📅 11th February 2021 | 2020/21 Sales Book Reviews
A couple of guys from over the pond have published Outbound Sales, No Fluff. It’s a short, straight-to-the-point no-nonsense guide to outbound, over-the-phone selling.
Have you ever heard of a Swimlane in the context of sales? I hadn’t until this morning. It’s an alternative term for target market and I kinda like it (although the term ‘target audience’ is mentioned at the beginning of Chapter 5). It’s to be found in the Glossary at the back of this book which is only sixty pages in length. Swimlane crops up throughout the book – and understanding it will help you keep focused.
The “STOP and Take Action” section gives the reader an opportunity to write down their issues and how to solve them. Not in itself a new concept but one which is easy to follow and complete.
The bucketing leads system, as employed by the authors, is a variation on an old theme of prioritising leads whether they are inbound or outbound. Four buckets are outlined – with a full description of each. Really handy for the sales novice.
This book has some great tips from the get-go. Do you know what problems your product or service solves? If not, then curate a list – and if you’re a sales leader, don’t leave it up to your sales people. Get involved with your marketing and sales enablement teams (if you have them on hand) – and if not, create the list yourself. And add regular updates.
How to find your best customers (Chapter 4) has a fresh feel as it includes ‘lead scraping tools‘ – probably quicker and more effective in the post-Pandemic era than a trip down to your local business library.
There’s an example of a regular cold call sales script. I loathed the introduction. Why? Any cold caller who asks me “how are you doing” will be answered with “what’s plastic and goes click”. How are you doing may go down well on the other side of the Atlantic but not here in the UK. Well, not in my experience.
The sarcasm at the beginning of Chapter 7 amused me. This is the section about CRM and technology in general – and a wake up call to those sales people who moan about the system their company gives them. Don’t like it, invest in your own technology to run alongside that of your employers! Now how many of you reading this actually do that? I bet only the top performers.
Crunching the numbers is the English alternative to the American “Funnel Math”. A question is asked by an imaginary salesperson in the books last chapter:
“I need to do a lot of prospecting. But how much?”
The author replies….. however much it takes to hit your quota
Few sales books have this imperative and many sales ‘gurus’ think that it’s the quality and not the quantity. They’re wrong. I’m reminded of a colleague, David Bartlett, who once said to me “Sales is a numbers game son. Don’t ever forget that”.
I’m not a lover of self-published books. The covers, the fonts and page layouts look a bit cheap and nasty. Pity as there’s some really useful stuff in OSNF but the overall style doesn’t give the book and its contents justice.
Outbound Sales, No Fluff is another great ‘starter’ sales book for the first time cold-caller and sales person. As the authors state, it won’t make you into great sales stars but it’ll get you going in the right direction.
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