5 Leading Questions for Disruptively Innovative Companies

December 15th, 2013 by Matthew Rosenhaft Leave a reply »

If you haven’t read my last post Innovators Dilemna http://www.socialgastronomy.com/?p=1939, this post is going to be a nice list of questions that are nice to think about in your spare time; between 9:02PM and 9:17pm on Sunday night after the kids go-to-bed and before your prep for the week.

If you have read that post, you will be coming to the conclusion that you need to fix buyer adoption NOW. Its not a nice to fix, but a must fix if we are going to monetize this amazing technology we created. You have come to the uncomfortable realization that nobody buys technology these days. They buy solutions to fix major problems that they cannot fix on their own. Must have purchases or die. You are NOT in the technology business, but in the MUST FIX OR DIE business. So, with that said, what are the 5 leading questions that you MUST FIX OR DIE for your Disruptively Innovative, but Complex business?

1. How do we find more opportunities? In-market would be nice if we ACTUALLY had a market yet, but we need a more effective way to scale finding more pre-market opportunities before our sales team runs out of people in their networks.

2. How do we target more buyers earlier in their decision process? They found us, somehow, someway after deciding they need to buy something to fix their problem. How they did all that without us is great, but we need some other way to reach more people earlier who are still in the problem understanding stage if we want to open the mouth to scale our number of opportunities.

3. How can we influence buyers’ decisions to get more wins? I can’t tell you how many times I hear, we win more deals once we get into a competitive situation. Or, we get a lot of no-decisions because they can’t get the boss to sign off on the decision. I could write a much longer post on this (I have previously) so just take it at face value that these are actually not a sales problem, but an adoption problem. If the buyer can’t distinguish why you are different than your competitor (not just how), but in what problem you actually solve, then you are not helping the buyer solve an unique problem. If they internal team can’t get beyond the “technology” to the underlying problem that the business is trying to solve, why they can’t do it themselves, why now, and why you are the best at solving it; it is an adoption problem.

4. How do we shorten sales cycles to get faster decisions? Short answer is don’t sell, aid the buyers in making decisions. Buyers are trying to solve a problem, not buy your technology. Every gap, every step that doesn’t answer a critical question, build consensus, or streamline the options; it all contributes to their uncertainty, their risk, and their internal challenges. In short, the more you introduce your technology without getting agreement to the problem, the slower the sales process.

5. How do we explain what we do to potential buyers so they realize they need us? The goal is to increase the number of opportunities, right? Well, kinda, sorta, not really. You can’t CREATE demand for your solution to fix. Buyers either have the problem or don’t. Your job is to figure out who have the most pain, urgency, risk, need, or whatever DEMAND word that your team uses. Either you solve an important problem for your target buyers or you need a different target buyer. It is amazingly liberating to say “I know they have the problem”; whether they know it or not. It is even more liberating to be right in guessing what their symptoms are right out of the gate. If you understand the problem and it is important enough for them, you don’t have to go into a lengthy explanation of the genius of your innovation. The genius is in the matching it to the right problem that they have an urgency to solve. The genius is in the simplicity of explanation of their pain and the diagnosis of the the underlying problem which is too complex for them to solve without you. In short, the easier you are in helping them define their problem to solve, the easier it becomes to explain your solution to that problem in context.

FIX IT OR DIE is a simple sales message. Of course, making sure it is directed at the right buyer, their problem, their context, and without a lot of extraneous explanation is difficult. BTW – did you notice that I haven’t explained any of the complexity of our disruptively innovation. We save it for when you contact us to talk about your problem.

Matthew Rosenhaft

Matthew is a Social Marketing Executive and is co-founder of Social Gastronomy, LLC and the Social Executive Council. Prior to founding Social Gastronomy, Matthew has over 18 years’ experience as an executive in marketing, product management, and sales. Matthew has an extensive background in the SaaS Software, Social Media, Mobile, IT Services, and Telecom industries. He has prior entrepreneurial experience as a founder and executive in several early-stage venture-backed technology companies, as well as, holds several US patents for a mobile marketing technology. Matthew is a prominent blogger and regular industry speaker on social marketing and strategy topics. Matthew’s blog can be found at www.socialgastronomy.com/blog. For more information on Matthew, you can check out his LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com/in/rosenhaft or contact him directly at mrosenhaft@socialgastronomy.com.