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How and Why Large Companies Make Product Selections by Brian Burns

The full title of this book by Brian Burns is

How and Why Large Companies Make Product Selections: You Know How to Sell, Now Learn How Companies Buy

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Three Stars, meaning it is Worthwhile.

Here is my book review

Best for complex or large items

This is an interesting book that aims to explain the issues involved with selling to large businesses.

It starts with six myths but I thought they were stretched to make various points. I find it hard to believe that any are widely held.

I like books that look at selling from the perspective of the buyer because I believe they give you additional insight and help to explain why some deals seem easy and some are impossible. This looks at whether the pain solved by buying is active (the customer started the search ) or latent (urgency has been created by sales and marketing activities ).

It goes on to talk about a mismatch between the sales model of the supplier compared with the buying needs of the potential customer. This mismatch is most perceived by the salespeople themselves and not the senior management who have the power to change the sales model.

The book goes on to explain how to help the customer prepare a business justification, often needed to gain approval for the decision to buy from anyone and from a particular supplier. Many years ago, I was taught the OSPOPE acronym for capex justifications, standing for Objective, Situation, Problem, Options, Proposal, Evaluation. It seemed to work well.

As I was reading, I felt the book was mainly targeted towards sellers of complex products like IT systems. Phrase after phrase took me back to the work I was doing on Y2K projects and the experiences I had with different software companies, some good and some bad.

The book makes some interesting points but I never felt it really got to grips with its subject.


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