March 27, 2017Uncategorized
Innovation is hot. The word itself is said 8.2 times a second! But it is important because it means business. There is nothing more disruptive today than the customer.
But how do you innovate your sales in the business to maximize sales?
Answer: Extreme Innovation
Why is Extreme Innovation so important?
Innovation is the job of sales. Sales is in the front line. Marketing is the shaper of the conversation. Sales and customer service are points where the conversation takes place. When you ask the customer, “Who makes the brand real for you?” they will say sales or customer service.
So, how do you become an Extreme Innovator?
Super power #1: Super Intelligence
Super intelligence means using the technology to sell. The core technologies you need to know are Artificial Intelligence(AI), Bots, Virtual Reality(VR), Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain. For instance, Bots that are powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). A Bot runs on a messenger platform like Facebook or Slack, is focused on a task, and is usually conversational. No, they are not going to take away your job. They are going to help you do your job.
For instance, GrowthBot is a bot that can be used to enhance your selling. For instance, it can help you get company information, identify what marketing software a company might use, or even help you find the top posts from a site, or your top twitter followers.
VR can be used in a number of situations. Lowe’s Home Improvement is using VR to help their clients with Do It Yourself (DIY) projects and to envision their future kitchen to create an experience in the sales process.
Make sure you are leveraging the technology that is available to open up doors, and create a customer experience to remember.
Super power #2: Super Speed
Super speed is about a mentoring culture to win. The genesis of any innovation is an insight. One has an insight when he or she sees something different from everyone that is around him or her. They spot an opportunity hidden in plain sight. It was always there for everyone to see, but this person sees what everybody else missed seeing.
A lot of opportunities die a slow death. If I had to choose the most common reason, it would be the lack of access to the right kind of help at all stages to make measurable progress in reasonable time.
Building a mentoring network where you and your sellers have access to an internal (and external, if it makes sense) network of mentors is a good starting point to give your employees the right kind of timely help. For example, if you customer is online and most are — 3 out of 5 IT decision makers learn about new products through social media and 57% of buying decisions are made online, even before a sales contact, then maybe you want to find a mentor who knows social media.
For instance, a software product called MentorCloud is used to make mentoring accessible to anyone. The software encourages sellers to reach outside their comfort zone to acquire the needed assistance or door opener for a sale.
Super power #3: Super Synergy
Super synergy is about creating an ecosystem that is obsessed with the customer. Ecosystems have won huge market battles– Apple built an ecosystem around the App Store, Tesla is building an ecosystem around super chargers for their electric cars. It is about partnering to win and obsessing.
Do you obsess and really listen to your client? In the Amazon Leadership principles, one of the top values is customer obsession. Sellers start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Where leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.
Depending on what you sell, have you considered all the channels you could leverage? For instance, a partner in an area maybe you had never considered before but it influences your customer. Hotel Tonight’s selling team did this. They focused on what could draw in repeat customers. The extreme innovation—an extreme one—was very focused; it drew on the emotional cord, and helped to establish a magical, bespoke experience. It was about delivering with real people the best experience per guest. For example, when one guest said they wanted a Nicholas Cage poster in his room, Hotel Tonight asked, “From which decade?” When teachers asked about local hipster spots, the magic team researched and proposed an experience to remember.
Innovative companies celebrate when new customers sign a contract. Extreme innovation companies celebrate when a customer turns into an advocate!
Growing sales requires growing people. Adopt these 3 super powers of extreme innovative sellers to discover, engage and grow your business and maximize sales. To learn more, check out my book ExtremeInnovationBook.com. See what your super powers are by taking the Extreme Innovation survey at Super Powers Assess.
About the Author:
Sandy Carter is the founder and CEO of Silicon-Blitz, focused on helping companies with innovation, technology, and cognitive diversity. One of the leading pioneers in the digital business revolution, Sandy Carter was a driving force of Innovation at IBM for the last decade.
Sandy is ranked #4 on the Bottish 100 BOT influencers, in the top 100 by Onalytic for Social Business, named a Digital Influencer in 2016 by Forbes, and top ten women in technology by CNN. She is an extreme innovator and bestselling author who published her 5th book Extreme Innovation, built on her revolutionary research with Carnegie Mellon SV. She advises 4 startups on their go to market strategies.
The post Are you an Extreme Innovator? appeared first on Social Business Sandy.
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January 5, 2017social media,Social Business,Marketing 2.0
Yesterday I caught the BrandX ranking for the top brands in the industry and looked at how these success cases are modeling the way for branding!
3 Top Trends Are New Marketing & Branding Ala CES:
1. Design and Experiences. Brand will increase their use of video in 2017 to tell stories. While traditional imagery is static, video is dynamic. Women in particular are visual buyers. The prediction of clear visual communication — meaning focusing more on bringing forth the user content rather than the UI, will help to draw in women buyers — who today control approximately 75% of the consumer spend.
2. Changing Customer Behavior + Expectations Releases the Power of Technology for New Experiences and Content . Shawn DuBravac, the chief economist for CTA, dished on AI, AR, VR and Iot in the annual show kickoff as part of the 5 major trend. But the trend is not just for products incorporating these technologies but how companies are using them to market as well. For instance, Lowe’s is using VR powerfully to help you imagine your new kitchen and companies like Under Armour use AI to provide personalized recommendations.
3. Path to Purchase. Today’s world is more complicated than the past in how the client purchases. In 2017, the path to purchase is now more complicated. I loved the Nielson presentation on the new startups that have created solutions to help decipher the complexity of the path to purchase that exists through Social Media, Ads, TV, Mobile, and now AI, VR and new devices.
I am thrilled to be on the panel with Lisa Johnston, digital editor at TWICE magazine on Friday at CES! Hope to see you there!
The post 3 Changes in 2017 for Successful Branding and Marketing – Featured at CES appeared first on Social Business Sandy.
November 6, 2016Uncategorized
This Friday I attended the Harvest Summit but to me, it was the Harvest Festival. Why a Festival? A festival is a day or time of celebration, marked by feasting, ceremonies, and other new observations. That is exactly what Friday was!
The Celebration was hosted by Jessica Kilcullen. It began in a “barn” on a hill that has a wine cellar, olive press room, a space ship and a big oak tree. True! It was an inspiring location – free of tech but yet tech superbly drove everything in the event including incredible images behind each speaker. Built on the theory that the most valuable part of any “conference” is the networking, the festival was built around networking occasions and moments. Music filled the air! Did you know that music can enable greater innovation? Apparently Jessica did!
Feasting: Some of the networking was built around food. Food was all local and amazing. There were juice bars, homemade salamis, special cheeses, and great wine. The feasting was done in the outdoors, in olive press rooms, and wine cellars. Food and community are inseparable. I love opportunities to experience new foods with an amazing group of peers, and learning about ways for us all to be a community and share ideas so that we’re getting fed on multiple levels. Food plays an essential role in building community.
Ceremony: The sessions were short panels or keynotes. They were in a barn, under an oak tree or in a spaceship to open up the innovative spirit. They were collaborative and different. I am a techy so I learned so much about food innovation, social in basketball like the Warriors, innovation frameworks, storytelling, health, and education. It was great to breath in deeply to see and feel different viewpoints.
New Observations: Here are my Top 12!
I am so thankful that I was included in the FIRST Harvest Festival and hope that Jessica has many more to come!
November 3, 2016UncategorizedWomen,IoT,IOT Emerge
The Top 25 Female Founders of the IoT Startups
Sandy Carter, CEO of Silicon-Blitz, IoT Community Advisory Board
Brian Buntz, Content Director IoT Institute
By 2020, more than half of new business processes and systems will have an element related to the Internet of Things, predicts Gartner. And by 2022, Cisco predicts the IoT market to be worth $14.4 trillion.
The IoT is already driving a new era of innovation as data flows from sensors and devices located across the globe, creating an unprecedented influx of unstructured and structured data.
But in the end, it’s not really about big data. It is about having the right data.
Getting the most pertinent data, however, can be tough for established companies. Startups—especially those led by women—are playing a crucial role in this regard. Getting the right data into the hands of those who can use it, female founders are leading the way – whether it is in healthcare, education, fashion, construction, car maintenance, or other sectors.
There is a growing amount of evidence pointing to women's leadership role in the domain of IoT data. Successful startups have twice as many women in senior positions than unsuccessful companies, according to a Dow Jones VentureSource analysis of 3000 venture-backed IoT companies. The Dow Jones research also found that women-led startups use 40% less capital and are more likely to survive the transition from startup to an established company. A study titled "Breaking Through: Harnessing the Economic Potential of Women Entrepreneurs" found that women-led businesses grew four times faster than male-owned businesses over a five-year span.
