Meet Steve Thompson, The Mind Behind the Value Lifecycle™
My name is Steve Thompson, and I am an expert in communicating business value in order to get B2B deals done while maximizing the value to both parties. For over 22 years, I have personally supported thousands of B2B deals worth well over $17 billion – for both B2B selling and buying organizations. I have also helped clients make their value clear in their marketing, outreach and call script messaging. My diverse clientele represents dozens of industries and businesses from the Fortune 500 to technology startups. Clients have sent me to every major business center around the globe to help close key deals. When I receive a call from a client, it is almost assuredly a “must-win” deal that is in trouble – and it’s my job to help salvage this deal.
Seeing B2B deals firsthand from both sides, I have long been fascinated by the question “With all the readily available information, why is B2B selling becoming more difficult, and making an informed purchase as a buyer even more challenging?” Perhaps there is TMI (too much information) about irrelevant things that obscure the real value…
This is especially evident when I see tremendous value for one side (or both parties) that is not even brought into the selling and buying discussion. My observation is that both sides have not really thought through what outcomes they ultimately want to achieve and what a Great Deal looks like that will advance their business and personal objectives.
I have also found that the term “value” is perhaps the most misunderstood concept in business. And yet it is the currency of sales, negotiations and ongoing business relationships. Helping clients understand what “value” really means, and then positioning, proposing, negotiating and delivering value for both parties is my passion!
Past and present clients include such organizations as Abbott Labs, American Airlines, ADC Telecommunications, Aramark, BigID, Brightpearl, Brightcove, Brinks Corporation, Centrinet, Citrix, Colony Homes, Coca-Cola, Deluxe Corporation, Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, FedEx, Fidelity Investments, FireEye, Forcepoint, Hewlett-Packard, InteliSecure, Johnson & Johnson, Kiewit Mining, KLA-Tencor, Kronos, KX, Marketo, Maritech AKVA Group, McKesson Corporation, Microsoft, Monster.com, Morningstar Storage, NEC, NCR, Ortho-McNeil, PACTIV Corporation, PHH Arval, Pivotal Software, Pure Fishing, Schering-Plough, Symantec Software, Tenneco, Veritas Technologies and Walmart Stores.
As the founder and president of H2Only (bottled water business), I negotiated the sale of the company seven years later to the largest Japanese beverage company (Suntory Holdings). I have also held the position of Vice President of Sales and Marketing Worldwide for a division of Westinghouse Electric. Prior to that, my background includes Senior Sales, Operations and Management positions with divisions of Stanley Black & Decker and DuPont.
I served as a U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine Officer after receiving an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology. I also hold an MBA from the JL Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Why Clients Engage Us
We help B2B companies position value messaging, propose value, negotiate critical deals on value and then deliver the promised value after the sale. Senior Executives turn to us when their go-to-market strategy is producing disappointing results due to anemic sales pipeline, protracted deal cycles and poor-quality deals. They are frustrated by margin erosion when selling and missing business outcome targets when buying. These executives are strongly committed to:
- Generating more high-quality sales pipeline
- Closing more valuable deals faster
- Maintaining and growing margin
- Reducing churn and generating more upsell and cross-sell opportunities
We provide value consulting, training, and hands-on coaching to develop value-based marketing messaging and then position, propose, and negotiate deals in order to meet short-term business objectives while advancing the corporation’s strategy. Our approach focuses on creating value for both parties to foster long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.
We’re equally comfortable formulating strategy at the executive level as well as developing specific programs and processes to effectively execute and scale at the individual account level with multiple stakeholders. Expert at managing uncertainty and risk in complex B2B deals, we help clients customize and present multiple acceptable options, which promotes transparency, collaboration and invites both parties to co-create a “great” business deal. This results in shorter sales cycles, low stress negotiations and higher quality business outcomes.
Sample Client Results
- Revamped marketing messaging, value propositions and proposals to increase ARR bookings by 38% for a pre-IPO technology client
- Restructured the supplier business relationship resulting in a cost reduction of $24M while increasing annual sales over 10% for a large retailer
- Developed marketing messaging, sales strategy, proposal, and negotiations strategy for a $53M sole-source technology deal with a large European bank
- Converted a $1M expense into a $12M revenue stream for a large airline by reimagining and unlocking the potential value to both parties
- Developed value messaging, proposal, and account strategy for a $300M+ renewal including a 12% margin improvement for a shipping client
When companies assign an Account Executive (AE) responsibility for a handful or customers, a host of often unforeseen dynamics come into play:
- When the sales pipeline is lean, every opportunity becomes a “must-win” deal because the AE does not have the luxury of infinite accounts to hit their quota
- The desire for a long-term business relationship has significant implications on how deals should be positioned, proposed, and negotiated
- The quality of each deal that is closed will significantly influence customer expectations for all future deals as well as the seller’s financials
- Delivering the desired customer outcomes after the sale is critical to eliminating account churn and generating future upsell / cross-sell opportunities (i.e. sales pipeline)
In short, these key accounts require a unique approach to positioning, proposing, negotiating and closing deals. They also require special attention after the deal is closed. These business-critical customers are the domain of Value LifecycleTM.