. 5
( 5)

price it is willing to pay and the product specifications it needs
(delivery, size, time, amount, etc.). Suppliers can then give a quote
online.8 PlasticsNet.com, owned by Chicago-based Commerx,
Inc., is another example of an exchange; it offers buyers in the plas-
tics market access to raw and manufactured materials through
online auctions.9
The Internet increases efficiency, giving buyers the chance to
purchase material that is in excess supply. In the paper industry, to
recover high fixed costs, huge paper mills must run continuously.
If paper demand ebbs, inventory soars. In the past, the manufac-
turers had to employ large and costly sales forces to move the excess
inventory. But field sales forces could profitably call on only bigger
accounts. Today, there™s a virtual marketplace of buyers that the
mill™s sales reps might never have been able to contact.

Although these changes are changes in ways of buying and sell-
ing, it™s important to remember that in the larger scheme of
things, they™re still plain-vanilla transactional sales. And transac-
tional sales have been around for a long time. It™s hard to imagine
consultative sales taking place on the Internet.10 (For a discussion
of whether the Internet will replace consultative salespeople, see
Sales Trap 24.)
Selling and buying on the Internet is just another form of direct
marketing. As Michael Dell himself has said, initially, in 1994, he
viewed the Internet as just another way to sell direct, a tool that
would strengthen Dell in its primary mission to be a one-on-one,
154 the 24 sales traps

direct-to-the-consumer computer company. “Direct from Dell”
pioneered computers as a direct sale with no intermediaries. Dell
pioneered the strategy that instead of a catalog and a telephone cus-
tomer service number, customers used the Dell.com web site. “It™s
self-service,” Michael Dell says. “The customer is now going [to
the web site], and they™re not calling us on the phone.” 11
Others agree. “Direct marketers are the only true beneficiaries
of the Internet,” states Lester Wunderman, one of the pioneers of
direct marketing.12 Internet selling and buying relies on the same
sales processes, principles, and techniques as other forms of direct
transactional sales. (The techniques in transactional sales are dis-
cussed in Sales Trap 20, “If You Generate Sales Activity, You™ll Close
More Sales.”)
With respect to selling, the Internet is old wine in a new bottle.
Although it™s a new technology, Internet sales are transactional direct
sales, and direct sales are as old as money. However, the impact of
the technology has changed both selling and buying patterns. It
doesn™t change why companies buy and sell, but it changes what,
when, where, and how companies buy and sell.

” Use the Internet to buy and sell direct. The Internet is a transactional
selling tool that is used to buy and sell direct. Period. Using the
Internet to sell increases your profitability on low-margin prod-
uct lines by taking the direct sales expense for salespeople out of
the P&L statement.

” Survey the market. What are your competitors doing online?
” Survey your customers. What information and services will your
customers want from your site twelve months from now? How do
they want to use the Internet to stay in touch with you?
use the internet

” Use the Internet as a channel of distribution for low-value products.
Allow your customers to use the Internet to buy certain lines of
products for which sales reps will provide little or no value to

” Use the Internet to offer your customers more choices and more infor-
mation. The Internet offers sellers a cheaper way to reach and
inform customers than communication methods in the past.

23: The internet is just another
venue for transactional sales.
156 the 24 sales traps

sales trap
The Internet Will Replace All Consultative
Although the Internet has replaced some consultative salespeople, it
will never replace them all. Many of the low-value sales functions in
business-to-business (B2B) selling that were formerly handled by
consultative salespeople have now been shifted to online sales. The
transactions shifted to the Web include those related to:

∆ Routine purchases

∆ Product information

∆ Discount information

∆ Pricing information

∆ Contact information for account teams

∆ Smaller accounts

∆ Existing accounts

∆ Researching products

∆ Placing orders (for existing customers)

∆ Checking on the status of orders

As Bill Gates says, “As the Internet drives down the cost of trans-
actions, the middlemen will disappear or evolve to add new value.” 13
One sales recruiter said that his company uses a combination of
inside salespeople (outbound and inbound telemarketing) and the
Internet to sell computer hardware and software equipment to its
customers. By doing this, the company doesn™t incur the costs asso-
ciated with an outside sales force. One might argue that with the
use the internet

sophistication of call centers, the Internet and web sites, field sales
organization must discover new ways to create value for their cus-
tomers in order to justify their existence. The Internet may be
responsible for sales force reductions of between 35 to 40 percent
by 2005.14
Tim Furey is CEO of Oxford Associates, Inc., a sales consultancy
firm in Bethesda, Maryland, and coauthor of The Channel Advantage.15
He says:

The Internet has clearly cut field sales forces and has
moved many previously face-to-face functions online
or in-house. But the consultative salesperson will
remain. Most of the hype around the Internet”the
Amazon.coms, the eBays”[is] around relatively sim-
ple, off-the-rack, commodity products that can be sold
with minimal human involvement.

Getting a customer to sign a two-year, multimillion-dollar indus-
trial parts contract probably won™t happen online. The transactions
that are staying with consultative salespeople include those relating to:

∆ Acquiring new business

∆ Negotiating individual pricing agreements

∆ Negotiating configuration exceptions

∆ Customizing solutions

∆ Resolving complicated issues, services, and products

∆ Handling major accounts

∆ Managing situations in which the sales consultant has to cre-
ate value, i.e., situations that are too qualitative without his
or her involvement
158 the 24 sales traps

In the future, there may be fewer consultative salespeople. Those
that remain will have to be sure that they add value. Principle 4,
“Create Value,” and Sales Traps 9 through 18 in that section will
remain as true tomorrow as they are today.

The majority of e-commerce transactions are B2B, where most con-
sultative selling has traditionally taken place. This more than any-
thing else probably accounts for the decline in consultative sales
positions. Forrester Research, Inc., reports that in 1998, B2B e-
commerce accounted for $43 billion in transactions, compared to
$7.8 billion in business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions.16 The com-
puter industry claims the largest percentage of online B2B sales
transactions; these transactions were valued at $50.4 billion (45 per-
cent of online transactions) in 1999.17 And Forrester estimates that
the online B2B market will grow to $1.3 trillion by 2003.18 Goldman
Sachs estimates sales in B2B e-commerce by 2004 of:

∆ Chemicals, $349 billion

∆ Computer hardware and software, $221 billion

∆ Industrial equipment, $140 billion

Energy/utilities, $133 billion19

Because of this expected growth in online sales, the number of
consultative sales positions is expected to continue to be reduced,
but these positions will not be eliminated.

