Awkward Reality #144

Consider an important—if awkward—question to ask new-product project teams.

144 Time Spent Talking

If any process in your company should be customer-driven, it should be the one developing products for customers, right? So try this at your next review: Ask team members how many hours they spent talking to customers… and how many hours working internally. You may be surprised at how little time was spent understanding customer needs.

More in article, Should Your Stage-Gate® Get a No-Go?

Should Your Stage-Gate® Get a No-Go?

Should Your Stage Gate Get a No Go

It’s important to recognize what a stage-and-gate process will—and will not—do for you. This research shows why it’s a mistake to count on such a process to drive growth. Given the limitations of internal focus and analytical thinking, you need more. Simply put, your stage-and-gate process is necessary, but not sufficient. ... Read More

Awkward Reality #143

Awkward Reality #142

You probably have great “improvement potential” in 3 of 4 value propositions steps.

142 Potential

Consider four steps: 1. Understand value, learning which important outcomes customer lack. 2. Quantify value, estimating the potential value beyond customers’ next best alternative. 3. Build value, by developing a new offering. 4. Communicate value, with a dynamic launch. Most companies can get much better at steps 1, 2, and 4.

More in article, Three Steps to Unbeatable Value Propositions (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth newsletter).

Awkward Reality #141

Stop hitting the reset button. Start building capabilities for the long-term.

141 Reset Button

Business leaders focused on the short term are just showing up. They compete for market share this year, hit the reset button, and repeat the process next year. No serious, long-term capability-building. Count yourself fortunate if you compete against such companies. They’re easy to beat with the right time horizon.

More in article, Build Growth Muscles at Your Company (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter).

Awkward Reality #140

B2B customers can tell you exactly what they want… but you must know how to ask.

140 Architect

Imagine you’re planning to build a new home: Your architect sees you for half an hour, spends the first 15 minutes talking about sports, and then shows you pictures of other houses he designed. Later, when the house fails to please you, he dismisses it saying, “Well that buyer just didn’t know what he wanted.” Ever treat customers this way?

More in article, What is New Product Blueprinting?

Awkward Reality #139

What Drives B2B Organic Growth? Now we know.

What Drives B2B Organic Growth...Now we know

Want to drive rapid, profitable, sustainable growth at your company… and focus on what matters most? This original research taps over 10,000 years of combined experience from 540 B2B professionals. You’ll see which of 24 growth drivers they deemed the most important, and which they were most eager to improve. ... Read More

Awkward Reality #138

Suppliers want differentiated products, but most fail to understand what this requires.

138 Different Umbrella

You want differentiated new products that will induce enthusiastic customers to open their wallets wider. Differentiated products must be… different. But different from what, in what ways, and to what extent? 100% of this information can be learned from B2B customers… but only if you engage them in specific discussions. Very few suppliers do this correctly.

More in article, Four Steps Needed for New Product Differentiation (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth newsletter).