Blog Category: Customer Insights (VOC)

Sales call preparation: Do it faster & better with AI

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The research on B2B sales call preparation isn’t encouraging: 75% of B2B executive buyers say salespeople are not knowledgeable about their business and do not understand the issues they face.1 Unsurprisingly, only one in four salespeople get agreement from these buyers to meet again.2 Let’s see how the clever use of AI can change this. ... Read More

Can customers help you create a new-to-the-world product? Sure. If you know how to ask.

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Could customers help with a product as radical as iTunes or iPod? They’d probably be hopeless on solutions… but helpful on outcomes: access a broad range of music, instantly purchase music, transport music anywhere, purchase single tunes, store music on multiple devices, etc. These would be great insights for any solution-provider.

More in 2-minute video at 18. Avoid the ‘Faster Horse’ Fallacy

Will customers tell you what they want? That depends on how you ask.

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Think of a great radio interview. Did the host say, “I have 10 questions about your book”? Or did he listen carefully, asking wonderful questions? Did these questions cause the guest to think deeply? Did the guest enjoy the stimulating exchange, even thanking the host? This is how you learn what competitors miss. Check out our What-Why-Clarify probing method that’s part of Everyday VOC training.

More in white paper, Everyday VOC

Expect more out of your interview with a hydraulic hose buyer than with a garden hose buyer.

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You can have an intelligent, peer-to-peer conversation about pressure ratings, fluid specifications, etc. And expect greater B2B interest vs. B2C, since your innovations can help the hydraulics engineer become a hero with his next new product. Without innovative suppliers like you, his path to recognition is a difficult one. The more you understand B2B vs. B2C, the more you can “take advantage of your B2B advantages.”

More in white paper, B2B vs. B2C

Moderating Focus Groups with Jobs-to-be-Done

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Let’s learn to moderate focus groups with jobs-to-be-done. Focus groups are a cornerstone of market research, providing valuable insights into consumer behaviors, preferences, and perceptions. Jobs-to-be-done is our primary methodology to understand customer behavior and decision-making. It’s natural to consider the interplay of moderation skills, the special context of the focus group, and the mental ... Read More

If you like sub-optimizing, you’ll love using traditional voice-of-customer methods.

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B2B companies have huge advantages over B2C, but they may not be obvious. After all, didn’t the same fellow who bought a rail car of soda ash also buy a can of soda pop? Nope. He changed… a lot. B2B customers are more technically savvy, objective, supplier-dependent, and can predict their needs. Careful reflection of these differences leads to different approaches.

More in 2-minute video at 15. Put your B2B advantages to work

Be clear on what you own and what your customers own.

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Customers own “outcome” space. You own “solution” space. Don’t let them into your space… unless you want to become a contract manufacturer. Instead, enter their space to understand desired outcomes better than competitors. This lets you deliver unique value in your solutions, which is handsomely rewarded though premium pricing. The best way to do this? Use qualitative and quantitative interviews.

More in the video, Reinventing VOC for B2B

Maximizing shareholder value is a lovely result… but a lousy goal.

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Tell me to increase shareholder value and I struggle to identify something I can do as an employee to raise earnings per share. Tell me to understand and increase customer value, and I can think of a dozen things to do, most of them actionable, measurable, and beneficial to our bottom line. Many of these I will find inspiring… as will others. Our research shows companies pursuing shareholder wealth grow slower than others.

More in Chapter 4 of Business Builders by Dan Adams

You’ll either get familiar with customer outcomes… or with mediocre growth.

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All growth-oriented innovation starts with customer outcomes. This is what customers want to have happen, with no understanding yet of how it will happen. Nothing a company does can achieve profitable, sustainable growth unless customer value is created… which comes only by improving these outcomes. Want to improve your new product success? Understand your customers’ outcomes in incredible detail.

More in 2-minute video at 22. Immerse your team in customer outcomes

For successful innovation, you need to “get out” more.

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It’s risky to incrementalize… but “great hope” projects often absorb huge resources and end with a whimper. What’s the answer? Get out more. Spend more time in customers’ worlds to reduce commercial risk. And reduce technical risk through open innovation, tapping into external technologies. You can’t thrive today without external insight. (Hmmm… “exsight”?)

More in 2-minute video at 42. Beware of New Product Incrementalism