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What Kind of Salespeople Thrive on Selling Disruptive Innovation Solutions

Posted by Thomas Edwards on August 30, 2020 5:45 PM EDT
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As a part-time management consultant who focuses on innovation applications-especially in employee benefits and organizational change-, I am often asked ....

....what type of business development and/or professional sales people do best selling disruptive innovation solutions.

To some the answer would seem quite intuitive.  It would likely be those sales people who are already very successful and are looking for a new challenge or new ways to generate value for clients and income for themselves.  In other words, those sales professionals who are most likely to grasp and fully engage around selling unproven, good-enough, cheap and simply solutions are going to be those who are already very seasoned, successful and proven.  And those that have a good grasp of what their best customers want and sell into those accounts where their proven track record is without question.  And they focus on those clients where there are deep and trusting relationships which they have earned through cultivation of only the best quality solutions that are absolutely proven and where risk is minimized completely.

Of course, the truth is that the best sales people, like incumbent leaders in business that they are, are usually the last ones who will grasp the fundamental innovations that eventually get traction in the 90% of the market which cannot afford the current best options that the top sales people sell to the best prospects for revenue growth in a category, or the prospects who find these best solutions inconvenient, complicated, hard to acquire and difficult to justify.

So, who are the best business development sales people for disruptive or new market creating innovations? The research says, and my experience supports, they are usually the ones who don't have a bit rolodex and big book of established business.  They are often those who sell products and services into the non-consuming market so they new innovation is good enough, affordable, reliable and effective and simple to procure and use.

So, look for those types of attributes when bringing a solution to the market that the top sellers and their best customers dismiss as not good enough for consideration.

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