Should your employees learn customer insight skills from an external firm… or should you develop home-grown training? If the external firm has worked with many companies across many global industries, it will probably advance these methods faster and further than you can. Think of them as the golf club maker. The glory belongs to the golf pro… so focus on your practice time, coaching and desire as the pro… not in making clubs.
More in article, You Already Answered 4 Questions, but… Correctly?
Most B2B companies have enormous insight advantages, because their customers have high knowledge, interest, objectivity, foresight and concentration.
Check out this free service to score your market’s B2B Index. You’ll see “how B2B” your market is… and learn how to take advantage of your B2B advantage.
“Market Growth” is the tide that lifts all boats… your reward for being just average. “Inherited Growth” comes from great products developed long ago. These are the gifts that keep giving… until they don’t (when you’ve been commoditized). The only one you control is “Earned Growth,” when you understand and meet customer needs better than anyone else.
More in article, Better get used to mediocre growth
Any champion—a golfer, chess master, or rock climber—focuses on building their capabilities. Yet, many business leaders obsess with “results,” hit the reset button at year-end, and start all over again.
Use this free diagnostic to benchmark your growth capabilities, and chart a multi-year improvement plan.
Some would say that investments in Voice of the Customer are “too expensive and time consuming.” After all, does it really make sense for employees to spend time on VoC projects? For them to be on the road, interviewing customers? Instead, shouldn’t they be doing things that “drive sales?” Like working more shows? Assisting sales ... Read More
I’ve come to believe two principles: A) The only way to create customer value is by improving their important, unmet outcomes. B) A supplier’s only path to profitable, sustainable organic growth is in creating customer value. Do you agree? If so, you might want to place a very high priority on understanding which customer outcomes these are.
More in article, Your Best Path to Profitable, Sustainable Organic Growth
This original research by The AIM Institute investigates 24 possible growth drivers… and the views of over 10,000 years of professional B2B experience on their growth impact. Bottom line: Most companies want to put more emphasis on understanding customer needs in the front end of innovation.
More in research paper, What Drives B2B Organic Growth?
In every other business area—e.g. production or accounting—surprises are unwelcome. But when you are surprised by customer needs that competitors have missed, you have an edge. Seek these out in free-thinking, customer-led interviews, maintain a probing curiosity, and avoid rigid schedules that discourage flexibility. Be surprised. And be happy about it.
More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 10).
Many B2B producers are stuck at the 2nd of the 4 innovation maturity levels: Solution Validation. When they ask customers to validate their cool new idea, they think they are understanding market needs. They are not. They are simply understanding market reaction… to one idea… their idea. You’ll get far better results by reaching the 3rd maturity level: Market Insight.
More in white paper, Guessing at Customer Needs (page 7).
No team wants to waste time on a loser: Life is too short. So if management has to stop a project, the team was inexperienced, communicated poorly, or had different expectations than management. All these ailments are addressed by requiring every team to use a common business case template, not their own, start-from-scratch PowerPoint® presentations.
More in article, How Leaders Can Accelerate New-Product Development