7 Steps to Building Stronger Sales Relationships with Human-Centric Problem Solving

7 Steps to Building Stronger Sales Relationships with Human-Centric Problem Solving

by Braden Kelley and Adam Radziszewski

Building strong sales relationships is all about trust and demonstrating how the product/solution will make the customer’s life better. But is traditional selling getting you where you want to go?

If you’re looking to close more business and feeling stuck, try injecting some human-centric problem solving into your sales process.

What is human-centric problem solving?

Human-centric problem solving goes beyond what people say they do. Instead, it looks for what people actually do.

The approach helps you investigate the distinctly human elements that go beyond what sales tools can tell you about a prospect. It can also help you discover the true problem worth solving for the prospect.

Sometimes, you’ll even find a new problem the customer doesn’t even know they have.

Click here to continue reading on Sales Hacker

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Get My Latest Digital Transformation Success Guide

I’m excited to announce the availability of my latest Digital Transformation Success Guide.

It’s titled Riding the Data Wave to Digital Disruption.

Click to access the "Riding the Data Wave to Digital Disruption" success guide

In our digital age, all companies must change how they think, how they interact with customers, partners, and suppliers, and how their business works on the inside. Customer, partner, and supplier expectations have changed, and a gap is opening between what they expect from their interaction with companies and what those companies are currently able to deliver. Companies must immediately work to close this expectation gap, or their entire business is at risk.

This success guide provides questions and frameworks for companies to use to plan and execute successful a Digital Transformation.

Click to access the "Riding the Data Wave to Digital Disruption" success guide

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Latest Interview with Voltage Control’s Innovation Series

Latest Interview with Voltage Control's Innovation Series

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Douglas Ferguson of Voltage Control, to speak with him for their Innovation Series about my work as a popular keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, and thought leader on the topics of continuous innovation and change, and some of my work with clients to create innovative strategies, digital transformations, and increased organizational agility.

But mostly in this information-packed interview, I reveal key lessons from the Disruptive Innovation Toolkit™ and my books Charting Change and Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire, including what’s hard about making innovation sustainable, the difference between invention and innovation and how the human elements are the key to successful innovation.

Here is an excerpt from the interview:

Start with the end in mind

Measurement provides a good starting point for establishing a strong foundation. “No innovation idea emerges fully formed. What people come up with are idea fragments and you have to collect and connect those dots to create a fully formed idea.” Based on those ideas, begin by identifying the value you want to create.

In order to make sure an initiative creates all the value it intends to, Braden advocates for the use of experiments with checkpoints. “You can have checkpoints that you establish along the way in terms of getting from what you’re able to do now versus your vision for the full value that you hope to create.” When thinking through experiments to validate assumptions about feasibility, viability, and desirability, also consider the flaws that might be present in your experimentation process.

“Start plotting out all the different experiments that you plan to run and the learning that you hope to get from each one. Those are the things that you can measure against to show that you’re making progress, to show that you’re going to get to the end and that you’re on track.”

The Experiment Canvas was designed to help with this:
Click here to get The Experiment Canvas™ (11″x17″)
Click here to get The Experiment Canvas™ poster (35″x56″)

Planning with the end in mind also includes consideration for scaling the invention. “Make sure you’re laying out checkpoints around your ability to scale it, because if you can’t get to that [wide] adoption point, then most likely you’re not going to get your investment back.” Think through what you’ll have to work against in order to scale so that profitability is part of the long-term plan from the beginning. Braden looks to companies like Tesla as an example of the potentially disastrous effects an inability to profitably scale can have on a product and a company’s viability despite having strong ideas and exploration practices.

Click here to read the entire interview

Here are some additional links:

1. Click here to visit the Voltage Control interview page

2. Click here to get your copy of Charting Change

3. Click here for more information on the Change Planning Toolkit™

Posted in Change, Digital Transformation, Innovation | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

CyberMonday Specials on Valuable Tools for Innovation and Change

CyberMonday Specials on Valuable Tools for Innovation and Change

You can now get a Lifetime Commercial License for the Change Planning Toolkit™!

