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Rethinking the Sales Force: Redefining Selling to Create and Capture Customer Value Hardcover – 1 Mar 1999

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Rethinking the Sales Force: Redefining Selling to Create and Capture Customer Value + Major Account Sales Strategy + The SPIN Selling Fieldbook: Practical Tools, Methods, Exercises and Resources
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; First Edition edition (1 Mar 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071342532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071342537
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 537,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

Unlike practically every other segment of the modern business world, the corporate-sales department has changed very little from the rigid organisational framework it first attained back in the grey-flannel 1960s. But even that bastion of traditional business structure is starting to evolve, as customers at all levels begin to reconsider their expectations, purchasing patterns, and criteria for establishing and maintaining relationships with sales professionals. Rethinking the Sales Force, by Neil Rackham and John De Vincentis, is an innovative attempt to give today's salespeople a push in the right direction before the inevitable sea-change now developing totally overtakes them and undermines their potential for future success. Rackham, author of Spin Selling, and De Vincentis, an independent sales and marketing consultant, use leading real-world examples such as Microsoft, IBM, and Charles Schwab to show how the commercial viability of assorted products and services can be dramatically improved by determining the real needs of three different types of buyers--whom they call "intrinsic value customers", "extrinsic value customers", and "strategic value customers"--and then developing the appropriate sales strategies to meet them. --Howard Rothman,

From the Back Cover

Sales forces that simply communicate value to customers are doomed to fail­­sales must begin to create customer value to survive. In today's markets, success can no longer be obtained by salespeople communicating the value of a product or service­­it rests on the critical ability to create value for customers. Enter Rethinking the Sales Force. In this book, best-selling author Neil Rackham and international sales and marketing consultant John De Vincentis have created a breakthrough guide for sales and marketing executives.

Rackham and De Vincentis help sales forces rethink and retool their selling strategies by introducing eye-opening insight for winning in the new marketplace.

"Of the many books published each year on marketing and selling, only a tiny fraction have anything new to say. This is one of them. It will radically change your thinking about your sales force, and even whether you need one."­­Philip Kotler, Distinguished Professor of International Marketing, J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University

"A compelling premise. Without question, this is an important and useful book for companies serious about improving sales performance."­­Chuck Farr, Former Vice-Chairman, American Express.

"Sales forces of tomorrow will need to be fundamentally different from today. This book provides an interesting and valuable window into the future of selling and what the next generation sales force will have to do to prosper."­­Michael Graff, President, Business Aircraft, Bombardier Aerospace

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 April 1999
Format: Hardcover
I have always been impressed with how Neil Rackham has a hand on the pulse of what is going on in the current marketplace. In reading his latest book I could have sworn that he has inside information about our company and some of the struggles we are having with keeping customer margins at acceptable levels. His examples about instrinsic and extrinsic customers is right on target and the type of sales organizations you should consider to go after each of these customer segments. Creating customer value is essential in keeping profit margins elevated. Enterprise sales was also an interesting topic, but it did not offer much value to me at this time. Great reading for any sales or marketing person around the world.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Mar 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is for people who are serious about sales force transformation (be it strategy, automation or process ...)
Before you adopt any decision about your salespeole, this book will provide you with a great roadmap and various models (the 3 selling types, process analysis, management and training type, ...) with respect to your current situation and to the direction you should go : beware, there is no free lunch ...
It is a "general" sales book but it's very rich in detail about all the main area of focus of sales management
It's clear, well written and well documented : bravo !
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rackham describes accurately the road from Transactional Selling to Enterprise Selling, even he could not have foreseen the impact of the internet on Selling. But, he outlined the changes in BUYING which the Internet has enabled. You cant compete with the Internet if all you do is COMMUNICATE Value. Face to Face, even Desk based Selling means interaction, Interactive Competence remains the Key to Professional selling.
Rethinking the Sales force ask deep questions about Strategy,
the use of 'Consultative' Selling in an age of the 2 minute sales cycle.

Most importantly Rackham clarifies the topic of Selling "Value" I wish he had used the expression Sales Constructed Value, but he took the Marketing speak expression Value Creation!

