Required Reading: Is There a Right Way to Outsource?

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The issue of outsourcing has caused more of a sensation in the media recently than perhaps ever before. But that's because its definition is still pretty fuzzy for most of us, says Michael Corbett, author of The Outsourcing Revolution: Why it Makes Sense and How to do it Right (Dearborn Trade Publishing). Corbett clears away the hype and explains how globally outsourcing critical, noncore processes can contribute to successful business--and eventually, a stronger economy. He even asserts that up to 80 percent of the average executive's budget will be outsourced over the next decade. Describing the eight different disciplines of outsourcing, the book supplements its road map with case studies and survey results of more than 1,500 companies on creating successful outsourcing initiatives. Even the sunniest of optimists understand that, sometimes, finding new sources of revenue is just plain difficult. Kristin Zhivago, author of Rivers of Revenue: What to do When the Money Stops Flowing
(Smokin' Donut Books), understands this, too--and has some advice. Zhivago's new title offers guidance on focusing in on the client's perspective instead of the seller's, and how to interview prospects and customers to find out what they are looking for and the sacrifices they are willing to make. Zhivago tells the fable of the dried up revenue river to propel her guidebook, using the decisions made by three fictional families living along the river to draw parallels to the most effective (and ineffective) approaches to today's changing market. The Sales Mentor: Professional Sales 101 & 102 for the Development Years (Trafford Publishing), by Bobby Butler, is an inspiring tutorial that opens with the concept that "selling is instinctive to every human being." A thorough handbook for individuals in all arenas of sales, it explains the do's and don'ts of the entire sales process: from mastering approaches and introductions, to the development and completion of a sale, to every step in between. Discover the traits and requirements indispensable to top-notch salespeople, how to efficiently accomplish the "three-way win," and how to create an ideal time-management blueprint. Who should be in the lead in a business relationship? The Consumer...or Else! Consumer-Centric Business Paradigms (International Business Press, an imprint of the Haworth Press), by Camille Schuster, Ph.D., and Donald Dufek, urges businesses to stop pretending that suppliers or distributors have the final word in doing business--and realize that the power rests uniquely in the hands of the consumer. Personalization, attention to feedback, and innovation without confusion are the keys to winning customers, according to the authors. From one company's strategic use of upscale designs on low-price products, to a department store's interactive streetscape appearance, this book highlights the successes of organizations that have used creative approaches to place the consumer at the center of their businesses. What's the best way to understand what your customers are thinking? Go straight to the source and ask them. In his new title, Customer Advisory Boards: A Strategic Tool for Customer Relationship Building (Best Business Books, an imprint of the Haworth Press), Tony Carter reveals the important opportunities that customer advisory boards (CABs) can create: the formation of trusting, communicative personal and professional customer relationships, direct insight into ideas for improvement, and a wide range of expertise without legal liability. Carter explains the structure, procedures, and agendas of successful CABs, and reveals how to use existing, potential, and former customers to plan future initiatives via three different types of advisory boards.
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