I received an eBook a few months ago entitled, “Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customer Want to Buy” by Kristin Zhivago and was asked if I would read and review it for my blog. I have received numerous items to review and blog about over the past year and I don’t usually find the time to get to all of them. However, when I did finally get around to opening the eBook on my iPad’s Kindle App, I appreciated the thoughtful approach to describing typical challenges with the online selling process and the step-by-step methodology Kristin describes to overcome these challenges and survive various levels of buyer scrutiny.
The first half of the book is focused on a three-step approach for improving online sales: Discover, Debate and Deploy. At a high-level, this is very similar to classical gap analysis — understand where you are, where you need to be and how to bridge the gap between those two points. I won’t give away the details of Kristin’s methodology here, but there is plentiful expertise contained in the pages defining the steps in the roadmap that are well worth the price of this book.
Following the roadmap definition and a chapter on supporting the customer’s buying process, Kristin dives into an interesting discussion on how to support (or survive) four layers of buyer scrutiny. This should be required reading, in my opinion, for anyone attempting to grow their online customer base. Scrutiny is positioned not as a barrier, but as a metric to which a company must respond. As the author describes,
Moving your product/service down the Scrutiny Spectrum will lower the cost of supporting the purchase – and make your business more profitable.
Perhaps the thing about this book that stands out to me is that it is focused on the right thing: The Customer. This isn’t about the latest panacea for your commerce site. It’s not yet another book on how social media will save you. It’s not about capturing potential customers though SEO. It’s straight-forward, customer-centric common sense illuminated by practical experience and driven by the desire to please the ultimate commerce critic, the customer. And, I might add, well worth the read.