The most insightful interview question is often “what else?”

Most B2B suppliers work too hard during interviews: Would you like this?… How about this?… Would this help? Better to probe a customer problem or desire to full comprehension, and then simply ask “What else?” This allows them to lead you to whatever they think is important. This is a customer-led interview. You should try it.

More in e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B (page 11).

A customer outcome is like a scientific specimen, waiting to be examined and understood.

Great value propositions begin and end with customer outcomes. It’s like collecting specimens, sliding them under your microscope, and continuing to turn up the magnification. The careful researcher doesn’t have to agonize over the right value proposition. It comes into increasing focus, waving its arms and screaming to be addressed.

More in white paper, Timing is Everything (page 9).

Pinching pennies in the front-end of innovation is like night-driving with burnt-out headlights.

Imagine a team spent $50,000 traveling to interview customers about their needs. What would it take to recover this front-end investment? Typically, just one of these… Improve probability of success by 1%, increase market share by ½ share point, accelerate time-to-market by one month, or raise pricing by 0.5%. Buy new headlights and speed up.

More in article, The Harsh Realities of Organic Growth (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter).

You have two options: Ask for pricing decisions, or understand customers’ pricing decision making.

You can ask for pricing decisions using a survey, e.g. Van Westendorp. But it’s hard to get a straight answer in concentrated B2B markets: They know they’ll be negotiating prices later. Better to understand the customer’s world so well you can create a value calculator… to model their pricing decision-making. You’ll have longer-lasting insights vs. a one-time survey.

More in article, Pricing New vs. Existing Products (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter).

You can tell if a business leader is a cathedral-builder.

The cathedral-builder has counted the cost in years and is willing to pay it to create something of enduring value. He recruits and apprentices the finest stone masons and wood carvers he can find. Because these craftsmen know the passion of the builder, they are secure in their employment, and they work with pride. Do you have such builders?

More in article, Are You a Builder or a Decorator?