Sunday, July 8, 2012

Review - Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy

Henry Ford is often quoted as having said, "If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said, 'A faster horse.'" Whether or not Mr. Ford actually said this, it has been used many times to back the position that asking your customers questions is fruitless, because they don't know the answers that will help you.

Obviously, Mr. Ford did not have the benefit of Kristin Zhivago's Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy This book is the latest in a series of books aimed at--or coincident with--the swing toward more customer-focused business, and, in my opinion, it is the best.

Many books that include roadmap in the title are well composed theoretical works with a touch a futurism thrown in. Not this one. Ms. Zhivago's experience with top companies comes through as she builds a step-by-step guide to finding out how do deliver your products and services in the manner and by the means which make the most sense to your customers.

Ms. Zhivago cautions the reader not to give short shrift to the processes laid out in the book, which are not easy. Don't expect to skim the book and then transform your company in a few days. Do expect to do lots of hard work and get solid results.

If you've ever been through a fruitless off-site management meeting where strategy seems to be pulled out of thin air and the same points are discussed over and over again and nothing really changes, go get this book. You'll learn:

  • What questions to ask your customers, and how to ask them
  • How to discuss the findings and report them (with recommendations)
  • Why your customer gives more scrutiny to some products than to others
  • How to build buzz for your product or service addressing each level of customer scrutiny
  • How to support your customers' buying process
  • How to keep on doing it right

Your customers know that you are unintentionally making it hard to find, learn about, and buy your products and services. You can follow the steps laid out in Roadmap to Revenue or you can flail around, engaging in hit-or-miss tactics without the kind of transformation that can happen if you use this detailed, engaging, no-nonsense book as a guide.

Go get the book. Now.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book for review.