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
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.
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.
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
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?
A stage-and-gate process is helpful in managing the interface between your company and project teams. But by itself it leads to internal focus and a checklist mentality. Build another interface on top… between these teams and the customers they hope to satisfy. This interface is called customer insight skills.
More in article, Should Your Stage-Gate® Get a No-Go?
Most B2B companies are far too “relaxed” about their product launches. Here’s a good roadmap: The Right Product delivered to the Right Market using the Right Message through the Right Media. This especially helps you make market-specific choices from 9 traditional and 9 online promotional media.
More in ebook, 12 New Rules of B2B Product Launch
You’ll gain $4000 in net present value for every day you launch a typical B2B product earlier. Consider 3 ways to speed innovation: 1. Strengthen front-end work to end hesitation, second-guessing, and dead-end detours. 2. Concentrate resources on fewer projects. 3. Reduce “organizational friction.”
More in article, How Leaders Can Accelerate New-Product Innovation
Be very nervous about “confirmation bias.” Most B2B companies have NPD processes designed to let this bias run rampant. See The AIM Institute’s research on how quantitative interviews and Market Satisfaction Gaps remove this bias… and help you reduce commercial risk in the front-end of innovation.
More in research report, Preference Interview Research Report
Is your pricing supplier-focused, competitor-focused, or customer-focused? If you don’t want to leave money on the table with your new innovation, it must be customer-focused. Unless you regularly employ value calculators for this today, you can be sure your prices are not being optimized.
More in article, Getting Top Price for Your New Product