A sales force is fine, but why not add a “learning force”? You don’t have this today if you’re hiring, training and rewarding your sales force to sell for today, not learn for tomorrow. But you could turn them into an “early warning system” that allows you to pursue market innovation at just the right time.
More in white paper, Timing is Everything: Exposing Deep Flaws in B2B Innovation Today
The potentially-intrusive nature of consumer “big data” has already caused some mistrust of B2C marketers. Conversely, the best B2B marketers—especially in concentrated markets with fewer customers—are now developing powerful interviewing skills to listen closely to their customers. You can imagine the response: Who among us doesn’t want to be carefully listened to and understood?
More in e-book, Leader’s Guide to B2B Organic Growth (Lesson 15)
Ignoring your future is a bad idea for 3 reasons. First, foresight wins battles… so compete for industry foresight, capability-building and then market share. Second, see why the future is more knowable than most realize. Third, you want to be the disruptor, not disruptee. Consider Amazon, Uber, and Apple.
Get your set of Future Scenes Trend Sheets now.
Each of your market segments has a unique nature, defined by five qualities of its customers: knowledge, interest, objectivity, foresight and concentration. If you treat all markets the same, you’ll seriously sub-optimize. Better to fine-tune your early-stage marketing (understanding customer needs) and late-stage marketing (promoting your solutions) to each market segment. Use this free service to calculate your market’s B2B Index (how B2B it is) and learn 15 customized marketing strategies.
Calculate your B2B Index at www.b2bmarketview.com
Successful companies reap huge financial reward from bold, transformation projects. They probably approach them differently than you do today. Consider this 5-step process to safely and rationally process all the potential “landmines” that could otherwise blow up budgets, schedules, and reputations.
Learn more about project de-risking.
If you expect your business to be around in 10 years, why are you focusing so much of your energy on this quarter? Especially since less than 10% of your company’s stock value comes from current earnings… while the rest comes from the market’s expectations of your future earnings. Sure, this is what most leaders focus on… but not leaders like Jeff Bezos or Steve Jobs.
More in article, The Inputs to Innovation for B2B
Don’t let the Ansoff matrix cause you to fear unfamiliar markets and technologies. Start by treating “risk” and “uncertainty” as different beasts. You’ll be bolder and more successful in driving from uncertainty to certainty when you plan with the FAQS map (Facts, Assumptions, Questions, Surprises).
More in article, Innovating in Unfamiliar Markets: How to De-risk Transformational Projects
I think this rule should be on every business leader’s desk, and perhaps stamped on their paychecks. Should we be impressed if they pumped up the stock price during their tenure? Not if they did it by mortgaging the company’s future with short-term moves, perhaps chasing away top talent in the process. Glory lies in building something of lasting significance… not in pillaging it.
More in article, How to become a great business leader
Treat technology development and product development differently. The former is science-facing and turns money into knowledge. The latter is market-facing and turns knowledge back into money. This “separation thinking” applies to voice-of-customer: You should “test silently” any technology you have.
More in article, Should you develop new products like Steve Jobs?
When you drive at night with just your low-beam lights on, you may observe small animals as you run over them. But you can’t avoid them. To do that, you need to have your high-beams on. Same with all those short-term financial reviews: You can only observe the bad results. To change the results, you’d need to build growth capabilities for the future. Run your business with your high-beams on.
More in e-book, Leader’s Guide to B2B Organic Growth (Lesson 7)