Stories by Rick Page

  • Clever selling: A consultative selling secret

    The state of the art of selling hasn't changed much from the Industrial Revolution to the 1970s. But it has changed dramatically since then. The first step from art to science in selling was made by a consultant named Neil Rackham, in his book Spin Selling (McGraw-Hill).

  • Qualifying your sales process

    A key to success in business development, as in any strategic endeavour, is picking winnable battles. Realistically, of course, how you qualify prospective customers depends on how many opportunities you have in relation to the resources available to actually do the work. Salespeople with more prospects than they can handle qualify prospects very differently to those who are just getting into the game at a lesser-known company or in a new territory.

  • Artful account management

    There are four levels of direct business-to-business selling: industry marketing, account management, opportunity management and face-to-face selling. Each level requires different methodologies, talent and tools, but overall you need an integrated account plan. Face-to-face selling is the foundation skill, because you must eventually persuade individuals to recommend your company. Opportunity management is the sales process of managing the competitive evaluation of a committee of multiple buyers. Account management should drive opportunity management, but many companies treat them like separate processes. Finally, sales strategy should fall out of an overall industry marketing strategy.

  • Crafting a business enterprise plan

    Long-term selling to large enterprises requires a three-tier strategy: account management, opportunity management, and face-to-face selling. Without such a plan, a solutions-integration firm with several operating units will find that not only might it present these units to a client as different firms, the units may actually end up competing with each other.

  • Crafting an enterprise selling plan

    Long-term selling to large enterprises requires a three-tier strategy: account management, opportunity management, and face-to-face selling. Without such a plan, an integration firm with several operating units will find that not only might it present these units to a client as different firms, the units may actually end up competing with each other.