The Mind of the Customer: How the World's Leading Sales Forces Accelerate Their Customers' Success: How the World's Leading Sales Forces Accelerate Their Gustomers' Success

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9780071470278: The Mind of the Customer: How the World's Leading Sales Forces Accelerate Their Customers' Success: How the World's Leading Sales Forces Accelerate Their Gustomers' Success

Reinvent the Sales Process in Your Own Organization

“Today’s sales professionals have to find a way to contribute to their customers’ ability to satisfy their own customers and achieve their critical business goals.” --Dale Hayes, Vice President of Sales, UPS

“The old world of buying them a scotch and having a great dinner is not enough.... The speed of change, the availability of information to your customers, and aggressive global competition has produced a new playing field.” --Rick Cheatham, Sales Director, Information Processing & Systems Division, Avery Dennison

Let the world’s best sales forces show you a new way of selling that redefines success. Today’s competitive edge belongs to the salespeople who deeply understand their customers’ businesses and who accelerate the rate at which their customers realize tangible business results.

The Mind of the Customer explores the ways leading companies like UPS, Toyota, Nokia, and others achieve exceptional performance. The book builds on the proven performance-improvement training techniques of The Real Learning Company to supply sales and marketing professionals with a dynamic, straightforward plan to:

  • Improve profitability
  • Raise productivity
  • Increase customer satisfaction

Rich graphical models illustrate key concepts, while contributions from industry leaders provide eye-opening perspectives on how sales in changing--and how you can create competitive advantage amidst that change.

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From the Back Cover:

Be passionate about the customer’s business results. Know their competitors, problems, issues, and needs. Foresee future needs. Keep commitments. Follow up ruthlessly. Be a facilitator of change.

These are the rules by which world-class salespeople operate. No longer is it sufficient for a sales professional to rely on the techniques pioneered half a century ago: a radical change is underway in the marketplace and you must innovate in order to keep up.

The Mind of the Customer offers an in-depth analysis of today’s customers’ wants, needs, and problems, and reveals groundbreaking insights into the new expectations of today’s top sales executives. Drawing from their interviews with 96 high-level executives at corporations such as Lexus, Nokia, and UPS, The Real Learning Company’s Richard Hodge and Lou Schachter uncover what the new generation of salespeople needs to know to succeed--what clinches the deal, what loses it. The Mind of the Customer presents a four-pillared approach that defines a world-class sales force strategy:

  • UNDERSTAND: Know what drives each business, what challenges the business faces, and what global and industry contexts the business operates within.
  • CREATE: Appreciate what each customer really values. Pay attention to all the relevant dimensions of value and avoid solely price-driven interactions.
  • COMMUNICATE: Make presentations interactive and negotiations cooperative. Create an atmosphere amenable to change and mutual success.
  • MANAGE: Provide opportunities for salespeople to gain knowledge, develop new mindsets, and build skills. Focus on coaching and education.

The rapid rate of information exchange coupled with increasing global competition means that customers can now demand more. They require a sales professional who understands the changing needs of their company and who can gauge their own role in it.

As the rules of the game change, different players will take the lead. New kinds of sales professionals, sales managers, and sales leaders will emerge. The Mind of the Customer offers a crucial roadmap for the future of sales success.

About the Author:

Richard Hodge founded the Real Learning Company in 1994 after holding both sales leadership and other executive roles in global companies, where he worked with customers who included half of the Fortune 500. He helped to develop new technology categories and worked with Lexus, UPS, Genentech, American Express, and others to implement new breakthrough strategies.

Lou Schachter is senior vice president for design and development at the Real Learning Company. Before joining the Real Learning team, he wrote learning programs for salespeople at a variety of companies, including Cisco and Merck. Previously, Lou helped lead the fast growth of a specialized communications firm.

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