The Invisible Customer by Cobus van Graan and Dr. Chris Crozier

Sales Strategy book

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A Practical guide to develop and Implement a National Sales Strategy that works!

Book Reviews:

“The message of  The Invisible Customer is seductively simple: many companies do not focus on the right criteria when evaluating prospective or existing customers.
This book has the potential of underpinning a step-change in your sales efforts this year and therefore comes highly recommended.”  Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS)

“Sales managers need to be smarter now that the party is over and going after your profitable business is more important than it has ever been. While the authors define their targeted readers as sales managers and directors, this is a must read for every commissioned salesman who will find their criteria for selecting customers compelling.” –  Ian Mann – Sunday Times

“There are plenty of real-life case studies to add insight and make the reading experience informative with little effort” – Salesguru Magazine

“Being a brand strategist, of all people, I must admit that I was quite skeptical.
Let me just say I was incredibly impressed with your book. (I won a copy and I have read it about 2 times already) It really opened my mind in regards to sales strategy and key account management.” – Andre le Roux (Arctic Circle Strategic Brand Agency)

Some Results after implementing the principles of “The Invisible Customer”:

“Four-fold increase in sales within 6 months!” – Wayne Brunyee, Sales Director, IT Industry.

“150-200% sales growth within 5 months in our 4 most under-performing cells!” – Marieta Frampton, National Sales Manager, banking industry.

“85% increase in sales year-on-year” – David Drummond, MD, IT hardware company.

About “The Invisible Customer”

Most businesses don’t know how to identify the customers that are most important to them, they confuse quantity with quality, and don’t properly understand where their future growth is going to come from. The classic idea that last year’s top customers must be your most important customers is simply wrong: at best, it’s a stay-where-you-are strategy. Understanding how to strategically target the right customers for the business’s objectives and to build the right relationships with them leads to spectacular growth and long-term predictable business instead of the boom and bust cycles all too familiar to Sales Directors.

Most books about sales focus on sales training and soft skills, yet in many companies their biggest problems come from sales people being too good at selling – to the wrong customers. The wrong customers cost you money instead of making you money. If you don’t recognise that, and direct your sales team accordingly, you will work harder and harder for the same returns. The Invisible Customer is for the CEO, National Sales Director/VP and the heads of support departments who want to understand how to align their organisation’s resources and business objectives with the market opportunity, target the right customers, and build new business based on quality relations. CQM puts you in control: manage the sales process and the orders take care of themselves.

About the Authors

Tap into the practical experience of someone who has dramatically enhanced the sales performance of SME’s and large corporate companies. Cobus specialises in the implementation of sales strategies and more specifically the implementation of key account strategies. He has been involved in sales, sales management and key account management since 1990. Cobus has an excellent track record in different industries and has an uncanny way of turning theory into practice, and practice into results.

Chris is an engineer by training, with a Ph.D. in advanced communication theory from Cambridge University, UK. He has worked for companies big and small, with most of his career having been spent in entrepreneurial start-ups. He is currently a director and part-owner of a software company as well as being an author and presenter.

Entrepreneur Book review:

IN THE INVISIBLE CUSTOMER, SALES EXPERTS COBUS VAN GRAAN AND DR CHRIS CROZIER PROVIDE A GUIDE TO UNLOCKING AND DEVELOPING POTENTIAL FOR BUSINESS GROWTH THROUGH CUSTOMER QUALITY MANAGEMENT. MONIQUE VERDUYN INTERVIEWS COBUS VAN GRAAN.

Why the title The Invisible Customer?
People can be oblivious to the customers who will add the most value to their business they are invisible. We don’t see them because we don’t know what they look like. We believe it because most companies do not properly segment and identify their top customers.

You’ve coined the term Customer Quality Management How do you define it?
CQM is built on three pillars:
The quality of your database or prospect list. If the prospects have the potential of doing R100 000 of business with you, they will not be able to help you to reach a R200 000 target. You have to ensure the quality of your database has two to three times the potential of your target.
The quality of your customer knowledge. This applies to both business value and personal value.
The quality of your contacts. Do your sales people see the right people in the company or are they wasting their time on non-decision-makers?

How does it differ from customer relationship management and why do we need it?
CRM is a workflow system. It keeps client information and tracks contacts. CQM is about the measurement of the process that gets you to the point when customers want to do business with you. CQM has a direct impact on your sales future.

What are the principles or CQM?
The book looks at how to use the 80/20 principle in the sales environment, specifically to grow your business. The second principle is that business is about relationships and we look at how to build lasting relationships with your customers.

What influenced you in writing this book?
I was the national sales manager of a large multinational company and I realised how few books there are for senior sales managers on how to develop and implement a national strategy.

In the book, you talk about keeping it alive something that is a challenge in any organization.  What’s the secret to getting that right?
The focus of the company as a whole is important. It must be sales focused and sales driven – every decision made has to positively impact sales.
Secondly, the quality of the sales manager that the sales people report to is critical to implementing such a strategy and making it work.