As we begin training employees in B2B front-end-of-innovation skills, the business leader often asks, “Can you make the project teams go faster?” I understand this… but a better approach would have been to not dither away so many months making a decision to start training in the first place. Investing in such skills can never begin too soon.
Learn more about B2B innovation at www.theaiminstitute.com.
Cross “interview guide” off your packing list and add “digital projector.” The former indicates you—not the customer—will be guiding the interview. Not good. Project your notes and let the customer tell you their next problem or ideal state: You’ll learn what you didn’t know you didn’t know, they’ll correct your notes, and they’ll be much more engaged.
More in article, Why Advanced VOC Matters (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter).
Many suppliers unwittingly detach from customers with a host of risky behaviors: 1) Asking customers to fill in boring questionnaires, 2) using interviews to “validate” their preconceived solutions, 3) failing to probe with insightful questions, and 4) neglecting to follow-up interviews with rich, ongoing engagement. Is it time to learn customer-engagement skills?
More in article, 5 Growth Risks You Can Stop Taking (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter).
Don't overlook these 5 hidden risks when you develop new products for B2B markets: 1) customer detachment, 2) narrow targets, 3) internal bias, 4) competitive blind spots, and 5) low findability. ... Read More
Do you think your competitors also plan to exceed market growth? So, all the competing suppliers plan to grow faster than the market they serve, year… after year… after year. As Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that been working for you?” Maybe it’s time for a different plan. A plan built on innovation, not hope… on well-grounded skills, not blue-sky spreadsheets.
More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 4).
There are 4 Innovation Maturity Levels: 1) Solution push, 2) Solution validation, 3) Market insight, and 4) Market scouting. Learn how to dramatically boost your B2B innovation just by reaching Level 3. ... Read More
The data are in, the studies are done, and—put simply—customer-engaging VOC improves your bottom line. One study on innovation by Booz & Co. found this: Suppliers who directly engage customers enjoy three times the profit growth vs. those that do not. Want huge profit growth? Engage your customers. It’s not hard, but it is a different approach… even innovative.
More in article, Why Advanced VOC Matters (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter)
Will you win because your R&D people are 20% smarter than the competition’s? If that logic sounds shaky, here’s a suggestion: What if your R&D worked only on problems customers truly cared about… while competitors kept guessing what to work on? Would that be a competitive advantage? This is easier than you think… but maybe you’d rather try to hire geniuses.
More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 4)
When developing a product, you know what you know (facts)… what you think (hypotheses)… and what you don’t know (gaps). But breakthroughs usually come from what you didn’t know you didn’t know. Only your customers know this, so you must let them guide you. This provides the spark of innovation, which seldom occurs with old-fashioned supplier-led interviews.
More in e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B (page 3)
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)