Start Your Engines and Read the “Roadmap to Revenue”

Roadmap to RevenueNow that we are solidly into 2012, it’s time to stop dreaming and start doing.  One of my business resolutions was to create product and service offerings that are rooted in targeting my ideal customer, what’s important to them when they are buying what I’m selling and then developing an offer that is structured for exactly how they want to buy.

Over the last few years, I’d done a decent job of targeting my customers and understanding what was important to them, but I’ve never really created an offer around exactly how they want to buy.  I’m not going to kid you – it’s been a challenging process that’s involved daily quiet sessions picking through my brain, observing my customers’ behavior and trying to parse out exactly what’s going to resonate with them.

The Universe must have gotten wind of all these brainwaves because soon after making this commitment in my business, I received a review copy from the author of Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy by Kristin Zhivago (@KristinZhivago).  And what’s really strange is that I was certain that I had passed the book on to another reviewer on the team and was kicking myself for not hanging onto it and then as I was looking for another book – THERE IT WAS!  That’s when the theme from the Twilight Zone started ringing in my head.  I was meant to read this book and share it with you.

The Culture has Firmly Moved Into a Customer-Driven Market

If you’ve taken any marketing classes or read any older marketing books, you might remember the standard history chapter on how the culture has moved from being manufacturing driven (build it and they will come) to being sales driven (sell it to them and they will buy) to being market driven (give them what they want) to being customer driven (know what the customer wants and how they want it).

Roadmap to Revenue is one of those books that will help you build your marketing strategy and system around creating a customer experience that just resonates so that your customers choose you.  This book would be a great follow-up book to the series we did that includes SNAP Selling, SHIFT and Selling to the C-Suite.

Let’s Take a Road Trip Around Roadmap to Revenue

One of my favorite aspects of this book is  the graphic inside the front cover.  I received a hard-back review copy, so the summary map and graphic are easy to find, easy to read and serve as a terrific introduction to what’s coming up as well as a resources to double check my marketing efforts to make sure I’m going in the right direction.  (Don’t you just love the analogy?  It’s effortless.)

Roadmap to Revenue

Your journey starts at the Awakening Point where you DISCOVER what your customers want and figure out a way to make purchasing easier.  Then you move on to Resolution Junction where you DEBATE the differences between what they want and what you have to sell.  And finally you DEPLOY as you hit Lake Turnaround.  Here you map out the buying process and start moving toward “Revenue City!”

What Makes Kristin Zhivago a Great Tour Guide on the Road to Revenue?

Kristin Zhivago is a “Revenue Coach” who helps CEOs and entrepremeurs make more money by understanding exactly what their customers want to buy from them – and how they want to buy it.  She’s been at this a long time.  She founded her company Zhivago Management Partners in 1979 and since then, she’s worked with companies such as IBM, Dow Jones and Johnson & Johnson.

What You’ll See Along The Roadmap to Revenue

Zhivago has some specific suggestions as to WHY and HOW we are actually standing in the way of our customers choosing us.  These start early in the book on pages 6 – 9.  I’d recommend spending some quality time with this list.  You might want to mark the ones you think you are guilty of so that you can focus on those in your marketing plans later.

And remember the model I told you about inside the front cover?  You’ll get into all the details in Chapter 2.  Chapters 3 – 5 get into the “what to do” of each phase of your road to revenue.  Chapters 6 – 12 really dig deep into understanding your customers and their buying process.

One powerful way of designing a marketing process around a customer is to create a “persona” of a real person.  Give them a name and describe their real world experiences as realistically as possible.  In Roadmap to Revenue you’ll meet Joe.

Zhivago breaks down this fictitious customers every move and every thought and then shows you how to think about your marketing messages so that Joe has an easy purchasing experience with you.

Who Will Get the Most Out of Roadmap to Revenue?

Small business owners – especially those who serve consumers such as retailers or consumer services providers will find a lot of great ideas in this book.

Sales and marketing managers will be able to identify their own “blocking” behaviors that keep customers from buying from them.

What To Look Out For on Your Trip Through the Book

There is a good possibility that you will pick up this book, read it and nod your head – but then do nothing.   While the book is absolutely loaded with information, and how-to advice, it stops short of feeding it to you.  After going through the book I went to the Kristin Zhivago web site to see what online resources were available for Roadmap to Revenue.   I found Kristin Zhivago’s blog, Revenue Journal.  You’ll find lots of articles there.  On the Resources tab of the book’s site you will find downloadable process templates for each type of sale.

If you’re ready to become a more customer-friendly business that makes it easy to buy from you, then Roadmap to Revenue is a book that is right up your alley.

Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."