To honor the achievements of women in the IoT field, I have pulled together a list showcasing the talents of 25 females. Now this was not an easy list to pull together. Since the Internet of Things involves working with hardware (sensors) and software (for data and analytics), it requires researching this entire spectrum of activity. I sent notes to dozens of influencers in Silicon Valley, New York City, Singapore, India, Israel, London, Germany, and beyond. I attended pitch competitions and IoT hackathons and was sometimes the only woman in a full room. (There's not a lot of women in the halls of these startup activities – but that’s for another article.)
Three major insights from all these women:
In the end, these 25 women of IoT startups rose to the top. Let me know if I missed anyone! If you are a female founder, please take our survey:
By Name and Twitter ID:
October 26, 2016Social Business,startup,startup,diversitydiversity,founder,founder
Today was a STE²M day. What's that? Females in Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Engineering, and Math.
I spent most of the day with Women helping other Women and Girls as well as with Dads of Daughters discussing strategies for girls to learn programming, challenges for female founders in Europe, and Enterprises looking for more great Channel Talent.
And it hit me. This is a new economy. (Take this survey to help us change the world around this! CLICK HERE!
The STE²M economy.
Did you know that studies in Africa show that children of mothers who have spent five years in primary education are 40% more likely to live beyond the age of five? And that if Egyptian women were employed at the same rate as men that country’s GDP would climb by 34%?
How do we grow this new Economy? STE²M (science, technology, entrepreneurship, engineering, and math) fields play a direct role in driving economic growth. Women in STEM jobs earn 33% more than those in non-STEM occupations and experience a smaller wage gap relative to men. And STEM careers offer women the opportunity to engage in some of the most exciting realms of discovery and technological innovation. Increasing opportunities for women in these fields is an important step towards realizing greater economic success and equality for women across the board.
We grow this one woman at a time.
the Change Makers
SonderConnect's goal is to support women entrepreneurs. Since their launch in April 2016, they have focused on mentoring and supporting their founders. The first batch of 13 founders have been mentored consistently over the period of six months. The founders are encouraged to approach SonderConnect even after their graduation from our mentoring program. Over the next few years their goal is to become the ultimate women entrepreneurs support and mentoring group. India being the oasis of startups, we believe there is immense potential for women lead organizations.
Their fearless leader is Lathika Pai, who is a serial entrepreneur and has over 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship. Her team consists of: Vaishali Kasture, Sejal Shah Gulati, and Anju Shenoy -- all amazing leaders and change makers. I have dinner with them each and every time I head to India!
Girls in Tech is focused on the engagement, education and empowerment of girls and women who are passionate about technology. Adriana Gascoigne founded GIT in 2007 to create a support framework to help women advance their careers in STEM fields. GIT has more than 50K members around the world!
Today, GIT aims to accelerate the growth of innovative women entering into the high-tech industry and building startups. They achieve this through the creation of proprietary, innovative programming and strategic global partnerships.
Today, I met with the new head of GIT Berlin, the fearless Nakeema Stefflbauer. She is founder of her startup helping everyone learn how to code, understand architecture, and more.
She is passionate about changing the game in Europe - especially the hub of entrepreneurship Berlin!
Women of the Channel - Bob Demarzo - Yes, men are supporting this new economy too!
The Women of the Channel connects women in telcom and IT Channels for the purpose of collaborating to grow their businesses, and to support each other with best practices and mentoring. Bob has his right hand leader -- Allison Hughes -- running the event, but Bob is actively engaged and very supportive.
Our discussion today was around how to help startups in the channel / sales aspects and to ensure that female founders and VCs are well represented!
October 19, 2016entrepreneur,startup,startupAI,AI,Aritificial Intelligence,Artificial Intelligence
I admit it. I am in love with Artificial Intelligence (aka AI).
As an undergraduate at Duke University, I took classes in it even though it is so far away from where AI is today!
So I played with an AI company - Graphiq - to find top AI colleges.
Below are the results!
October 18, 2016Social Business,leadership,innovation,leadershipinnovation,diversity,diversity
The Lowe's Difference:
I had the honor of participating in the Lowe’s Leadership Summit.
It all began a story. And a packed room of amazing women leaders from throughout the world.
Here’s what I took away!
3. Inspirational Takeaways from Amy Cuddy, Alison Levine and Kristan Seaford
4. Startups + Enterprise = Innovation and it is alive and well at Lowe’s. Lowe’s Innovation Lab’s is all about disruptive technologies, including shipping a 3D printer to the International Space Station to help astronauts print parts and tools on demand. They also developed the Holoroom, a VR headset to help shoppers visualize bathroom and kitchen improvements. The Woman of Lowe’s have phenomenal ideas that can help innovate Lowe’s into the next generation.
