Awkward Reality #188

All B2B markets are not created equal. How well do you understand yours?

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The term “B2B” is useful, because business customers can be so different than end-consumers. But it’s a blunt and imprecise term, and we can do better. Check out the “B2B Index” developed by The AIM Institute. The higher your market’s B2B Index, the greater you can engage customers… in both early-stage and late stage marketing. (This is a free service.)

Calculate your B2B Index at www.b2bmarketview.com

Awkward Reality #187

A great customer interview is all about the customer. You should be fascinated by their world.

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Imagine a fellow on a date that talks about himself for an hour. His only questions are, “What’s your income? What’s your educational level?” Then he closes with, “Will you marry me?” Does this sound like an old-fashioned “qualify-and-then-close” sales call? As in a good date, you should be genuinely interested by your customer and their needs.

Learn more about B2B innovation at theaiminstitute.com 

Awkward Reality #186

Stop worrying about your competitors. Start worrying about customers’ alternatives.

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These may be the same… or not. If you make welding machines, your customers’ alternatives may be mechanical fasteners or epoxy adhesive. When you have a choice between supplier-centric or customer-centric thinking, always choose the latter. Exploring customers’ alternatives passes this customer-centricity test.

More in article, Is Your Innovation Supplier-Centric… or Customer-Centric?

10 Best Practices to Lead Innovation and Change

B2B Leaders Celebrate Success

Leading a company into a new era of customer-centric innovation takes patience, courage, and a commitment to finding the best people and processes. Follow these 10 best practices to lead innovation and change for B2B organic growth. 1.  Celebrate learning as success. As business leaders, we drive for results, results, results! There’s certainly nothing wrong ... Read More

Awkward Reality #185

Just think of all the mistakes you can make developing new products.

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You can miss an important customer need… pursue the wrong need… over-design and add unneeded costs… measure customer success the wrong way… overlook a competing alternative… over-estimate what customers will pay… under-value your product… use improper messaging. So many chances to err. Fortunately, B2B producers can use a “science” to avoid all of these.

More in article, How to Avoid New-Product Commercial Risk

Episode #04

Episode #03

Catch the innovation wave

In the last century, Detroit automakers fell behind Japanese competitors in the Quality Wave. Later, we saw winners and losers in the Productivity Wave. We’re now in the Innovation Wave, with huge consequences. Some B2B companies will win by moving innovation from “hope” into a new science.

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave

Episode #02

Become a builder

There are 4 types of leaders: Builders, Remodelers, Decorators, and Realtors. This matrix helps you understand which you are. Your business needs a builder. That’s because there are 3 three types of growth—inherited, market, and earned… and you only control one. (Hint… it’s not the first two.)

More in article, Are You a Builder or a Decorator?