What if you could finish your voice-of-customer interviews in just a few weeks, not months? We’re talking about incredibly thorough qualitative and quantitative interviews. You’ll have irrefutable evidence that eliminates most commercial risk. You’ll know exactly which outcomes the market does and doesn’t want you to improve. And you’ll have it FAST. Here’s the good ... Read More
Many companies think they have learned about customer needs when they visit customers to validate their hypothesis or potential solution. They have not. They have learned about market reaction. To a single idea. Their idea. On top of this, it’s likely this customer reaction was distorted by confirmation bias.
More in white paper, www.b2btimingiseverything.com (page 15)
Some executives expect employees to deliver innovation-driven growth without investing in company-wide tools and skills. Either nothing changes, or employees run off changing things in random (Brownian motion) directions. Be intentional about what new behavior is needed, and take unwavering steps to drive it. Tip: Research shows that one of the strongest growth drivers is learning strong B2B voice-of-customer skills.
More in research report, www.b2bvocskills.com
Is your business led by a Builder?… a Remodeler?… a Decorator?… a Realtor? New research by the AIM Institute shows your business will be stronger and grow faster if your senior business leader is a Builder. Let’s see why… On October 30, 2023, we published a new book by Dan Adams: Business Builders: How to ... Read More
Initially, you are aware of the first three, but completely unaware of the fourth—surprises. When you begin your project, list the first three, and try to convert A’s and Q’s into F’s. Then uncover the surprises through customer interviews, tours and observation. Seek to understand the first three, and discover the last one.
More in white paper, Innovating in Unfamiliar Markets (page 12)
You shift resources “up” by investing manpower earlier in understanding market needs. This lets you be more successful later in developing solutions. You shift resources “out” when employees spend less time talking to each other… and more time directly engaging customers, through interviews and tours. Develop new skills for this, and create a new company culture.
More in white paper, www.catchtheinnovationwave.com (page 6)
Your sales force should play a key role in innovation-focused interviews. But not by themselves. Unaccompanied sales reps seldom attract all the right customer contacts, and they’re not rewarded for the lengthy time horizons required. Besides, market-facing innovation requires central coordination, since a single sales territory won’t contain all the needed prospects. However, your sales force can play a critical role when it also becomes a learning force.
More in 2-minute video at 47. Make your sales force a learning force
Want to add employees who know your technologies and markets, can start work tomorrow, and cost nothing more? It’s easy: Just kill the dead-end projects that tie up half your resources. Free your people to work on projects your customers actually care about. It’s not hard to learn which projects to kill. In fact, strong project teams will halt weak projects on their own. Many will do this using the data-driven evidence that comes from market satisfaction gaps.
More in white paper, www.marketsatisfactiongaps.com
If your new product development process starts with your ideas—instead of B2B customers’ desired outcomes—your new product may be an answer to the wrong question(s). You’ll likely a) miss important customer outcomes, or b) misinterpret the importance of the customer outcomes you have identified.
More in white paper, www.guessingatcustomerneeds.com
Market segmentation is covered in every business curriculum, and for good reason. The best of the best, in every craft, maintain a focus on fundamentals. Consider that the great Tiger Woods continues to perfect his golf swing even as he approaches the end of his career. For innovation, few concepts are as fundamental as market ... Read More
Where else do you invest tens of millions of dollars in personnel, so that many can work diligently on answers to the wrong questions? If your firm is like most, one-half of your product development resources are working on projects that will be cancelled or fail to yield an adequate return. You can stop this innovation malpractice with the science of B2B customer insight. Specifically, you must stop projects from entering the development stage unless you have data-driven evidence of customer needs.
More in 2-minute video at 35. Insist on data-driven innovation
Today's innovation methods will look outdated in the future, with these 6 “awkward realities”: 1) We test market needs by launching products at customers. 2) We don’t understand what organic growth requires of us. 3) We misunderstand the proper role of stage-and-gate processes. 4) We interview customers to “validate” our hypothesis. 5) We fail to fully engage customers in our innovation. 6) We are easily distracted from customer-facing innovation. ... Read More
In concentrated B2B markets, the top ten buying accounts may represent 50-100% of the buying potential. Unlike B2C—with deep pools of potential prototype testers—B2B suppliers can wear out their welcome by lobbing sloppy “minimum viable products.” If you use Lean Startup, be sure to begin with proper B2B customer interviews.
More in white paper, www.leanstartupforb2b.com (page 7)
Tired of new product failures? Get one simple step right and your new product success rates will soar. For B2B companies, this step is prioritizing customers’ needs. Not sure about that? We’ll show you strong evidence that supports this… and show you how to turn new product failures into rare and distant memories. What’s more ... Read More