What the Customer Wants You to Know

Charan, Ram
March 2008
What the Customer Wants You to Know - Business Book Summaries;2008, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p1
Book Summary
Book Summary
Many companies have determined that it is time to transform their approach to selling to better fit with today's business world. They are searching for a method that is radical yet practical. "In What the Customer Wants You to Know," Ram Charan outlines a process which has been implemented in numerous companies and industries. The heart of this new approach to selling is an intense focus on the prosperity of the customer. Adopting this approach will allow companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors and pave the way to better pricing, better margins, and higher revenue growth built on winning relationships with customers. When a company keeps losing sales despite having great products and services, it is time for managers to take a step back. They should reconsider what they are trying to accomplish and, more importantly, how they are trying to accomplish it. The sales process used by most companies today has changed little through the decades. Most sales practices are rooted in a time when supplies were tight and suppliers held the cards, when orders had to be booked weeks or even months in advance. Customers had little room to negotiate prices, and salespeople were basically order takers. Today's salespeople have evolved to be company ambassadors for products and services. They use their product knowledge to match the needs of their customers, and they build long-term relationships with purchasing agents. These relationships give them an edge, provided they can actually meet the needs of the customer. Customers are looking for suppliers who can help them develop their business, improve their earnings, and keep the cash flowing. They want their business to succeed in many dimensions and they are looking for suppliers who can help them accomplish these goals by acting as partners, not as one-time transactors. According to Charan, the sales function is out of synch with today's business climate.


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