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The B2B Executive Playbook: The Ultimate Weapon for Achieving Sustainable, Predictable and Profitable Growth Hardcover – November 29, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Clerisy Press (November 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157860446X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578604463
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm Sean Geehan, founder and CEO of Geehan Group - the recognized leader in connecting B2B Executives to their most strategic customers in order to maximize customer retention, sales, profits, and long-term market alignment. I'm on a mission to transform how B2B companies fundamentally operate.


In the last 5-7 years when attending conferences and summits, I recognized that there weren't many example or cases studies on how B2B companies were run. In fact, there was simply no one distinguishing B2B from B2C at all. And when B2B leaders heard about the great things Starbucks, Apple or Coke are doing, little to none of those methodologies could be applied to most companies in the B2B arena - from materials science, professional services, outsourcing services, tool and die, etc. Yet most B2B companies are appying B2C strategies and failing as a result.

I've spent more than 20 years in the areas of leadership, strategy, sales, marketing and product development, and have gained expertise on B2B leadership, executive market engagement programs and integrating innovation into the strategic planning process to drive long-term and predictable business results. I was fortunate enough to receive the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2002 and since have been inducted into the E&Y National Hall of Fame. I received my BA in Marketing/Finance and an MBA from the University of Dayton and I've attended executive programs at Columbia, Northwestern and Harvard.

Acknowledged as a leading professional services company, Geehan Group has been featured by the Wharton School of Business, Columbia Univerusty, ITSMA, American Marketing Association, CMO Council, Marketing Profs, CFO magazine and National Public Radio. Our world-class client list includes HCL, Intel, Standard Register, Patni, Harris, LexisNexis, Microsoft, Oracle, Quest Diagnostics/MedPlus, Springer, Xerox and more. Feel free to check out our Geehan Group website (www.geehangroup.com) for more information on our work.

If I weren't running Geehan Group or writing books, I'd be surfing the North Shore of Oahu, playing the guitar, spending more time with my wife and four children, and coaching my son's water polo team from my home in Dayton, Ohio.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Collins on October 25, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
The insights and the guidance that the B2B Playbook offers rest on the simple, yet insightful observation that, for companies that sell to other companies, it's often the case that a handful of customers comprise the bulk of their revenues and a large share of their profits.

Losing a customer in this context can be catastrophic. Growing one can be transformative.

From this premise, the playbook explores the approaches that a B2B company can pursue in order to meaningfully engage and develop thought leadership with the critical stakeholders on the client side who ultimately decide the scope and nature of the business relationship that they will support with the organization.

This book enjoys two strengths. The author has taken great pains to discern and elaborate on the different challenges and opportunities B2B firms face, relative to their B2C brethren. The author has likewise practiced what he preaches in the playbook from having helped B2B firms develop their customer engagement strategies for a number of years. His experience allows him to ground his insights in reality and to provide a number of illuminating examples from his own practice.

Anyone who has a hand in guiding and developing their organization's approach to customer engagement in the B2B realm would benefit from reading this book and allowing the author's perspective to influence their approach for growing the business with their key accounts. The lessons learned here can serve as a competitive weapon for those who take the time to thoughtfully apply them to their own circumstances.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The differences between the relationships that a company has with other businesses (B2B) and the relationships that they have with end user customers (B2C) are enormous, yet not always understood by the company's decision makers. In a B2C relationship, the end user is generally the decision maker and there are a large number of customers, making the loss of one or two insignificant and inevitable. A survey of end user satisfaction is an accurate measure of how well the company is doing in pleasing the customers.
However, in the B2B relationship the end users are not the decision makers and the numbers tend to be small, rarely getting into triple digits. The executive that decides whether or not to continue the relationship may have no hands on experience in dealing with the supplier. This means that a customer survey could indicate that everything is going very well and then the account is lost with no understanding of why it happened. Furthermore, the loss of one or two of these customers can be devastating and in extreme cases even fatal.
The key point of this book is a demonstration of how B2B differs from B2C and an explanation of some of the pitfalls of assuming that the B2B situation is just a slightly modified B2C. Knowing how to move your way through the first layers in a company so that you are directly interacting with the decision maker is key to keeping the lines of communicate open so that problems and mutual interests can be identified and dealt with quickly. Geehan describes some of the most effective ways to do this and to avoid the dangerous reliance on clairvoyance, predicting what the customers will want before they decide what it is that they want.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Keith Hawk on October 27, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Sean Geehan has provided new insights into the harsh reality that B2B is a greatly different mission than B2C. While all around us want to talk about the great jobs done by Apple, P&G, Pepsi and all the other master companies, the reality is that they are marketing to consumers. Meanwhile, most of us are laboring in a world of developing products, building marketing plans, and leading salesforces that direct our products and services to COMPANIES, not individuals. Geehan has written a book that aims directly at this reality and offers insights into the differences that must be planned for in this world. Very solid book that every strategist, marketer, and sales leader should read. -- Keith Hawk, LexisNexis.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Leib Lurie on November 5, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
After selling b to b for thirty years, I still found flat forehead pieces everywhere. I kept slapping my head and saying, "of course that's why we should be executing the play this way". Great thinking.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Betsy Westhafer on October 31, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I highly recommend The B2B Executive Playbook for any B2B leader who wants to: Align his/her company with the market, effectively leverage the time and energy of the management team and most importantly, deliver sustainable, predictable and profitable growth.

I have had the good fortune of seeing the principles of The B2B Executive Playbook in action, and the results are outstanding. By engaging the executive level of your top customers in your strategic planning process, not only do you reap the rewards of building relationships with key customers, you also leverage the vision of the market for your team to address.

Engaging at this level without a clearly defined methodology can have disastrous results. Without the deep understanding of the principles in Sean's book, your executive level engagements can fall flat, or worse, create the need for damage control. By reading this book and understanding the process, you mitigate the risk and furthermore, set a course for success that will exceed the expectations of all involved, including your key stakeholders.
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