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From the author of Come On, You Guys, It's Just Ice

Come On, You Guys, It's Just Ice

Unfortunately, most management teams feel that innovation is an infinitely reusable incremental process that will allow the company to improve its existing products continuously, and to sell them at ever-increasing prices to the existing customer base.

When sales start to peak, most executive teams will immediately attack the most obvious problem: the sales team. Since the product has been incrementally "improved," and the consumer still loves ice, why can't the sales team sell this "better" ice? The answer seems obvious: The sales team just doesn't know how to sell new-and-improved ice! Let's replace them with a whole new "ice solutions" sales force. Or perhaps we could outsource our sales to third-party ice specialists? Maybe our sales folks need to become more specialized, through training in the detailed properties of each of our ice products? Or should we slash commissions on legacy ice products, so that our sales team will feel an increased incentive to sell the new ice solutions?

In reality, "new ice solutions" are probably still just ice—even when wrapped in improved advertising with 3D graphics and rotating multi-angle presentations. The consumer still has the same needs and wants, and new ice doesn't satisfy those wants and needs any better than old ice. In fact, new ice might be less usable than old ice. Blaming the sales team is an executive cop-out.

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