There is a lot to like in the latest book we are reviewing, Nonstop Sales Boom, by Colleen Francis.
First of all, this is not simply a sales book. This is a book about avoiding the boom-bust cycles that are a major stress on many businesses and creating systems that will drive consistent business growth over the long term.
Second of all, this book is not written by a sales consultant who sits on the sidelines theorizing. Having worked with Colleen in several accounts, we know that she rolls up her sleeves and applies these systems and techniques to deliver real results.The book picks up where Francis’ last book, Honesty Sells, left off and there is a theme of transparency and partnering with customers to make real contributions to their success. Over the years, I have read hundreds of sales books, and the value of integrity is critical for me to appreciate any of a book’s contents. Life is too short for tricks, manipulations or anything other than helping others be successful, particularly paying customers.
There is a mix of classic and progressive sales advice in this book, but where Nonstop Sales Boom book really excels is providing common-sense and actionable advice in the context of a modern sales world where buyers have unprecedented access to information which translates to leverage over competing sellers.
Francis argues that top performing sales teams and companies share several key characteristics:
- They view customers beyond the current transaction
- They are driven by metrics, beyond the most basic ones such as quota
- They ensure that 80% or more of the sales force is at target – underperformers are coached or removed
- They rigorously manage, monitor and renew product and service lines to create exceptional customer experiences
- They consistently meet forecasts
Sales leaders and business owners interested in long term growth, will find a couple of key concepts presented in the book:
Sales Radar – to compliment the sales funnel, the Sales Radar, characterizes prospects more holistically as business growth opportunities rather than the way they are traditionally tracked, as individual transactions. There are four quadrants in the Sales Radar – Attraction, Participation, Growth and Leverage – and the book is organized around each of these concepts.
Ubiquitous Prospecting – Never more relevant than now is the adage that people like to buy, but don’t like to be sold. In this context, driving demand and creating the conditions for buying are critical. Colleen presents a model for companies and sales people to achieve high visibility with ideal customer prospects, including direct methods such as cold calling and email as well as indirect methods such as social media and speaking.
The book rounds out with a section on the organization and support required for ongoing sales growth. Francis expresses the importance of enforcing a high performance culture, suggesting that “sales managers who do not enforce high performance are the worst performers of all” and that sales managers need to be diligent about weeding out under-performers from the sales force – “find the best, remove the rest.”
With lots of real world examples to support her ideas and actionable advice, Francis’s book is a must read for sales managers and business leaders interested in achieving long term growth and success.
Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.
He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.
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