This book had been on my desk since picking up a copy at SalesHacker conference in 2015. And just got a chance to get through it. And since it’s always interesting for me to learn different strategies to increase sales it made a perfect fit.
Now if you ask 100 sales leaders their success mantra, you’d receive as many answers (and probably more). But it really boils down to TEN core tenets captured in this book.
As Andy puts it, these are not really skills that you’d need to develop as a sales professional, but 10 solid “DO IT NOW” sales practices you could implement right away that could work as a cornerstones of your startup sales strategy definition or increase sales from a first few to at least a few dozens.
Don’t get me wrong – they are very obvious practices, yet ever so often ignored.
And even if you’ve been a seasoned sales leader, chances are you’d find yourself conveniently ignoring some of these core principles too. This book gives you a chance to make small but measurable shifts in your existing sales process and, as Tony Robbins puts it, massive changes happen with just 2-millimeter shifts in action. That’s the difference between single digit to high double digit growth in sales.
Though Zero Time Selling was first published in 2011, these 10 principles of selling still stand true in 2016. Buying behaviour has radically changed since then.
- The attention span of buyers is much shorter
- It’s harder to catch their attention through traditional channels (do you even get your voicemails returned?)
- A much bigger chunk of buying cycle is self-service than sales agent assisted.
- And of course, the rise of the social selling
Zero Time Selling’s core proposition is that selling is all about Responsiveness, and that in turn is a Combination of Content and Speed demonstrated by the Sales Executive.
And those 10 best sales practices revolve around this central theme.
You’d ask: OK, can’t you just give me those 10 core tenets now?! I WANT IT NOW!!
I cannot justifiably summarize the book for you in this post, without breaking the flow that Andy Paul created. You should definitely get your kindle copy here.
However, let me pick a couple of those points that resonated most with me.
1. Do Everything Now:
Something that I had failed to see and Andy puts it very succinctly—> customers choose one of the competing vendors not based on product value & benefit but subconsciously on Return of Time Invested (love that ROTI, acronym!)
That company or sales rep who able to return the maximum value of time invested by Mr. Customer wins the deal. And of course, not holding back in providing value.
In this context, the book recommends against Indecent Interval, something that I’ve all been guilty of every now & then. What is Indecent interval? Simply put, it’s the wait before you call back that girl after your first date.
So what is the key takeaway: Sales reps, get busy at providing value to your customer faster than they would have imagined, without holding back.
2. Disqualify The Losers:
This best practice directly hits the core of biggest time-waster in sales cycle- a wrongly qualified prospect.
Andy says this well- “The purpose of the qualification is to proactively disqualify or get rid of the time-wasters and losers from your list of leads before they take you for a free ride around the block.”
If you’re a sales leader who’s created a solid qualification process for your reps, turn this process inside out.
Take a different look at the whole process. Create a disqualification matrix.
And a very strict and comprehensive one.
You should choose whom you will allow purchasing your product. Who would you talk to now?
Again, this book is not proposing anything revolutionary. Everything’s common sense. And it’s practice. But these fundamentals are ever so forgotten. And when we’re trying to find solutions to increase sales numbers we are often trying to reinvent the wheel. Keep it stupid simple.
I’d highly recommend this book to someone who would find himself or herself in a position to design the sales culture of a growing company.
Have you recently moved from an established corporate to a growing startup?
And don’t forget to sign up to receive more of my favourite sales books reviews.
by Deepanker Dua
Deep is the chief sales scientist at SalesChakra. As he experiments with sales acceleration at tech startups, he documents his learnings through this blog. An avid traveller, he has lived selling disruptive technologies in 4 continents, and speaks 5 international languages. Connect with him on Twitter @askdeepr and LinkedIn.