It all started when...
...we determined that sales “process” training was no longer the solution. As Mike Myatt reports in “To Increase Revenue Stop Selling” (Forbes, May 1, 2012), “The problem with many sales organizations is they still operate with the same principles and techniques they were using in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. While the technology supporting sales process have clearly evolved, the traditional sales strategies proffered by sales gurus 20 or 30 years ago have not kept pace with market needs. They are not nearly as effective as they once were, and…in most cases they are obsolete.” What salespeople need today is data that drives insight into their own value and how it applies to achieving the customer’s business objectives at multiple levels. This is a fundamentally different role and requires consultants who provide these solutions, customers who buy them, and sales reps who sell to completely re-think the nature of connecting frontline sales efforts to corporate business strategy. In fact, it’s the job of businessto-business salespeople to help their customers make better, value-based decisions that will benefit both those customers and their own companies.
At Think! Inc. we’ve spent over twenty years relentlessly driving to develop a solution to this problem. Our goal was to achieve better business results by forging a connection between sales and higher level business strategy, and executing that strategy at the customer-interface level. In order to do so we have conducted extensive primary research, reviewing over $20 billion in won and lost deals, and studied numerous secondary sources. Our intent was to gain understanding and determine the root causes of the suboptimal results delivered by the traditional approach to sales skills training. In the process we discovered there are essentially five key hurdles to achieving more sustainable ROI from investing in selling skills. Interestingly, while three of these are actually related to sales training, the two most significant ones are strategy-related.
In 2012, Think! Inc. introduced a high-performance consulting division, 5600blue, to help B2B companies define, house and apply their value strategy, connect the priorities of leadership to the deal level, and ensure that total compensation, including risksharing, is aligned to that value.