B2B e-commerce increasingly uses web-based sites
and extranets (para-enterprise network organizations that extend
intranets to existing outside customers and suppliers) for online sell-
ing. Much of this selling is automated and directed by the customers
themselves. Larry Carter, CFO of Cisco Systems, even claims that
use the internet

55 percent of orders pass through Cisco™s system without being
touched by anyone.20

Despite these changes, many companies still refer
online sales from new customers to a salesperson. Cisco may have
had $9.5 billion in online sales in 1999, more than three-quarters of
its total sales for the year, but if you try to order from Cisco and you
haven™t set up an account through a dealer, you can™t do it. New cus-
tomers have to register with a dealer before they can purchase
online.21 And Cisco is not alone in this. A recent study by Shelley
Taylor & Associates found that 90 out of 100 web sites (from the
1,000 largest companies in the world) sold products to other busi-
nesses, but only 9 allowed new customers to initiate a sale online.22
Many people don™t realize that companies are focusing their B2B
efforts not on acquiring new customers, but on converting current
customers to web-based ordering, sales, and customer service.23 The
high-value activity of acquiring new business is still left for consul-
tative salespeople.

There is evidence that sales
expenses have declined and sales productivity has increased since
sales have moved online. For example, Cisco Systems, which sells
about 80 percent of the routers and other forms of networking gear
that power the Internet, now handles 80 percent of its orders online.
Cisco Systems sold an estimated $15 billion online in 2000.24 Larry
Carter, CFO of Cisco Systems, reports that in 1999, Cisco™s net-
worked business model saved over $800 million, while increasing
salespeople™s productivity by 15 percent.25 While 80 percent of
Cisco™s orders are online, the other 20 percent involve higher-value
sales activities carried out by internal and external salespeople
(remember the 80/20 rule).
Dell has also lowered its sales expenses using the Internet. For
example, Dell Computer™s U.S. web site, which was launched in July
of 1996, sells $40 million a day and accounts for 50 percent of Dell™s
160 the 24 sales traps

U.S. sales.26 Dell allows customers to initiate orders online, but
always follows up an online order with a call from a customer service
person.27 Salespeople get credit for online orders when customers
write in the name of their salesperson, and regional marketing man-
agers set online revenue goals for the sales team.28 The Internet has
helped Dell lower its sales, general, and administrative expenses from
15 percent of its revenues in fiscal year 1994 to 9.4 percent in 2000.
Michael Dell believes that further reductions in these costs are still
possible, even as much as half again.29
Several leading companies have virtually eliminated their sales
forces in favor of independent solution providers. Microsoft and
Dell are just two examples. Other companies have reduced their
field sales forces and chosen to go with distributors, dealers, and
value-added resellers. After exploring alternative channels for years
in order to reduce sales overhead and be more price-competitive,
IBM and Xerox have both turned to independent solution providers.
A final note: As I look around, I see fewer road warriors on planes
than I used to. Companies have gotten smarter and are using fewer
outside field salespeople. The message seems to be that companies
are looking for a few good field sales representatives to call on their
clients. Like the Marines, a few good people are left with getting the
job done on the outside. The salesperson and consultative marketer
of tomorrow will have to be really good at what she or he does, since
the competition will be so fierce for fewer jobs.

” Expect further reductions in sales forces. The Internet is expected to
continue to reduce the number of sales representatives and change
the ways in which businesses sell to each other. As sales expenses
decrease and the Internet continues to grow, employment in direct
sales forces is expected to continue to decrease. Sales organizations
should plan on reducing cost of sales by opting for inside sales reps.
use the internet

” Consider team selling with higher-potential accounts. Many of the
Fortune 500 companies approach particular industries (education,
insurance, utilities, etc.) and high-potential accounts with sales
teams that include not only a manager from the sales department
but also managers and representatives from engineering, service,
and research and development. Such team sales efforts bring
strengths from many functional areas to bear on the account.
Procter & Gamble and IBM are two examples of companies that
have used this team sales approach successfully. According to Jill
Summers, a former Procter & Gamble manager who is now with
Eli Lilly, “We have vice presidents who often head up our cus-
tomer teams who call on our larger accounts, such as Wal-Mart.”

SALES TRUTH 24: Consultative salespeople will
remain, but in reduced numbers.

the next
generation of
AT THE beginning of this book, I stated that I
would begin with the end in mind. We are at the
end. But, is it really the end? Yes, it is the end of
this book, but it is not the end of the sales profes-
sion™s attempt to discover different solutions and
new perspectives to improve their performance
results in their chosen field. This quest will proba-
bly never end. Whenever you insert the variable of
people, in this case salespeople, into an equation,
the answers are never absolute. However, there will
probably always be the quest to figure out this
164 the 24 sales traps

Rubik™s Cube of sales. And don™t think people aren™t working real
hard at it. But how do we answer this most important question:
How can we further optimize individual sales performance™s above
the levels we have already achieved with the world™s finest per-
formance change programs?
This book has taken a “best practices” approach to improving
sales results. It has identified 24 sales traps, based upon thoughtful
research, that top performers are likely to avoid. So, what is wrong
with focusing on these 24 sales traps and becoming a sales star?
Aren™t they the “best practices” that you need to process and exe-
cute for stardom? Well, yes, but they are missing the same key ingre-
dient that sales training programs of today”the first generation”are
missing. These “best practices” approaches must be customized to
the sales consultant™s customer organization at an entirely new level
if they are to ultimately achieve performance change and therefore
improved results for the salesperson and his or her company.
Therefore, a second generation of training utilizing a higher-level,
customized approach to performance change will most likely emerge.
To put it another way, the value proposition will be different in
this new millennium. Salespeople will not just be delivering the
same value proposition in a different way. For example, today the
most effective training programs use some type of sales model that
needs to be learned in order to bring about a change in individual
and group performance. Some of these models are well researched
and formulated; others are overly complex, difficult to learn, and
not correlated with top performance. All these models, however,
have one thing in common: They are totally free of business knowledge.
They are simply generic frameworks. In other words, “We will
teach you our sales models, then you need to figure out how to
translate them to your real world.”
For example, it™s not about learning the finer points of some prob-
ing model for asking questions”it™s about learning the questions that

