Saturday, August 4, 2018

Book Review: 'Creating the Strategy: Winning and Keeping Customers in B2B Markets' by Rennie Gould

Creating the Strategy: Winning and Keeping Customers in B2B Markets 
Rennie Gould
KoganPage (2012)
How to achieve the #1 objective in customer relations
I wish I had a dollar for every time I have encountered someone insisting that, in customer relationships, the #1 objective is to become indispensable to those customers. At least in B2B markets, I think #1 is helping one’s customers to become indispensible to [begin italics] their [end italics] customers. In my opinion, that is the best way to add new customers as well as to increase share of current customers and, on occasion, to recapture former customers. How to achieve that objective? That is the question to which Rennie Gould responds in this volume, providing a wealth of material that will help his reader to formulate the right strategy, then implement and manage it (and modify it, if necessary), as he introduces new ways of looking at leadership, organizational structure, and performance management of a customer relations process that is a management responsibility. “Additionally, the book argues that the implementation of sales and customer strategy should provide the organizing rationale and operational blueprint for the whole organization.”
These are among the dozens of passages of greatest interest and value to me, listed also to provide at least some indication of the scope of Gould’s coverage:
o The importance of sales and customer strategy (Pages 5-7)
o The sales and customer strategy self-assessment (11-13)
[Note: I would reverse the order so that the reader can measure the “gap” of understanding.]
o SWOT Analysis (21-25)
o The Customer Relationship Matrix (43-46)
o The customer journey (49-52)
o The total proposition (64-69)
o The customer journey Value of revenue/profit/margin improvements (76-79)
o Finding [those customers who have a NEED] (88-92)
o Strategy and business Purpose (120-123)
o The Organizational blueprint (137-138)
o Controlling performance: The sales performance framework (140-143)
o Table 7.9: Observed actions and behaviors of “good” performers and ” and “not so good” performers (153-154)
The narrative is supplemented (actually complemented) by reader-friendly devices such as more than one hundred Figures, Workshops, checklists of key points, and mini-Case Studies. However, no brief commentary such as mine can possibly do full justice to the abundance of information, insights, and counsel that Rennie Gould provides. It remains for readers to determine what is most relevant to their own needs, interests, resources, and objectives. The material provided in Part One can help with that selection process.
Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to check out two others: Dean Spitzer’s Transforming Performance Measurement: Rethinking the Way We Measure and Drive Organizational Success and Enterprise Architecture As Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution co-authored by Jeanne W. Ross, Peter Weill, and David Robertson.

Editor's note: This review was written by Robert Morris and has been published with his permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right. 

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