Awkward Reality #10

Once your new product is launched, the pricing insight window slams shut.

Pricing B2B Products - Pricing New vs. Existing Products2

Customers will help you set prices before—but not after—you launch your new product. They want you to develop innovative new products and services that deliver value to them… so they’ll give you insights to make this happen. These same insights allow you to establish optimal pricing. Do you know how to do this? It will be too late after you launch your product.

More in article, Pricing New vs. Existing Products (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter)

Awkward Reality #9

“Maximize shareholder value” is the pledge of allegiance recited in board rooms. It is a poor goal.

9-Business-Pledge

This mantra guides the decisions of the business masses. But is it right? Peter Drucker didn’t think so. He said the primary purpose of a business is to acquire and keep customers. I believe increased shareholder value is a good result, but a lousy goal. You’ll have better results if your goal becomes: “Understand and meet the needs of our customers.”

More in article, Why Maximizing Shareholder Value is a Flawed Goal

Awkward Reality #8

The B2B interviewer should have two goals: customer insight and customer engagement.

8-Customer-Engagement

Research shows the best way to sell a product is to probe customers’ needs. But why wait until the product is developed? If you probe beforehand, you’ll create a better product and “pre-sell” your product. This isn’t practical for interviewing millions of B2C toothpaste buyers, but it is for concentrated B2B markets. B2B engagement skills aren’t difficult. Do you have them?

More in newsletter, How to Grow in a Stagnant Economy (Nov-Dec, 2008)

Awkward Reality #7

Overwhelm your competitors by turning a trickle of customer feedback into a torrent.

7-Torrent

Some companies rely on a handful of internal VOC (voice-of-customer) experts to interview customers. You’ll do far better if you train a critical mass of employees—who routinely interact with customers anyway—to gather customer needs. Keep your VOC experts as coaches and trainers, but implement “VOC for the masses.”

More in executive briefing, Seven Mistakes that Stunt Organic Growth

Awkward Reality #6

Awkward Reality #5

If you like confirmation bias, you’ll love “validating hypotheses.”

5-Confirmation-Bias

Think you can validate your new product concept with customers and avoid confirmation bias? In your last performance review, did you disagree with your boss’s praise more than his criticism? If not, you may not have mastered confirmation bias quite yet. So stop leading the witness in interviews. Let them lead you to what really matters… to them.

More in newsletter, Give your Hypothesis the “Silent Treatment” (Nov-Dec, 2014)

Awkward Reality #4

Profitable, sustainable organic growth makes it fun to go to work.

4-Fun-to-Go-to-Work

When you can count on this kind of growth, everything gets better. Employees have stable, rewarding careers… industry-watchers admire your company… investors give you a free reign.  And this irritates competitors. You have but one path to this growth: innovation that benefits your customers. How intense is your focus here? Greater than competitors’?

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 2)