bring business results in the buying scenarios that represent the
customer™s marketplace. More specifically, how can a salesperson
ask really smart questions if she or he doesn™t really know the cus-
tomer and the customer™s marketplace? She or he can™t. That™s
business knowledge. The content of tomorrow™s generation of pro-
grams needs to address this knowledge issue through its content
and its facilitators.
In summary, the major topic areas for improving sales results
are not unique. The research clearly indicates which core skills
make top performers. When it comes to face-to-face customer
interactions, salespeople need to avoid the 24 sales traps. So, where
are we headed?
Dr. Richard Ruff, president of Sales Momentum in Scottsdale,
Arizona, and coauthor of Getting Partnering Right and Managing
Major Sales, strongly believes that the next step in achieving perfor-
mance change and improving sales results will involve customizing
programs to a second generation of standards using a “best prac-
tices” approach as the core strategies and skills.
According to Ruff:

There are two unique points that should strongly be
considered when figuring out how to move sales per-
formance and sales results to the next level. First,
performance change programs must incorporate a cus-
tomer survey that is customized for the program, and
performance change programs should also examine the
success factors from the customer™s perspective.
Second, the program must incorporate into each case
study the “best practices” of your top salespeople. In
other words, we must leverage the insights of an orga-
nization™s best people in order to help others within
the company.
166 the 24 sales traps

So, as I end this book, I can™t help but wonder what a third
generation of performance change might look like. The good
news? I don™t have to worry about it until the second generation
grows up and comes of age. Good luck, and may all of you become
value creators!

Dick Canada
Hanover, New Hampshire
August, 2001

Contact: Dick Canada
E-Mail: rcanada@indiana.edu
Kelley School of Business
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405
The Institute for Global Sales Studies
Kelley School of Business
Indiana University
The Dartmouth Group, Ltd.
10333 N. Meridian Street, Ste. 230
Indianapolis, IN 46290
1. Neil Rackham conducted the study at Xerox.
Rackham is a preeminent sales researcher who studied
35,000 sales calls in 23 countries over a period of 12
years. He is the author of over fifty research and tech-
nical papers, and his works have been translated into
thirteen languages.

1. Conversation with the author.
2. Conversations between the author and Neil Rackham
during August 2000.
3. Jamie Comstock and Garry Higgins, “Appropriate
Relational Messages in Direct Selling Interaction:
Should Salespeople Adapt to Buyers™ Communicator
Style?” Journal of Business Communication, 34, no. 4
(1990): 401“418. Comstock and Higgins studied 100
advertising buyers from 100 different companies in a
medium-sized city in the Florida panhandle. Participants
were selected to provide a proportional representation of
businesses within the community. Buyers were predom-
inantly male (67 percent) and Anglo (79 percent).
Observations by The Dartmouth Group, Ltd., and con-
versations with the Indiana University Institute for Sales
Studies confirm Comstock and Higgins™s findings.
168 notes

4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. The Dartmouth Group, Ltd., field observations of salespeople
who “give information versus seek information” and their resulting
success on sales calls.
7. Robert B. Miller and Stephen E. Heiman with Tad Tuleja, Strategic
Selling (New York: Warner Books, 1986) and Neil Rackham™s study
of 35,000 sales calls in 23 countries over a period of 12 years. Miller
and Heiman and Rackham diverge on the specific characteristics of
coaches, but both emphasize their importance.
8. Miller and Heiman, Strategic Selling, chap. 12, “Your Coach: A
Key to the Other Buying Influences,” 208“213.
9. Miller and Heiman argue that the coach can be found anywhere:
in your organization, in the buying organization, or outside both. In
Strategic Selling they discuss the criteria for a good coach on pp.
83“87. They define the coach™s role as “to provide information,
direction, guidance”and in many cases access to the other Buying
Influences. But the Coach doesn™t do your selling for you [emphasis
theirs]” (215“216).
10. Miller and Heiman, Strategic Selling.
11. Stephen E. Heiman and Diane Sanchez with Tad Tuleja, The New
Conceptual Selling (New York: Warner Books, 1999), Neil Rackham,
SPIN® Selling (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1988), and Achieve-Global,
Professional Selling Skills IV, further support this point.
12. Neil Rackham™s study of 35,000 sales calls in 23 countries over a
period of 12 years, cited in SPIN® Selling, 61.
13. Neil Rackham and John Carlisle, “The Effective Negotiator”
Part I: The Behavior of Successful Negotiators,” Journal of European
Industrial Design Training 2, no. 6 (1978): 6“11.

1. POOPS Matrix for September 7, 2000 through September 28,
2000, Undergraduate Career Services, Kelley School of Business,
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405.
2. National Collegiate Sales Competition (NCSC) Event, Baylor
University, Center for Professional Selling, Waco, TX 76798,
February 25“26, 2000. Baylor University Center for Professional
Selling, National Collegiate Sales Competition (NCSC) Event, P.O.
Box 98007, Waco, TX, 76798, telephone 254-710-4246.
3. Conversation between the author and Jonathan Walsman, for-
mer account manager, Xerox Corporation, Indianapolis, IN, June
26, 2000.
4. Argyris and Schon first proposed double-loop learning theory in
C. Argyris and D. Schon, Increasing Leadership Effectiveness (San
Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1976). Double-loop learning is a theory of
personal change, or how an individual learns to change underlying
values and assumptions. Double-loop learning incorporates “theory
of action,” a perspective first outlined by Argyris & Schon in Theory
in Practice (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1974). “Theory of action” (or
what people think they do) takes the perspective that human beings
are actors and that an individual™s behavior is part of and is informed
by his or her theory of action.
An important contrast to the theory of action is an individual™s “the-
ory-in-use” (what people actually do, as opposed to what they think
they do). Bringing what people think they do (theory of action) and
what they actually do (theory-in-use) into congruence is a primary
concern of double-loop learning. Typically, interaction with others
is necessary in order to identify the conflict between the two.
There are four basic steps in applying action theory: (1) discovery
of the espoused theory of action and actual theory-in-use, (2) the
170 notes

