No one likes to be average—another word for mediocre—in something as important as growing their business. Of course, half of all businesses are below average in any given year. And few in the above-average ranks for B2B growth are confident they can stay there year after year. This can change for your business. You can ... Read More
Your “second objective” after customer insight should be customer engagement. These 9 approaches help: 1) Kill the questionnaire, 2) let customers lead, 3) discuss their “job-to-be-done,” 4) project your notes, 5) focus on customer outcomes, 6) probe… deeply, 7) don’t sell or solve, 8) get quantitative, and 9) use triggers. ... Read More
How valuable are B2B customer tours? Well – in the early 1980s, Eugene Goodson was the head of Johnson Controls’ automotive seating group, when a Japanese competitor requested a plant tour. The Japanese visitors spent less than one hour in the plant and took no notes. Harmless, right? Years later Goodson and his team were ... Read More
Warren Buffet once observed, “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” If you’re a business leader worried about your “exposure” in troubled times, consider three tools to put in your economic survival kit: 1) cut the waste, 2) invest in B2B training, and 3) increase customer engagement. 1. Cut ... Read More
We see three areas where leaders can have a greater negative impact on innovation than positive: 1) organizational friction (travel bans, spending freezes, hiring delays, excessive re-orgs, etc.) that slow innovation to a crawl, 2) spreading too few resources over too many projects so that nothing moves briskly, and 3) short-changing the front-end of innovation, so that a clear picture of customer needs is lacking. Companies pay a heavy price for keeping such leaders in place.
More in article, Accelerate New Product Innovation
For rapid, profitable, sustainable growth, your goal should be, “Understand and meet customer needs better than anyone else.” These 7 other common paths simply won’t work. Use AIM’s B2B Growth Diagnostic to benchmark your business against average, top quartile, and top decile companies on 25 growth drivers. ... Read More
B2B companies can do 3 things with customer needs: guess, understand or model them. This article explores modeling and its 3 benefits: 1) It’s much cheaper and faster than starting with a prototype, 2) you’ll understand customers’ next-best alternatives better… so you can optimize product pricing, and 3) customers will be much more engaged. ... Read More
The world of B2B sales techniques can be a confusing landscape. “Confusing” because it’s hard to know when to rely upon traditional B2B sales techniques and when to embrace newer approaches. Certainly, B2B sales are more complex than B2C sales – and despite the information revolution – this complication persists. Many of the current challenges ... Read More
The Oxford Dictionary defines a factoid as an item of unreliable information that is repeated so often it becomes accepted as fact. Too often in product development, what we view as a fact is just a factoid. Its fine to have assumptions, but make sure they don’t dress up as facts. What you think you know is more dangerous than what you know you think.
View video, De-risking Transformational Projects
You’ll continue seeing innovations for how we innovate… but you should critically assess them with a “B2B filter.” Take Lean Startup. It offers some good ideas, but it can encourage you to develop and show prototypes to B2B customers before having an intelligent conversation with them. Now that’s just silly.
More in white paper, Lean Startup: Expanding the Build-Measure-Learn Cycle