Corporate Vision February 2017

24 CORPORATE VISION / February 2017 , The Relationship Edge Delta Point - a consulting company assisting companies of all sizes achieve excellence in sales, marketing and training - have worked alongside the largest pharmaceutical and biotech com- panies in the world. CEO of the Year, Arizona, Jerry Acuff, spoke with us to discuss the ongoing successes of the business. The consultants at Delta Point have worked primarily in the coaching of life science and pharmaceutical companies, large and small. In helping clients to improve their sales, marketing and in house training teams, they bring increased excellence to the industry as a whole. “Our strategy is built on improving the effectiveness of any customer facing employee that interacts with customers. Our business is focused on working with companies that are launching products and they cannot afford to fail, or who have products that are not performing. We utilize our proprietary processes and methodology to help them succeed at launch or significantly improve their performance. “Much of our work is rooted in two key concepts: think like a customer and that building valuable business relationships is crucial to success. I have written a best-selling book called ‘The Relationship Edge in Business’, and another one called ‘Stop Acting Like a Seller, Start Thinking Like a Buyer’ and much of our work is based on the approaches outlined in those two books. We believe that thinking like a customer dramatically changes an organizations ability to succeed, however very few companies are truly customer focused. We also believe that solid business relationships (not personal relationships) are everything and most people build them reactively not proactively. Most people in business have not been taught how to build a valuable business relationship with someone whom they do not connect with yet more than 60- 70% of the people we connect with are in that category.” When speaking to Jerry about the challenges of being the CEO of Delta Point, he returned to the mater of forming relationships. “The biggest challenges I have faced is simply finding really excellent people. It takes a special person to be truly devoted to excellence and to want to work in a small firm. I have been so fortunate to be able to find great people and most of them (about 80%) were former customers who loved what we do and wanted to be a part of it. “What has made our company successful is that we have business ideas that make our clients lots of money by changing their trajectory and we have incredible people that know how to do that for our clients. The three attributes I have that make us successful are: Once I learn a product or service, it seems I can usually develop a vision about how to get others to buy into those ideas (IF and only IF it is in their best interest). Secondly, I have been smart enough and lucky enough to know a great hire when I see one. And lastly, I manage our financial resources well so that we can be consistently profitable - as any good CEO must do.” When questioned about the current state of the pharma industry, he highlighted how much a lack of deeper understanding, from both without and within, produce many of the challenges it faces. “Our industry is constantly under attack and is largely unappreciated by most who do not know much in detail about it (general public, politicians, etc.). The biggest challenge is access to medicines and access to the health care provider. The challenge that affects us most are possible mergers that impact the people in our client companies who hire us. The other challenge we face most often is inertia - our client’s belief that they can solve their problems without external help. Most cannot solve the big problems of significant underperformance by themselves, but many think they can. “Our industry is and has undergone much change. There are 40,000 fewer sales people in our major industry today than there was 15 years ago, there are fewer people supporting them in HQ and access to products keeps getting harder and harder. This has actually helped our business because when there are fewer interactions the “quality” of that interaction becomes more important. Our ability to show organizations how to have far more impactful interactions with customers has helped us with clients and prospects.” Mentioning the role that new technologies are playing in their ability to assist clients in their endeavours, Jerry was positive about its implementation. “Technology is a crucial part of our industry and we are constantly seeking ways to utilize technology to help our clients be more efficient, collaborative and effective. The two best ways we have found to ensure it is used are: to be up to date on technology uses and trends affecting our industry and then get users involved in whatever new uses of technology we are contemplating.” Speaking about Delta Point’s future plans, he told us how keen he is for the business to continue 1702CV28