“The Funnel Principle: What Every Salesperson Must Know About Selling” by Mark Sellers

The Funnel Principle: What Every Salesperson Must Know About Selling is the last book I’m going to review in 2012. (I’m behind in my novel reading!) Mark Sellers authored the book; Mark is the CEO of Breakthrough Sales Performance, a sales consulting company located in Dublin, Ohio that approaches the sales process through the eyes of the customer. Breakthrough was founded in 1996 and has emerged as a top authority on sales funnel management and effective sales processes.

As most of you know, I spent my entire 40+-year career as a B2C one-call-close salesperson; I’m no expert at pipeline/funnel complex selling. But I enjoy learning about it, and I believe Mark has provided a different look at this type of selling with his BuyCycle Funnel™, and how it plays a part in the approach he’s developed called the 8-Step Process for Funnel Management. It’s a new take on the sales funnel that I think salespeople and sales managers can use quite effectively to match their sales activities to the customer’s buying methodology.

I’ll let Mark describe what makes the BuyCycle Funnel™ different from the traditional funnel: “The difference between the traditional funnel and the BuyCycle Funnel™ is in how the funnel stages are defined. We know that in a traditional funnel the definitions are based on selling activity, such as ‘leave a sample’, ‘do a demo’, or ‘deliver a proposal.’ With the BuyCycle Funnel™, the stages are defined by the customer buying process, which is the series of stages a customer [my emphasis] goes through when the customer makes a purchase. It’s a more effective approach to selling and managing your funnel.” Again, I’m no expert at funnel selling, but this makes a lot of sense to me.

The book is well written, but I would have preferred more storytelling, as opposed to the abstract telling style Mark uses to get his points across; however, I really liked all the graphics he uses to illustrate those points. I think he’s done a superb job using those graphics to make the book an easier read for his audience. All in all, I think pipeline/funnel salespeople will get a lot out of The Funnel Principle, so I definitely recommend it. Sometimes a new, fresh approach to an old concept can greatly enhance a salesperson’s performance.

One of the Amazon reviews that caught my eye was from Paul Dsouza, who says, “I liked this book for the simple reason that Mark Sellers offers us a new way to assess the risks associated with bringing in a deal. He is a sales professional himself and is all about getting to the close. Why would you care about ‘Your’ organizational process when the deal is done in your client’s organization? Mark’s process stays focused on what is important…your client’s way of doing business. You will find his 8-Step process refreshing and effective. You will find him very engaging and informative. Get the book and get to know him. He will help you close more deals.”

You can order The Funnel Principle at Amazon.com. Let me know what you get out of it, how it helps you.