Design Thinking is making an impact in sales

Learn all about how design thinking is impacting sales. Here, co-founder David Kester is interviewed for Raconteur’s Sales Performance report for the Times, by Charles Orton-Jones.

Originally a way to brainstorm creative challenges, the philosophy of design thinking has a new home in sales departments.

“It’s origins are 150 years of design education,” says David Kester, co-founder of the Design Thinkers Academy London, where dozens of blue chips have sent their salespeople to learn the art. “You see design thinking at the Royal College of Art and in the Parsons School of Design in New York; it is practised at the Stanford University [design school].” If you want a single-line summary, Mr Kester offers: “It is harnessing the tools and methods of designers for non-designers.”

Define the problem.

“It’s not suitable if you are doing hard sales in something like double glazing, where you have three products to flog,” says Mr Kester. “It is there to solve more complex problems.”

Salespeople are likely to enjoy the power and freedom offered by design thinking. It draws on their creativity in ways they may never have experienced.

Get it right and your salespeople will be reincarnated as creative thinkers. “It’s like finance,” says Mr Kester. “You don’t want only your finance team to understand numbers. You want your entire team to be commercially literate. It is true for innovation. You want everyone to contribute.”



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Design Thinkers Academy London

Design Thinkers Academy London

We’re the UK arm of the Design Thinkers Academy. Using design thinking, we help embed new ways of approaching complex problems.