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Required reading for execs
on January 7, 2004
As reviewed in our January 6, 2004 issue:
Let's cut to the chase: This is the best book on sales we've read in many, many years.
"CustomerCentric Selling" doesn't break new ground with sales tricks and techniques; rather, its strength is in the fact that it ties sales, marketing, and business imperatives together in a way that has the potential to turn conventional selling approaches on their collective ears.
In fact, there's a bit of a paradox here: If you're a dyed-in-the-wool software sales rep with a quota to meet or beat, you may be disappointed in this book, because you won't find any magic bullets you can employ to meet your month-end number.
If you are that beleaguered sales rep, you may even find yourself annoyed with Bosworth and Holland, because their message is that your obsession with quotas is misguided. That's easy for them to say, right? They don't have a sales VP banging them on the head every Monday morning.
But that's exactly the point: If you're that rep, get your sales VP to read "CustomerCentric Selling" Better yet, get the company's CEO, CFO, COO, CTO, VP marketing, investors, and board of directors to read it.
"CustomerCentric Selling" does such a superb job of outlining why people buy -- and when and from whom -- it should be required reading prior to the creation of any business plan.
Yes, it has the word "selling" in the title, but this book is a really a business book more than it is a sales manual.
Bosworth and Holland won't give you 15 clever opening lines for telesales, or 12 terrific PowerPoint templates. But they will help you understand what it is that you're selling, whom you should be selling it to, where you should find them, and how you can refine and manage the messaging as well as the sales process.
In other words: Read this book when you're ready to stop screwing around. Read this book when you've realized that selling to early adopters isn't really selling, it's order-taking. Read this book if you're tired of acting as referee between marketing and sales.
Although "CustomerCentric Selling" isn't written specifically to software people, the fact that the authors have spent most of their lives with technology companies permeates every page. Because it applies a sales perspective to Geof Moore's chasm concepts, the relevance for software companies is very high indeed.