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Escaping the Black Hole: Minimizing the Damage from the Marketing-Sales Disconnect Hardcover – April 5, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

PART I. DISCOVERING THE EVENT HORIZON 1. The Schwarzschild Radius 2. The Increasing Market Complexity 3. The Changing Market Dynamics 4. The Changing Communications Model 5. Understanding the Disconnect 6. Strategic Mistakes 7. Missed Opportunities PART II. CLOSING THE GAP 8. Alignment as a Core Strategy 9. Conceptualizing the Ecosystem 10. Discovering the Holy Grail 11. Enabling the Ecosystem PART III. IMPLEMENTING THE BUYER-CENTRIC REVENUE MODEL 12. Understanding the Model 13. Integrated Pipeline Management PART IV. IMPLEMENTING THE VALUE-CENTRIC COMMUNICATIONS MODEL 14. Understanding the Model 15. Adopting the VCCM 16. Building a Value Map 17. Optimizing the Sanctioned Content CONCLUSION. THE OPPORTUNITY FOR MARKETING

About the Author

Robert Schmonsees, a pioneer in CRM and knowledge management, is a nationally noted marketing and sales executive with more than 30 years of experience building and running successful high-tech organizations, from start-ups to large publicly traded firms.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: South-Western Educational Pub; 1 edition (April 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0324301251
  • ISBN-13: 978-0324301250
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #670,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I met Bob Schmonsees recently when he and I were both speaking at an industry event. Before ever reading this book, it was clear from our conversation that Bob is an extremely experienced and bright marketing mind. This book proved it.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is simultaneously visionary and prescriptive. It's must reading in our organization.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is truly a must read for any mid- to upper-level manager in Marketing as well as company Executives! Unlike many books out there today, it provides real world analysis of the situation today within Marketing and Sales departments and then presents the reader with a practical blueprint that company's can begin to use to reduce the communication black hole between Marketing and Sales.

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!
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Format: Hardcover
I have never read a book with more insight into the problem facing most sales and marketing organizations today, as Bob has provided in this book. He is right on target! This is a must read for every CEO, CMO and Sales Manager in a B to B industry. Bob outlines exactly what the probelm is and what steps are required to fix it. There are very few pages in the book I read that aren't marked up and underlined.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most corporate sales and marketing executives will acknowledge there are a lot of challenges. It is one thing to have lived through these challenges, another to figure out the root causes and come up with a plan, and yet another to live long enough to write about it! Robert Schmonsees has done all these things. The testimony and origional thinking in this book, even with its flaws, represents a valuable contribution to sales and marketing literature.

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.
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