Insight Selling: Surprising Research on What Sales Winners Do Differently
Mike Schultz and John Doerr, bestselling authors and world-renowned sales experts, set out to find the answer. They studied more than 700 business-to-business purchases made by buyers who represented a total of $3.1 billion in annual purchasing power. When they compared the winners to the second-place finishers, they found surprising results.
Not only do sales winners sell differently, they sell radically differently, than the second-place finishers.
In recent years, buyers have increasingly seen products and services as replaceable. You might think this would mean that the sale goes to the lowest bidder. Not true! A new breed of seller—the insight seller—is winning the sale with strong prices and margins even in the face of increasing competition and commoditization.
In Insight Selling, Schultz and Doerr share the surprising results of their research on what sales winners do differently, and outline exactly what you need to do to transform yourself and your team into insight sellers. They introduce a simple three-level model based on what buyers say tip the scales in favor of the winners:
Level 1 "Connect." Winners connect the dots between customer needs and company solutions, while also connecting with buyers as people.
Level 2 "Convince." Winners convince buyers that they can achieve maximum return, that the risks are acceptable, and that the seller is the best choice among all options.
Level 3 "Collaborate." Winners collaborate with buyers by bringing new ideas to the table, delivering new ideas and insights, and working with buyers as a team.
They also found that much of the popular and current advice given to sellers can damage sales results. Insight Selling is both a strategic and tactical guide that will separate the good advice from the bad, and teach you how to put the three levels of selling to work to inspire buyers, influence their agendas, and maximize value. If you want to find yourself and your team in the winner's circle more often, this book is a must-read.
Foreword Neil Rackham vii
Chapter 1 Sales Winners Sell Differently 1
Chapter 2 What Is Insight Selling? 25
Chapter 3 Insight Selling and Value 37
Chapter 4 Insight and Level 1: Connect 57
Chapter 5 Insight and Level 2: Convince 79
Chapter 6 Insight and Level 3: Collaborate 101
Chapter 7 On Trust 121
Chapter 8 Profile of the Insight Seller 137
Chapter 9 Insight Selling Mistakes 161
Chapter 10 Buyers Who Buy Insights 177
Chapter 11 Getting the Most from Sales Training 199
MIKE SCHULTZ is Co-President of RAIN Group and a world-renowned consultant, speaker, and expert in sales training and performance improvement. His articles and work have been featured in a variety of publications, such as Business Week, Inc. magazine, and Fast Company. He is also on the faculty in the Marketing Division at Babson College and writes at www.RainGroup.com/Blog.
JOHN E. DOERR is a leading authority on the skills and strategies that make for sales success. As Co-President of RAIN Group, he has consulted with, trained, and coached thousands of sales professionals, leaders, and business executives, helping them improve sales performance and succeed with insight selling.
Mike and John are bestselling authors of Rainmaking Conversations: Influence, Persuade, and Sell in Any Situation and the groundbreaking research “What Sales Winners Do Differently.” To learn more or to contact Mike or John directly, visit www.RainGroup.com.
“The majority of experienced sellers would agree that
while a lot of existing sales wisdom is good, some things have
become outdated and must change. The hard part is deciding what to
keep, what to change and what to discard. Insight Selling
lays out a convincing case for which parts of current practice we
should keep, which parts must be tweaked, and which parts must be
changed entirely. Whether you’re an experienced seller or
just starting out in sales, you stand to learn something useful
from this book.”
—Professor Neil Rackham, author of SPIN Selling
“Wow! Even your most experienced strategic sellers will
sharpen their game with these insights. RAIN Group's research and
application to real life situations will educate your team on how
to inspire buyers with possibilities and demonstrate the value add
for your offerings like never before.”
—Sandy Miller, Partner, Strategic Accounts, Aon Hewitt
“While “solutions selling” isn’t dead,
it is now just the price of admission. In this book, Mike and
John provide the fundamentals and techniques around advanced
“insight selling” and how you need to become the change
agent for the customer to be a true sales winner! After all, in
sales the second-place finisher is just the first
—Jim Madson, Vice President, Sales, Tyco SimplexGrinnell
“Professional salespeople a decade ago wouldn’t even
recognize the landscape, challenges, and skill sets required today.
This content is essential for contemporary
—Peter Ostrow, VP and Research Group Director, Customer Management, Aberdeen Group
“The recipe for growth today is dramatically different
than just a few years ago, yet many sellers have failed to adapt.
For those aspiring to elevate their game, you’ve picked up
the right playbook.”
—Richard Tober, Senior Vice President, Capgemini
“Few sales books are destined to become classics that will
make a real difference in the world of selling. This one will join
that rare club that will stand the test of time.”
—Gord Smith, Partner, Hitachi Solutions
“Schultz and Doerr are truly among the elite sales thought
leaders. Insight Selling outlines exactly what you
need to do to set yourself apart and find yourself in the
winner’s circle. It’s a must read for even the most
—Jill Konrath, bestselling author of Agile Selling & SNAP Selling
In Insight Selling, Schultz and Doerr share the surprising results of their research on what sales winners do differently, and outline exactly what you need to do to transform yourself and your team into insight sellers.