roiDo you have $19 billion?

In the sales world, we equate value with ROI. Not so for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who just acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion. He was thinking way bigger.

A New Value Proposition

This deal can’t be judged by the same standards as typical Wall Street mergers and acquisitions. It’s not about multiples. Those don’t matter in a social-media-driven world.  Here it’s users, not revenue or profits, that define a company’s worth.

Zuckerberg needed to protect Facebook’s interests in the mobile world. With WhatsApp, Facebook got a communications platform the company couldn’t have achieved with its existing infrastructure. Facebook also got an already-established mobile audience with international reach. In other words, Zuckerberg made a strategic, customer-centric move—not just for the present, but for decades to come.

Interestingly, WhatsApp co-founder, Jan Koum, who has written damning posts on advertising, will now join the Facebook board. It’s an outright clash of personalities and belief systems. But it shows the power of innovative thinking and the willingness to step out, step up, and never settle.

Your Turn

What’s the message for those of us in sales? For me, it’s about thinking beyond (and even trashing) our standard metrics. Instead we should be engaging our clients in strategic business conversations. The best of us are already doing this, and the rest better get on board quickly. In the future, sales professionals who fail to do so will be out of jobs.

I know it’s difficult to think beyond the present. How can we imagine a future that doesn’t yet exist? Well, Steve Jobs did it, Mark Zuckerberg did it, and so will I.

I have no clue how this will play out for me, but I’m OK with uncertainty and not having everything figured out. What about you?

Connect With No More Cold Calling

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How do you measure value—in dollars and cents, or in satisfied customers?