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The B2B Executive Playbook

National Best Seller on Wall Street Journal, USA Today, 800CEO Reads, and Amazon

This extraordinary book is the Ultimate Weapon for CEOs and the entire leadership for small, medium and global B2B companies.

Find out how the fate of your B2B Company rests in the hands of relatively few people, and what you need to do about it.The world for executives in Business to Business (B2B) companies is critically different from the world of their Business to Consumer (B2C) counterparts.  All too often B2C strategies and tactics are applied to B2B companies, which leads to disappointing, even disastrous results.  B2B requires a completely different playbook.

This book is an absolute necessity if:

  • Your top customers account for a large amount of your revenue
  • Your company’s margins are being threatened or eroding
  • You have had new products fall short of revenue, margin and/or market share goals
  • Relationships with real decision makers of your most important customers are questionable
  • You struggle to measure the ROI on marketing or R&D programs
  • Your senior team disagrees on how to move the company forward
  • Your organization gets activity confused with results

Business strategy books fill bookstore shelves – but none draw attention to the unique ways in which B2B organizations need to strategize and run differently than B2C companies in order to achieve true sustainable, predictable and profitable growth.  Geehan goes further by not only identifying those unique differences, but also demonstrating to readers how to apply them with proven approaches from his over 20 years of experience. This groundbreaking work creates a new sub-category for business books.

The B2B Executive Playbook highlights case studies and research from market-leading companies such as Harris Broadcasting, Crown Partners, Henny Penny, Springer, AmerisourceBergen, Intesource, Oracle, and more to prove what practices succeed and why others fail.

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Reviews

The insights and the guidance that the B2B Playbook offers rest on the simple, yet insightful observation that, for companies that sell to other companies, it’s often the case that a handful of customers comprise the bulk of their revenues and a large share of their profits. 

Losing a customer in this context can be catastrophic. Growing one can be transformative. 

From this premise, the playbook explores the approaches that a B2B company can pursue in order to meaningfully engage and develop thought leadership with the critical stakeholders on the client side who ultimately decide the scope and nature of the business relationship that they will support with the organization. 

This book enjoys two strengths. The author has taken great pains to discern and elaborate on the different challenges and opportunities B2B firms face, relative to their B2C brethren. The author has likewise practiced what he preaches in the playbook from having helped B2B firms develop their customer engagement strategies for a number of years. His experience allows him to ground his insights in reality and to provide a number of illuminating examples from his own practice. 

Anyone who has a hand in guiding and developing their organization’s approach to customer engagement in the B2B realm would benefit from reading this book and allowing the author’s perspective to influence their approach for growing the business with their key accounts. The lessons learned here can serve as a competitive weapon for those who take the time to thoughtfully apply them to their own circumstances.   -Douglas Collins

 

Sean Geehan has provided new insights into the harsh reality that B2B is a greatly different mission than B2C. While all around us want to talk about the great jobs done by Apple, P&G, Pepsi and all the other master companies, the reality is that they are marketing to consumers. Meanwhile, most of us are laboring in a world of developing products, building marketing plans, and leading salesforces that direct our products and services to COMPANIES, not individuals. Geehan has written a book that aims directly at this reality and offers insights into the differences that must be planned for in this world. Very solid book that every strategist, marketer, and sales leader should read. — Keith Hawk, LexisNexis.

 

There’s always been chatter in the business world about profits, planning and long-term success. But seldom does the eager and anxious businessperson find immediately applicable instruction like in B2B Executive Playbook. If you work for a company that sells goods or services to other companies, you need to read this book if you want to get ahead, or stay ahead. 

The B2B world is like an iceberg – you’ll occasionally see stories in the media about new innovation or market-leading organizations, but usually both the how-to and the magnitude of size/wealth lie beneath the surface. The B2B Executive Playbook brilliantly explains how, if you choose to align and engage with your key customers correctly, your company can maintain industry-leading performance and incredible profits.

As the title suggests, winning a team effort and the whole senior staff needs to be working from the same playbook. But if you and your colleagues follow the concepts in this book, just like legendary sports franchises, you’ll pound the competition and dominate the field. This book is akin to a season of training camp basics, locker room strategy, and championship scoring all rolled into one. 

The case studies provide great insight-in-action examples of companies that get it, use it, and benefit. The tactics, as well as the logic, are detailed. A classic piece of business accumen. – Richard Hunt, Clerisy Press

 

The differences between the relationships that a company has with other businesses (B2B) and the relationships that they have with end user customers (B2C) are enormous, yet not always understood by the company’s decision makers. In a B2C relationship, the end user is generally the decision maker and there are a large number of customers, making the loss of one or two insignificant and inevitable. A survey of end user satisfaction is an accurate measure of how well the company is doing in pleasing the customers. 

However, in the B2B relationship the end users are not the decision makers and the numbers tend to be small, rarely getting into triple digits. The executive that decides whether or not to continue the relationship may have no hands on experience in dealing with the supplier. This means that a customer survey could indicate that everything is going very well and then the account is lost with no understanding of why it happened. Furthermore, the loss of one or two of these customers can be devastating and in extreme cases even fatal. 

The key point of this book is a demonstration of how B2B differs from B2C and an explanation of some of the pitfalls of assuming that the B2B situation is just a slightly modified B2C. Knowing how to move your way through the first layers in a company so that you are directly interacting with the decision maker is key to keeping the lines of communicate open so that problems and mutual interests can be identified and dealt with quickly. Geehan describes some of the most effective ways to do this and to avoid the dangerous reliance on clairvoyance, predicting what the customers will want before they decide what it is that they want. 

Executives in B2B situations will find this book invaluable as a set of guidelines on how to understand the circumstances and dynamics of what are necessary and critical relationships to your success. Even people that are managing B2C relationships will find information of value, for the tactics are designed for dealing with decision makers, which by definition every customer is. – Charles Ashbacher

 

Sean Geehan has provided a very smart perspective on the realities of leading your B2B business. Sean’s step by step advice for inviting key customers to take a seat at your strategic management table is extremely insightful. The included case studies really bring to life the valuable lessons to be learned from this read. Awesome piece of work Sean! – Allan McLaughlin

 

 

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