How To Get Sales Success through Agile Selling

agile-selling-993x1500px-new1It’s rare when a new word is interjected into the conversation. Today I’m talking about the conversation that is constantly revolving around the topic of “sales” and the new word that has entered the conversation—thanks to Jill Konrath—is “agile.”

In Jill’s new book, “Agile Selling,” she makes the case that keeping up with our crazy-fast pace of change isn’t really an issue of “time management,” but an issue of developing one’s agility.

Anyone in business today—especially small business owners and entrepreneurs—feels the unrelenting pressure of time. The marketplace, products, and people are changing at what seems to be an accelerating pace. When phrases such as, “That’s sooo 2013,” enter the lexicon, you know you’re in for a high-speed thrill ride.

Learn better

Rather than just get up earlier, work later or find ways to cram more into the work day, Jill devotes much of “Agile Selling” to teaching us better ways to learn the information and skills that are important for success.

Jill developed her “agile learning” skills through “trial and error” during her days as a consultant. Today, she says, “there’s a growing body of research on how our brain works.” She offers “practical, hands-on tips and techniques for jump-starting your knowledge acquisition” that are based on neuroscience. As Publisher’s Weekly put it, “(the) chapters on how to absorb new information at a fast pace are worth the price of the book.”

She also offers some sage observations and insights about buyers, which anyone involved in sales ignores at his or her own peril. Generally, a salesperson enters the picture very late in the game today, Jill explains. While a previous generation of buyers would turn to a knowledgeable salesperson for advice early in the buying cycle, now almost everybody goes to the Internet for the big picture.

By the time the salesperson is pulled onto the scene, the buyer is more than half way toward the purchase decision. Jill explains how this radically changes the role of the salesperson and how to best embrace and take advantage of that new role.

Not many succeed

How crucial is it to get command of this new role? Very. Jill cites some startling statistics: “According to a recent survey by Forrester Research, only 15 percent of executives say their meetings with salespeople met their expectations. From that, only 7 percent of execs actually scheduled follow-up conversations. Ouch. That’s not good!”

With a proper understanding of today’s buyers and the agility to bring the right knowledge and skills to the sale, you can be the salesperson who gets the call when a client is just about ready to pull the trigger.

“Being agile isn’t easy. But constant change is the new normal, and we have to figure out how to stay afloat—and even thrive—in this ever-evolving ecosystem,” Jill says as she introduces her new book.

Check out reader reviews on Amazon and cruise Jill’s own site for more information. If you’re in sales, or working hard to build your startup, this is probably a book you need to read.