Contents: 1) Using Geoffrey Moore's Chasm Models in major account selling, 2) E-commerce and the chasm SalesLinks HomeMentor Associates sales training and consulting services recommend this sitefaqdedicationsite map
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Major Account Selling in High-Technology Companies

Jack Carroll
by Jack Carroll

Contents of this newsletter:

  1. Using Geoffrey Moore's "Chasm Models" in major account selling
  2. Crossing the Chasm: product offerings that optimize your business
  3. Services versus products
  4. S.H.A.R.E.S. resource table


1. Using Geoffrey Moore’s "Chasm Models" in major account selling

If you sell high-technology products at the major account level you should know and be capable of applying the laws of the chasm. Chasming, for the uninitiated, refers to the marketing cosmology formalized by Geoffrey Moore beginning in 1991 with the publication of Crossing the Chasm and followed in 1995 by Inside the Tornado.

Crossing the Chasm updated the mechanics of the "technology adoption life cycle," which breaks product and market evolution in high technology markets into consecutive phases of development:

Classic model Chasm model
Early market Innovators and early adopters
Early majority Pragmatists
Late majority Conservatives
Laggards Skeptics

Inside the Tornado extended the chasm model by defining three separate mainstream market phases of: niche markets, mass market hyper-growth, and finally mass customization.

In each of these phases of market development, there are seven strategy elements which play out against the market development models which operate as a backdrop:

  1. Target customer
  2. Compelling reason to buy
  3. Whole product
  4. Partners and allies
  5. Distribution
  6. Pricing
  7. Competition
  8. Positioning
  9. Next target

So, why is this important to the selling of high technology products to major accounts? Because major account selling is primarily a strategy, planning, and execution game, and secondarily, a persuasion or selling skills and techniques game. It is the area of selling that calls for true "strategic selling" skills, not what Miller-Heiman and others call strategic selling (in actuality, "advanced tactical").

Each of these nine areas of strategic sales and marketing activities plays out differently in each stage of market development. If you are selling an offer or a value proposition, it better be the one that is appropriate to the stage of market development that you’re in or you could be singing a beautiful song to the wrong audience at the wrong time. Multiply nine strategy elements by six different chasm stages and it becomes readily apparent that there is much to think about along the way to success and fulfillment.

If you think that this is too complicated or sophisticated to track in a real world sales situation, imagine what it’s like without the blueprint. Geoffrey Moore gives you a map to the maze. If you want to use it as a guideline, it’s well defined in these two books:

Crossing the Chasm

Inside the Tornado

If you don’t, pray for good luck. You’ll need it.

May we help you with major account selling?

Can we help you with any aspect of a major accounts keynote speech, strategy, or training in your company? Ask us for our recommendations or a needs analysis—no cost or obligation. Contact Amanda Hooper of Mentor Associates at 888-773-9712 or for more information.

2. Crossing the Chasm: product offerings that optimize your business

An article by Geoffrey Moore and Michael Tanner
Some of the important basics of the Chasm Group philosophy with an excellent graphic of their market development model.


3. Services versus products

Upside Magazine article by Geoffrey Moore
The differences between service offerings and product offerings using chasm models.


4. S.H.A.R.E.S. resource table

A high technology resource reference
A site published in connection with Geoffrey Moore’s book on high tech investing, The Gorilla Game. Some of the most valuable links you can use in navigating the high tech selling and marketing waters.



Major Accounts Bulletin archives:

  1. Welcome and overview
  2. Follow their buying process
  3. Geoffrey Moore's Chasm Models
  4. Selling styles in major account selling
  5. CRM and major account selling—what's the buzz?
  6. The five most important elements in major account success
  7. Incredibly valuable tools and resources

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