We call it the Sandler Selling System. It involves strategically developing your sales process to build trust, set up a mutually beneficial arrangement, qualify prospects as ideal clients, and demonstrate a unique value. Imagine if you talked only to the absolutely correct people. Imagine having the best sales conversations possible with qualified prospects who wanted to talk to you.
Yet, in spite of impressive resources, big companies are responsible for only a small fraction of disruptive innovations.
What is at the root of this paradox?
Why does so much innovation fail? In its Global Innovation study, PwC surveyed innovation leaders on how they expected their innovation practices to evolve. While innovation has a place on every corporate agenda, wide disparities continue to exist in how well it pays off.
Or, as the PwC report puts it: Your company is not built to innovate Corporations exist to make money. When perfected, the performance engine obtains scale and becomes an immensely powerful foundation for the company.
Unfortunately, this is also the point where trouble starts brewing. Operational efficiency is still continually improved, but the bulk of time and resources is invested in business as usual: The company itself gradually becomes risk averse.
Non-routine tasks and processes with unpredictable outcomes are avoided, which is exactly how innovation is killed. Bring creative energy and management skills together and give them the autonomy to focus on uncertain, non-routine business opportunities. It is true, however, that both worlds seem like irreconcilable opposites: In most companies, these differences simmer beneath the surface, but it some cases they turn into downright hostility.
It does explain, however, why most executives decide to separate and isolate the innovation team from the rest of the company. Unfortunately, the idea that isolation fosters innovation is flat wrong. Recognize that there are fundamental tensions between performance engines and innovation teams, but understand that both are just as important for the survival of the company.
Although the innovation team should be separate, it should definitely not be isolated. They have to leverage the assets and capabilities of the performance engine. All innovation initiatives should be executed by a versatile partnership between operations and innovation. At the beginning of the project, everyone is excited about the hunt for the next big idea.
After this creative phase, however, the enthusiasm dies off and nothing really happens with the ideas. Very few companies realize that innovation is a two-part challenge: Build your dedicated innovation teams wisely.
Identify the skills needed to take innovation from ideas to execution — both creative and managerial. Hire the best people and make sure they have a plan. Diederik manages the software team and at the same time Diederik is responsible for the marketing of the tool.
Which skills are needed to build an innovation dream team? Solving the Execution Challenge. Harvard Business Review Press.Dr. Caroline Leaf's new book Think Learn Succeed will help you learn to use your mind to succeed in school, work, and life!
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How Can You Succeed in Sales? Now that we have a thorough understanding of the problem from last week's post, let’s look at the solution. We call it the Sandler Selling System.
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