elaine's famed "little kicks" dance move. 

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29 Aug by Bob Sanders

Imagine if a football coach brought a new player onto their team, handed them a playbook, and told them, “Read this and be ready to run all of these plays for our next game, and by the way, the game is tomorrow.” Is this new player set up for success?

Probably not. It’s crazy to expect any player could learn the entire playbook, along with the skills they need to execute the plays, without some solid practice. And yet, this is more or less the approach to onboarding new salespeople in many companies.

Most companies know what they want a new salesperson to learn, but unfortunately, they haven’t put any thought into how the learning will be structured to ensure success.

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22 Aug by Mike Bybee

Yesterday I spent over two hours perusing the richest mother lode of entertaining time-wasters ever gathered into a single assemblage: YouTube.

What began as a search for a certain clip from a political speech devolved into a delightful, meandering sojourn through my past in the form of two-minute snippets from sitcoms, sports moments, concerts, and comedy routines. Rainy Saturdays haven’t been the same since the invention of broadband.

It was while watching some old Saturday Night Live clips that I came across several featuring my favorite SNL character, Father Guido Sarducci. The Cleric of Comedy could always make me laugh, but it was one of his routines that got me to thinking.

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15 Aug by Bob Nicols

For the first hour of my flight home I was engrossed in a conversation with a senior account executive from a technology company. It was, at least for a while, a rather pleasant conversation.

We discussed the rise of Apple (both of us carried iPads and iPhones), the economy, travel, summer plans, kids and shared overviews of our respective careers. We had some laughs about our early days in sales and lamented about the passing of "the good old days."

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