Thank you to everyone that has already:

1. Gotten the 10 Free Tools to sample the power the toolkit
2. Purchased my book Charting Change and gotten 16 more tools to use
3. Considered purchasing a license to all 50+ tools in the Change Planning Toolkit™

Previously there were three options for using the Change Planning Toolkit™ to make money:

Option 1 for companies — $99.99 per year per user
Option 2 for companies — $299.99 + $2 per employee per year*
Option 3 for cities/states/countries — $0.01 per resident per year ($1,000 minimum)*

* These special licenses give full access to every person in the company or in the region.

BUT,

Now I’m super excited to announce the availability of a fourth option for people – the Lifetime Commercial License!

Available now for only $999.99 per user
(a $36,999.00 value)

FLASH SALE!

First FIVE (5) people get a special price of $249.99 per user on a lifetime license
with coupon code 250LIFETIME

Next FIVE (5) people get a special price of $499.99 per user on a lifetime license
with coupon code 500LIFETIME

AND as a special bonus,

  1. I will credit any educational license investment towards the purchase of a commercial or city/state/country license
  2. If you refer a company or a city/state/country to me and they purchase a bulk license, I will share 20% of the year one revenue with you

** NOTE: Lifetime refers to lifetime of the individual person or company

Thank you for continuing to support the change revolution!

 

SPECIAL OFFER: Become a Disruptive Innovation Toolkit™ Patron

The Disruptive Innovation Toolkit™ will be coming soon, and you can become a Patron by helping to fund its completion through a site license or a city/state/country license and as a reward get instant access to the POSTER SIZE version of The Experiment Canvas™ and the many other tools I’ve already completed. You’ll then of course get access to the rest of the toolkit as I complete it. You’ll get this instant access at a permanent 50% discount off the normal $2/yr per employee or $0.01/yr per resident, meaning your cost will be a paltry $1/yr per employee or $0.005/yr per resident for the lifetime of the license. AND, we can negotiate a period of advance exclusivity, allowing you to get access to the tools as they are completed and get exclusive access to the complete toolkit for an exclusive period of time in advance of the general public (exclusive period TBD).

Please contact me if you are interested in accelerating your innovation efforts and getting a competitive edge over your competition.

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Interview with Launchstreet About How to Increase Organization Agility and Speed of Innovation

Interview with Launchstreet About How to Increase Organization Agility and Speed of Innovation

I was fortunate enough to join Tamara Kleinberg of GoToLaunchStreet, a TED speaker and entrepreneur recently for an interview for her Launchstreet podcast. From building and running multi-million dollar businesses, advising Fortune 500 companies like Disney, Procter and Gamble and RICOH on fostering innovative ideas and people, Tamara’s life is about breaking through the status quo for game-changing results, and that’s what her keynotes, online programs and assessments can do for you. Obviously we’re kindred spirits so check out the lively conversation we had on her podcast!

Listen now to this episode on Inside LaunchStreet:

Download Link | iTunes | Stitcher Radio

Click the links below to find out more about the resources mentioned in the podcast:

The Experiment Canvas™

The Change Planning Toolkit™

Charting Change: A Visual Tool Kit for Making Change Stick, by Braden Kelley

Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire: A Roadmap to a Sustainable Culture of Ingenuity and Purpose, by Braden Kelley

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Fix the Problem or Design it Out?

Fix the Problem or Design it Out?

Let’s start with the problem.

According to The Plastic Pollution Coalition (January 3, 2017) – “It’s National Drinking Straw Day! Each day, more than 500 million plastic straws are used and discarded in the U.S. alone. Plastic straws consistently make the top ten list of items found, according to Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup data. In the last three years, plastic straws have climbed the list to the Number 5 spot.”

