Michael Haynes, How to Leverage Business Innovation Across Multiple Sectors – InnovaBuzz 471

Michael Haynes

Michael Haynes, Listen Innovate Grow

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Michael Haynes, an SME Business Growth Specialist and the author of Listen Innovate Grow.

Michael spent over 23 years working in a variety of strategy, marketing, and customer insight roles with large corporates across a range of industries in Australia and Canada. During his time working for Australia’s largest telecommunications company as a Customer Research and Strategy Manager, he experienced first-hand how big corporations utilize innovation to increase growth with business customers. Now Michael empowers service-based small and medium companies (SMEs) with buyer-centric strategies to achieve the growth and impact they seek.

In our discussion, Michael talked to me about:

  • Leveraging business innovation across multiple sectors
  • Road-mapping and sense-making instead of “content vomit”
  • Really listening to your customers and industry

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

Listen to the Podcast

Business buyers are not just looking for immediate solutions to the problems that they have. They are also looking for advice and guidance to help them take their business forward. @2ExcellYourBiz on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Michael Haynes of Listen Innovate Grow

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • As a B2B company, you’re still selling to human beings. 
  • There’s a number of individuals involved in the B2B buying process. It’s not enough to understand these businesses at an organisational level. You also need to understand its decision makers at an individual level as well as those that are influencing their decisions. It’s important to understand who these individuals are, their motivations, and priorities. You have to think at buyer level as opposed to just a customer level.
  • Different individuals involved in the buying process have different priorities. You need to understand how they buy and provide them with the right kind of tools, information, and guidance that they are looking for. 
  • Understand who your buyers are. Identify the things they utilise as a part of decision making, and make sure that you are providing these resources to them.
  • Start with your existing client base. You’ll find a wealth of information by having conversations with their key stakeholders.
  • 60% of buyers are overwhelmed and confused by the amount of content that already exists.
  • B2B decision makers are looking for sense-making and road-mapping. They want you to be an adviser to them and provide them with content that makes sense to them given where they are going to and what they are trying to achieve. They need you to provide them with information that is relevant and what they need to be paying attention to out of all the noise that is out there.
  • Business buyers are not just looking for immediate solutions to the problems that they have. They are also looking for advice and guidance to help them take their business forward.
  • Content should be grounded in sense-making and road mapping. It’s about helping businesses make sense of the situation they are in, where they are looking to go, and how you can help them achieve that. 
  • Marketing and sales need to be working together.
  • The 5 Kinds of Innovation
    1. Product innovation – new product line or extension
    2. Service innovation – new kind of service or level of experience
    3. Process innovation – changes to your systems and processes
    4. Organisational innovation – potentially outsourcing, collaborations, and strategic partnerships
    5. Marketing innovation – introducing some B2B specific strategies that you can implement to better serve the need of your client or customer
  • Business innovation is looking beyond just technology. It doesn’t have to be big and disruptive. It could be just small incremental changes across the five dimensions.
  • Innovation is necessary if you want to drive growth in your business. You have to make those changes across the business that are defined and driven by the customers’ needs.
  • Think about how you can collaborate with other organisations as well as your customers that have the same target audience that you are looking serve.
  • Collaboration is a form of innovation that is low-cost but highly impactful.
  • Listening is the foundation of any growth. It gives you the base for your growth and action plans. 
  • Start with your top 10 customers. Have a two-way dialogue with them to understand their priorities and challenges. Let them know where you’re at and what you’re looking to do, and then leverage those conversations by sharing those learnings with your team. 
Business innovation is looking beyond just technology. It doesn't have to be big and disruptive. It could be just small incremental changes. @2ExcellYourBiz on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Michael’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Listening and talking to your customers and relevant community.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Practice what you preach. Join a mastermind group. Have a coach/adviser for your own business.
  3. Favourite tool for innovation –  Google and Listen Notes
  4. Keep project/client on track –  Regular communication. Set up a cadence upfront by scheduling the frequency and using the appropriate channel as preferred by your client. Inform early and keep people in the loop.
  5. Differentiate – Be authentic and be you. Play to your strengths.

To Be a Leader

Work on your growth mindset. Constantly develop and strengthen your growth mindset so that you can remain positive amidst all the challenges and uncertainties. 

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Michael through their website.

Suggested Guest

Michael suggested we have a conversation with Leadership Strategist, Jeffrey Edwards, Leadership/People/Culture expert, Julie Hyde and co-author of Listen Innovate Grow, Garreth Chandler. So Jeffrey, Julie, and Garreth, keep an eye on your inboxes for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz Podcast, courtesy of Michael Haynes.



Cool Things About Michael

  • He’s an avid traveller with a goal to travel to every continent.
  • He conducted seminars on B2B customer and growth strategies for the Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce and the German Australian Chamber of Commerce.
  • He provided recommendations for customer experience enhancements for companies including Colonial First State, Metro Trains Melbourne and Pearson Publishing.
Collaboration is a form of innovation that is low-cost but highly impactful. @2ExcellYourBiz on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Listen to the Podcast

Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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