3. The Self-Educating Buyer

In April 1998, Andy Grove, then president and CEO of Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, published his book Only the Paranoid Survive. In it, he introduced the idea of the strategic inflection point.

For now, let me just say that a strategic inflection point is a time in the life of the business when its fundamentals are about to change. They are full-scale changes in the way business is conducted, so that simply adopting new technology or fighting the competition as you used to may be insufficient.

Today, companies that rely on a human sales force to discover, solicit, and close sales of products and services find themselves at just such a strategic inflection point. Gone are the days when buyers of products and ...

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