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Co-innovate with Influencers – feedback is key!

 

Just coming back from an by invitation only event with some 20 of the most important influencers in Boston (and right into Cebit…), thrilled by the momentum we had with positive and constructive feedback from this group.

 

What did we want to achieve?

We wanted to articulate our LOB On-demand vision and offer an early preview of Sales OnDemand as the first representative of our collaborative and person-centric solutions, built on the ByD platform. More important, we wanted to incorporate their feedback into our co-innovation process.

What did we achieve?

I am sure we achieved this objectives, getting open and direct feedback on where we stand, what we want to achieve… and where to improve. Bottom line, we are very well on track – but it was just the start.

Some of the feedback was prooving our ideas, just let me pick 3:

  • Collaboration betwen sales teams, using web 2.0 technologies helps to control the overflow of information and focus on the important things, so sals reps can work more efficiently on their opportunities. This also shortens sals cycles and increases quality
  • Mobility is core to sales people to engage with all relevant information about their accounts everywhere, anytime
  • Analytics with context help to make the right decisions, based on the right facts

I think Joshua Greenbaum picked it up very nicely in his blog: “SAP plays games with analysts”
“…That’s because SAP chose to “gamify” the presentation of product X to the analysts: the SAP team very cleverly used the doldrums of the post-lunch digestive phase to stage a game in which the analysts were teamed up and then competed to take the product through its paces. We were given some very rudimentary tasks that gave everyone a good sense of what the user experience of the new product looked and felt like. There were bugs, there was confusion, and there was a ton of fun to be had in the process…” 

(http://www.informationweek.com/news/software/enterprise_apps/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=229219542)

Now, how to best get feedback?

Well, simply put: let the people have some hands on experience – of course you need to be brave but it pays off. I actually was reading something that I found fitting to this, a quote from Reid Hoffman: “if you shipped your product and you’re not ashamed of it, you’ve probably shipped too late”. …

There is only so much you can anticipate, but we were able to create a trusted environment – a lot of encouraging and detailed feedback that helps to improve and prioritize the next steps in our co-innovation journey – and will keep the momentum. Second, have customer talk to how they perceived the co-innovation approach, the solution during its evolvement and where they do see the benefits.

Now how to keep the momentum?

There are multiple ideas, but you need to keep it focused and personal. Sales.ondemand.com is inheriting a platform to stay connected – but co-innovation is a longer journey where you can invite experts to be part of, you need to stay connected. We have a dedicated program to run this co-innovation with customers and partners (I would argue often it is both in one) to make sure we deliver what the market needs.

We will see how the influencers will write, tweet, blog, etc about this, from the product organization it was an encouraging start tuning up the volume towards our formal launch @Sapphire in May.

 

If you are interested, get involved via http://sales.ondemand.com and apply to co-innovate with us.

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