How to create customer value through innovation is one of the biggest challenge of many sales people today. Whether you are an entrepreneur or an experienced sales person you are faced with the same challenge.
Over the past 10 years we have been researching what the future will look like for sales people. One of the main trends we identified was the need to include customers early on in the product or service development process. We call this Value Co-Creation.
Now, after having researched and documented many cases where sales people and entrepreneurs involve their customer in the development to their value proposition we are proposing a new methodology called, Entrepreneurial Selling.
At the heart of the method is the concept of jointly identifying and developing new business opportunities together with customers. Help your customer to innovate and transform their business and they will buy your products and services. Look at your products or services not as something to sell but as tools or capabilities you have in order to help your customers to innovate or transform their business.
The creative part of the methodology is how capabilities are leveraged to create customer value. We identified throughout our cases the following four ways:
Finding new uses for existing capabilities. Think about whatever your are good at, it could be programming, HR or even Marketing, and how this could help your customer to achieve their goals.
Developing new capabilities. If you know what your target customers want to achieve how could you develop or acquire the needed capabilities to help them?
Using third party's capabilities. Who do you know, that has some interesting product or knowledge that you could involve in your customer's project?
Complementing capabilities. Could you innovate by combining your products and services with those of your customers?
Perhaps to the most important element of the whole approach is the mindset. You do not approach customers to sell them something, you approach them to create something together with them. Remember, customers are not in the business of buying, they are in the business of competing and making a profit and for that they need to innovate. Help them to innovate and they will buy from you.
If you want to know more about the method and read more about some of our cases please visit our web site at www.entrepreneurialselling.org or see our presentation on slideshare
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21st and 22nd of June 2018 Entrepreneurial Selling: Co-Creation and Design Thinking in Sales