Most sales professionals are rewarded for one thing. Selling. This year. But if you want to sell a lot more in 2-3 years, better learn today what customers really want. Who better to do this than the people you’re paying to meet with customers daily? Perhaps future companies will unleash sales-and-learning pros… not just sales pros.
Learn more about B2B innovation at theaiminstitute.com
Do you have a true team… or just some “emissaries visiting from foreign functional areas”? Winning teams share these traits: a) Management signals this work is a top priority, b) the team leader is enthusiastic and capable, c) team success impacts personal performance reviews, and d) the team members want to be part of this team.
More in article, What’s Restraining Your Growth? Your Time Horizon
We are all unique, or we think we are, with this problem: our products are becoming more and more like commodities. You know, gasoline, steel, top soil. Our superior product dreams are trampled by the heavy feet of commoditization. Wouldn’t it be so much more fun to tout the amazing technical wizardry in the annual ... Read More
It may be that your customers’ customers opinions matter more. Somewhere in your downstream value chain, there’s a “drive sprocket” that’s moving the rest of the value chain. Find it, uncover all their needs, quantitatively isolate the critical ones, and pursue these like there’s no tomorrow.
More in e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B (page 26).
That’s too bad. They could follow 12 rules to dramatically improve their launches. A new approach is needed for three reasons: 1) The digital age is changing everything. 2) B2B marketers have been following the rules of consumer goods marketers too long. 3) Much more rigor is needed than most B2B companies apply today.
More in e-book, 12 New Rules of B2B Product Launch
You’re developing your customer’s new product. It’s like this: “Mr. Customer, we’ve assembled a team aimed at developing something you’ll love. As you can see, we even brought a lead R&D person with us to listen to you. So can you tell us everything you think we should know before we going into our labs? We want to get this right so the innovation makes you a hero at work.”
More in article, Is Your Innovation Supplier-Centric… or Customer-Centric?
This can super-charge your organic growth: Don’t let your R&D conduct any product development work without unbiased, unfiltered data on what customers do and do not want. Market Satisfaction Gaps—based on importance and satisfaction scores for customer outcomes—provide this. You’ll free up enormous resources by working on only what matters.
More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 13).
What else is there besides hearing customers’ needs? Impress them so they’ll want to do business with you. Incorporate your insights into a value calculator to optimize pricing. Use their precise interview language on your website to improve SEO. Uncover unspoken needs in a post-interview customer tour. Understand their next best alternative. Never stop learning.
More in article, You Already Answered 4 Questions, but… Correctly?
When you say you want to pursue a “new market,” do you mean the market is truly embryonic? Or is this just a new market for you? If so, it’s better to call the latter an “unfamiliar market.” The customers were already there. It’s you—not the market—that’s new. This is just one example of supplier-centric thinking that permeates B2B innovation. Customer-centric thinking will take you much further.
More in white paper, Innovating in Unfamiliar Markets (page 2).
In either case you should ask, “What was I thinking of when I started this?” Especially if you are a B2B supplier with knowledgeable, interested, rational customers, who want you to know their needs. And a science already exists for completely understanding these needs. Maybe it’s time to stop throwing salt and begin learning a better approach?
Learn more in our e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B