Why & Who

Meet Steve Thompson, The Mind Behind the Value Lifecycle™

My name is Steve Thompson, and I am an expert in getting B2B deals done while maximizing the value to both parties. For over 20 years, I have personally supported thousands of B2B deals worth well over $15 billion – for both B2B selling and buying organizations.  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 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 closing Great Deals for both parties is my passion!

Background

Past and present clients include such organizations as Abbott Labs, American Airlines, ADC Telecommunications, Aramark, 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, Marketo, Maritech AKVA Group, McKesson Corporation, Microsoft, Monster.com, NEC, NCR, 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

 Senior Executives reach out to us when they are frustrated by low conversion rates, excessive discounting, and anemic upsell and cross-sell activity, particularly with their major accounts. Why major accounts? These key customers, while relatively small in number, usually represent a disproportionate share of the company’s total sales. Therefore, they are more often perceived by management as “can’t-lose” accounts.

When companies assign an Account Executive (AE) responsibility for only one or two major customers, a host of often unforeseen dynamics come into play:

  • Every opportunity becomes a “must-win” deal because the AE does not have the luxury of multiple accounts to hit their quota
  • The desire for a long-term business relationship has significant implications on how deals should be proposed and negotiated
  • The quality of each deal that is closed will significantly influence customer expectations for all future deals
  • Delivering the desired customer outcomes after the sale is critical to eliminating account churn and generating future upsell / cross-sell opportunities

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.

What We Believe

We believe that when both B2B selling and buying organizations realize more value in their business deals, both parties will be more successful. These successful businesses in turn provide greater opportunities for current employees, new positions for job seekers, higher returns for shareholders, and have more resources to invest in their communities and society at large. In short, we do not live in a zero sum world. Everyone can win!

Work with Steve