The Holden Four Stage Model

We initially introduced the Holden Four Stage Model of Sales Proficiency in the first edition of Power Base Selling years ago. We have refined and tested the model repeatedly since that time, developing it into an industry standard for defining and measuring sales effectiveness. We use it here to present the building blocks that enable sellers to formulate strategy to achieve relative superiority in accounts. The model shows how this type of advanced selling is a management science—one that can be understood, managed, scaled, and optimized to drive maximum revenue.

The Holden Four Stage Model shows that the best sellers do something that most sellers do not. They manage, well and in balance, both customer and competitive issues. These are shown in Figure 2.2. How well sellers manage this balancing act is described in terms of four stages of sales proficiency.

Figure 2.2: The Holden Four Stage Model

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As we walk through each stage, you will have the ability to assess yourself, your sales manager, and, in fact, your entire sales organization. Perhaps more important, you will develop the ability to describe precisely what you do and why you do it in a language that management can understand. You can have confidence in the fact that the model is based on science and engineering and backed by extensive data that distinguishes it from the traditional thinking ...

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