B2B Organic Growth Series: Chapter #29

Engage your B2B customers

Featured Video Play Icon

Subscribe to the series. Get 50 free videos, sent daily or weekly.

While the main goal of an interview is customer insight, B2B companies should also pursue customer engagement. Here are 10 ways to boost engagement and shorten your “time-to-money.”
b2bgrowth.video/29 Video length [2:30]

Transcript of Chapter 29

Whether your business is B2B or B2C, your first interview objective is customer insight. But most B2B companies should have a second objective—customer engagement—especially if their target market has a few large potential buyers.

“Consultative selling” began when research by Neil Rackham found the best sales professionals asked questions like, “What problems are you facing?” Instead of waiting till after the product is developed, ask this in the front end.

You’ll start the selling process earlier, even though you don’t have a product yet. You’ll engage customers because this is about their needs, so they’ll be more eager to see your new product later. Many companies focus on “time to market,” but you want to accelerate “time to money.” Customers that anticipate your new product will evaluate it quickly and begin buying it sooner.

So, practically speaking, how do you engage B2B customers. Here are 10 ways: First, forget your boring questionnaire, and instead signal this is an “ideation” session. Recording their thoughts on sticky notes helps.

Let customers lead the conversation when you ask, “what else” after each note, and display your notes so they can correct them. Be sure to focus on customers’ desired outcomes, within their job-to-be-done. Remember, it’s all about their perfect hole, not the drill bit you want to sell them.

Don’t sell or solve during an interview. Instead, probe intelligently using the “what” and “why” method we discussed earlier.

Use quantitative interviews to get customers’ 1-to-10 importance and satisfaction ratings. Finally, use triggers to generate more ideas, something we’ll cover in the next chapter.

This has been a lot to absorb. But for now, just remember to ignore anyone who says “B2B customers can’t tell you what they want.” What they really mean is “I don’t know how to properly engage them.”

For more on Reinventing Voice-of-Customer for B2B, please download this e-book.