invention of new meanings for each, (3) the production of new
actions, and (4) generalization of results.
In double-loop learning, assumptions underlying current views are
questioned and hypotheses about behavior are tested publicly. The
end result should be increased effectiveness in decision making and
better acceptance of failures and mistakes.
See www.hfni.gsehd.gwu.edu/˜tip/argyris.html
5. The Dartmouth Group, Ltd., ten-year field studies of sales top
6. “Sales U? Companies Want Graduates Who Can Sell Now,” The
Wall Street Journal, October 12, 1999, A-1.
7. Conversations between Neil Rackham and the author.
8. Rosann L. Spiro and Barton Weitz, “Adaptive Selling:
Conceptualization, Measurement and Nomological Validity,” Journal
of Marketing Research, February 1990. Dr. Spiro is also a coauthor of
a best-selling sales management textbook, William J. Stanton,
Rosann Spiro, and Richard Buskirk, Management of a Sales Force, 9th
ed. (Homewood, IL: Irwin, 1995), which also cites her and Dr.
Weitz™s original study (p. 252). Dr. Weitz is also coauthor with
Stephen B. Castleberry and John F. Tanner, Jr., of the college
textbook Selling: Building Partnerships, 3d ed. (New York: Irwin/
McGraw-Hill, 1998).
9. Rackham™s studies, later published in SPIN® Selling (New York:
McGraw-Hill, 1988), debunked this myth. He discovered that
whether a question was open or closed wasn™t as important as the
type of question within each category.
10. “Sales U?” A-1 and class syllabi submitted at the American
Marketing Association Nineteenth Annual Faculty Consortium
on Professional Selling and Sales Management, Orlando, Florida,
July 1999.

11. Presentation by Jon Hawes, Director, Fisher Institute for
Professional Selling at the University of Akron, at the American
Marketing Association Nineteenth Annual Faculty Consortium on
Professional Selling and Sales Management, Orlando, Florida, July
1999. The University of Akron also offers a minor (18 credits) and
a certificate (15 credits) in sales.
12. Selected colleges and universities are from “Sales U?” A-1 and
class syllabi submitted at the American Marketing Association
Nineteenth Annual Faculty Consortium on Professional Selling and
Sales Management, Orlando, Florida, July 1999.
13. “Sales U?” A-1.
14. Ibid.
15. William J. Stanton, Rosann Spiro, and Richard Buskirk,
Management of a Sales Force, 9th ed. (Homewood, IL: Irwin, 1995).
Also, The Dartmouth Group, Ltd., ten-year field studies of top per-
formers. Top performers tended to have solid interpersonal skills,
but there didn™t seem to be an initial correlation between investiga-
tive skills and interpersonal skills or adaptive skills, leading us to
conclude that selling skills needed to be developed, i.e., people were
not born with them. Although the observations by the Dartmouth
Group, Ltd., were field observations and not formal studies, this
inference meets the test of reasonableness.
16. Observations by the Dartmouth Group, Ltd., personnel,
including Mike Navel, Tricia Wilson, Mark Slaby, Susan Woods,
and Gina Shupe.
17. Conversations between the author and Neil Rackham during
August 2000.

1. Conversation between the author and Don Argay, Manager,
Training & Development, Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Division, 1993,
172 notes

at Eli Lilly corporate offices in Indianapolis, Indiana. Eli Lilly™s sales
organization called on physicians and used a customized sales pro-
gram developed especially for Eli Lilly.
2. Sales researcher Neil Rackham found that strategically cus-
tomized training programs were likely to be nearly twice as effec-
tive as off-the-shelf, generic programs. (IKON seminar in Atlanta,
Georgia in October 1996.)
3. I joined Xerox in 1971, when its national training facility was
located at the Sheraton Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. In June of
1971, I participated in the first version (PSS-1) of this continually
evolving program (which as of this writing is in its fourth revision).
In the mid-1970s, when I became a sales manager, I began teaching
PSS to Xerox™s new hires.
4. In research conducted by Neil Rackham in 1984“1985, even
people who were well trained in communication style techniques
couldn™t identify the buyer™s style when they watched videos of real
sales calls.
5. One study, however showed no correlation between the seller™s
communication style and the style buyers said they prefer. Jamie
Comstock and Garry Higgins, “Appropriate Relational Messages
in Direct Selling Interaction: Should Salespeople Adapt to
Buyer™s Communicator Style?” Journal of Business Communication
34, no. 4 (1997): 401“418. Comstock and Higgins studied 100
advertising buyers from 100 different companies in a medium-
sized city in the Florida panhandle. Participants were selected to
provide a proportional representation of businesses within the
community. Buyers were predominantly male (67 percent) and
Anglo (79 percent).
6. Neil Rackham studied 35,000 sales calls in 23 countries over a
period of 12 years and developed a behaviorally based program
based on this research.

7. Neil Rackham™s study at Xerox, cited in Neil Rackham and
Richard Ruff, Managing Major Sales (New York, HarperBusiness,
1991), 128“130.
8. Interview between The Dartmouth Group, Ltd., personnel and
the author in 1999.

1. Rackham™s conclusion: “It™s more important that your key ideas
get to the decision-maker than that you should present them in per-
son.” Rackham™s study of 35,000 sales calls in 23 countries over a
period of 12 years is cited in his Major Account Sales Strategy (New
York: McGraw-Hill, 1989), 19“20, 34.
2. The Dartmouth Group, Ltd., field study observations,
3. Neil Rackham labels objective criteria as “hard” in Major Account
Sales Strategy.
4. www.salesdoctors.com/diagnosis/3value3.htm.
5. The Dartmouth Group, Ltd., memorandum by Susan Woods
dated December 9, 1998.
6. Ibid.
7. Tom Fee of Sales Process Solutions, Inc., “Their [customers™]
responsibilities to themselves and their stakeholders (employees,
stockholders, customers, etc.) have become their [customers™] over-
riding concern.” www.salesdoctors.com/diagnosis/3rel.htm, fall 1999.
8. Lecture given by Neil Rackham during a sales management class
at Indiana University on April 12, 2000.
9. Discussion with Dr. Richard Ruff in August 2000.
10. Neil Rackham, “Why Bad Things Happen to Good Products,”
Journal of Product Innovation Management, May 1998.
174 notes

