Misconceptions always abound and the business world is no exception. These range from the misconceptions that B2C is all there is to the business world to the misconceptions about knowing what customers want. Another misconception, however, revolves around the idea of innovation.
Scott Anthony of the Harvard Business Review writes it out nicely as his blog presents three misconceptions of what innovation is. The best part here is these can apply both to ERP software and as well the task of generating software leads for it.
- Confusing innovation with creativity. – Anthony’s phrase of “no impact, no innovation” lies at the heart of his blog’s idea. Just because cloud computing has become a new way to hand out payroll or oversee a supply chain, it means you shouldn’t lose sight of its original goal. It’s the same with generating leads. Things like banner ads or social media appear revolutionary but if they don’t deliver the promised results, what’s the point?
- Innovation isn’t everyone’s responsibility. – Every member of the organization shouldn’t be left out when it comes to having new ideas. You can enable this when you consider the three categories of innovation described in the blog: efficiency, sustaining, and disruptive. If someone comes to you with an idea that satisfies all three, don’t let whatever position they have in the company prevent you from hearing them out. You never know where you’ll find a new way to implement your software or attract potential clients.
- The big bang assumption. – This is probably the most widespread misconception because it’s also natural. When people hear so many success stories from the tale of Apple and Facebook, to all the way back when Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, they’d want to emulate that for their own success. The truth though is it’s still a matter of impact. As the saying goes, “big things start out small”. Don’t try too hard in making yourself the Steve Jobs of ERP systems or coming up with an entirely new medium for generating leads. Lose sight of the impact and you lose sight of what innovation is really about.
Having the above three misconceptions often leads to a lot of reckless decision-making. Going back to Anthony’s main point, the goal of innovation is the impact. The way you develop your software should be focused towards efficiency, improvement, and simply making things easier. In fact, isn’t that the entire purpose of the B2B software industry?
It also applies if you’re outsourcing another group for your lead generation. Misconceptions abound among them as well so your standards for the right company should emulate the above criteria. Don’t judge their methods because they’re new or old. Judge them by the impact that they make and how easily they do their job. For example, don’t underestimate those who use outsourced telemarketing. Because chances are, the company they’re outsourcing to might be doing things that are having a very large impact. They could be integrating other new methods for the sake of enhancing results (e.g. email marketing, appointment setting, social media even). Why not give one a call and see if they’ve done anything that matches what real innovation is all about?