Revenue Disruption: A book review by Bob Morris

Revenue Disruption: Game-Changing Sales and Marketing Strategies to Accelerate GrowthPhil Fernandez
John Wiley & Sons (2012)

How and why Revenue Performance Management (RPM) can help achieve sustainable growth and profitability

The title of this book probably attracted your attention (and thus served its purpose) but you’d be well-advised to ignore it. The subtitle offers a better indication of why Phil Fernandez wrote the book: To identify and explain a number of game-changing sales and marketing strategies to accelerate what I would have characterized as “profitable” growth, given the fact that ego-driven growth, growth at any cost, has ruined countless companies.

Fernandez’s specific focus is on buyer-centric initiatives that take into full account the real-world dynamics of today’s purchase decision process.

Long ago, I concluded that, because sales and marketing are so different in terms of their nature and function, they should be viewed – and conducted – separately. Each requires a quite different mindset. All that remains true, except….

Except that, as I have realized in recent years, the shift of power has shifted from the seller to the buyer. That shift requires that sales and marketing be viewed – and conducted – as separate but [begin italics] interdependent [end italics] areas of operation whose strategies and tactics must be coordinated with meticulous care. Fernandez apparently agrees. As he observes, “Far from operating as solo hunters, salespeople today must instead be hyper-connected. They need to link up with fellow sales professionals, as well as to their colleagues from marketing, research, customer support, and technology. Most importantly, they need access to the same information sources and online social networks that their prospects are almost certainly using.”

These are several of the passages that caught my eye:

o  “Core Marketing Strategies Take Shape (Pages 13-14)
o  “Encouraging Collaborative Communication” (42-44)
o  “Driving Growth by Changing the Marketing and Sales Dynamic” (62-64)
o  Actions from sales playbook to help marketing professionals become as closely tied to revenue (88-90)
o  “Revenue Cycles n Depth” (108-112)
o  “Building Engagement and Developing Relationships with Lead Nurturing” (127-131)
o  Steps to creating a high-performance revenue team (142-143)
o  “Go with the Flow: Measuring the Revenue Cycle” (154-157)
o  Benefits of Revenue Performance Management (RPM) platforms for change (166-170)
o  “RPM as a CEO Imperative” (182-183)
o  Various perspectives on the role of a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), Pages 200-201

I appreciate Fernandez’s provision of mini-profiles of what he characterizes as “Revenue Revolutionaries” whose game-changing sales and marketing strategies have helped to accelerate sustainable revenue growth. I also admire his skillful use of a “Key Points” section that concludes each of the 27 brief but remarkably substantial chapters. They facilitate, indeed expedite frequent review of key points.

One of Phil Fernandez’s most important themes in this book is the need for constant and continuous evaluation of one’s sales and marketing strategies, to be sure, but also a willingness to make major changes in one’s strategic thinking and, if necessary, modification and even replacement of the strategies themselves. To paraphrase Joseph Schumpeter, “creative destruction” and “creative disruption” are synonymous.

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