In 2004, two business strategists named Renee Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim released a book called Blue Ocean Strategy and forever transformed the way we see innovation and disruption.
The concept is simple: first, we start with a red ocean. It symbolizes a market space crowded with competition, not unlike a stretch of the Pacific full of sharks. Every time a new opportunity comes onto the stage, everyone dives after it at once. Even if your company is quick enough to get a piece of the pie, they’ll be sharing it dozens of other like-sized firms and businesses.
A blue ocean, on the other hand, is a wide open space where competition becomes far less relevant. But to get there you have to do things that no other company is doing. You have to think in ways that no other company thinks. Since most companies are stuck in the same old bottlenecks, like the ones connected to complex sales, for example, finding ways to push through will have you enter a space with much more room to scale and grow.
While it wasn’t written with this particular context in mind, transforming complex sales with blue ocean strategy is a natural next step.
How you can open a blue ocean through digital technology
All this talk of opening new spaces free of competition sounds well and good but, unless it implies a concrete path to complex sales transformation, it’s just a fancy idea.
Thankfully, there’s another piece of the puzzle that makes everything fall into place: innovations in digital technology.
The difference between a company that stays in a red ocean and one that passes through into a blue one is that the latter finds ways to transform bottlenecks into opportunities for scaling and growth. The history of large-scale disruption is a powerful example.
Take a company like Uber. They broke through to a blue ocean by utilizing one of the most significant technological changes of the past decade: the smartphone. In particular, geolocation features. Before that, there was an industry-wide bottleneck when it came to how driving services found their clients. By making a shift in how customers use technology to access their service, Uber forever changed the industry and launched a revolution.
If we apply this logic to complex sales, it means breaking down the process step by step and seeing which stages are optimizable. Uber found a game-changing optimization opportunity at the stage where customers hail a car. Not every business is an Uber, obviously, but their strategy is repeatable.
And here’s how.
Transform Complex Sales Through Blue Ocean Strategy
With Blue Ocean strategy, transform sales processes and open up new vistas with less competition!
Nobody likes complex sales processes – that’s no surprise. Business owners and entrepreneurs often dread the phrase. It brings to mind memories of long sales cycles, unstable client relationships and general bloat, which makes it all too easy to focus on smaller, more accessible wins.
While this seems like a logical short-term solution, it also has the unintended side effect of creating sales bottlenecks and limiting your growth. This is because you’re focusing on solutions that turn out to be low hanging fruit – since this is an easy thing to do, you’ll be facing a lot of competition. Not to mention the strain on your resources. But what’s to be done?
Luckily, there’s a way out. While transforming complex sales processes might seem like a difficult task, by applying the famous Blue Ocean principle you’ll be able to identify new areas for growth and innovation.
Creating a comprehensive digital sales strategy has two components: reducing costs for the company and creating extra value on the customer end.
When you start using digital tools to streamline complex sales processes on the business end, you’ll find that you’ll be spending less in a number of ways. The first has to do with the point of entry when it comes to sales: generating and following up on leads. This requires an analysis of how your company goes about finding new clients and potential partners and then asking yourself the question: where can this process be automated? Where are the bottlenecks? How can the latest apps and tech optimize the experience?
Another way is to use digital technology to evaluate the value of leads in general. By setting up a system that predicts where you should be investing more time, you’ll be able to expend more energy on leads that will pay off in the long run.
When it comes to opening up a blue ocean complex sales analysis matters because the capital and resources saved by tech innovations can be re-invested in resolving further bottlenecks. Success becomes exponential.
Generating customer value
There are a number of ways to use the bottlenecks in complex sales processes to create value for your customer base. Like with everything else, all it takes is a little strategizing and the ability to look at the situation from just the right angle.
It doesn’t only come down to explicitly transforming complex sales processes – digital innovations can make the experience streamlined and pleasant for your clients. Which goes a long way towards creating a preference in their mind for your product or service. This helps to raise your profile and expand further into blue ocean territory.
Getting feedback and paying attention to what your customers are looking for is another great way to add value and create a unique market space for yourself. There are dozens of features your customers wish existed but don’t – investing in deep-dive feedback procedures can help direct your energies towards innovations that your customers will actually show up for. This is the true secret to the blue ocean: giving people something they didn’t know was possible. Even something they didn’t know they needed.
Investing in digital transformation and innovation is key to optimizing complex sales processes. What’s going to make you rise a head above the competition, as well as unlock coveted blue ocean space, is the ability to analyze, step by step, existing bottlenecks to provide extra value to your company and your customers.
With foresight and a bit of planning, you’ll be swimming by yourself in no time at all!