The Paper Straw Movement

In response to this growing problem, in January California made it illegal to give customers plastic straws unless they expressly request one.

Another way some restaurants have tried to to fix this problem has been to replace plastic straws with paper straws.

Or then there is the tasty fix to the problem, the cookie straw.

Starbucks Cookie Straw

But there is another way to approach problem solving, and that is to design out the problem instead of trying to fix it.

Recently a barista at Starbucks accidentally gave me a lid on my water cup that I wasn’t expecting.

I had heard that Starbucks was planning to reduce their use of the iconic green plastic straw, but I kind of assumed that meant they were shifting to paper straws like some other quick serve restaurants, but that is not what they have in mind at all.

Starbucks is instead planning to eliminate the plastic straw.

Instead of focusing on the straw they instead chose to focus on the lid and design it in a way that a straw isn’t even necessary.

Starbucks Sippy Cup

So, next time you’re wrestling with a problem and trying to solve it, look at it in a slightly different way just for fun, try asking yourself how you could design the product, service, or experience (or all three) in order to design out the problem.

You may or may not get to a more viable, desirable, and feasible solution than trying to fix the problem.

But, looking at the problem from a range of different perspectives is always worth the effort.

Keep innovating!

Change Planning Toolkit Million Dollar Value

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Challenging Orthodoxies – Flying High

Challenging Orthodoxies - Flying High

With a new Top Gun movie coming out soon, I thought this might be an appropriate share.

It used to be in the early days of military aviation that a pilot’s head only served as some level of protection during a crash or a battle. Then with the introduction of radio communications an additional function was added to allow the pilot to communicate with the ground and then eventually with other pilots. The arrival of jet airplanes necessitated the integration of breathing capabilities via a facemask attached to the helmet.

Things remained relatively unchanged for many years until miniaturization and advancing computer science and display technologies made it possible to introduce heads up displays for pilots, first into the cockpit and then into the visor of the pilot, allowing pilots to see key flight data in their field of vision without having to find the relevant instrument on their instrumentation panel.

But pilots still had to look out all of their different windows and event turn the airplane in order to see what was going on around the aircraft.

The latest helmet for pilots of the F35 changes all of that now however. Designers have challenged this orthodoxy that a pilot has to look out the window or turn the airplane to see what is going on outside the airplane AND the orthodoxy that a pilot must put on night vision goggles to see what is going on at night by creating a helmet that uses sensors on the outside of the airplane and feed the visual data to the pilot in their new $400,000 helmet for the F35 that allows them to see in every direction just by looking around, day or night. The pilot can now effectively see right through the walls and floor of the airplane with this helmet.

This helmet challenges orthodoxies, but it also leverages two other lenses from Rowan Gibson’s Four Lenses of Innovation to achieve the solution – harnessing trends (sensors, etc.), and understanding needs.

Despite Lockheed Martin holding the primary contract for the F35 Lightning, the helmet will be manufactured primarily in Israel by Elbit Systems with some final assembly work done by Rockwell Collins in the United States.

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Cars Don’t Have to Be Beige and Boring – Nobe 100

Cars Don't Have to Be Beige and Boring - Nobe 100

Estonia is known for pushing the boundaries as it tries to establish itself as a haven for innovation, and out of Estonia comes the latest in a string of interesting electric car projects. This one is super sexy for those of us that think that cars have gotten BORING. Check out the video to see what I mean.



Below you’ll find a second video that digs a little deeper into the project and provides more of an editorial.

But before you check it out you might want to investigate a bit more about what Estonia is trying to do to make itself an innovation powerhouse.



Is the design so sexy that you’ll want to lick it? I’ll leave that for you to decide, but I do like the idea of a removable battery. I’m surprised this is the first electric car that I’ve seen that touts this as a feature. I always assumed that the gas pumps at service stations would be replaced by racks of batteries eventually, but that has yet to happen and it is kind of hard for such a transition to start taking place if none of the electric car manufacturers are making cars with removable batteries. Whether or not it was necessary to go to the extreme of making the removable battery look like a nostalgic leather suitcase I’m not quite sure, but it does keep the experience consistent.

