As you may know I published my most recent book – Account Planning in Salesforce – earlier this year. I am always nervous when I am launching a book. I put a lot of myself into it and, even with a topic like Account Planning, I find that my writing always seems to become infused with my values, my opinions and my beliefs. I really just don’t know any other way and I wanted the readers to get value from the book. I want them to feel that the time they spent reading it was worthwhile.
So, as you can imagine, when Account Planning in Salesforce went to #1 Bestseller in its segment on Amazon I was really pleased. And the reviews were pretty good too – even the ones from people I don’t know!
But what I did not realize was that as people read the book on their Kindle devices, they were highlighting the passages of text that resonated with them. Meanwhile, the elves in the background at Amazon are continually collating and analyzing the highlighted areas and can provide a summary of what people care about. (See below the top 5 highlighted passages – I am really thrilled with the one that came in at #1.)
But also this whole process got me thinking, what if …
Wouldn’t it be great if you could do this for all sales proposals, PowerPoint presentations or marketing collateral? It would be like having someone watch your customers as they read through your documents; highlighting, underlining, adding ? and X marks, circling paragraphs of interest or drawing lines through parts that they disagreed with. Then you’d really know what they really think. (Scary? Maybe!)
At The TAS Group, we do a lot of micro-analysis on the effectiveness of our digital marketing, and of course that is really helpful in making sure that we are presenting the messages and content that add most value to our customers. But we can’t micro-analyze on a personal emotional level … but thoughts are percolating here …
In the meantime, here are the Top 5 Most Highlighted passages from Account Planning in Salesforce. (If you are interested, in an upcoming webinar, I will be discussing these comments and other issues that I think we should all be caring about as we plan for 2014).
Top 5 Most Highlighted
|The impact on a customer of a poor buying decision is usually greater than the impact on a sales person of a lost deal.
|You need to be a specialist and expert in the business, strategy and market of those few customers with whom you are working.
|Research for Insight. Integrate for Velocity. Focus for Impact.
|Remember, customers don’t need you to learn about your product: they can get all of the information they need from the Internet. They don’t need you to recommend solutions: they can get that from their peers. Your opportunity is to help them shape their needs, identify or suggest initiatives, and then to figure out how you can apply your solutions to those initiatives. If you don’t know how to do that you should look for outside assistance.
|The cost of new customer acquisition is 500% that of customer retention. Increasing customer retention by 2% equates to decreasing costs by 10%. Reducing customer defections by 5% can increase profitability by up to 125% (depending on industry). (Source: Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet C. Murphy and Mark A. Murphy)
If there were particular parts of the book that you enjoyed I’d love to hear from you. If you have not read it you can get an extract here.