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Monday, August 9, 2010

The Customer: Post #2

The Sales Problem: Charan provides a quick retrospective on sales. Remember the days when only a few companies in the US sold laptops. Then came the Internet, globalization, commoditization and now you can buy laptops for a fraction of the old cost—with one exception Apple, which offers a far more unique selling proposition—cool apps, cutting edge design and a lack of Window viruses…oh yeah and cool iTunes. He offers a graphic that show the old, flat sales model—from vendor to sales person (of the vendor) to customer. The customer, usually customer purchasing, pushes back on pricing, and the sales person pushes back on the vendor—her own company. And when the deal is done—price get commoditized. But in Charan’s newer sales model, there’s a sales team the moderates a value-based discussion between the vendor’s team of experts (legal, technology, finance, manufacturing and marketing) and the same type of team of experts from the customer. Thus, this process is less single-point (price) focused and more customer centric. In such a relationship, the vendor becomes more of trusted partner. Here’s the simple revelation and genius of Charan’s model: The process becomes collaborative, not competitive.

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