This is a crowdfunding project so if it excites you, check out their investment page.

So, only one question remains… Innovation or not?

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Delivering Pizza to the Homeless

Delivering Pizza to the HomelessInnovation can come from a number of different potential sources of inspiration and insight. The most typical source of course is understanding customer needs. This is the source for the whole design thinking movement, but there are still a number of other potential sources of inspiration and insight for potential innovations. But, in this case we will be examining a potential innovation building not only on an unmet customer need, but one that iterates on previous attempts by a company to address the same unmet customer need – the desire to have a pizza delivered when you’re not at home.

In the world of pizza delivery, the process has always had at its core, a street address, because the context for both the pizza ordering system and the delivery driver was linked to the world of the street map. But sometimes customers want to enjoy a hot delivered pizza in a place that doesn’t have a street address and companies like Domino’s Pizza had no way to address this scenario. The street address had become an orthodoxy.

By understanding this unmet customer need and challenging this orthodoxy, Domino’s arrived at the concept of the pizza door on a beach in the Netherlands back as early as 2009 (if not earlier). The phone number for the local Domino’s Pizza was on the door and after the order was placed the Domino’s Pizza delivery person would bring the pizza(s) to the door and ring the doorbell to let the customer know when they have arrived.

A creative solution to the unmet customer need, an interesting invention to challenge the street address orthodoxy, but definitely NOT an innovation as it can’t scale to replace the street address centric approach to pizza delivery.

But, Domino’s Pizza hasn’t given up iterating on this unmet customer need and recently launched their latest approach to solving it which they call Domino’s Hotspots.

Domino's Hotspots

The concept is simple:

Stop defining delivery locations by street addresses, and instead define them by GPS coordinates.

As soon as you stop limiting potential delivery locations to places with street addresses and instead view it through a mobile-centric lens (including GPS coordinates and location-based services) then you can start mapping popular locations without street addresses to GPS coordinates that both customers and delivery drivers can use to get pizzas to customers, while also sending customers text updates of both the progress of the order and the pizza’s ultimate arrival at the chosen location.

It’s all driven out of the Domino’s Pizza mobile app, which also makes it a great way to create customer loyalty, to gather customer behavior data, and to drive repeat business.

So, what do you think?

Innovation or not?

Posted in Innovation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Flash Sale – Change Planning Toolkit™ Lifetime License

Flash Sale - Change Planning Toolkit™ Lifetime License

You can now get a Lifetime Commercial License for the Change Planning Toolkit™!

Thank you to everyone that has already:

1. Gotten the 10 Free Tools to sample the power the toolkit
2. Purchased my book Charting Change and gotten 16 more tools to use
3. Considered purchasing a license to all 50+ tools in the Change Planning Toolkit™

Previously there were three options for using the Change Planning Toolkit™ to make money:

Option 1 for companies — $99.99 per year per user
Option 2 for companies — $299.99 + $2 per employee per year*
Option 3 for cities/states/countries — $0.01 per resident per year ($1,000 minimum)*

* These special licenses give full access to every person in the company or in the region.

BUT,

Now I’m super excited to announce the availability of a fourth option for people – the Lifetime Commercial License!

Available now for only $999.99
(a $36,999.00 value)

FLASH SALE!

First FIVE (5) people get a special price of $249.99
with coupon code 250LIFETIME

Next FIVE (5) people get a special price of $499.99
with coupon code 500LIFETIME

AND as a special bonus,

  1. I will credit any educational license investment towards the purchase of a commercial or city/state/country license
  2. If you refer a company or a city/state/country to me and they purchase a bulk license, I will share 20% of the year one revenue with you

** Lifetime refers to lifetime of the individual person

Thank you for continuing to support the change revolution!

Posted in Change | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments