Turns out that understanding market needs makes a big difference. In recent AIM Institute research, nearly 90% of survey respondents claiming a very poor understanding of market needs had new product success rates below 50%. This percentage dropped to less than 10% those for those claiming a good understanding of market needs. So understanding what customers want before you develop your new product is probably a good idea.
More in research report, www.b2bvocskills.com (page 7)
In my experience, VOO is much more common than VOC among B2B companies today. This will surely change, given the huge advantages of B2B-optimized VOC. (See e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B.) You can learn your position on the VOO-vs.-VOC spectrum by diagnosing 10 factors: 1) interview scope, 2) interview objective, 3) types of questions, 4) note-taking, 5) interview skills, 6) observation skills, 7) companies interviewed, 8) deliverables, 9) engagement timeframe, and 10) interviewing staff.
For descriptions of all 10, see article, Why Advanced Voice of Customer Matters
Surely nobody would brag about using VOO to develop new products. But if you aren’t having intelligent conversations with B2B customers before developing your new products, isn’t this what you’re doing? A good test is to add up your hours of internal conversations and compare with your voice-of-customer (VOC) hours. If you are not happy with the ratio, this might explain why customers are not happy with your new products.
More in e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B
Companies like to talk about the voice-of-the-customer, but most just listen to themselves as they create “conference room” products. The team gathers internally to decide for the customer what they’ll want in a new product. This team will always lose to the team that immerses itself in the customer experience, and designs a product to improve that experience.
More in article, Why Advanced VOC Matters (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter)