Becoming an Extraordinary Manager: The Five Essentials for Success

Reading is fun. But not every book is really worth reading it – especially when it comes to business books. Therefore I already started the “Book of the Week” Series, where I share comprehensive abstracts on my favourite books.

Now I want to start another series called: “Business Books” – featuring information on books in a more compact way. Today I would like to present you “Becoming an Extraordinary Manager: The Five Essentials for Success”, by Len Sandler (2008)

Synopsis
Becoming an Extraordinary Manager identifies the major reasons organizations have historically created and sustained poor managers. He offers those already leading, and those rising through the ranks, a development plan based on five major pillars of great management. 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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