Trust the Process: Fundamentals of Professional Selling
Trust the Process: Fundamentals of Professional Selling

Trust the Process: Fundamentals of Professional Selling

Lead Author(s): Timothy Butler

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Fundamentals of the sales process including prospecting, approach, rapport, needs identification, handling objections, and closing

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction      

        1.1 Definition and Scope of Sales

                1.1.1 Definition of Sales

                1.1.2 Why Employ a Sales Strategy

                1.1.3 Varied Complexity and Compensation      

        1.2 History of Sales

                1.2.1 Mass Production Era

                1.2.2 Sales Era

                1.2.3  Marketing Department Era

                1.2.4 Marketing Company Era

                1.2.5 Relationship Marketing Era

                1.2.6 Social and Mobile Marketing Era        

        1.3 Evolution of the Sales Profession

                1.3.1 Peddlers

                1.3.2 Role Specialization: Hunters and Farmers

                1.3.3 The Snake Oil Salesman

                1.3.4 Watson and IBM

                1.3.5 Tactical Selling

                1.3.6 SPIN Selling

                1.3.7 Solution Selling

                1.3.8 Why Focus on Customer Value       

         1.4 Sales Ethics and the Importance of the Sales Function

                1.4.1 Why Ethical Issues are So Pervasive and Important in Sales

                1.4.2 Wells Fargo Account Fraud Scandal

                1.4.3 Breaking the Negative Stereotype of Salespeople        

        1.5 Trajectory and Outlook of Sales Careers

                1.5.1 Attributes of Salespeople and Sales Positions

                1.5.2 Changing Role of Salespeople

                1.5.3 Pervasiveness of Technology in Sales        

        1.6 Educating Salespeople

                1.6.1 University Sales Education

                1.6.2 Sales Skills Can (and Should) Be Taught

                1.6.3 Sales Skills Are Essential in the Workplace

                1.6.4 The Need for Experiential Education

                1.6.5 University Sales Program's Funding Model

Chapter 2 : Before the Sale        

        2.1 Emotional Intelligence 

                2.1.1 Self-awareness

                2.1.2 Self-management  

        2.2 Buyer Personas        

        2.3 Building Credibility through Knowledge

                2.3.1 Process Knowledge

                2.3.2 Product/Industry Knowledge

                2.3.3 Buyer/situational Knowledge      

        2.4 Prospecting in the Digital Age

                2.4.1 Lead Generation

                2.4.2 Prospect Qualification

                2.4.3 Contacting Prospective Clients

                2.4.4 Setting Appointments (Email vs. Phone)

                2.4.5 Technology-driven Selling 

                2.4.6 Importance of Time Management 

Chapter 3: Approaching the Sales Conversation and Making a Connection

        3.1 Pre-Sales Conversation Research and Planning        

        3.2 Beginning a Sales Conversation

                3.2.1 Professional Introduction

                3.2.2 Making a Connection

                3.2.3 Setting the Agenda and Transitioning to Needs Identification

Chapter 4: Active Listening, Questioning, and Needs Identification        

        4.1 Making Decisions in Business-to-Business Settings        

        4.2 Importance of Asking Questions in Professional Selling

                4.2.1 Close-ended Questions

                4.2.2 Open-ended Questions      

        4.3 Active Listening        

        4.4 Needs Identification

                4.4.1 Relevant Facts

                4.4.2 Problems/Challenges

                4.4.3 Follow-ups

                4.4.4 Outcome/Implication

                4.4.5 Summary and Pre-Commitment

                4.4.6 Importance of Clarifying, Restating, and Rephrasing

Chapter 5: Customizing a Solution (Setting and Managing Expectations)

5.1 Presenting the Solution

        5.1.1 Credibility

        5.1.2 Customized Solution

        5.1.3 Visual Aids

        5.1.4 Buyer Involvement

        5.1.5 Trial Closes

5.2 Objection-handling 

        5.2.1 Understanding Sales Resistance

        5.2.2 Responding to Objections

5.3 The Next Steps

        5.3.1 Asking to Proceed to the Next Step (Closing)

        5.3.2 Overcoming Closing Resistance 

Chapter 6: After the Sale (Delivering on Promises)        

        6.1 Building Relationships

                6.1.1 Coordinating Value Delivery

                6.1.2 Creating Internal Coalitions

                6.1.3 Follow-through and Proactive Follow-up     

           6.2 Deepening the Relationship

           6.3 Managing Customer Problems

           6.4 Delivering Superior Customer Experiences

Chapter 7: Conclusion         

        7.1 Why Sales

        7.2 Industry Nuances

        7.3 Understanding a Sales Career

        7.4 Concluding Remarks and Essential Skills for Salespeople