The popular tech term “disruptive innovation,” tends to signal the idea of a fundamental shift in an industry’s business model and consequently, consumer behavior. Classic examples may come to mind, none more prominent than Netflix’s dismantling of Blockbuster. Disruptive innovation, by definition, is defined as an innovation that creates a new market and value network, eventually disrupts an existing market and value network. In the case of Netflix vs. Blockbuster, this shift was centered around delivery method.
In the world of business, there are hundreds and thousands of different processes and procedures that each bolster success in their own ways. The majority of these process and procedures are changing on a yearly, monthly, weekly and even daily frequency leading to outdated methods and operational nightmares. Whether for sales enablement, employee onboarding & training, product information, education or even project management, there’s really no single-factor for success. So how does a company thrive in such a fast-evolving environment? The answer - the scientific method.
Whether you pronounce it ess-em-ee or smee, a good SME (subject-matter expert) is worth their weight in gold. The SME is the person who knows their stuff—the details, the ins and outs, the gotchas … everything about a particular subject. They are the go-to for that topic. But here’s the thing. Being an SME isn’t actually their job. It’s simply a result of whatever responsibilities they’re tasked with on a day-to-day basis. And the better they are at their SME-iness, the more in demand they are to share that expertise, and the more likely people within the company are to say, “we need to clone” the SME.
It used to be if you wanted to learn about a topic, you’d have to find a source of knowledge—say a user manual, or an encyclopedia, for example—and then pore through it to find the information you needed. It took a lot of time. Depending on what you wanted to learn, it might be difficult to even get your hands on the right reference. Mastering a subject required training, whereby an expert builds a curriculum and then teaches it. It’s an event—even if it’s delivered digitally—that happens separately from the practical application of that knowledge.
Technology has radically changed business communications. Remote working is widespread. And even co-workers who sit next to each other as just as likely to communicate via email or IM as have a live conversation. And it seems like no one picks up the phone any more. Which is all great.
Except, is it?
Do you know how much communication power you hold in the palm of your hand? In just a couple of clicks, you can capture a multi-sensory experience. Want to have a little more production value? There are lots of inexpensive tools that anyone can use to jazz it up, no film school education required. Hosting and distribution are no big deal, either.
If you work in any industry that involves software development, you know there can be a disconnect between development teams and the “front of the house” sales and marketing teams. Even in small companies. We can preach corporate buzzwords like “HR synergy” until we’re blue in the face, but it can be really difficult to align these groups.
Collaboration is a critical component to sales success. In fact, according to a survey by Salesforce.com, 73% of sales professionals across all performance levels say that collaborating across departments—sales, service, marketing—is absolutely critical or very important to their overall sales process. And the results bear this out. 60% of sales professionals say that collaborative selling has increased productivity by more than 25%, and more than half (52%) say it has done the same for increasing pipeline.