If you’re asked to cross an unfamiliar chasm, would it be risky? Hard to say. Until you learn if you’ll face a bridge or a tightrope, you can’t assess risk (probability). You’re just uncertain. Many companies fear risk in an unfamiliar market, when they should map out a plan to reduce uncertainty. This is especially easy to do in B2B markets.
More in white paper, www.UnfamiliarMarkets.com (page 2)
Steve Jobs quoted Henry Ford, who said, “If I had asked people want they wanted, they would have said faster horses.’” But these men were end-consumers themselves, so they understood their markets. Most B2B suppliers, typically have much to learn about customer desired outcomes… and B2B customers are willing and able to tell them.
More in 2-minute video at 18. Avoid the faster horse fallacy
Good questions demonstrate you’re more interested in the other person than yourself. What do you call someone who listens to you and seems fascinated by your responses? You call them a brilliant conversationalist. Think of it this way: Your customers have a hard time getting their boss to listen to them. They go home and their kids don’t listen to them. Now a supplier (you) is leaning forward and asking, “Really? Could you tell me more about that?” If you were the customer, wouldn’t you like to talk to such a person?
More in white paper, Everyday VOC at www.EVOCpaper.com
Jobs-to-be-Done brings CLARITY and PRECISION to every element of innovation, product development and marketing. And likewise, there’s no better structure to understand CX, Customer Experience, than Jobs-to-be-Done. The problem with “Customer Experience” (CX) programs is that we’re missing common definitions of what CX is. Some think about customer journey maps. Some think about NPS surveys. ... Read More
B2C companies seek to understand customer needs. B2B companies should do this and engage customers, priming them to buy later. If you interview ten customers that represent 20% or 50% of the market segment’s buying power, wouldn’t it be an incredible waste if you failed to engage these companies… so they wanted to work with you?
More in 2-minute video at 29. Engage your B2B customers
I am sometimes asked to do a workshop on developing value propositions. I say, “Not unless you invite your customers to it.” Seriously, suppliers already spend far too much time guessing what customers want. Why try to legitimize this innovation malpractice by creating and word-smithing value proposition statements internally? Better to conduct proper B2B interviews and then build a value calculator around a value proposition that customers truly care about.
More 2-minute video at 34. Use value calculators to establish pricing
Here’s the “B2B Advantage”: Your customers can offer more insight than end-consumers due to their knowledge, interest, objectivity and foresight. But if your company uses hand-me-down consumer goods voice-of-customer methods, you’ve ignored your own advantage. Your competitors may not.
More in 2-minute video at 15. Put your B2B advantages to work
Imagine your business stopped innovating, your profits declined, and it is now budgeting time. To salvage next year, you’ll likely cut long-term costs, e.g. R&D or marketing, further reducing your ability to create high-value products. Next year, you’ll have even fewer options. This results in death or irrelevancy. If you’ve started this spiral, pull out quickly.
More in 2-minute video at 9. Avoid the commodity death spiral
If you work inside a corporation, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with near-term cost controls: spending freezes, travel bans, hiring delays, layoffs, and so forth. Maybe you’re a business leader who has implemented these. But… have you considered the price you pay for them? Let’s see why it may be higher than you think. ... Read More
Most financial business reviews are like standing around the output die, exhorting the extruder to do better. But nobody’s checking the feed hopper. It looks like an intelligent meeting, discussing gross margins, price increases and growth rates. But these were predetermined years earlier, largely by your new products, what you put into the feed hopper.
More in 2-minute video at 10. Extend your time horizon