To Become Your Market’s Leader, Learn to Innovate
There is one sure way to grow your position as a market leader, just as there’s one sure way to become stagnant. Innovation is a hugely important factor for growth. And growth keeps you from stagnation.
Let’s face it. If you’re not continually changing and exploiting new ideas to keep operations, products, and services fresh, you risk becoming stagnant. And especially in a sales force, stagnation results in missed opportunities and revenue goals and a direct hit to the bottom line.
If you want to become the market leader in your industry, you need to make innovation part and parcel of your very culture and your reason for doing business. Be sure to keep your innovation authentic to your brand, your existing customers and prospects will respond much more positively and your new idea will be of greater value.
Jacob Beckley, Vice President of Innovation at Fusion92, wrote an interesting article for BusinessNewsDaily in which he stated:
“In the vast sea of innovation, companies that take the largest risk, close the biggest gaps, and identify the newest opportunities are rewarded with the title of true innovators and leaders by their consumers and peers… These true innovators are setting themselves apart from any and all competition.”
This idea is well researched. Accenture conducted a recent survey of senior executives and found that more than 90% believe their company’s long-term success hinges on how well they develop new ideas and new ways of doing things.
So how do your sales team learn to innovate? Here are 5 tips for opening the flood gates on a stream of bold and refreshing ideas:
1. Analyse your market. You can’t be innovative in a vacuum. Innovation must add value to your customers, so it’s vital that you develop a deep understanding of your business environment. We naturally analyse our environments and those around us, so why not encourage this in the workplace? When your knowledge exceeds that of your competitors, you’re more likely to come up with novel approaches or even expand your products or services before the competition can.
2. Solve your customers’ pain. When you tie your new ideas directly to alleviating your customers’ pain, they’re more likely to take a risk with a new product or service. On the flip side, you may find that you need to educate customers on a pain that they not aware they have yet. Solving a pain is more powerful than any other strategy, even during an economic downturn, to accelerate sales. The truly innovative solutions are the ones that customers will gravitate to time and again.
3. Fail often. Google did not rise to the top by investing in safe, risk-adverse ideas. And they continue to fail and fail often as they continually innovate to bring products and services to the marketplace that people didn’t even know they want or need. Some ideas crash and burn, and Google learns from that lesson while they continue to march forward. As humans we are naturally afraid of failure, but that one time we don’t fail is more satisfying than the failures were disappointing.
4. Use ideas to disrupt. An excellent example of an innovation that disrupted an entire market was the LCD television. Tube TVs cornered the market in the not too distant past. Everyone had more than one in their home, until the LCD TV was created. And today, big, boxy tube TVs are obsolete. Disruptive ideas can innovative any part of your value chain. Consider a disruptive way of delivering your products to customers (hint: Amazon’s innovative idea of using drones as delivery vehicles).
5. Plan for innovation. Incorporate innovation into your strategic vision for the future. When your strategies revolve around innovation, you improve the chances of creating a thriving business that drives increased profits. To plan for innovation, you need to consider its impact on your sales process, what extra training your team may require, and what extra resources you’ll need. Your team want to present their new ideas to you, so include this planned innovation in your strategic plan, and let change flourish.
The businesses that develop innovative policies and strategies and integrate them into their culture are the ones that empower and educate their sales force so that innovation becomes second nature. These are the companies that leapfrog the competition.
Chris Ducker, Virtual CEO who has a large online following, stated it best:
“People want to do business with thought-provoking, original business minds.”
Natural Training can help you create the kind of sales team that people want to do business with. Customized training that leads to innovative, disruptive ways of doing business is our speciality.
Contact one of our experts today to discuss innovation training that will clear the path for your sales force to become market leaders.
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