Great book on the Sales Shelf..
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Neil Rackham has great theories and I like this content even though it's quite old now it's so true. Especially apposite to Financial Services Sector post recession. Useful for the small consultant too.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 25 reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Concerned with revenue and profits? Read this book! 22 Oct 1999
By "njnick" - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Neil Rackham, along with various co-contributors, has written six excellent and thought-provoking books on different aspects of sales and sales effectiveness. If your business involves selling and you haven't read these books, your revenues and profits are not where they could be! This latest one, "Rethinking the Sales Force" reinforces that. I learned that first hand.
In June of 1996, I was asked by my company to join a cross-functional team whose major responsibility was to re-engineer the company's selling processes. It took ten of us - along with countless consultants, many from Big Six firms - and a LOT of money over two years to complete that process. The ideas in this book could have saved us months and probably hundreds of thousands! Unfortunately it wasn't written then. But that's no longer a valid excuse, so if you haven't read "Rethinking the Sales Force", I'd go to One-Click on this page and order it right away.
Early in the book, the authors point out that while many aspects of business have changed, many sales managers and sales people are still following the precepts first referred to in a book written in 1925 by E.K. Strong called "The Psychology of Selling". A nice way of saying that selling hasn't kept up with the times. The ideas in this book can help any company begin this "catching up" process.
Like the five previous books, this one is very well written. Rackham has the ability to present new ideas or new perspectives in an entertaining manner reinforced with real world examples.
Many books on selling and the sales process have one or two decent ideas explained in one or two pages and surrounded by 240 pages of filler. None of Rackham's books will ever be accused of that.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
A Framework for Selling in the New Century 15 Jan 2000
By Henry Oliner - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some of the books addressing the Internet's effect on business are so buried in futurist fantasy, that it's appliaction for selling today is limited. Rackham and De Vincentis do an excellent job of building a framework for viewing today's selling in an atmosphere of radical change including, but not limited to the Internet's effect on business. Filled with relevant examples, and clear advice about what works and what doesn't; I found the book very valuable in thinking how to apply new age selling to old work products. The premise of the book is that Sales must be about creating value for the customer and not just communicating it. How this is done is dependent on the nature of the sale: transactional, consultive, or enterprise and the structure of the sales channel. They warn against the ctitcal mistakes of applying the wrong solution for the wrong type of sale: If you are in a transactional situation (cost and price driven) it would be disastrous to apply a consultive or enterprise solution. They also warn that while our egos may want us to think that we want a consultive or enterprise relationship, that these types of sales are much tougher that we think, and that enterprise sales specifically are rarely successful for both parties. This is solid usable information. It should be a part of your thinking on sales strategy.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing 16 Jun 2003
By John A. Norton - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I really came prepared to read a terrific book. I think a great deal of Rackham's book SPIN Selling; it was based in some surprising research, and offered a detailed "how to" for those interested in mastering complex sales. Based on my strong endorsement as a marketing professor and later as a manager, I have doubtless sold many hundreds of copies of SPIN selling for Rackham. But this one is not very good.
This new book is disappointing because it reads like boilerplate McKinsey stuff. It is superficial, weakly case-based (I say weakly because they aren't cases per se but little illustrative vignettes or examples from the authors' consulting experience, or reading, or both), and even in some cases already out of date. Wordy, too.
I can see some use for the book, especially if you are fairly new to the world of sales force management. For example, if you have never really thought about whether your clients are seeking "transactional," "consultative," or "enterprise" selling processes, this will define them for you and point out that what is appropriate for one is not appropriate for another.
If you want some advice on how to organize and deliver one or the other of those strategies, the book offers some guidance, again in a fairly general and superficial way.
Rackham is an author whose knowledge I respect, and from whom I would have expected something new to say. That is why, although I don't like to say it, I cannot recommend this book to anyone with more than a passing knowledge of salesforce management.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
"Value-Driven" Thinking 17 May 2001
By Robert Morris - Published on
Format: Hardcover
When an organization's sales are flat or declining, it is understandable for those responsible to ask "What to do about sales?" Here is a book which addresses a much more important question: "How to think about sales?" In a previous book, Rackham correctly stressed the importance of asking questions according to an acronym, SPIN: Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-Fulfillment. In this book, he and Devincentis differentiate among three different categories of customer (Intrinsic Value, Extrinsic Value, and Strategic Value), explaining why (and how) the cultivation and solicitation process for each must be "customized" (pun intended) in direct response to their respective needs and interests. The common element (as always) is value. What is it? How can it be verified? How can it be increased? And perhaps one of the most important but least understood questions: So what?
What Rackham and Devincentis correctly assert is that when sales are flat, declining or even increasing, it is imperative to "re-think" whatever sales strategies and tactics are now used. (Here's a situation in which the SPIN framework can be especially helpful.), And do so in terms of HOW value is pereceived by each customer. Those perceptions are the most urgent sales realities. It is also important to remember that today's Intrinsic Value Customer may soon be motivated primarily by extrinsic or strategic considerations. The authors offer an intellectual infrastructure within which to ask the most important questions about sales. Although the same questions must continue to be asked, many (most?) answers which are correct today may soon be inadequate, if not flat-out wrong. How well you think and then re-think will determine how well you do.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
It is a very good overview of the buying styles 10 Nov 2000
By Jorge Sainz Gonzalez - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I would have named the book: Buying Styles, how to approach them. The book details how buying processes are made and suggests how to approach them, but as a sales rep stand point it leaves a lot of details out, such as, defining strategies, identifiying unique business value, compelling reasons and so forth. Still, you can consider it good material, if you are looking for something on the surface; if you want to drill down you'll have to look elsewhere.
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