Your sales force should play a key role in innovation-focused interviews. But not by themselves. Unaccompanied sales reps seldom attract all the right customer contacts, and they’re not rewarded for the long time horizons required. Besides, market-facing innovation requires central coordination, since a single sales territory won’t contain all the needed prospects.
More in article, Why Your Sales Force Can’t Hear the Customer’s Voice (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter).
If the customer felt they helped you with your interview, you probably wasted your airfare. But if they felt it was their interview, asked for a copy of the notes, and said you were a good meeting facilitator… you probably learned things your competitors don’t know. B2B insight skills are needed for this. Do your people have them?
More in e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B (page 9).
Research shows customer engagement is critical to successful innovation. This engagement increases as you move through six “insight levels”: 1) Deciding what customers want in your conference rooms, 2) polling your sales force, 3) conducting customer surveys, 4) qualitative VOC, 5) quantitative VOC, and 6) B2B-optimized VOC. Where are you?
More in article, Boosting Innovation…In One Easy Lesson (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter).
Want to add employees who know your technologies and markets, can start work tomorrow, and cost nothing more? It’s easy: Just kill the dead-end projects that tie up half your resources. Free your people to work on projects your customers actually care about. It’s not hard to learn which projects to kill. In fact, strong project teams will halt weak projects on their own.
More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 6).
If you see a business that has steadily grown over the years in size, profitability and stature… whose products have surpassed competitors’… that grinds through the hard work of delivering real customer value… that brushes aside fads, downturns and criticisms… look for the builder. If this is you, we can show you some power-tools for your next project.
More in article, Are You a Builder or a Decorator?
If your new product development process starts with your ideas—instead of B2B customers’ desired outcomes—your new product may be an answer to the wrong question(s). You’ll likely a) miss important customer outcomes, or b) misinterpret the importance of the customer outcomes you have identified.
More in white paper, Timing is Everything.
If all customer outcomes in a market are either unimportant or already satisfied, you’ll see low Market Satisfaction Gaps. This is an over-served market, and there’s only one thing that makes these customers happy: Dropping your price. Race to more attractive markets and hope your competitors waste resources here. Have you identified your over-served markets yet?
More in article, Customer Interviews—By the Numbers (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter).
Where else do you invest tens of millions of dollars in personnel, so that many can work diligently on answers to the wrong questions? If your firm is like most, one-half of your product development resources are working on projects that will be cancelled or fail to yield an adequate return. You can stop this innovation malpractice with the science of B2B customer insight.
More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 5).
Enjoy your best-ever B2B product launch using 12 tips from the AIM Institute's e-book. Features LaunchStar software which delivers a comprehensive 2-page launch plan executive summary. ... Read More
In concentrated B2B markets, the top ten buying accounts may represent 50-100% of the buying potential. Unlike B2C—with deep pools of potential prototype testers—B2B suppliers can wear out their welcome by lobbing sloppy “minimum viable products.” If you use Lean Startup, be sure to begin with proper B2B customer interviews.
More in white paper, Lean Startup for B2B (page 7).