5. Have common values and goals. The key to making any relationship work is to have a common vision as the foundation. The entire day was based on the value based structure of Lowe’s.
My favorite quote is “Tell me the facts and I’ll believe, but tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever!”. This Summit for Leadership and Innovation was a set of stories that will live in my heart forever. From Jennifer’s opening, to Robert – the CEO – stories about each of the values, this conference was a driver to more innovative approaches through diversity of thought.
October 13, 2016Social Business,diversitydads of daughters,diversity,female founders
Diversity Drives Innovation
Diversity drives innovation. According to HBR, employees of firms with diversity are 45% likelier to report a growth in market share over the previous year and 70% likelier to report that the firm captured a new market. But companies have driven for this goal for a while attempting to do the same things to make change. Albert Einstein once said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is insanity.
And change is needed. While over 50% of today’s consumer purchases are made by women, where products are designed and funded, women are underrepresented. Only 6% of venture capitalists and 16% of founders and their teams are women today.
What should we do differently to drive a change?
Women have been supporting each other since the early days of quilting circles to lean in circles from Sheryl Sandburg. And while these groups are important and valuable (I am on the board of Girls in Tech, and WITI as well as on the advisory board of GSV Reboot), we need to do some things differently to drive change. To move to the next phase of driving more women into leadership roles in enterprise, startups and venture capitalists, we need women and men working to change structural circles by co creating together.
Dads of Daughters - Secret Weapon for Diversity in STEM
I have successfully run diversity groups in large organizations. Companies often ask me the secret of the success and while there are a few, one of the biggest was bringing in dads with daughters to play a role. Why?
Every movement must have a personal passion. Dads of daughters have the passion for making progress as they do not want their daughters to face what women today face. Daughters encouraged by their dads are twice as likely to graduate from high school, and score higher on STEM subjects.
By having dads of daughters and women and girls coding, designing, and disrupting around healthcare, safety, wearables, financial services, and more, we can showcase talent to corporations and startups, and really start the movement of change. I have dads of daughters in the advisory board positions of diversity groups and on my teams.
For one project, I carefully selected my partner in the work effort based on his background. He was a dad with a daughter. Once I explained our work to hire more diverse candidates in tech, he got it intellectually but more importantly, he got it emotionally. He did not want his daughter earning less or not feeling included just because she was a woman. Winning his mind and his heart showed in his passion and preparedness for our meetings.
If a startup begins with 10 people and 3 of them are women, the ratio as the company grows remains the same. We are going to fix the gender diversity epidemic in Silicon Valley engaging 100% of the population. We know that gender diverse companies outperform those who aren’t...so it isn’t charity. And we know if at least 3 of the first 10 folks in a company are women, it will mean hundreds more women when the company hits 1000 employees.
DoDs: Dads of Daughters
So what do you do? If you are a start-up, start early hiring a diverse and talented team. If you are an enterprise, engage dads of daughters in your efforts for inclusion, hiring, and promotion. You will be surprised at how much having 100% of the team on the field makes a difference!
Women Rock! Paper Scissors! TedX Talk!
October 3, 2016Uncategorized
I am on the board of a great organization called Girls in Tech. Today is the start of something big, very BIG! We have an amazing fundraising opportunity with SAP SuccessFactors that starts TODAY! So I need you to actively participate!
I know that each of you has amazing networks so get the word out and TWEET for us. We'll adore you for it and it helps more girls trying to get engaged in tech! When you tweet with these 2 hashtags -- #sconnect16 #All4GIT -- $1 is donated to Girls in Tech!!
Just some facts:
A sample tweet:
Retweet to get $1 donated to @GirlsinTech! #sconnect16 #All4GIT
Will you help us get more Girls in Tech? If so, tweet away!
July 28, 2016Uncategorized
Yesterday I taught an agile marketing class at Carnegie Mellon's Silicon Valley MBA program. As I teach, I usually learn a lot from the student's questions.
One of the questions from this class was:
What's the real difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing? Is it just that one is done online with more data?
Great question right?
Where of course, there are elements of traditional marketing in digital.
But the fundamental differences are these:
Digital disrupts marketing like Uber has disrupted the transportation industry.
What are your thoughts?