11. The Dartmouth Group, Ltd., behavioral analysis studies at the
MEDSTAT Group, 1999“2000.
12. The phrase “don™t let enthusiasm get in the way” is from conver-
sations between the author and Neil Rackham during August 2000.
13. Neil Rackham™s study of 35,000 sales calls in 23 countries over a
period of 12 years, cited in Rackham, Major Account Sales Strategy,
116. When customers told salespeople that the reason the salespeo-
ple had lost the business was price, 64 percent of the time price was-
n™t the main reason. More important factors were the risks and
penalties that the customer feared would come from buying from a
particular vendor.
14. Conversations between the author and Dr. Richard Ruff during
Dr. Ruff™s visit to the Kelley School of Business at Indiana
University, April 5“7, 2000, and Neil Rackham™s study of 35,000
sales calls in 23 countries over a period of 12 years, cited in
Rackham, Major Account Sales Strategy, 116.
15. Ibid.
16. Private conversations between Neil Rackham and the author
during visits to the Institute for Global Sales Studies at the Kelley
School of Business at Indiana University and Neil Rackham™s study
of 35,000 sales calls in 23 countries over a period of 12 years, cited
in Rackham, Major Account Sales Strategy, 124.
17. Deep-seated concerns are also discussed in Stephen E. Heiman
and Diane Sanchez with Tad Tuleja, The New Conceptual Selling
(New York: Warner Books, 1999); Neil Rackham, SPIN® Selling
(New York: McGraw-Hill, 1988); and Kevin Davis and Kenneth H.
Blanchard, Getting Into Your Customer™s Head: The Eight Roles of
Customer Focused Selling (New York: Times Books, 1996).
18. Strategic Marketing Class, August 1991 at Amos Tuck School of
Business Administration at Dartmouth College.

19. The Dartmouth Group, Ltd., ten-year field observations of top
performers, 1990“2000.
20. Conversations between the author and Neil Rackham in August
21. Ibid.
22. Ibid.
23. Ibid.
24. Neil Rackham™s talk to the M426 Sales Management Class at
Indiana University, April 12, 2000.
25. Private conversations between the author and Neil Rackham
during Rackham™s visits to the Institute for Global Sales Studies at
the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, and Neil
Rackham™s study of 35,000 sales calls in 23 countries over a period
of 12 years, cited in Rackham, Major Account Sales Strategy, 116.
26. The Dartmouth Group, Ltd., field studies of top performers
include observations of sales calls across many industries, such as
telecommunications, office products, office furniture, computer
software, publishing, health care, financial services, and banking
from 1990 through 2000. Our field behavioral studies have included
industry leaders like Xerox, Westinghouse, Eli Lilly, McGraw-Hill,
and Herman-Miller distributor reps. Our observations of top per-
formers indicate that they offer solutions later in the sales call than
average or subpar performers.
27. Rolf B. White, ed., The Great Business Quotations (New York,
Dell, 1986), 131.
28. The Dartmouth Group, Ltd. observations during a behavioral
analysis study with Union Federal Bank, conducted by Mike Navel
and Tracey Welch in 1998“1999 with Union Federal Bank small
business lenders.
176 notes

29. Linda Richardson, Stop Telling, Start Selling: How to Use
Customer-Focused Dialogue to Close Sales (New York: McGraw-Hill,
1997), and Stephen E. Heiman and Diane Sanchez with Tad Tuleja,
The New Conceptual Selling (New York: Warner Books, 1999), 182:
“Good questions can motivate and sustain your customer™s interest,
stimulate her thinking and modify her attitudes.”
30. Conversations with Neil Rackham suggest that salespeople are
more likely to ask lots of questions when they believe the purpose
is to understand rather than persuade. Neil Rackham™s study of
35,000 sales calls in 23 countries over a period of 12 years, cited in
Neil Rackham, The SPIN® Selling Field Workbook (New York:
McGraw-Hill, 1999), 169.
31. Thomas N. Ingram with Raymond W. Laforge and Charles H.
Schwepker, Jr., Sales Management: Analysis and Decision Making, 3d ed.,
The Dryden Press Series in Marketing, (Orlando, FL: HBJ, 1997).
32. Wilson Learning and IKON Office Solutions, 1995, 9.
33. “Selling at the Speed of Change (as Business Changes,
Salespeople Must Change)” Sales & Marketing Management, 151, no.
11 (1999): S22.
34. John F. Monoky, “7 Attributes of Successful Sellers,” Industrial
Distribution 83, no. 3 (1994): 58.

1. Sales-skill-based programs usually contain probing models and
techniques for uncovering and developing client needs. In some
cases, negotiation behaviors are taught in a company™s basic sales
training program, but normally these skill behaviors are covered
later, in the advanced training modules.
2. The Dartmouth Group, Ltd., ten-year study included a multina-
tional office products company, 1990“2000. Many of its managers

were not sufficiently familiar with their company™s basic sales skill
program to effectively coach and reinforce it.
3. Neil Rackham™s study at Xerox, cited in Neil Rackham and
Richard Ruff, Managing Major Sales, (New York: Harperbusiness,
1991), 129“130.
4. Learning International, Sales Coaching: The Key to Leading a High-
Performance Team (Stamford, Conn.: Learning International, 1994),
10. This covers research conducted among leading sales organiza-
tions worldwide between 1992 and 1994.
5. This notion was documented in Rackham and Ruff, Managing
Major Sales.
6. Neil Rackham™s study of 35,000 sales calls in 23 countries over a
period of 12 years, cited in Rackham and Ruff, Managing Major
Sales, 13“14.
7. For further details on this finding, refer to Neil Rackham, SPIN®
Selling (McGraw-Hill, 1988).
8. The Dartmouth Group, Ltd., ten-year field studies of top per-
formers (1990“2000). Also confirmed by the Institute for Global
Sales Studies, Indiana University, “Role Play Effectiveness in M430
Professional Selling Classes; 1995“2000; Persuasion Exercises
Between Sellers & Buyers.” See also Stephen E. Heiman and Diane
Sanchez with Tad Tuleja, The New Conceptual Selling (New York:
Warner Books, 1999), 33.
9. The Dartmouth Group, Ltd., ten-year field studies of top per-
formers. Also confirmed by the Institute for Global Sales Studies,
Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, “Role Play
Effectiveness in M430 Professional Selling Classes; 1995“2000;
Persuasion Exercises Between Sellers & Buyers.”
10. The Dartmouth Group, Ltd., ten-year field studies of top per-
formers (1990“2000). Also confirmed by the Institute for Global
178 notes

Sales Studies, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, “Role
Play Effectiveness in M430 Professional Selling Classes; 1995-2000;
Persuasion Exercises Between Sellers & Buyers.”
11. Neil Rackham™s research on 35,000 sales calls in 23 countries over
a period of 12 years, cited in Rackham, SPIN® Selling, 132“133.
12. Ibid., 33.

13. Learning International, Sales Coaching, 2. “[But] data gathered
during our most recent research, conducted among leading sales
organizations worldwide between 1992 and 1994, revealed an alarm-
ing finding: Few sales managers do any real coaching at all.” The
research was conducted by Learning International (now Achieve
Global) among leading sales organizations worldwide between 1992
and 1994.
14. Ibid., 10: “Most participants could easily describe the attributes
of a good coach”and, indeed, there was widespread agreement
about what those attributes are. There was very little agreement,
however, about the process the sales coach uses to be effective.” 24:
“In addition, most participants acknowledged that there™s a large gap
between what sales coaching should be and what it is.”
15. Ibid., 24: “Many organizations do not consider sales coaching to
be a separate sales management discipline; instead, the sales man-
ager™s own sales experience is thought to be an adequate source of
sales wisdom, strategies for improvement, and motivation.”
16. Ibid., 25: “The sales managers learned and applied selling strate-
gies that worked in a marketplace that no longer exists. Often, their
experience in that marketplace is not relevant when trying to help
salespeople deal with today™s sales challenges.”
17. Ibid., 26: “Yet salespeople say the coaching they receive is still too
basic to help them meet their customers™ escalating demands.”

18. Ibid., 27: “Salespeople agreed that support and encouragement
are important but feel that constructive feedback on their skills and
performance is equally critical.”

1. Margaret McKegney, “Dell Adapts Well to Online Sales,”
Advertising Age International, May 2000, 26.
2. Ibid.
3. Jeffrey Gitomer, “Here™s Proof E-Commerce Is a Winner,”
Birmingham Business Journal, March 17, 2000, 15.
4. Chad Kaydo, “You™ve Got Sales,” Sales and Marketing Management
151, no. 10 (1999): 28.
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid. Applied began testing the customer extranets with 12 clients
in March 1999 and opened them to all customers in June 1999. By
August 1999, more than 100 clients had registered to use the service.
7. Ibid.
8. Russ Banham, “The B-to-B Virtual Bazaar,” Journal of Accountancy
190, no. 1 (2000): 26.
9. Ibid. PlasticsNet.com also offer users access to raw and manufac-
tured materials through online exchanges and online catalogs.
10. “Consultative sales benefit a great deal from a salesperson™s inti-
mate knowledge of a customer™s specific operations, knowledge that
would be hard to match or replace electronically.” Neil Rackham
and John De Vincentis, Rethinking the Sales Force (New York:
McGraw-Hill, 1999), 120.
11. “Dell to Detroit: Get into Gear Online!” The Wall Street Journal,
December 1, 1999, B4.
180 notes

12. Publishing Trends Conference, New York, November 1999,
quoted in Publisher™s Weekly, November 29, 1999, 25.
13. Bill Gates, with Collins Hemingway, Business @ the Speed of
Thought, Using a Digital Nervous System (Warner Books, 1999), 90.
14. “By some estimates, at least half of today™s selling positions will
be gone by 2004.” Harvard Management Update 4, no. 1 (1999): 11,
quoting Neil Rackham and John De Vincentis.
15. Kaydo, “You™ve Got Sales.”
16. Ibid.
17. Ibid.
18. Alf Nucifora, “Are You Preparing for the E-Business
Revolution?” Business Journal (Central New York), vol. 14, no. 6
(2000), 20.
19. Ibid.
20. Cisco@speed, The Economist, June 29, 1999, 12.
21. Kaydo, “You™ve Got Sales.”
22. Ibid.
23. Ibid.
24. Cisco@speed, The Economist.
25. Kaydo, “You™ve Got Sales.
26. McKegney, “Dell Adapts Well to Online Sales.”
27. Ibid.
28. Ibid.
29. Daniel Roth, “Dell™s Big Act,” Fortune, December 6, 1999, 152.
accounts best practices, 164, 165
on extranets, 151“152 big picture, 73“75
and Internet, 156, 157 body language, 63
relationships within, 20“24, books, 138
74“75 B2B commerce, 151“155, 158
Achieve-Global, 130 business acumen, 70“71
Acito, Frank, 45
action, theory of, 169n.4 career outlook, 156“157,
action steps, 41 159“161
activity, sales, 132“136 Carlson, Jan, 79
acumen, business, 71 Carter, Larry, 158, 159
adaptive selling, 46, 61“63 case studies, 165
advantages, of products, 12 catalogs, 151
advertising agencies, 25“30 causes, of fallacies, 3“4
advice, 139 Cegala, Joe, 53
aggressiveness, 3, 13“19 change
examples, 16“18 behavioral, see behavioral
Andersen Consulting, 34 change
Applied Industrial Technologies, customer view, 27, 29
151“152 and Internet, 151“155
Argyris, C., 169n.4 choices, 155
awards, 65 Cisco Systems, 158“159
Bank One, 128 transactional versus consulta-
Baylor University, 34 tive sales, 132“136, 140
beginners, 66“68 coach(ing)
behavior, and values, 71 by account contacts, 20“24
behavioral change and feedback, 126“127, 138
and focus, 66“67, 131 incentives for, 144
and practice, 138 by managers, 126“127,
reinforcement, 65 142“145
and theory of action, 169n.4 and performance, 140
behavior-based research, 47 role, 168n.9
Beller, Rick, 140 by top performers, 4
182 index

coach(ing) (continued) of sales, 159“160
and training, 4“5, 64“65, and timing, 109
129“130 Cotterill, Jim, 62“63
communication creativity, 100
attitudinal approach, 60“61 criteria, for decisions, 76“83, 93,
common language, 57“58 97“99
with decision-makers, 173n.1 culture, 65, 127“128
e-mail, 149“150 Cuny, John, 66
with internal champion, 24 customer-based research, 47
learning pathway, 63 customers
with managers, 143 attitudinal approach, 60“61
for problem recognition, 32 controlling sales calls, 111“114
of problems, 71 decision criteria, 79, 81“82
and social style, 61“63 as focus, 4, 11“14, 63, 73“74
competitors and Internet, 147, 154, 158
differentiation from, 76“83, learning style, 63
96, 100 motivation, 91“92, 94“101
and Internet, 154 new, 134, 152, 157, 159
complex sales, 20“24 perspective, 115“119, 165
closing, 132“136 problem perception, 25“32
and price, 96 responses, 16“17, 18
team selling, 160“161 social styles, 61“63
tri-part focus, 73“74 and value, 88“90
computers, see databases; Internet value perception, 70
confidence, 70 words of, 32
versus aggressiveness, 17“18 see also needs
consultative sales customization
and activity, 132“136 of offering, 157
career outlook, 155“161 of training, 54, 164, 165
and feedback, 125“128
and Internet, 148, 156“161 Dartmouth Group, 7, 51, 86, 138,
and questions, 116“118 139, 171n.15
strategies, 4, 41“42 see also Lockman, Mike
and value, 70, 103“104 databases, 70, 148
contentiousness, 18 debriefing, 40
contract length, 80 decision criteria, 76“83, 93, 97“99
control, of sales call, 111“114 decision influencers, 23
convenience, 80 decision makers, 20“24, 72“75,
conversational skills, 61 173n.1
cooperative style, 18 delivery, 77, 80
coordination, 151 Dell, Michael, 153“154, 160
Corcoran, Kevin J., 122 Dell Computer Corp., 12,
cost 147“148, 159“160
versus price, 91“93, 103“104 demonstrations, 86

detail, level of, 73“75 and training, 59, 60, 64, 129
development financial factors, 72
and coaching, 64“65 flexibility, 79
and feedback, 127“128 focus
of product, 12 in behavior change, 66“67, 131
of salespeople, 51“55, 144“145 in complex sales, 73“74
DeVincentes, John, 104 on customer needs, 4, 11“14,
differentiation, of offerings, 63, 113
76“83, 96, 100 of power, 74
DISC, 46 of receptivity, 73
distribution, via Internet, 155 on solutions, 11“14, 25“32, 86
dominance, 17 on users, 73“74
downsizing, 156“157 follow-up
on sales, 135
e-commerce, 151“156, 158 on training, 129“131
Edelsack, Leon, 67 Forrester Research, 158
Edison, Thomas, 39 friendliness, 18
education, 34, 43“50 Fritz, Jerry, 79
sales major, 47 Furey, Tim, 157
see also training future trends, 163“165
80/20 rule, 5“6
Eli Lilly Co., 59 Gates, Bill, 156
e-mail, 149“150 Gitomer, Jeffrey, 150
enthusiasm, 86“87 global view, 73“75
examples Goldman Sachs, 158
aggressiveness, 16“18
problem perception, 27“30 Heiman, Stephen E., 21, 168n.9
exchanges, Internet-based, Hewlett-Packard, 128
152“153 Hinkle, Chris, 148
experience, 40, 97“99 Hoffberg, Kevin, 122
expert-based research, 47 holistic approach, 70“71
expert opinions, 140 Holtz, Lou, 37
extranets, 151“152, 158 humor, 150
eye movements, 63
image, 27“28
failures, 36“42 implementation, 90, 92, 100
rate reduction, 49 incentives, 144
fallacies, causes of, 3“4 Indiana University, 34
fear, 38“39 see also Institute for Global
features, of products, 12 Sales Studies
feedback inferences, 4
about mistakes, 40 information
requesting, 130“131 background, 120“122
as success factor, 51“52, 54 inference from, 4
184 index

information (continued) and coaching, 64“65, 126“127,
and Internet, 155 142“145
push and pull styles, 102“104 and feedback, 125“126
quality of, 4, 5 and planning, 120
and solutions, 114 skill set, 137
and value creation, 84“87 in team selling, 160“161
see also databases; Internet top performers as, 142
Ingram, Tom, 116 training for, 143
innovations, 84“86 manipulation, 115“119
insiders, working with, 20“24 marketing
Institute for Global Sales Studies, coordination with, 13
7, 43 students of, 45
see also Indiana University methodologies, 47
internal account contacts, 20“24, Microsoft, 160
74“75 Miller, Robert B., 21, 168n.7“10
IBM, 12, 160, 161 Minnesota Mining and
Internet, 147“150 Manufacturing Co. (3M), 49
and consultative sales, 157“161 mistakes, learning from, 40
and field personnel, 156“157 Mitzell, Channing (Chap), 18
uses, 151“156, 159 Momcilovich, Bridget, 45
interpersonal skills, 53“54 Motorola, 129
introductions, 23
inventory, 152“153 needs
issues, exploring, 120“124 as focus, 11“14, 113
impact of unsolved, 124
King, Jon, 52 and information, 4, 102“105
knowledge and price, 100
business, 164“165 and solutions, 108“109
mistaken, 5 three levels, 73“74
see also information and training, 63
negotiations, 97“101
Lake, Gilmour, 130 and Internet, 157
learning new customers
academic, 34, 43“50 and online sales, 152, 157, 159
double-loop, 40, 169n.4 and transactional sales, 134
from mistakes, 40 new products, 84“87
by observation, 133“138 Northwestern Mutual, 128
learning style, 63 novices, 66“68
linking, of thoughts, 52
listening skills, 32, 139 objections, 6, 139
Lockman, Mike, 142“143, 149 and problem perception, 31
objectivity, 78, 80“82
management, self-, 137 O™Neil, Tom, 96
managers online selling, 158

