Are you an Extreme Innovator?

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?

  • 93% of companies depend on innovation to grow.
  • John Chambers of Cisco said 1/3 of businesses today won’t survive the next 10 years.
  • Eighty-one percent of CEOs say their teams are not equipped to meet the innovation opportunities needed to compete in today’s marketplace.
  • Half of the S&P 500 companies will be replaced in the next ten years.
  • The lifespan of these companies is in steep decline: their lifespan on the S&P 500 used to be 33 years – now it is only 14.

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  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.

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