INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Corporate Visions Inc. made its name helping big business-to-business companies tell the stories that help them land sales.The acquisition of WhiteboardSelling last week helps Incline Village-based Corporate Vision provide the pictures, too.But a big part of the value in WhiteboardSelling may simply be its name and the position it has staked in the developing discipline of selling through conversation rather than PowerPoint presentations, says Tim Riesterer, a co-founder of Corporate Visions.Since its founding in 2007, WhiteboardSelling has specialized in helping marketing and sales professionals use hand-drawn visual stories instead of fancy documents and PowerPoint slides to sell big-ticket products to savvy buyers.Executives of both WhiteBoardSelling and Corporate Visions cite a Forrester Research study that finds that 88 percent of executive-level buyers want to hear a sales pitch framed as a conversation rather than a prepared presentation.The concept — interactive conversation rather than PowerPoint — has been generating a lot of buzz among sales consultants. Riesterer notes that WhiteBoardSelling owns the name that is commonly used to describe the technique.WhiteBoardSelling teaches sales people how to use visual storytelling — a whiteboard, a flip chart — in a methodical way.A largely virtual company of two staff and 15 affiliated workers, WhiteBoardSelling is loosely headquartered at Austin, Texas, and Santa Clara, Calif.Corporate Visions, too, has staff scattered across the country. It’s management owned after a 2010 buyout financed by Hammond, Kennedy andamp; Whitney, a New York City investment firm. James O. Futterknecht, Jr., a partner in Hammond, Kennedy andamp; Whitney, is chairman of the board of Corporate Visions.Riesterer said the owners of Corporate Visions have been looking hard for acquisitions to help muscle up the company, and Corporate Visions first approached WhiteBoardSelling co-founders Corey Sommers and David Jenkins about a year ago.They spurned the offer, but came back this summer to re-open talks.“They’ve had such a trajectory, such a buzz,” says Riesterer. Terms of the sale weren’t disclosed.Corporate Visions, which has been growing at about a 30 percent annual clip despite the recession, works with clients such as ADP, Oracle and GE to help them develop sales messaging and training that teaches salespeople how to tell their story.Learn more about Corporate Visions at corporatevisions.com.
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