order review, 152 and persuasion, 4
order status, 148 and problem recognition,
organizations 26“30
internal contacts, 20“24, for risks, 91“92, 92, 99“100,
74“75 101
multinational, 148 problems
personnel changes, 24 identifying, 6, 71
questions about, 120“122 perception of, 25“32
sales principles, 8, 11“12 two types, 32
top performing, principles of, 8 Procter & Gamble, 13“14, 161
without sales force, 160 procurement functions, 152“153
product development, 12
payment terms, 80, 100 products
persistence, 39“42, 55 focus on, 12
to master probing, 54 new, 84“87
personality, 53“54 specifications, 148
perspective, 115“119, 165 professionalism, 19
persuasion, 102, 115“119 Professional Selling Skills (PSS),
pharmaceutical industry, 86 60
planning, sales calls, 120“124, 139 prospect management, 148
practice, 40, 129, 137“138
see also role play quality
precision, 18 and consultative sales, 41“42
Preston, Jim, 31 as decision criterion, 80, 82, 97
price of sales activity, 136
as decision criterion, 77 quality initiatives, 13
on extranets, 152 quantification
and Internet, 152“153, 157 of decision criteria, 81“82
lowering, 94“101 and offer differentiation, 78, 81
negotiations, 97“101 and risk, 99
and push versus pull style, 103 of sales activity, 132“136
versus value, 88“93 questions
principles, of leading sales and business knowledge,
organizations, 8 164“165
prioritization, 76“78 on decision criteria, 76“77
probing factual versus issue-based,
and customer focus, 19 120“122
decision criteria, 76“77 improving, 37“38, 54
for decision criteria, 97“99 and needs-based approach, 63
example, 18 open-ended versus closed, 47
improving, 37“38, 54 permission to ask, 112
mastering, 54 planning, 124, 139
and needs-based approach, 63 and problem recognition,
and objections, 6 26“30, 36“37
186 index

questions (continued) probing for, 92, 99“100, 101
and pull style, 102“103, role play, 34, 52
103“104 Rubley, Ted, 134
purpose, 115“119 Ruff, Richard, 66, 86, 117, 165
and sales call control, 111 Rush, Gerald, 58
timing, 112“113
quotas, 18 sales activity, 132“136
sales calls
R. R. Donnelley & Sons, 44 analysis of, 51, 52
Rackham, Neil, 16, 32, 46, 47, 54, fear of, 38“39
73“74, 78, 81“82, 102, 104 follow-up, 135
on enthusiasm, 86 investigative stage, 111“114
on top performers, 137, 139 new versus customer care, 134,
reading, 138 152
receptivity, 18 outcome percentages, 41
recognition, 144“145 planning, 120“124, 139
recruiting, 33“34, 44, 49 as practice, 40
referral seeking, 135 research on, 46
reinforcement structure, 124
as success factor, 51 sales traps
of training, 4“5, 60, 64, 129 avoidance benefits, 7
rejection, 36“42 causes, 3“5
relationships selection, 6
in account organization, 20“24, and six principles, 24“25
74“75 Schon, D., 169n.4
with customers, 18“19, 62“63 self-management, 137
with decision-makers, 20“24 service, 78, 80, 81
with marketing, 13 skills
reliability, 80 acquisition, 171n.15
reputation, 79, 91 conversational, 61
research interpersonal, 53“54
behavior-based, 47 listening, 32, 139
customer-based, 46“47 for managers, 137
expert-based, 47 probing, 137“138
versus opinion, 50 writing, 150
before sales calls, 122“124 social needs, 61“63
on training, 64, 140 social style, 61“63
resistance, buyer, 27 Solomon, Shelby, 136
response time, 80, 81 solutions
responsibility, 144“145 customized, 157
retainers, 100 as focus, 12“14
rewards, 65, 144 and problem recognition,
risks 25“32
and information style, 103 timing, 86, 106“110, 140

SPIN method, 54 adaptive approach, 61“63
Spiro, Rosann, 46, 51 approach validation, 140“141
sponsors, within account, 20“24, attitudinal method, 60“61
74“75 for beginners, 66“68
stereotypes and behavioral change, 66“67
of obnoxious salesperson, and business knowledge,
15“16 164“165
as sales trap, 3 content, 64
strategies cross-department, 35
for complex sales, 23 customization, 59, 164, 165
selection, 4 follow-up, 129“131
subjectivity, 78, 79“80, 81“82 function, 57“58
success factors, 51“52, 139“140 future trends, 164
Summers, Jill, 161 learning style approach, 63
superstars, 52“53 for managers, 143
support model, 61 needs-based, 63
surveys, 154, 165 as principle, 8
transactional sales
Taylor, Shelley, 159 and activity, 41, 132“136
team selling, 13, 160“161 and Internet, 151“155
technology, new, 92 transactions, online, 158
telemarketing, 156 troubleshooting, 148
terms and conditions, 80 trust, 62“63
theory of action, 169n.4
thinking style, 52 understanding, 82“83, 116“119,
and questions, 116“119 140
Thor, Karen, 64 testing, 32
timing universities
of closing, 132“136 with sales courses, 48“49
of investigative stage, 112“113 with sales major, 47
of solutions, 86, 106“110, 140 University of Akron, 47, 49
top performers users, 73
advice from, 138“139
best practices, 165 value
characteristics, 51“52 creation of, 69“71
as coaches, 4, 137“141 and decision criteria, 82
and feedback, 54 and decision-makers, 72
identifying, 35 and field personnel, 157“158
as managers, 142 and information, 84“87,
recruiting, 33“34 103“104
research on, 47 versus price, 88“93, 94“96
see also superstars and solutions, 109
training values, 59, 71
academic, 34, 43“50 verbal skills, 53“54, 61, 137“138
188 index

warranties, 80 writing skills, 150
Web sites, 158 Wunderman, Lester, 154
Webster, Fred, 99
Weitz, Barton, 46 Xerox Corp., 13, 45, 144, 160
Wilson Learning Systems, 46, training retention study, 64
116 see also Professional Selling
Woods, Susan, 54, 79 Skills (PSS)
about the author
Dick Canada, Executive Director of the Institute
for Global Studies at Indiana University, is recog-
nized as one of the country™s leading experts in the
area of improving field sales force effectiveness and
Canada began his sales career with Procter &
Gamble, then joined Xerox to become Manager of
Training and Development at its international train-
ing center. After leaving Xerox, he founded The
Dartmouth Group, Ltd., which specializes in sales
research and the development of sales models to
improve productivity for companies involved in high-
level selling.
Canada is currently a full-time member of the
marketing faculty at the Kelley School of Business,
Indiana University, where he has taught for 16 years.
He has received many awards for classroom facilita-
tion, including IU™s “Student Choice Award,” which
is presented to the top three professors at the uni-
versity. He also pursued postgraduate studies at
Indiana University and studied strategic marketing at
the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.


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