Stop Dismissing Incremental Innovation


Stop Dismissing Incremental Innovation

Successful small-scale and incremental innovations

Companies with very large R&D budgets are incentivized to pursue expensive, large-scale innovation efforts that have the potential to become blockbuster new products—and that those projects receive the bulk of R&D funding. The problem with this high-risk, high-reward strategy is that it may not pay off. 

Successful small-scale innovations: spend small, but focus that investment on marginal improvements in the most valuable brands, aimed at solving real consumer problems, that consumers value and would pay a little more for.



Why CRM Projects Fail and How to Make Them More Successful


Why CRM Projects Fail and How to Make Them More Successful

CRM serves to improve the sales process, not just to evaluate it

In 2017, CIO magazine reported that around one-third of all customer relationship management (CRM) projects fail. That was actually an average of a dozen analyst reports. The numbers ranged from 18% to 69%.

The primary reason they miss the mark in helping companies increase revenue is that CRM systems are too often used for inspection — to report on progress, improve accuracy of forecasts, provide visibility, predict project delivery dates, and provide a range of other business intelligence — rather than creating improvement in the sales process. Front-line sales professionals and managers rarely find the majority of these capabilities useful in winning more business for the company.

Re-think your CRM as a tool to increase revenue

Integrate your marketing efforts with sales activity

Managers provide coaching to improve, not reporting to inspect

#crm #salesmanagement


Why great innovation needs great marketing


Why great innovation needs great marketing

Marketers need to be included in development discussions earlier in the innovation process.

Strategic, upstream marketing that is incorporated into the innovation development process can clearly define who to sell the new offering to and how to sell it in ways like this: Identify unmet and unknown customer needs, engage with customers,use a go-to-market strategy appropriate for the innovation and its customer,...



Value denial is a business opportunity


Value denial is a business opportunity

“A 'value denial' is a business opportunity.

Every change and innovation creates new value denials”

Richard Rumelt

McKinsey & Company - Strategy’s strategist: an interview with Richard Rumelt

Richard Rumelt: Most corporate strategic plans have little to do with strategy. They are simply three-year or five-year rolling resource budgets and some sort of market share projection. Calling this strategic planning creates false expectations that the exercise will somehow produce a coherent strategy.

This plan coordinates the deployment of resources—but it’s not strategy. These resource budgets simply cannot deliver what senior managers want: a pathway to substantially higher performance.

There are only two ways to get that. One, you can invent your way to success. Unfortunately, you can’t count on that. The second path is to exploit some change in your environment—in technology, consumer tastes, laws, resource prices, or competitive behavior—and ride that change with quickness and skill. This second path is how most successful companies make it. Changes, however, don’t come along in nice annual packages, so the need for strategy work is episodic, not necessarily annual.

So my basic recommendation is to do two things: avoid the label “strategic plan”—call those budgets “long-term resource plans”—and start a separate, nonannual, opportunity-driven process for strategy work.

So strategy starts with identifying changes? Right!

Even though these changes have long-term consequences, companies need to take a position now. By “take a position” I mean invest in resources that will be made more valuable by the changes that are happening.

Strategic thinking helps us take positions in a world that is confusing and uncertain. You can’t get rid of ambiguity and uncertainty—they are the flip side of opportunity. If you want certainty and clarity, wait for others to take a position and see how they do. Then you’ll know what works, but it will be too late to profit from the knowledge.

So how does a company take a good position?

Well, one big factor is a predatory posture focused on going after changes.

Steve Jobs: “I am going to wait for the next big thing.” Jobs didn’t give me a doorknob-polishing answer. He didn’t say, “We’re cutting costs and we’re making alliances.” He was waiting until the right moment for that predatory leap, which for him was Pixar and then, in an even bigger way, the iPod. That very predatory approach of leaping through the window of opportunity and staying focused on those big wins—not on maintenance activities—is what distinguishes a real entrepreneurial strategy.

So he spotted—and then exploited—a change whose time had come.

What capabilities do companies need in order to take advantage of these ideas?

Richard Rumelt: There is no substitute for entrepreneurial insight, but almost all innovation flows from the unexpected combination of two or more things, so companies need access to and, in some cases, control over the right knowledge and skill pools.

So how do we know which changes are important and which resources to combine?

Most of the strategy concepts in use today are static. They explain the stability and sustainability of competitive advantages. Strategy concepts like core competencies, experience curves, market share, entry barriers, scale, corporate culture, and even the idea of “superior resources” are essentially static, telling us why a particular position is defensible—why it holds the high ground.

Strategy dynamics studies how those changes would shift each dimension of an industry. Would the industry become more concentrated or less? More integrated or less? Would there be more product differentiation or less? More segmentation or less? Given consumer desires and available technologies, how should the industry or business look in, say, ten years? Where are the economic forces trying to take you? Should your strategy ride those forces or fight them?

What’s another way to understand strategy dynamics?

I use another tool I call “value denials.” These are products or services that are both desired and feasible but are not being supplied to the market. The concept combines insights into demand and potential supply. A classic example is an airline ticket guaranteeing that your luggage will not be lost. It just isn’t supplied at any price. There must be a price at which airlines would hand-carry luggage to the baggage compartment and even a price at which they would strap it into the seat next to you! There are times when we would pay the premium, but those services are not offered. That’s a value denial.

A value denial is a business opportunity. Every change and innovation creates new value denials. People wanted to buy music à la carte and keep 10,000 songs on their computers. Well, they got that, but there was a value denial: the digital music wasn’t portable. So along come the MP3 player and the iPod. But those innovations uncovered a new value denial: people also want to plug their players into their stereos. Well, this was pretty easily fixed, but playing your MP3s on your stereo uncovers yet another value denial: MP3s are compressed and just don’t sound as good as CDs. Finally, even when I have immediate access to all music anywhere and anytime through the “jukebox in the sky,” there will still be a value denial—how will I know what to listen to? I will need a private tutor and disc jockey to help arrange my listening and maybe to shape my tastes.

So one useful way to think about change is to turn aside from the central innovation and ask yourself what value denials it will uncover. How will they be fixed? And what value denials will then be uncovered by that fix?



The importance of customer centricity and customer experience in B2B

B2B companies will also need to shift to a customer-centered business model


Three Driving Forces in B2B Markets

Consumerization of customer expectations

Distinct characteristics of B2B purchasing

Evolving analytics and algorithms


Four Pillars of Superior Digital Customer Experience

Pillar 1: Comprehensive, Personalized Customer Experiences

Pillar 2: Segmented Customer Needs

Pillar 3: Facilitated Customer Interactions

Pillar 4: Customer-Centered Operating Models


Zero-based customer journey design

Zero-based customer journey design

Zero-based design

Some interesting tips about how to succesfully transform customer journeys

1. Are all processes in your organization mapped against end-to-end customer journeys?

2. Do you have people with diverse skill sets on your journey-redesign teams?

3. Are your ideation sessions sparking true innovation or derivative ideas?

4. Is your organization as agile as your journey team?


Kluwer opleiding: sales management van de toekomst

Opleiding sales management 4.0?

'Word sales manager van de toekomst'

Programma topics

  1. De sales manager als strategisch en innovatief leider

  2. De sales manager als inspirerend people manager en coach

  3. De sales manager als sales organisator en talent scout

  4. De sales manager als actie- en prestatiegericht aandrijver