Not Your Father’s ROI?

General Motors ran an ill-fated ad campaign in the late 80’s and early 90’s about The New Generation of Oldsmobile with a tagline “Not your Father’s Oldsmobile”*. They used hip music and video and got famous fathers like Ringo Starr, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy with their daughters while promoting an imminently forgettable line of automobiles.

It was only about a decade later that Oldsmobile became a brand of the past.
“Dead’er than a beaver hat” I heard someone say.

NXT-GEN ROI cannot be a rehash of OLD-GEN ROI that companies have tried to use for the past 20 years. OLD-GEN ROI has the following characteristics with terrible consequences:

– Limited almost exclusively to the last ½ of a sales cycle
– Limited almost exclusively to a handful of a company’s largest deals
– Limited almost exclusively to skilled “value engineers” and “business value consultants”.

OLD-GEN ROI is like driving a 1989 Olds Calais with the terrible Quad 4 engine (oft thought to resemble Offenhauser’s design of the 1930’s) versus a brand-new, top of the line Tesla Model S.

In practice, OLD-GEN ROI looks like this, limited to the bluish area in the top right. Perhaps the worst part is that OLD-GEN ROI is only practiced this “well” by about 9% of today’s companies:

The pain associated with OLD-GEN ROI is real. Low effectivity in marketing, lack of buyer connection and business alignment in early sales stages, forecasts vulnerable to losses as well as deal slippage and margin erosion for deals that are won, and churn with price pressure within the existing customer base. All because Value Selling is not a part of a company’s DNA.

Nxt Generation ROI

Here’s what NXT-GEN ROI should look like, impacting the entire Customer Journey:

Over the next several posts, I’ll talk about the Identification, Position, Proposition and Realization impacts of NXT-GEN ROI across Marketing, Sales and Customer Care.  Read here for a Harvard Business Review Study of business impact.

OLD-GEN ROI won’t go away anytime soon, but companies utilizing it will fail to achieve peak performance and be at a competitive disadvantage compared to those using NXT-GEN ROI.

*FWIW, if Olds and GM in general had stayed out front in the 80’s and 90’s with cars like the ‘58 Buick Roadmaster, ’66 Pontiac GTO, ’68 Chevy SS396 and ’72 Olds 442, they wouldn’t have gone through the 25 year hard times they did.


Jim Berryhill
“Every deal we work on is associated with a customer project that has a business case. We should not expect high performance in our sales organizations if we as sellers don’t understand that business case, and the economic value of our solutions.” An ardent believer in customer aligned value selling, Jim founded DecisionLink to bring automation and systemic support to what should be a core business function for all B2B organizations.

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