Every sales professional is faced with the shiny penny problem: "I would buy your product if it only did this..."
The results are sales delays and taking your eye off the ball. The only product you have to sell is the product you have today, not the one you may have tomorrow.
Below you will find three prompts to determine if you are facing a shiny penny or a genuine opportunity for innovation. I will give you a hint: the answer doesn't change.
Question: Is this a feature that will benefit more than one customer?
Answer: It doesn't matter.
Think of it this way: if you are not focused on selling what you have right now, you'll never make any sales.
Question: Does this feature fit into your larger business strategy?
Answer: (You guessed it.) It doesn't matter.
Let's say this shiny new feature fits perfectly into your strategy. That's great! But it still doesn't matter. By focusing on selling future features, you are postponing sales.
Question: Will you need to justify the time and effort that did or did not go into development?
Answer: (Surprise!) It doesn't matter.
It can't be justified. No product is ever perfect, and improvements always happen down the line. Product feature and enhancement requests should come from paying customers -- they're the only pennies that count!