Archive for the 'Strategy' Category

Donald J Trump. A president like no other. Conrad Black.

Donald J Trump. A president like no other. Conrad Black. 2018. ISBN 9781621577881.  Well Black does take on unpopular biographies ( Nixon and now Trump).  He is always well spoken, careful and detailed in his language.  By following a chronological method – from Trump  ancestors roots and his own personal and business development, Black does put Trump into a context.   The strongest section for me was the detailing of how Trump was able to recognize a deep seated unhappiness in the populous and harness it into a steady base and build a swelling momentum prior to and during the race for the Presidency.  Black was one of the first to recognize this coming of the demagogue and was not surprised with the result.   With this chronology approach you can see how very long Trump has developed the attitudes he has and espouses.  Also you  are led to recognize the failures of the prior four presidents and their entourages which opened the door for  Trump coming on the scene.  Black has no time for the Democrats nor a do nothing partisan Senate and Congress.  He is acerbic toward the national press and  Washington commentators- so color Black well within Trump’s Republican/conservative aura.

This book will not make you like Trump any more then before and you will still cringe at his looseness with language and malapropisms.  However Black may let you be a little less terrified of Trump daily and perhaps recognize his negotiation tricks learned in New York and now being attempted internationally.  The book moves quite well , will occupy the East – West airflight and halfway back. Reading it is not time wasted.

Malcolm McDonald on Key Account Management. Malcolm McDonald & Beth Rogers

By June of 1948 Sanders Aviation Company had t...

Malcolm McDonald on Key Account Management. Malcolm McDonald & Beth Rogers. 2017. ISBN 978 0 7494 8077 6.  MacDonald is a giant in the field of marketing  and is one of Rocket Builders goto authors when we need to really dig into a topic. This co-authored book is very readable, current and immediately useful to enterprise sales and marketing teams who wish to look at their markets strategically.  I liked the entire book as it did a very clear job on describing and using the three levels in ABM and then how to id where to use and apply KAM. The liberal  use of case studies and experienced practitioners to describe how to use all this was excellent.   I really appreciated the work in Chapter 3 on auditing how you were doing and mapping out where you could go. The author is diligent at asking you to use measures and metrics that can be used and are useful.  As well Chapter 5 is good at mapping value, how to apply measures and package it so it can be taken to your clients.   Well worth the modern sales and marketing executive and strategic practitioners time to read and use this book

Becoming Facebook. The 10 challenges that defined the company that’s disrupting the world. Michael Hoefflinger.

English: Mark Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO of Fac...

Becoming Facebook. The 10 challenges that defined the company that’s disrupting the world. Michael Hoefflinger. 2017.  The author is a Zuckerberg fanboy – but as he lays it out in this book,  there are good reasons for it.  This book has reaffirmed to me why I retain my original Facebook shares.  The author clearly shows as an insider who understands how technology business grows why Facebook should stay on a tear.  Clearly written as well.

Mastering the Complex Sale, Exceptional Selling , The Prime Solution , by Jeff Thull.



Cover of "Mastering the Complex Sale: How...


Mastering the Complex Sale, Exceptional Selling , The Prime Solution , by Jeff Thull.  2010,  2006,  2005.  This set of books which detail the Complex Sale process from the point of view of  delivering value are easily the most completely thought out approach I have read to date on selling value.


Thull starts with a a simple idea, that sellers /solutions need to tie their offer into solving valuable real measurable business problems , from the customers point of view to enable real measurable value outcomes .  Like any simple idea, the details of delivery have far reaching impacts on sellers and customers.  He has many phrases which stick with you,  like always going for the no,  spectacular success comes from unspectacular  preparation,  no problem/pain no sale,  no surprises, the salesperson is like a doctor.


Thulls four separate steps are


  1. Discovery
  2. Diagnosis
  3. Design
  4. Deliver


But the devil is  in the details.   Thull provides the details needed tofill in this framework.   This approach has the potential to set any seller far away from the pack of competitors as well as making  customer relationships very competitor proof.   Of any approach, this one truly recognizes the uniqueness of very customer and how to ensure the customer gets that value as well as recognizes it. This is a  transformative process not only for the customer but the sellers organization as well.   A must have for if you are the complex sales marketplace.


Value as a Service: Embracing the Coming Disruption. Rob Bernshteyn.

English: Fee Glacier (Feegletscher) above Saas...

Value as a Service: Embracing the Coming Disruption. Rob Bernshteyn. 2016. ISBN 9781626343054.  The author proposes that just as SaaS followed and beat  client/server and is now unexceptional , than Value as a Service (VaaS) will come next.  This is where the vendor offers and prices his service based on the value delivered to the client.  This requires a value driven partnership with client and vendor.   Since selling value is the  trend in modern sales, this  author makes  sense.  He admits it is not a rapid transition as many firms are still just working out SaaS, but it is inevitable for successful companies.  You can see this progression in Thull’s, Mastering the Complex Sale for example. Our firm certainly believes in this process as a winner.  A needed book for the successful sales manager and CEO

Customer Moat. Unveiling the secrets of business strategy. Eddie Sung. A guest post

English: A business ideally is continually see...

Customer moat. Unveiling the secrets of business strategy. Eddie Sung. 2016 ISBN 9780996919012.

