What are the four most dangerous words in investment? According to seasoned London market investor Tom Stevenson, they are;
it’s different this time.
He reveals this as part of his exasperation that in early-2014 we seem to be heading for a tech bubble bursting similar to 2000’s dotcom crash.
I immediately thought of many a Sales scenario where this flawed thinking can sink you well before you know it.
Not following a process. Following the same process as one that has lost deals repeatedly. Recruiting in one sole image. Recruiting differently for the sake of it. Generally anything harking to the well-known definition of insanity, namely ‘doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results’.
The one closest to my heart right now concerns launching a new product.
Sadly, the stats are brutal. Nine out of ten new product launches fail.
Whilst the reasons behind these are often nothing to do with the poor salesforce, it’s usually us put upon salespeople that suffer the brunt of any blame. Wallop.
Yes, there are more factors outside of our control than within it. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be striving to either mitigate against, or completely negate, factors precipitating failure.
The obvious place to start is to compare your current launch with the preceding one(s).
If those gone by didn’t set the world a light when expected to do so, then by definition if your launch plan today bears too much resemblance to those, bail. Change it up. Immediately.
I was also struck by how the themes of foolhardy investing can mirror new b2b product launch thinking.
For wildly over-blown company valuations read little real-world justification founded on fact for new sales revenues.
For ordinary, never-to-turn-profit businesses read a product that actually doesn’t fulfil a proper need in a better, demonstrable way.
For barriers to entry that don’t really exist read reasons for biting your arm off that don’t really exist.
For investor capacity for self-delusion read no potential user has ever been exposed to it during development, never committed cold hard cash to it nor been involved in spec-ing it alongside the salesforce themselves.
Plenty to chew over there I fancy to avoid any disaster upon the scale of ‘a slow puncture [to] a high-speed blowout’.