I am currently reading a book that in my opinion is essential reading for everyone in a sales or marketing role including the Senior Executive Team (SET).

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 08.17.28That book is ‘From Selling to Co-Creation’. Click here for a summary from one the UK’s most respected school of management.

The book addresses the fundamental question of co-creating and delivering value to customers in increasingly challenging contexts.

If you have read ‘The Challenger Sale‘ then you are already thinking in a new way about demonstrating your value as a salesperson.

This book takes selling to the next level, or is it any longer selling? If so, who is the new breed of salesperson and what skills must they possess. Before we get too carried away let’s understand that customers still buy ‘stuff’ so vendors will sell ‘stuff’ and that is going to go on. The next level creates value that is not about ‘stuff’ rather it is about ‘something I find hard to describe’ so I share an example now.

Co-creating

What is an expression of co-creating value in these increasingly challenging contexts?

What has one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers and a tiny (in comparison) software company have in common?

Why did that automobile manufacturer invest a sum of money more than twice that of the software company’s last reported quarterly revenues?

That company is Ford and here is there rationale:

“Expanding our business to be both an auto and mobility company requires leading-edge software expertise to deliver outstanding customer experiences,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “Our investment in Pivotal will help strengthen our ability to deliver these customer experiences at the speed of Silicon Valley, including continually expanding FordPass – our digital, physical and personal mobility experience platform.” Click here for the story.

I’m trying to figure how that conversation got started and I doubt it was through a conventional buyer – seller process. It would be really interesting to know who approached who and the context of the first conversation.

Who are the co-creators?

I don’t know but there are two people that count, Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO and Rob Mee, Pivotal CEO.  I would add to that very short list Bill Ruh, CEO, GE Digital.

Who else?  Help me out here.