Don’t underestimate the power of “First Mover Advantage”

One thing that we’ve done repeatedly as SalesBytes is to lead the way in the development of the SA sales industry even thought we’re a pretty small company.  For instance:

– In 2000 we led the way in hosting massive quarterly sales events for thousands of sales managers and their teams and did so successfuly for another 5 years

– In 2003 we led the way in hosting bi-monthly sales management breakfasts exclusively for sales team leaders

– In 2005 we led the way in bringing Selling Power, one of the world’s best sales management magazines and training resource suppliers to South Africa

– In 2005 we led the way in setting up the first, most comprehensive sales knowledge portal in the country aligned with UPSA’s Compendium of Professional Selling

In 2006 we led the way in helping to establish a local chapter of a global sales non-profit association, The United Professional Sales Association

In 2008 we led the way in hosting the first integrated online sales recruitment and sales knowledge website in South Africa

Yes, we’re proud of our achievements. The point is that we’ll always be remembered for our innovations and that’s  something that you need to work into your sales strategy too.

What do you do differently in your industry? What products or services has your company introduced to the marketplace?  Are you a leader or a follower?

Clients want to know that their suppliers are innovative and ready to adapt or be able to change according to their needs. Doing the ‘same old, same old’ year in and year out will eventually contribute to your sales stagnation – you’ll find it more and more difficult to sell what used to be your once cutting-edge product. 

A case in point:
A company known as the leader in their industrial sector for over 30 years recently approached me to help them find a new Sales and Marketing Director. The directors had finally recognised that it was a lack of innovation – both in their product range as well as their approach to marketing and sales that had for years been chipping away at their sales. Then, with the impact of the recession in 2008 and their inability to creatively sell and market their brand in tough times, their sales had all but ground to a halt. The company was flatlining. Badly. The addition of a new Sales and Marketing Director who could effect an immediate sales turnaround was an attempt to save this once majestic market leader from going out of business. 

Markets change. Clients’ needs change.  Product and service offerings need to be constantly updated. And we as Sales Professionals must be able to adapt at the speed of light.

Going back to SalesBytes: Our strategy is that once we’ve cemented the idea of what can be achieved in the sales industry, we then leave it to other suppliers to copy our concept and then roll it out to their target market making adjustments – some good, some bad  – to our original idea. Then we move on to the next thing we feel the market needs. Naturally, this strategy won’t work for large organisations who need to stay put in one specific line of business. However they do need to keep on reinventing their brand. (Just think how many times Omo washing powder been marketed as ‘new and improved’.)

The SalesBytes “innovate here, innovate there” approach keeps us passionate about serving the sales community. It keeps us at the forefront. It sells.

1 thought on “Don’t underestimate the power of “First Mover Advantage”

  1. Brian Jeffrey

    It’s been one of my small pleasure to watch SalesBytes lead the way while recognizing that being a pioneer isn’t without its problems. I’m always reminded of the bad joke about being able to tell who the pioneers are by the arrows in their backs.

    It’s these potential arrows that stop companies from embracing more innovative approaches to their business problems. Most companies would rather follow than lead and are satisfied using tried and true solutions that often produce mediocre results than experiment and lead the pack.

    SalesBytes has proven itself a leader in many, many ways.


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