Driving Growth Through Sales: Outwit, Outsell and Outlast Your Competitors

Developing New Products and Services

Is your business becoming stale? Are you seeing a decline in sales? If your answer is yes, you could be experiencing a decline in growth for many reasons. To help you, in the next four weeks we’ll be going through a series on “How to drive growth through sales”.

This week we talk about developing new products and services because selling products or services is an art form that requires practise to master. Nobody ever learned all the tips and tricks in one day, but one can surely improve with time.

Why is it so important to develop new products and services?

Companies need to develop new products and services in order to outwit, outsell and outlast their competition. There are three main reasons for this:

  1. Your customers’ needs change continuously. As people’s lives change their needs also change. The customer you might have signed up as a single woman could now be married with children, so the solution you offered her at the beginning of your business relationship could be outdated and irrelevant. Failing to take these changes into account can affect your sales.
  2. Technology changes rapidly. There is always a new trend in the market and failing to keep up with that could leave your product outdated and irrelevant.
  3. Your product can reach its maturity. Every product has its life cycle which usually looks like a bell curve. If it’s a good product sales rise at a good rate, until it hits its peak and then slowly starts descending. Renovating a product prevents this from happening.

The meter taxi business is a great example. The business started in 1897 offering taxi services to the public. They continued offering this service for over a hundred years without thinking of upgrading their service or improving their product. Then, about seven years ago, a company called Uber, was formed. Uber decided to transform the taxi industry by reinventing the product and service. What did they do?

First, they got into the mind of the customer. They asked themselves what a customer would really want from a taxi business. They added to and improved the already existing expectations. So if a customer would want ”X” they would make “XX”’. They also looked further than beyond just a couple of years; they looked into the future and created a space for further product improvement by investing in attracting the best employees who would help them  keep on track with new trends.

Today, more people take Uber taxis than regular meter taxis – all because one person decided to develop a new product and service in an established field.

Even if your product has already reached its decline, you can still start over. One such example is a company called Truebill. It was cofounded by Yahya Mokhtarzada in 2015 and its main purpose was to enable users to easily manage all their subscription services in one place. The site required users to link their financial information to their accounts, but the company found that few people did. Yahya decided to email some of his customers to find out why they were not linking their accounts and he got the same feedback – the branding and design was just “off” and didn’t seem legit.

The company decided to invest in a design specialist and reinvent their product. Result? Before reinvention they had 500 users. In January 2016 they released their new product and after only a month reached 10,000 users.

Creating a great first product is important, but creating good follow-up products are just as important, and many fail to put as much effort into the second product that they did with the first product.

“There is a classic thing in business, which is the second-product syndrome.  Often companies that have a really successful first product don’t quite understand why that product was so successful. And so with the second product, their ambitions grow…[and] they fail.” – Steve Jobs

Learn to invest in reinventing products and developing new products and services to outwit, outsell and outlast your competitors!