Jill Konrath recently published a new book, AGILE SELLING: GET UP TO SPEED QUICKLY IN TODAY’S EVER-CHANGING SALES WORLD. I decided to take a closer look after a conversation during which the person I was talking with said Jill’s first book, SNAP Selling, was life-changing.
A Book for Sales Culture — Now
We’re in the midst of an evolution — fast-moving enough that we can see the change occurring month to month. Not slowly, like in the old days, but fast enough that we can see it happening.
Sales is one of the professions that has been greatly affected by the “new buyer” — the smart, informed, independent, vocal, and disobedient buyer. Resistance, as they say, is futile. Jill lays out the skills both sales managers and salespeople need as they adapt to this global, societal changes.
Jill isn’t advocating throwing out time-tested sales techniques. She advocates being agile at learning and adapting to the new ways of selling — techniques that many salespeople are using now to succeed in the modern sales landscape.
New best practices in sales are fine to add to the “layer cake,” but in a very Darwinian way, it’s the ability to adapt that will bring success.
My favorite section was Learn New Info Quickly. Jill explains how top sellers assimilate knowledge. But more importantly, she defines what you need to learn, how to absorb new information in the right sequence, and how to make the knowledge “stick.” This is great information.
Facing Hard Realities
Sometimes, management becomes simply overwhelmed, and I think it is the breathtaking velocity of change that is the reason for their ostrich-like attitude — the lure of the status quo. Sure, that’s understandable — but it’s not realistic. Like every other profession, salespeople can’t do just a few things and succeed. They must do a lot of things, consistently, to move the needle.
Jill hits the mark with her thesis. We must adapt. We must adapt quickly. We must experiment and explore and see what’s working. Then we have to try new processes and find ways to convince our sales force to see the value they will bring.
Jill Removes the “Fog of War”
Jill has a knack for taking complex issues and making them understandable — and she makes it look easy. If you’ve seen her speak, you know she makes that look easy, too. In Agile Selling, she is comfortingly confident as she shows readers that success is in their hands and that agility can be learned.
Salespeople know that they need to change. For managers and teams that haven’t known where to start, Jill’s book will become a roadmap.