New Book Reveals Secrets to Competing for Customers in the New Subscription Economy

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In their newest book, “Competing for Customers,” best-selling authors Amir Hartman and Craig LeGrande team with Oracle Chief Customer Officer Jeb Dasteel to make the case for Customer Success Delivery, a powerful mix of strategy and practice that will enable customers to achieve measurable business outcomes. The authors contend that mastering the art of customer success is rapidly becoming a prerequisite for surviving and thriving in the new “subscription economy.”

Competing for Customers

Competing for Customers

One of the eye-opening results of our research was the fact that over half of organizations say they don’t understand how their own customers measure success.

Do today’s business leaders really care about their customers’ success? The answer, according to a new book by a trio of experts, is clear: They had better care, or else they’ll be risking a significant amount of revenue, in some cases as much as 70%, in the next 10 years.

This call to action is one of the key themes of Competing for Customers: Why Delivering Business Outcomes Is Critical in the Customer First Revolution, by Jeb Dasteel, Amir Hartman and Craig LeGrande. It reflects the changing calculus businesses face in the new subscription economy, where your “sale” is no longer a one-time event, but a relationship that demands continuous care and nurturing.

The authors argue that “customer focus” and “customer advocacy” are no longer enough in the new business-to-business economy, where products are increasingly sold “as a service” and delivered over the Internet. Increasingly, customers can walk away from a company’s products and services at a moment’s notice, and there’s only one way to make sure that doesn’t happen: focus relentlessly on helping customers achieve measurable business outcomes.

“Like it or not, your job is to make sure your customers succeed – and keep on succeeding – with what you’ve sold them,” says co-author Jeb Dasteel, who is chief customer officer of Oracle, where he leads the technology company’s global customer programs. “This doesn’t just happen. It requires a comprehensive, tested blueprint that integrates how you market to, sell to, and support customers.”

Using examples from leading B2B companies, including Cisco, GE Power, Rockwell Automation and Telogis, the authors identify the unifying principles and tactics of delivering customer success, and guide readers through every step of planning and execution, supporting the process with clear tools and templates based on actual practice. In the book, business leaders learn how to embed a distinct focus on customer success in their corporate DNA.

“Delivering customer success means radically changing the way you engage with
customers—from sales, to marketing, to support,” says co-author Hartman, an authority on corporate and technology transformation and international best selling author. “The difficult truth in today’s subscription economy is that most of your customers don’t care about your products per se. They really just care about the result you can help them achieve.”

While many companies believe they’re focused on their customers’ success, in reality they’re only focused on their own success. “One of the eye-opening results of our research was the fact that over half of organizations say they don’t understand how their own customers measure success,” says co-author LeGrande, co-founder of Mainstay, a global management consulting firm and a leader in helping organizations design and execute innovative customer success programs.

Rishi Dave, chief marketing officer of Dun & Bradstreet, providing one of the many accolades for the book, notes: “It’s time to stop talking about ‘focusing on the customer’ and start doing it. Jeb, Amir and Craig provide a practical blueprint for connecting with customers in the modern era.”

Competing for Customers was recently published by Pearson. For more information and to purchase a copy, visit:

About Jeb Dasteel
Jeb Dasteel holds the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at Oracle. He is responsible for driving the relentless focus on customer success into all aspects of the Oracle business. Follow Jeb @jdasteel.

About Amir Hartman
Amir Hartman, founder and managing director of Mainstay, is a leading authority on corporate and technology transformations, and works with customers to help develop and execute customer success strategies. He is the author of several influential books, most recently Ruthless Execution (Pearson, 2014). Follow Amir @amir_hartman.

About Craig LeGrande
A senior advisor to leading high tech companies, Craig LeGrande is founder and managing director of Mainstay and co-author of Ruthless Execution. LeGrande leads a world-class team helping clients deliver innovative customer success strategies. Follow Craig @craig_legrande.

About Mainstay
Mainstay is a recognized leader in helping organizations design and execute innovative customer success programs. Mainstay serves as an independent advisor to some of the most admired companies in the world. For more information visit

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