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Today’s "Revenue Generation" is more Babylon than Bubble

What’s the primary reason that Revenue Science helps companies predictably grow more profitable revenue? All the metrics along the Revenue RoadMap are based on measurable buyer behavior. The 21st Century offers businesses the substantial advantages of predictive analytics and neuroscience. These advances sharpen our understanding of concepts like the impact of biology on behavior, revealing clear patterns. And the more we narrow our focus, the greater clarity we get. So what does all of that have to do with Babylon and Bubbles? For thousands of years, going as far back as Babylon and long before, people did business in their neighborhood. They sought the familiar: the neighbors, bazaars or merchants that had served the community for generations. Those neighborhood relationships went much deeper than a mere transaction. They shared family kinships, religious beliefs, political conversations and everyday realities. The size of their community, the interwoven generations and countless other common bonds fostered a significant level of intimacy, intentional or otherwise. Characterized by clear levels of trust, transparency and expectations for both buyers and sellers, this relationship model continued largely unchanged for centuries. But as the 20th Century dawned, this paradigm didn’t just shift, it was literally transformed — fueled by visionary industrialists, a robust transcontinental railroad and the widespread adoption of electric power, the automobile and the telephone. With America’s cities growing larger and larger, the intersection of mass production and massive employment created a population earning steady incomes and eager to consume ever-cheaper goods. This exceptional growth led to a series of market “bubbles,” which occur when demand outstrips availability for certain commodities. In such times, the market reacts by buying up all the product they can get, almost regardless of price or quality. As the century progressed, these bubbles increased in prevalence, some lasting for decades. World wars and abundant natural resources created near-monopolies in industries (automotive, home appliances and technology, to name a few) that needed capital and infrastructure. Rather than being recognized as economic red flags, bubbles were accepted — no, embraced — as the way the world works. Best-selling books were published, classes were taught, and processes were designed and deployed in support of those bubbles and the companies that prospered in them…at least for a while. Inevitably, the bubbles burst, and the world went into shock when respected, once-profitable companies got into trouble, selling for pennies on the dollar or going out of business with a whimper. Much of the collateral damage is still evident today. Yet for some, just like a hot tip at the track that entices those tempted to gamble, the lure is hypnotic: Consider the dot-com bomb and the real-estate bubble. Only now, with the coming-of-age of the Millennial Generation, are we beginning to be drawn back to Babylon. Despite its worldwide platform, the Internet — and social media in particular — curiously manages to recapture a sense of intimacy, transparency and community that was lost to the mania of the 20th Century’s mass production bubble. Businesses, take note: Engage with the market as if everyone lived in walking distance and knew each other’s parents. Buyers seriously want to know about your passions, principles and integrity. In other words, how you will do more than just take their money. By combining the power of technology and your unique brand, your company can engage with people they have never met. But every step of the way, keep asking: Are you building an authentic relationship with your community? Don’t get caught up in simply deploying cool technology, and miss the obvious signs. It’s time to GO BACK to Babylon!

Rick McPartlin founded The Revenue Game to help companies focus their organizations around the critical function of revenue generation. Rick has held senior executive positions and consulted for many Fortune 500 firms (Sun Microsystems, Siemens, McDonnell Douglas and Bell South) and small companies alike, and he's shared his passion for "revenue generation as a science" for more than 20 years.

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