Blog Category: Business-to-Business (B2B)

10 Best Practices to Lead Innovation and Change

B2B Leaders Celebrate Success

Leading a company into a new era of customer-centric innovation takes patience, courage, and a commitment to finding the best people and processes. Follow these 10 best practices to lead innovation and change for B2B organic growth. 1.  Celebrate learning as success. As business leaders, we drive for results, results, results! There’s certainly nothing wrong ... Read More

Closing the “Customer Insight Gap” gives B2B suppliers a competitive edge. Not so much for B2C.

184-Customer-Insight-Gap

B2C employees (e.g. Apple engineers) are consumers themselves, so they have high typical customer insight… but low potential insight, since consumers can’t easily predict what will entertain them. The gap between typical and potential insight when serving knowledgeable B2B customers is much larger. This is your competitive edge if you close the gap before competitors.

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 13).

Most B2B firms can make one simple change that will revolutionize their innovation results.

176 Market Satisfaction Gap

This can super-charge your organic growth: Don’t let your R&D conduct any product development work without unbiased, unfiltered data on what customers do and do not want. Market Satisfaction Gaps—based on importance and satisfaction scores for customer outcomes—provide this. You’ll free up enormous resources by working on only what matters.

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 13).

Starting NPD without customer insight is like starting a shoving match with a sumo wrestler.

173 Sumo Wrestler

In either case you should ask, “What was I thinking of when I started this?” Especially if you are a B2B supplier with knowledgeable, interested, rational customers, who want you to know their needs. And a science already exists for completely understanding these needs. Maybe it’s time to stop throwing salt and begin learning a better approach?

Learn more in our e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B

Should you take a Do-It-Yourself approach to customer insight?

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B2B producers often take a DIY approach, while B2C marketers hire research firms. Why? For one thing, consumer products often have bigger annual revenues: Think of all the small B2B parts in a big-ticket item like a smart phone. For B2C it’s all about that launch. But B2B companies often “turn the crank” on many smaller new products… so its economical to develop in-house expertise.

More in article, You Already Answered 4 Questions, but… Correctly?

I’m still looking for a B2B industry that does not suffer from supplier-centric innovation.

165 Supplier centric

It would seem obvious that new product development should be focused on those who will pay for these products: customers. It would seem. Yet B2B suppliers routinely pursue their own ideas, concepts and hypotheses, paying too little attention too late to market needs. True customer-centric innovation is a completely different mindset.

More in article, Is Your Innovation Supplier-Centric… or Customer-Centric?

When it comes to B2B customer needs, uncertainty exists in suppliers’ minds, not customers’.

163 Uncertainty 1

Many ventures try to create new products or services under conditions of market uncertainty. This is a huge challenge for B2C. But uncertainty does not exist in the minds of most B2B customers… who have great knowledge, interest, objectivity and foresight. If you know how to access this, your supplier uncertainty will plummet.

More in white paper, Lean Startup for B2B (page 12).

B2B customers can tell you exactly what they want… but you must know how to ask.

140 Architect

Imagine you’re planning to build a new home: Your architect sees you for half an hour, spends the first 15 minutes talking about sports, and then shows you pictures of other houses he designed. Later, when the house fails to please you, he dismisses it saying, “Well that buyer just didn’t know what he wanted.” Ever treat customers this way?

More in article, What is New Product Blueprinting?

What Drives B2B Organic Growth? Now we know.

What Drives B2B Organic Growth...Now we know

Want to drive rapid, profitable, sustainable growth at your company… and focus on what matters most? This original research taps over 10,000 years of combined experience from 540 B2B professionals. You’ll see which of 24 growth drivers they deemed the most important, and which they were most eager to improve. ... Read More