Staying on top of leading strategies and approaches is critical to enabling you to build and grow a sustainable profitable B2B Startup or SME.
Here are 3 books that I recommend that will help you to:
- Understand your business customers’ needs
- Obtain the B2B customers and sales you want
- Get meetings with C-level execs and other hard to reach stakeholders you seek
The Mom Test
Written by Rob Fitzpatrick, this is a highly practical book which teaches you how to talk to customers to understand their needs and determine whether your business and its offerings are truly a good idea.
It is based on 3 simples collectively called The Mom Test which are as follows:
- Talk about their life instead of your idea
- Ask about specifics in the past instead of generics or opinions about the future
- Talk less and listen more
Rob’s premise is that using these principles leads to asking questions that even your mom cannot lie to you about.
What I love about this book are the many important tools, tricks and insights that Rob provides such as:
- Questions to ask to dig into and understand the motivations behind the feature requests and emotional signals
- How to leverage informal meetings to ask the big questions to gain a strong understanding of their needs and motivations
- How to find prospects to talk to and get them to come to you.
The book is supplemented with slides, videos and other information on the accompanying website, momtestbook.com
The Mom Test is an absolute read for Startup founders and SME owners to help them hone their “Listening” skills which are critical to understanding the markets and customers they seek.
B2B Sales Mentors: 20 Stories from 20 Top 1% Sales Professionals
Written by Scott Ingram, host of the Sales Success Stories Podcast, B2B Sales Mentors is a curated collection of stories and lessons from 20 of the top 1% B2B Sales Professionals.
Each of these stories is written in an informal, conversational style with action items written at the end of each story.
What I really love about this book is how it clearly demonstrates the work required in order to win the B2B sale.
Some of the great insights and approaches provided include:
- The Customer Discovery Process-to determine if an organisation is an ideal customer as well as how to understand their needs and decision-making processes
- The Preparation Phase–to prepare for customer meetings
- How to Leverage Customer Visits and Informal Conversations to drive sales
How to Get a Meeting with Anyone
Written by Stu Heinecke, this book provides you with a vast selection of tools and approaches to enable you to get meetings with C-level executives and other key stakeholders that are critical to winning the big clients and deals you seek.
The book is based on Stu’s concept of Contact Marketing which he defines as:
“using micro-focused campaigns to break through to specific people of strategic importance, often against impossible odds to produce a critical sale, partnership or connection.”
Effectively it is a combination of both marketing and sales.
What I love about this book is the many, wide range of approaches that one can use for Contact Campaign Tactics and Methods from free methods such as the Phone and Social Media to books and video to Print/Billboard Media or Investor Relations.
Stu also provides a great deal of what I would call “MUST KNOW”/Foundational information that is critical to executing successful Contact Marketing campaigns. Some of the topics include:
- Your VIP Makeover
- Developing Your Contact Letter, Scripts and Anti-Pitch
- Your Secret Weapon: The Hold Back Device
This book is truly a must read for all startup founders and SME owners who undoubtedly need to identify, meet and engage key decision makers.
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