Today, I want to share who I believe is the Father of today’s B2B Sales Questioning Techniques. That person is Neil Rackham.
Rackham is a research consultant with an understanding of sales, yet, he had no factual evidence regarding what works or does not work in the world of b2b selling. So he was engaged by four multinational companies to study – what makes a successful B2B sales person successful?
He and his team of researchers took to the filed for several years following over 35,000 sales calls and measuring the techniques used during each call. Later, they connected the dots relative to who won their sales and who lost. By correlating the data, he was able to create a questioning model based upon real time research of sales calls from start to finish.
Now, some of you are asking – why is this important? Because when Rackham published his works in the form of a comprehensive sales book, many sales managers and sales people rejected his finding. Why? Because they were well educated in the traditional model of selling and their beliefs would not let them change to Rackham’s model of selling.
Rackham wrote three – in my opinion – major sales books. This books have formed the foundation of many of the modern or current sales training and develop processes being offered today. The three books are…
- S.P.I.N. Selling – the original book which outlines the discovers of his research and how to use his model to win more business. When coaching b2b sales people, this is required reading. It shows the path to take rather you are in b2b or b2c – small or large sales, he shows you the correct path to take to win more business and separate you from the thundering herd of traditional sales people.
- Major Account Sales Strategy – This book was made for the major account or national account sales people who make large sales happen on a regular basis. Rackham’s research showed a huge difference between the small or impulse sales used by traditional sales people and the model used by successful major account b2b sales people. The questions used were related to the level of success you would have using one of the four major question categories. Again, for my National Account or Major Account Sales people, this is required reading.
- Major Accounts Sales Management – Rackham figured out that sales managers who usually grow up using the traditional sales models heavily based on activity and presentations would be the limiting step or choke point for b2b sales people who needed to use his sales methods for increasing their sales success. So, he wrote a sales book focused on the sales managers and how they needed to change their tracking systems in order to facilitate greater sales success using the questioning model for major account selling. While this book is not exactly for the b2b sales person, it make need to be a gift for an old school sales manager who needs to be enlightened into the methods linked to higher major account sales results.
Consider this b2b sales tip on learning the questioning model for increasing your sales results as a bonus tip. It continues to amaze or shock me how many sales people and sales managers have no clue into this outstanding research based tool for making greater sales. Take the time to move into the ranks of the educated b2b sales professional who understands the importance of asking the right types of questions during the sales process. Happy reading!