Awkward Reality #223

If you start selling your new B2B product when you launch it, you’ve started too late.

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Research shows top sales professionals ask customers questions such as, “What problems are you facing?” Why not ask this before you develop a new product —not just afterwards? Such questions engage, so customers are often “half-sold” by your launch date. And their answers let you create much better new products. So… one question, two benefits.

More in Leader’s Guide Videos Lesson 17, Engage your B2B customers

Awkward Reality #222

An important question is, “How’s that been working for you?”

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Your market is growing at 3% and your operating plan says you’ll grow faster than this next year. Of course, your competitors have similar plans… meaning everyone plans to grow faster than the market served. As TV psychologist Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that been working for you?” Could it be time for a different approach… e.g. understanding customer needs far better than competitors?

More in Leader’s Guide Videos Lesson 1, Recognize your growth challenge

Awkward Reality #221

Awkward Reality #220

Awkward Reality #219

Stockholder and employee interests only conflict in the short term.

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In the long-term stockholder and employee interests align. This is also true of customer and community interests. In the long-term, it’s in the best interests of everyone—except your competitors—for your business to develop high-value products, sustain strong growth, provide stable employment, and increase market capitalization. Given this alignment, doesn’t it seem odd that many business leaders seem so fixated on the near-term?

More in e-book, Leader’s Guide to B2B Organic Growth (Lesson 30)

Awkward Reality #218

B2B Customer needs: From “guessing”… to “understanding”… to “modeling”.

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In B2B we can do even better than “understanding” customer needs. We can “model” them. Use customer interviews to understand customers’ key outcomes. But don’t stop there. Ask how they measure these outcomes… and how good is “good enough.” Then create a model so you can test how they’ll react to any product design you imagine.

More in article, How to model customer needs

Awkward Reality #217