Lean Startup is fine… but check your pool depth first.

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).

It is highly unlikely you see competitive products the way your customers do.

Companies think they know how good competitors’ products are. But when they conduct customer-centric side-by-side testing, they’re often shocked by this unfiltered view of where they really stand. Like a beautiful theory being attacked by a brutal gang of facts. Not pretty, but better than launching a dud. Doing this properly isn’t that hard… but is very uncommon.

More in article, 5 Growth Risks You Can Stop Taking (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter).

Stop testing B2B market needs by launching products at customers.

Years from now, we’ll think it quite strange that B2B companies explored market needs by launching products to see if anyone would buy them. In the future, B2B companies will have a complete understanding of market needs before they begin developing their products, let alone launch them. Want to start before your competitors?

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 5).

Make your innovation metrics a participant sport… not a spectator sport.

A fine innovation metric is the vitality index… % of total sales from new products (usually launched in the last 3 or 5 years). But it doesn’t tell you why your % is going up or down, does it? Sure, you can see which new products contributed… but you need to uncover the underlying reasons driving results. Otherwise you’re just watching from the bleachers.

More in article, 3 Problems with Innovation Metrics (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter).