Learn to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy

Buyers have changed the way they buy. It's time to change the way you're selling.

Understand who your customers really are, what they care about, what they want to buy, and not least – how they want to buy it!

Align your selling process with your customers’ buying process

Develop products, services, and positioning strategies that are perfectly matched to your customers’ wants, needs, and purchasing behavior

Roadmap to Revenue will help you:

Increase sales and revenue by shifting your marketing strategy and company culture from company-centered to customer-centric

How Customers Have Changed the Way They Buy

For years, customers relied on company messaging to make their buying decisions, simply because it was the only information available to them – those days are long gone!

Now, when a customer wants to buy, he will start by looking to his own communities – online (Google, social media, forums) and offline (friends, peers) – and ask them what they have done to solve this problem.

Moreover, most online buyers have become jaded to the point where they bypass standard marketing copy and go straight for the reviews. Therefore, your brand no longer is what you tell your customers it is – It’s what your customers tell each other it is.

The Fundamental Problem

If you’re not thinking like a buyer, you won’t be able to support your customers’ buying process. You will think that you’re doing everything to “make sales”, when in fact you are impeding purchases. If you want to sell more and increase your revenue, you need to stop marketing and selling, and instead focus on how to align your selling process with your customers buying process. 

Why You Need to Read this Book

Roadmap to Revenue will show you exactly how to align your selling process with your customers' buying process, and reliably increase your sales and revenue by making the shift from a company-centered to a customer-centric business model. Kristin Zhivago reveals the 3-step method she has used to help hundreds of companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 Companies increase their revenue.

The Roadmap to Revenue Method:

Align your selling process with your customers' buying process in 3 steps

- Interview current customers (or prospects, if you have no customers). Use the methods outlined in this book, refined over thousands of interviews, to contact, interview, and record your conversations.

- Create a Conversation Report and an Executive Summary and Recommendations Report. The reports will reveal what they want to buy, and how they want to buy it. Plus: Their perceptions of your company, products, services, and website; trends they see; how they’re using technology to make purchases; and what they think of your competition.

- Distribute the reports to your brain trust and set up the Brainstorming and Planning Meeting.

- Analyze, discuss, and prioritize what customers have told you.

- Identify the issues most important to customers: What they want (including the Critical Characteristic), how they want to buy it, the problems that need to be solved, your strengths and weaknesses, and the barriers to the sale.

- Agree on the essence of your promise to customers. Your “brand” is the promise that you keep. You keep your promises with your processes, products, people, policies, and passion.

- Determine which buying category your product or service falls into, based on the amount of scrutiny that the customer applies to the purchase (Light, Medium, Heavy or Intense Scrutiny).

- Build a Buying Process Roadmap for each of your products and services. Each map will show the different stages of your customers’ buying process: The concerns they have, the actions they take, the answers that satisfy them, and the best tools to use to provide those answers.

- Build your Revenue Growth Action Plan. The goal is to fix what is broken, and improve what needs improving. Determine which tools you need to create, or actions you need to start taking, to better support your customers’ buying process.

- Once you start on the Road, you’ll need to make sure you stay there. Use the advice in the last chapter to continue to make customer-centric and revenue-producing decisions.

Start selling the way your customers want to buy - get your copy now 

Understand who your customers really are, what they care about, what they want to buy, and not least – how they want to buy it!

Align your selling process with your customers’ buying process

Increase sales and revenue by shifting your marketing strategy and company culture from company-centered to customer-centric

Kristin Zhivago is a revenue coach who helps companies increase their revenue by under-standing exactly what their customers want to buy from them – and how they want to buy it.

She founded Zhivago Management Partners, Inc, in Silicon Valley in 1979. Her clients range from thriving young start-ups to those in the Fortune 500, including Dow Jones, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, and the fastest-growing companies, including Bazaarvoice and Eloqua. 

Zhivago has become one of the world’s leading experts on the customer’s buying process. She speaks and teaches frequently for companies and organizations.

About the Author: 

Revenue Coach Kristin Zhivago

 Great Growth System, July 2, 2012 By Diane H. Helbig "Professional Coach" - See all my reviews

This review is from: Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy (Hardcover)


This book is a must read for any small business owner. Kristin outlines a fresh view of how customers buy and then presents actionable steps for approaching sales. When you can find out why your customers buy your product/service, and why they buy from you, you can use that information to sell to more customers and clients. Trying to pitch things that are not important to your prospect doesn't work. Follow the plan in this book if you want to ensure sales success! 



