From Humble Beginnings to International Recognition
Delta Point, Inc. is a consulting firm which specializes in partnering with companies who face daunting challenges such as launching new products and brands, facing fierce competition, or declining market share. Founder Jerry Acuff, who is recognized in CV Magazine as the Most Influential CEO of the Year in the 2018 Corporate Excellence Awards, shares what he believes are the reasons behind his and Delta Point’s success.
It all started with one man and one idea— how to implement change and make it stick. Since its inception, Delta Point has extended its reach across the customer experience spectrum, focusing on Selling Excellence, Strategic Positioning, Sales Messaging, Building Business Relationships, Sales Training, Coaching Selling Excellence, and Training and Leadership Development.
Jerry founded Delta Point after a successful career as an award-winning sales representative, district sales manager and ultimately, Vice President/General Manager of the primary care component of a major pharmaceutical company. Throughout his career, Jerry recognized that despite the best efforts of leadership, often the success of any strategic initiative was based on what happened when the sales representative, marketing person, or medical science liaison engaged the customer.
Delta Point specializes in significantly improving the impact of the customer conversation— starting with why that customer would want to listen to the company’s representative. First, they must effectively set the stage for a meaningful conversation by gaining attention or interest. Then, by choosing the correct words and asking questions, they can get the customer to think differently than they are currently thinking—thus making it far more likely that they’ll act differently.
Delta Point has mastered the art of communicating effectively with customers by following a recognized process that has worked successfully with their clients, including more than 15 brands with sales in excess of $1 billion each. Utilizing this process, their clients have made significant inroads: after partnering with Delta Point, one customer increased their market share from 18% to 52% in just nine months. Another company that was launching a new product exceeded their first-year forecast by $130 million.
Jerry is quick to emphasize that it is not the consultant alone who produces these excellent results. By partnering with key stakeholders, the consultant can identify those small changes that create a big impact on the bottom line.
“For every customized Delta Point project, we conduct a thorough discovery process to enable us to gain a true understanding of what the client wants as well as the challenges and strengths that currently exist. We optimize our 30 employees and two office locations to create a team that will work with the client from discovery through implementation and execution.”
“We find a phased approach often works best. We start by identifying and then interviewing the key stakeholders, including select customers, medical science liaisons, top sales leaders and excellent sales people. We ensure that we talk to and engage each person who could be involved with the product including marketing, training and medical teams as well as key thought leaders.”
“Multiple consultants are involved in this interview process, each following the same interview guide individualized for the role of the person being interviewed. This enables us to shorten the discovery process and leverage the knowledge and perspective of each consultant to formulate our customized solutions.”
“The next step is to present our insights, findings, and recommendations to the decision makers. In most cases, the clients choose to engage us to train the appropriate personnel on how to “move the needle” and execute our plan. This emphasis on providing the steps and training necessary to successfully implement change is what distinguishes us from other consulting firms.”
“We have learned that other firms will tell you what to do, but they will not stay with you and show you exactly how to sell more of your product. From what our clients tell us, we are the only sales/marketing company that will partner with you through training, implementation and execution to ensure that sales increase.”
Jerry credits the executives, consultants and support staff at Delta Point with the reason why he is so confident in his firm’s ability to provide excellent services and products. The people who work at Delta Point share a love of lifelong learning and striving for excellence.
“Our consultants who work directly with the customers know more about Life Sciences selling and marketing than almost anyone you could meet. They have risen through the ranks and built on the knowledge and knowhow gleaned from their roles in different organizations, providing a breadth of perspectives. 90% of our consultants have been sales representatives, first line sales managers, and worked in headquarters in training, marketing and the executive office, including VP of Sales. With a team like that you should expect great results. Three of the top ten Pharma companies in the world have hired us to work on 45 different products between them. They keep hiring us because we deliver great results.”
“One of the differentiators that makes Delta Point successful is that we train sales managers how to teach and coach selling in the field in real time. In most companies, a top ranked sales person is promoted to the role of sales manager. But being successful in sales requires a different skill set and perspective than being a great sales manager. Once sales people become managers, they are rarely taught anything about selling or how to coach selling. To fill this unmet need, Delta Point has developed a 2 1/2 day workshop that can be supplemented by virtual training to transform sales managers into excellent sales coaches.”
“Another area that we focus on is building business relationships— because business success is often based on relationships. We provide training on how to build valuable business relationships, using our proprietary 3-step process that teaches how to build connections with practically anyone—especially those you don’t naturally connect with.”
Endeavouring to establish Delta Point as the market leader in this industry is a major aim of Jerry’s. He explains the techniques and methods they use to stay ahead of emerging developments which are arising throughout the industry.
“In order to stay cutting edge, we conduct periodic surveys to learn about the unmet needs of our customers. In addition, we have our own panel of healthcare executives we engage for their insights and expertise. Perhaps more importantly, we collectively conduct over 100 field rides a year and talk to approximately 1,000 people in all segments of healthcare. This breadth of knowledge keeps us quite well informed.”
“Essentially, our quest for excellence combined with our focus on learning and evolving led to the development of several important offerings. Recognizing that individuals don’t have a lot of time to devote to learning and that attention spans continue to get shorter, we developed JerryAcuffVT, a virtual training platform. 95% of the lessons are five minutes or less. The four topics target the skills and knowledge necessary for success: Goal Setting; Building Valuable Business Relationships; Selling Excellence without being Pushy and Aggressive; and Coaching Selling in the Field in Real Time. Essentially, we endeavoured to capture the key concepts about these four subjects while focusing on the practical, providing ideas and applications using real-world situations.”
“Another offering we are excited about is called Coaching Catalyst. When survey data revealed that sales representatives do not go to their managers for selling advice, we looked to fill that need. We created a process to teach sales managers how to develop their coaching and selling skills so they are proficient to coach selling when they are in the field, in real time. Other programs we recently developed help organizations evaluate their sales force’s selling expertise and how to optimize co-pays, which tend to be poorly communicated to customers yet represent a large expense.”
Looking ahead, this is clearly an exciting time for Jerry and the team at Delta Point. There are developments and changes arising everyday within the industry, and Jerry is keen to keep his team focused in cutting edge learning and technologies. He feels quite strongly that they are poised to help other companies who are ready to learn and benefit from the expertise that has made Delta Point clients so successful.
“Lastly, we are really working on increasing awareness of Delta Point, Inc. within our industry, especially with those organizations we have not had the privilege to partner with. Although 90% of our business comes from repeat customers, there are many Life Sciences organizations who might benefit from our expertise in those situations when they can’t afford to fail such as launching products or selling products in highly competitive arenas where improving execution really matters.”
“Ultimately, it seems clear that our industry will continue to undergo major changes. We expect more consolidation and a far greater focus on targeted diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and rare diseases. These changes will still demand execution excellence to succeed—and we are well positioned to help organizations meet their goals.”
Company: Delta Point
Contact: Jerry Acuff
Address: 12196 East Sand Hills Road, Scottsdale, Arizona, 85255, USA
Phone: 001 480-296-9972