For an unprecedented fourth year in a row, Forbes Magazine distinguished salesforce.com as the “Most Innovative Company in the World”—and number four feels just as sweet as our first three titles!

Each year Forbes, in partnership with FinStra Consulting, analyzes 526 public companies eligible for the “Most Innovative Company” list and determines which firms investors feel are most likely to come up with the next big innovation.

Forbes pointed to salesforce.com’s acquisition of Radian6 and Buddy Media, both marketing-oriented firms, as examples of CEO Marc Benioff’s continued dedication to pushing big ideas forward, as well as his willingness to take risks to promote new ideas.

In an interview with Forbes published Aug. 20, Benioff outlined three key ways salesforce.com manages to stay on top:

  1. A visionary product line

  2. Empowering employees through the V2MOM (Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, Metrics) process

  3. Allowing employees to help shape the company vision

So what can you learn from innovative companies like Salesforce? The experts at the Innovator’s DNA developed a four-step process that they call the Innovator’s Method:

Step 1: Insight

Cast a wide net for insights about problems worth solving using questioning, observing, networking and experimenting; and embrace surprises that you may discover. 

Step 2: Problem

Don’t just jump to solving the problem. Dive into exploring the problem or need, including all aspects of the issue—functional, social and emotional—to make sure that you’re tackling a problem worth solving, and that you fully understand what is required in addressing it.

Step 3: Solution

Don’t go big—yet. Make use of multiple virtual prototypes to explore all potential methods for solving the problem before you develop full scale products. Once you have your prototypes, build on each of these solutions to develop a beta version and eventually a minimum awesome product. The minimum awesome product should inspire positive emotion in your customers and create deep satisfaction.

Step 4: Business Model

So you’ve determined your solution and iterated upon it immensely; now you’re ready to nail down the other components of the business model, such as pricing, customer acquisition and cost structure strategy.

Want to learn more about the Salesforce advantage? Visit our website or download the free e-book. 

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