September 13, 2011
Roadmap To Revenue, a new book by Kristin Zhivago, shows readers how to be more customer-oriented and hence, better able to understand their customers and increase revenue as a result.
Kristin Zhivago outlines a 3 step process to accomplish this goal. In the first step, readers are asked to engage with their customers to discover what customers want and how they go about making purchases. It all starts with interviewing your current customers. Kristin addresses the needs of those new companies without existing customers and outlines a procedure for them as well. Kristin recommends speaking with both satisfied and unhappy customers. And yes, the details and specifics are included in the book – how many interviews you need to do, what percentage of each type of customer you should interview, which type of customers to select, what are the questions you should ask your customers, and why phone interviews work best. Once you have this information, Kristin shows you how to create both a conversation report and summarize your customers’ responses.
In the second step, the book discusses the debate that the company needs to have among its staff. It shows you how to facilitate a discussion on resolving the differences between what the customers want and what you have to sell, and how you sell versus how they buy. It focuses on prioritizing what the customers want and need, and determining what promises you can make to the customers. One rule of every successful company is always to deliver on what you promise.
The last step is to document your customer’s buying process so you can support them each step of the way and then build an action plan for revenue growth.
As Kristin outlines the details of the 3 step roadmap process, she includes examples, research, and common missteps that many companies and entrepreneurs make when engaging with customers. One tidbit is Kristin notes that highly effective CEOs spend 40% or more of their time with their customers, and divide the rest of their attention among partners, managers, and staff. Another set of tips is how companies make expensive mistakes but hiring so-called marketing and sales experts, who don’t really understand their business and produce little results – and how to spot these people and proposals.
All in all, the Roadmap To Revenue is a how-to book that can help entrepreneurs and start-ups understand what it takes to build an effective sales process – one that is repeatable and can produce predictable results.
Filed under: Marketing & Sales