A guest post by Brock Nordman (Sales Rep, my youngest son) 

This book was great
He started out rather bluntly:
Business: incredibly complex game that not only was poorly understood but held such vast implications for the health of our society.
All the books he would read would gave him bits of information, but in the end still left without a clear answer.
The use of customer moat builder is a mental and visual tool to see what is it you are trying to create. Great for me as my background is building. By looking at the business from a customer perspective, you are able to see which areas what you are doing and if you can change/alter.
“The purpose for a business is to defend its source of prosperity by defending its customers. The customer moat allows businesses to defend their income”
As you go along in the book, Eddie Sung continues to tie back relevant information to case studies which were introduced through the book. This helps to solidify his reasoning for his core principles and 8 moat builder tools. The second attribute was showing you real world applications and confirms in the readers mind “yes, that makes sense, I can see that, I trust what he is saying”
Like any business book, the answers aren’t inside the book, that doesn’t exist.  What is inside are the tools to help you develop your business to best suit your customers. Starting with your customer core then looking where you stand in the market and visual ways to see how you are providing service in your customer life. Visual tools in this book make it easy to understand and could be easily shown in a company training/meeting, which is fundamental for company by-in.
As he quotes from Sam Walton (Wal-Mart) “There is only one boss. The Customer. And he can fire everybody in the firm from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else”
Reg’s notes:
The author packs a lot into one place.  A good book if you had note heard of some of or any of this material before.  I would not have organized the material in quite the way the author does, however it fits well with his original thesis.  This also fits in with the view point of a younger person who also still realizes the need for and value in hard work every day.  The author gives good lessons without feeling the need to  moralize.

Flashpoints. The emerging crisis in Europe. George Friedman.


Flashpoints. The emerging crisis in Europe. George Friedman.2015, ISBN 9780385536332. A clearly written analysis of  today’s Europe that uses history,  present day reports and what seems common sense to project believable scenarios.   Combined with Studwell’s How Asia Works, this book dovetails nicely.  As a bit player in the economic world, Canada should have some people who look at the world like Friedman.  In a recent article, Freidman’s projections show an economic basis for Japan and Islamic Turkey in future to knock heads with the US, with the first blows happening in space.  Its not such a long shot, when you take in all the arguments.

I especially appreciated his comment that Europe matters less to the US than it matters to Russia.  Russia wants buffer states like before and needs to keep the oil flowing to Europe.  Germany’s recent bullying of Greece ties to his analysis that Germany has to keep the exports up in order to keep prosperous, and internally there is little support to helping Greece if Germany has to take any hits.   Muslim immigration, the rise of right wing parties , combined with high unemployment mean some major impacts on European nations.

Written like a journalist , so it flows along quite nicely. I suggest you read it, you may not agree but it is good  food for thought.

how to kill a unicorn. How the world’s hottest innovation factory builds bold ideas that make it to market. Mark Payne.

English: New Builds

how to kill a unicorn. How the world’s hottest innovation factory builds bold ideas that make it to market. Mark Payne.2014. ISBN 9780804138734.   I really took my time with this book as it contains the kernel of how Fahrenheit 212 works.   It is easily one of the better innovation books on the market., right up there with Ed Cattmull’s,  Creativity Inc.    Payne explains exactly how they and you can follow their experience in getting to those breakthrough great ideas.  Key to it is their goal/ belief, ” Its more than great products, it’s  great businesses with products igniting them. ‘   A good cross  country read , that I am sure you will go back to many times to refresh your thoughts. The book  is applicable to all businesses.  Its also a concise, easy to read book.

Sales Management, Simplified. The straight truth about getting exceptional results from your sales team. Mike Weinberg

Sales Management,  Simplified. The straight truth about getting exceptional results from your sales team.  Mike Weinberg. 2015. ISBN 978081443643.  Another home run from Weinberg.  Leading directly from New Sales, Simplified, his first book  the author has created one of the most useful sales management books today.   His basic premise is that there is still a need for focus on Sales 101 , the basics of good selling.  Yes there are many very useful tools out there, but they are in addition to good basic selling techniques.  He sees a coaching , leading role for sales managers and keeps saying  1 on 1 meetings and field sales calls are essential to great management.  Music to our ears. Concise, clearly written book that leads from the problems to solutions.  Every sales manager needs this book. (Most CEOs should read it too)

Sales Process Excellence. Michael J. Webb

English: Graph is giving an explaination about...

Sales Process Excellence. Michael J. Webb. 2014. ISBN 9780977107223.  Michael sent me this book to review almost a year ago. I let it sit on my review shelf for far too long.  Our firm has used Six Sigma Sales and Marketing as a guidebook since it first appeared in 2006. That book not only impacted how we looked at sales and marketing but what we counselled clients to do.  This has contributed to many successful projects over the years.

This book is even  better than the first. It is long overdue for sales and marketing  to be looked at and improved through a process view.  Taking from the work of  Deming, TQS, Lean and many years of applied experience, the author has built a fully functional analysis model to improve the sales, marketing and service components of your business in bringing increased value to the customer.  This material is as modern as you are going to get in the sales and marketing field.   There are many other great sales and marketing books out there, but they all seem to address just part of the process. This book will drive your company to take the waste out of your Sales and Marketing and drive customer value.  Its a must have for business leaders who  want to really succeed and grow.  To buy it go direct to