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Why is innovation distrusted?

Submitted by on Tuesday, 26 October 2010

For some reason, when companies get scared, and the economy is in question, they hold back innovation and do ‘the meat and potatoes’ stuff. They are actually holding back possibility and ensuring lower ROI as they revert to doing the things they know will work and are able to track.

Why? In my innovator’s mind, that makes no sense whatsoever. When I talk to people about adding a front end that will enter and influence the buying decision far earlier than they do now, and might add some Buying Facilitation™ to their sales enablement and marketing automation technology to highlight the route, they tell me they are maintaining what they have ‘for now.’

Either they don’t believe it’s possible to enter earlier, or they don’t believe they can get better numbers, or change is not something they would consider at this time. Probably some combination of the above. The sales field acts the same way.

So I have a question: in a field where the standard success factor is 7% to begin with, and 50% of sellers are not making quota, why is remaining with the same-old-same-old the best option? Sales has remained on the needs assessment/solution placement end of the buyer’s journey (and have gotten basically the same results through time) throughout its history with the same dismal results; why hasn’t it recognized that just maybe – maybe – something might be wrong? Imagine a baseball player, or doctor, or airline, with the same rate of failure – over 90%.

I lately spoke with an industry guru in marketing automation who speaks regularly about the ‘buyer’s journey.’ He’s a great fan of mine. But when I asked directly, he really didn’t understand that it was possible to enter the journey even before the entire Buying Decision Team was selected – and to do it all with automation.

As my Cranky Tuesday rant, I want to shout: YO. Folks!?! Don’t you WANT to be more successful? Has the sales model been THAT successful that you want to perpetuate the same sort of thinking in automation? And if/when you realize it’s possible – it’s actually VERY possible – to not only enter the buying decision journey earlier, but to influence it, and not have to bother what is already being done but just ADD a new segment or two?

Don’t you want to be successful? Just asking.

sd

To discuss ways Sharon Drew can work with your marketing automoation, telesales team, or sales enablement program, contact Sharon Drew.

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  • http://twitter.com/salesradical Giovani Saintiny

    Hi Sharon,

    Thanks, for your thoughts. :O)

    Well, it seems to me that people are afraid of innovation simply because it’s a step into the unknown. & people are naturally afraid of that. So, whatever efforts are taken to invite them into Innovation Land must recognize & sooth this reactive instinct.

    I’ve overcome some of that fear in certain areas of my life. But I have no idea whether anyone can overcome it, altogether (even WITHOUT becoming foolhardy).

    Just a thought! :P

    Sunshine & Blessings,
    Giovani

    • http://sharondrewmorgen.com sharondrew

      Giovani – thanks for sharing. I believe we all live with a large amount of fear, but it’s what we do with it that’s important. I incorporate mine into my daily breathing and activity. It propells me, discovers dangers, gives me strength and bravery.

      When I teach and coach, I teach people to operate from their core, their beliefs, their personal inner criteria, and make each action a choice from here.

      thanks for writing.
      sd