Awkward Reality #22

Interview B2B customers in a way that allows—even invites—surprise.

22-Business-Surprise

We’ve coached hundreds of B2B new product teams and here’s the awkward reality: When teams begin using advanced methods to interview customers, they are usually surprised by what customers want. This means the teams had been planning on developing a product that interested them, not customers. This is a sobering experience. Have you had it yet?

More in article, The Cost Cutter’s Guide to Growth (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter)

Awkward Reality #21

You can’t achieve profitable, sustainable growth behaving like your competitors.

21-Competitive-Behavior

Unless your company has smarter employees, some inherent unassailable advantage, or a markedly different approach to satisfying customers… pesky competitors will always limit your growth. What if you and your competitors were all committing the same innovation errors… but you corrected them first? Good news: There is much to correct.

More in article, Seven Mistakes that Stunt Organic Growth

Seven Mistakes that Stunt Organic Growth

Systems vs Goals

Avoid these 7 mistakes in developing new products: 1) Imagining customer needs. 2) Relying on sales reps to capture customer needs. 3) Counting on just a few VOC experts. 4) Using hand-me-down consumer-goods methods. 5) Gathering only qualitative customer feedback. 6) Listening only to immediate customers. 7) Ignoring competitors when you design your product. ... Read More

Awkward Reality #20

Boost your new product launch by knowing what your ad agency does and does not “own.”

20-Advertising-Agency

A proper product launch defines who to tell, what to tell and how to tell. You own who and what to tell, while your ad agency or PR firm should focus on how to tell. Hand them a strong Prospect Profile and Message Brief for “who and what.” Otherwise, they’ll waste your money guessing.

More in article, Stop Squandering Your Product Launch Budget (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter)

Awkward Reality #19

Closely examine B2B innovation malpractice, and you’ll see a pervasive disregard for customer needs.

19-Customer-Disregard-1

It’s ironic: B2B customers have the only vote on whether our new product is any good. B2B customers want us to innovate on their behalf. B2B customers are eminently qualified to guide us. Yet many suppliers all but ignore B2B customers when developing their product concepts. Today, this is a global pandemic.

More in article, Is Your Innovation Supplier-Centric… or Customer-Centric? (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter)

Awkward Reality #18

Innovation is the last frontier left for us to settle.

18-Last-Frontier

The average company only has a 25% success rate after it finishes its front-end work. With Six Sigma success, you’ve got three defects per million attempts… while your new product development is stuck at three defects per four attempts. Can you think of any other area in your company with this level of waste? Don’t let your competitors tame this frontier first.

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 3)