 An insightful, practical and useful book oozing with experience, June 14, 2012 ByMaz Iqbal - See all my reviews

This review is from: Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy (Hardcover)


I have many books on marketing, sales, service, customer experience, CRM. And this is one of the most useful, most practical books that I have read. So much so that my copy is many passages underlined in red ink. 

The tag line for the book says it best "How to sell the way your customers want to buy". In this book Kristin lives up to what she preaches in the book - she delivers on the promise set out in the tagline. Roadmap to Revenue provides a actionable, pragmatic and robust method (and tools and tips) for generating insight into customer needs (as buyers) and converting this into an actionable roadmap for giving giving customers (buyers) what they are looking for and thus growing you revenues. 

The skeleton upon which the book hangs, the heart of the book, is the Roadmap to Revenue method that consists of three steps: 

DISCOVER is concerned with figuring out how to make buying easier for the people (buyers/customers) who would benefit from the `products' you are selling. Kristin gets that there are various ways of getting at this insight including interviewing employees, conducting focus groups and using social media. She also gets their limitations. Based on that understanding and the kind of actionable insight customer interviews provide, Kristin strongly advocate interviewing existing customers to get at buyers needs and experience. Furthermore, Kristin is clear that these interviews should be carried out over the phone, not face to face. Why? Because, our customers are that much more open, more honest, more disclosing when this interviewing happens over the phone. 

DEBATE involves the key players in your organisation to take part in conversations where they discuss, analyse and prioritise the feedback provided by your customers in the earlier Discover step. The objective is to come to an agreement on the "essence of your promise to your customers" and to determine which buying category your `product' falls into so that later you can determine/get to grips with the customers buying process. Kristin recommends a 2 day offsite "Brainstorming and Planning Meeting" to do the work that is necessary in this step. 

DEPLOY involves taking all that you have learned and turning that into a "Buying Process Roadmap" for each of the distinct `products' that you are selling. This map will show: the different stages of the customers buying process; they concerns that show up at each stage; the actions they take; the questions that customers are asking/grappling with,;the answers that satisfy them; and the best tools for providing those answers. Once the Buying Process Roadmaps have been constructed it is time to put together the "Revenue Growth Action Plan". This is the implementation plan which sets out what you are going to do to improve what needs to be improved, to fix whats broken, to create what is needed and is not there...... 

I wholeheartedly recommend this book - anyone/everyone who is working to improve the performance of their business by getting a better insight into what matters to customers should read this book. 



 Customer-centric approach to growing your business, April 20, 2012 By Kevin -See all my reviews

This review is from: Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy (Hardcover)


First off, I appreciate 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. 



 Great Book - Fantastic Process, April 2, 2012 By Amanda Kaiser - See all my reviews

This review is from: Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy (Hardcover)


I heard Kristin speak at a MarketingProfs webinar and then purchased Roadmap to Revenue. I'm conducting interviews with our customers right now and the process has been very insightful. In fact it far exceeded my expectations. After conducting 10 interviews I can already see the ways to improve our policies and processes. In addition, many new product ideas and product improvements have come out of these conversations. I think these customer insights will help me positively influence my organization's future direction. 

Thank you to Kristin for sharing her process. I highly recommend Roadmap to Revenue - it has shown me a great way to get in touch with my customers and has helped me determine how we can better help them. 



 Making The Shift, March 16, 2012 By Janette Fuller (Willis, Texas) - See all my reviews

This review is from: Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy (Hardcover)


Ms. Zhivago advises businesses to stop trying to "sell" and "market". Instead try to figure out how to make the purchase easier for the customers who would benefit from your product or service. 

The Roadmap to Revenue method consists of the following three phases; 

Discover ~ Interview current customers (or prospects) on the telephone to find out what they want to buy and how they want to buy it. Record and organize the information that is collected in these interviews and present the information to the leaders of your business. 

Debate ~ Analyze, discuss and prioritize what the customers have told you. Identify the issues most important to the customers. 

Deploy ~ Map out the customer's buying process so you can support it at every step. Develop an action plan. Your goal is to fix what is broken, and improve what needs improving. Develop strategies that will better support your customers' buying process. 

The author provides detailed information to support a business that wants to make the shift from company-based to customer-based. This book provides everything you need to know to start the process. The author emphasizes that this is an on-going process that will lead to significant increases in your sales. This is not a quick or easy fix, but it will lead to long-term rewards. 

I do not have a formal education in business or any of the business-related fields. This was a challenging read for me, but the book is organized in a way that a layman can understand and benefit from it. I found this book to be a very content-rich offering that really goes deep into the "meat" of business management. The author offers free pdf downloads on her blog that will support the information in this book. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is serious about taking their business to the next level. The information is this book can be applied to all types of organizations that focus on selling a product or service. 



 The Keys to the Kingdom, March 15, 2012 By Patricia A. Cerchio (Middletown, RI USA) - See all my reviews

This review is from: Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy (Hardcover)


I feel like I have been given the Keys to the Kingdom. The step-by-step process that Kristin Zhivago has put in this book is amazing. It seems like the inside look of what a consultant would charge thousands and thousands for, probably because it is. But Kristin Zhivago has generously shared this with the small business person who can't afford thousands. 

While it isn't an instantaneous thing, it doesn't take as long as you might think. If you are in a business where your revenue depends on sales and you don't read this book, you better pray your competitors don't either. 



 Roadmap to Revenue is certainly a maverick book containing act-on-it-today advice rendered by an acknowledged master, January 26, 2012 By Norman Goldman(Montreal) - See all my reviews

This review is from: Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy (Hardcover)


Kristin Zhivago's contention is that vendors of goods and services are searching in the wrong places to find answers as to why they are not succeeding in attracting potential buyers to purchase from them and thus increase their revenue. They don't recognize that their customers are the only ones that know the real answers. Posing the right questions to their customers will inform them what their customers want and how they want to buy it. 

With her clear-thinking approach through verbiage that can be described as superb in its economy, Zhivago in her Roadmap To Revenue: How To Sell The Way Your Customers Want To Buy advocates a change in the usual way companies conceive about sales and marketing. In fact, Zhivago is quite forthright in her contempt concerning some of the existing marketing techniques that hammer consumers with a great deal of noise and clutter about products and services that cost companies millions of dollars with little to show for it. She further affirms that most of the time marketing and selling are out of touch as to what your buyer really wants from your product or service and as she maintains: "Marketing and selling is what you do. Buying is what your customer does." After all, is it not the buyer that determines whether the company will succeed or not? Consequently, to improve revenue, Zhivago advocates a different approach - one which she describes as shifting from a company-centered approach to a customer-centric one. Her fundamental message is to engage your customers and listen to their needs wherein you align your organization with your customer's buying process. 

After presenting her readers with a general overview, Zhivago breaks down her process into three fundamental steps which she fully treats within chapters three, four and five of the book. It is here where we learn how to interview customers, create reports, and what to do with all of the information we have accumulated. The three steps are as follows: 

1) Discover: Interview your customers, find out what they want and how they want to go about buying it. This can be accomplished through the use of in-depth, one-on-one phone interviews. It is here where readers will learn whom to interview, how to interview, questions that should be posed to your customers, transcribing the interview, creating a conversation report, and distributing the report to the individuals that will be involved in a subsequent brainstorming and planning meeting. 

2) Debate. Resolve the differences between what they want versus what you have to sell, and how they buy versus how you sell. In this step, you arrange whom you wish to be present in the brainstorming and planning meeting, which should be conducted over a period of two days. The participants should come from a broad spectrum of areas in your organization such as marketing, sales, websites, systems operations, and customer service. The first day would emphasize all the important issues that are important to your customers and this would be followed by building your promise by using the information garnered from your customers. 

3) Deploy. Document your customer's buying process so you can support them every step of the way, then build an action plan. This step is covered in day two, now that you know what exactly you have to deliver to your customers. 

The remaining chapters of the book analyze more closely how to support your customers's buying process, the four levels of buyer scrutiny which Zhivago breaks down into light, medium, heavy and intense, and finally the way to keep your company on the right path to increasing revenue. 

Roadmap To Revenue is certainly a maverick book containing act-on-it-today advice rendered by an acknowledged master who has meticulously presented information that she has garnered from her many years as a Revenue Coach to CEOs and entrepreneurs helping them increase their revenue by understanding exactly what their customers want. Moreover, the book provides great insight relevant to viewing the customer purchasing process as a whole and the need to change our attitude if we hope to increase revenue. It is one book that should be a top reading priority for CEOs and entrepreneurs who, as Zhivago states in her opening dedicating remarks, "feel a strong sense of responsibility to their customers, employees, and stakeholders, and who want to grow their businesses without resorting to the deceptive techniques used by the manipulative world." 


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 Roadmap To Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy is published by Bristol & Shipley Press.