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Escaping the Black Hole: Minimizing the Damage from the Marketing-Sales Disconnect Hardcover – April 5, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
Over the last decade, we have been bombarded with tons of useless charges like, "We need to become customer-focused", "We need to focus on solving our clients' business problems", and other meaninglessly lofty corporate platitudes. Furthermore, we all have bookshelves full of tomes that lay out elegant strategies for acheiving those goals - books that philosophize more than instruct.
This book takes those strategic objectives down to the tactical level where most of us in the business world live. It provides actionable, step-by-step advice on how marketing managers can create tremendous value for their salespeople by giving them the information and guidance that they have desperately needed since the advent of consultative selling. If you follow the processes in this book, your customers will breathe a sigh of relief as your salespeople begin to sound smarter about their business issues and provide more value as trusted problem-solvers.
Other reviewers will give detailed accounts of what is inside this book, but let me offer that I have spent years helping clients struggle with these issues, and this is the most useful and practical book I have seen on the subject.
If your salespeople are missing the mark with your customers, 'Escaping the Black Hole' will provide you with a means to help them ask the right questions, uncover the real problems, propose the right solutions, impress more customers, and close more deals.
The author's assertion that fixing the marketing/sales disconnect will become as important in the next decade as quality and customer focus has been in the last couple of decades is compelling. He lays out strong explanations for the problems as well as their impact on businesses.
This book provides a compelling vision for implementing solution selling, methods for aligning marketing and sales, and prescriptions for specific actions to improve business-to-business selling effectiveness.
We have begun implementing specific recommendations such as "value mapping", and found them extremely useful. We see this as a key instrument to get marketing and sales aligned to the best common messages, all centered on how we provide value to customers.
The idea of "institutionalizing the organization's understanding of customer needs" is powerful, as is the consideration that the facts, insights, and opinions behind the value messages and best sales practices are "the marketing and sales dna of the enterprise".
The only thing missing are more examples of company experiences implementing these compelling ideas.
A cornerstone of the book is the need for company's to begin treating their Marketing and Sales content as a core asset. The author challenges the reader to begin thinking of their content in manageable chunks with a foundation based upon the needs of the constituents to which they are trying to sell their product. While the outside-in and solution selling approaches are not new, the concept of applying them to the content that the Marketing department creates and manages is new. While there are many great books out there for Marketing and Sales professionals to read on outside-in marketing or solution selling, there is often a disconnect as to what next and how to begin from a practical perspective. The value of this book is that it presents a real-world plan that company's can begin to implement on their own as to how to apply these valuable concepts and begin acting upon them - starting with their content as the foundation!
Bob, thank you for helping to clear the fog that most sales and marketing people operate under. I hope that this book will become the corner stone of marketing and sales organizations for years to come.
In "Escaping the Black Hole, Minimizing the Damage from the Marketing and Selling Disconnect" (Thompson Publishing, 2005), author Bob Schmonsees demonstrates that in many companies that waste is as much as 25% as a result of misaligned assets, processes, and activities.
Schmonsees begins with an examination of the symptoms and costs of dysfunctional sales and marketing relationships, and traces them directly to the heart of the problem: misalignment of the key processes and assets that drive the day-to-day activities of marketing and sales professionals. He also provides the reader with two axioms that will help companies institutionalize the principles of solutions centric-selling and turn the way they go to market into a sustainable competitive advantage.
* Marketing and sales must institutionalize a greater understanding of the customer's business problems and the implications of those problems on the constituencies and stakeholders they sell to.
* The way a company markets and sells must be subservient to the way their customers buy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fellow Virginian Schmonsees effectively describes the disconnect between the marketing and sales functions and why this disconnect exists in the first place. Read morePublished on June 10, 2009 by The Marketing Guy Who Drives Sales -r
I found this book to be very on-point to the vast chasm's that exist between marketing and sales organizations. Read morePublished on February 28, 2006 by MM
I have been trying to put my hands around a specific set of deliverables between Sales and Marketing. This book has done more than any other to create a framework for that.Published on February 2, 2006 by TK
Marketing managers in high tech rarely have direct experience being on quota. They struggle to understand the differences between how they think and how sales thinks. Read morePublished on November 15, 2005 by James T. Foxworthy
I am a professional reader on sales & marketing material and have read atleast over 50 books and hundered articles on same topics. Read morePublished on October 24, 2005 by Professor
Escaping the Black Hole is an excellent analysis of the disconnect between sales and marketing, why it's widening, and how the cost is getting more significant. Read morePublished on September 1, 2005 by J. Sinkovitz
Having experienced first hand the frustration of the disconnect between marketing and sales, it is nice to see a practical solution to the problem. Read morePublished on August 28, 2005 by Bob Moir